Whether you’re a solo musician looking to play your guitar and sing songs at local pubs or you’re in a band and you’re hoping to get discovered and become the next The Rolling Stones, you need to be promoting yourself or your band. There are a lot of things that go into promoting yourself, from setting up the perfect website to picking the right content, like videos and photos.
Have Some Merch
One thing the people are really going to want to see, especially when they are at your shows, is merch. When it comes to bands and musicians merch is t-shirts, hoodies, patches, and buttons, among other things. If people like your band they’re going to buy a t-shirt or some other piece of merch that lets them show off your band.
If you play a show and don’t have merch you’re going to end up with disappointed fans. You don’t have to spend a ton of money or have a ton of products to start off with. You can use the money you make from a small purchase of merch to buy more.
Set Up A Website
Your band has to have a website. These days if people can’t find you online they are going to quickly give up on you. Your website will be used for selling your music, getting you shows, and allowing new people to find out about your band.
This means that your website needs more than just a couple pictures of you or your band and a contact page. You need to have samples of your music, maybe some live videos from gigs you’ve played, and you should also have links to your social media pages and any sites where they can find your music (like Bandcamp and ReverbNation).
Get On Social Media
Don’t just be on Facebook, even though it’s an excellent place to start. You should have a Facebook page specifically for your music (a business page), but you should also be Tweeting, posting pics and videos on Instagram, and you should even be using a blog to tell people all about the things going on in your musical life. People love the behind the scenes.
Record A CD And Get It Out There
Just like the merch, your fans are going to want to take your music home with them. While many people are opting to listen to music online and on portable devices these days, true music fans still love things like CDs, cassettes, and even vinyl. Get an idea of what type of medium is best for your fans.
Put Together A Press Kit
Your website should be your press kit, but sometimes people aren’t going to want to go to your website to learn about you. They want to read everything in the email you’ve sent them or in the packet they received in the mail.
Ideally, your press kit will contain a band photo, a bio about the band/musician, and maybe a video or recorded music clip. This allows the reviewer or potential booking agent to know exactly what they’re working with.