Now that you’ve plugged in your amps, found a space to rehearse with your band-mates, and recorded some great songs, you might be asking yourself – “now what??”
There are way too many artists out there who get stuck at this stage. Sure, play good, play often and play loud! But a band is more than just awesome music. While the music naturally plays a pivotal role in your band’s success, activities such as band management, networking and planning are just as important.
Managing Your Band
The truth is simple: every rock band needs managing, and there are two ways you can go about doing this. You can self-manage or hire a band manager. Below are some of the most important systems that you should be managing.
Manage Your Band’s Calendar
It’s important to know when your band-mates are on holiday or otherwise not available to jam, record, rehearse or play. Talking to your band-mates will probably solve this issue, but if you want to plan other activities on a longer-term basis it’s good to have a band calendar to know when everyone else is available. In order to manage the bands we’re working with, at DAMAGE INC. we use Asana – a poweful task board featuring a calendar view and the ability to share and have anything in one place.
Keep Track of Your Gigs
Keeping track of your future performances will help you plan accordingly and make sure you are not double-booking yourself for a gig. Additionally, you should also keep a log of all your past performances along with some notes. How did the gig go? Did the people enjoy themselves? Was the event manager happy with your perfomance?
Holding onto this data will help you apply for future gigs based on past experience. If the venue you performed in was happy with your perfomance you may want to pick up the phone and talk to them about more gigs there. Or, you can even negotiate your slice of the pie if you thing you’ve got enough leverage.
Connect with your fanbase – consistenly
Your fans are your bread and butter! Without them the passion, effort and deication that goes into your music is all for nothing. Keeping in touch with you fans will keep them happy, which in turn will make you happy. Because happy fans share their experience with others – thus spreading the word for you! You should talk to your fans on social media and as well as email. Email is still very much alive, and has a longer lifespan than social media posts. Maybe email them a bi-weekly newsletter with your upcoming gigs and keep them engaged?
This should give you a good starting point to efficiently managing your rock band!
Promoting Your Band
This is where it gets exciting! There are so many shiny objects out there in the world of promotion that you can spend an eternity trying to understand every system out there. DAMAGE INC. reccomends focusing on only a few systems, make them work and then master those channels first before moving forward to different ones.
Connect With Local Promoters
Don’t let the rant about the digitised world discourage you from exploring the meat-space around you! The music industry has quite a few barriers to entry. Everyone says you have to know the right people, but they don’t say much more after that. Who are these right people and how do we reach them? For example, if you are a London rock band looking for promotion, you may want to do a google search and see what comes up.
But luckily you’ve landed on this website so you don’t even have to do that. DAMAGE INC. promotes rock and metal bands in London and also provides management support for you. Just Drop us a line using the contact form on the bottom right corner and we’ll be happy to hear you out. However, we believe the music industry should not operate as a competition but as teamwork. Our friends at AbsentKelly are also a great bunch of promoters that are covering other genres.
Have A Website In Place
If you don’t already then you need to drop everything you’re doing right now and build one. You need a website. Everyone is going to ask you for your music, pictures, portfolio, past gigs and more. Depending on what stage you are at, social media profiles and streaming might suffice, but we strongly recommend a website.
A simple but organised website shows you are serious about what you’re doing, it gives people the opportunity to see everything about you (music, pics, videos, description etc..) in one place, and it tells everyone that you mean business.
Social Media – Yet Again
Social media is not only useful to connect with you fans, but it’s also great to get in touch with Promoters! Not to mention that potential promoters might also be (or become) your fans. Having active social media profiles gives potential promoters the chance to find out more about you and your band. It might even be that one extra push needed for the promoter to pick up the phone and call you.
So more specifically, you should be at least on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For Facebook and Instagram you should consider a band page and convert it to a business profile. This will enable you to run Facebook and Instagram ads in order to get more page likes, expand your reach and get more people interested in your music.
Join Promotional Networks
Websites like Reverbnation can be a great resource for your band. The basic subscription is free, but it’s only a taster and doesn’t give you access to the truly useful features that you need. Reverbnation lets you create a band profile and then use that to apply for local and global opportunities! Those opportunities range from getting your music featured in movies and video-games or even performing in front of thousands in some of the most exciting festivals out there.
Reverbnation also features a gig finder! It will show you a map with all the places around you and will even let you send them an enquiry straight from the website.
So in terms of promotion for your rock or metal band, Reverbnation is something you should really look into.
Streamline The Streaming
This is the place where you upload your music so that is easily accessible to everyone. Here are some of the platforms that we highly recommend:
Stock Up On Merch And Promo Material
Why? Because your fans might want a reminder that they’ve been to your show, or they may simply want to support your band. Giving them the option to buy a T-shirt, a lighter, a pair of drumsticks or literally anything that reminds them of you will pay off in the long-run.
Promo material is great for branding. Why not print some big posters and hang them at the venue where you will be performing? The are so many things you can do with them! You didn’t hear it from us, but you could also use them for guerrilla marketing. As long as you’re alright hitting the town around midnight wearing a hoodie and sunglasses. All you need to do now if find the perfect spot for your poster, hypothetically speaking as that would be illegal.
For T-shirts, posters, business cards and other promo material you can head over to Vistaprint and they will do it for you at a good price.
That’s about it. We hope that is enough to give you a clearer picture of what is required of you and your band to see past the “now what?” question.
We are rock music promoters based in London, so if you need someone to put the word out for you, give us a shout. If Rock music is your soft spot, check out this article we’ve written about rock being dead.
Keep it Loud!
DAMAGE INC. Team