by John Fitzgerald, Founder, Local Band Network
Get it? Broads? Broad reach? Ah, forget it. Anyway, most bands rely on the same old promotional ideas time after time while expecting different (better) results. Face it; if you really want to succeed you need to find creative ways to reach NEW potential fans. People that aren't already on your email list. People who despise myspace. People who aren't hanging out where you play every week. You get the idea. Here are some innovative ways to promote yourself to a broader audience.
Synchronicity Live offers a cool new service where you can broadcast your shows live for free. It doesn't cost anything for you or your (new found) fans. Just make sure you put on a good show because who knows who might be out there watching.
imeem.com. Think mySpace but without the ripoff of your hard work. Bands can go to this social networking site and get paid for posting their songs. It's all supported by ads -- like mySpace but they actually share the money. What a novel concept.
Look around you. There are opportunities everywhere. I was reading Crain's Chicago Business and saw that Goose Island, a local microbrewery, was starting a campaign called 312unes. It's named after their wheat beer which is in turn named after the area code for downtown Chicago. They look poised to do some good things for local musicians in the Chicago area. You gotta keep your eyes open for opportunities like this one. I went to the Goose Island web site and couldn't find a mention of it so I had to dig the article out to get the site. I guess they are either just ramping up or they want to keep an air of coolness about it. 90% of life is showing up. At least another 5% is just paying attention. Keep you eyes open for opportunities all over.
Pass out something intersting. Stickers either end up on the venue's wall or trashed. A band called "my my my" played down the street a couple of months ago. You know how I remember their name? Their magnet is still on my fridge! There's a reason why the tchotchke market is a multi-billion dollar industry. They work. People keep them. People will find you because you give out fun stuff (and hopefully put on a good show too).
Sites. Lots of sites. And keep them current! Look, I know it's a pain to update a whole bunch of sites but if you want to be the biggest band in Gotham (or whereever) then you better do a search on google and find a way to get list on as many of the top 10 sites that come up as you can. It will increase your search engine rankings and make you easier to find. (Yes, that advice helps me with Local Band Network but it's 100% accurate.)
Thanks for reading and thanks for helping support local music.