Category Archives: Marketing Your Band

Crowdfunding 101

Dolla Dolla BillzYou’re in a band, which means you have no money. Ah, the eternal joke…but it’s true, of course. Those expensive instruments you bought certainly weren’t free. The thousand-watt amp that the neighbors constantly complain about was not purchased at a WalMart for a low, low price. And instead of going to law school, or learning to be an investment banker, you spent your formative years learning how to play “Stairway to Heaven” without messing it up.

So now it’s time to press your brand new CD – the CD that’s going to catapult you to stardom, the CD that you spent countless hours perfecting – but to add in that 16 page booklet and the unfoldable wall poster, it’s going to cost around $2,500. So how do you, the band manager who’s also living out of your parent’s basement, come up with that money?

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Marketing Recorded Music to Make Money at Live Performances

Recorded music should be at your live showHere’s what I want to know: Are CD sales and digital download sales really where musicians are going to make their money now and/or in the future?

My initial thought is, no.

Now, I’m not claiming to have the answer, but based on my own experiences as a working musician, my money is made on live performances.

Should you focus less on recorded music?

That question got me thinking, should I spend less money on recording and releasing an album, or even per-song music production for digital download singles, to be able to get it to my fans cheaper because I’m not making much in return on those efforts?

However, recorded music is still vitally necessary, but do my fans really care if I recorded it in a professional studio vs. my basement to save on production costs if the quality matches their expectations?

My point is, as a musician these days you might be best off to learn and understand how to record your own music very affordably, to the reasonable listening quality expectations of your fans, market it knowing that the recorded music isn’t going to make you tons of money, but if it can help you get fans to your live shows where you’re being paid by a venue and you can sell additional merchandise then it could be worthwhile.

Folks often want to commemorate a live show experience with a purchased souvenir, a CD, or T-shirts, stickers, posters, etc. – from the live shows.

In this scenario concentrating on booking shows and marketing those shows is made easier when using your recorded music as a driving force in your marketing of live performances.

Using a short EP album of 5 songs is a great loss-leader (something you can give away for free to drive attendance at live shows).

Recorded music has always been a marketing tool for musicians – think radio airplay driving the discovery of new artists and songs with the goal to sell more albums. I’m suggesting that you are the “radio” getting your own music out to others (via the internet, etc.) to help people discover your music and instead of driving them to the sole goal of directly buying your album, you are driving them toward coming to a live performance where they can commemorate the experience by purchasing an album…a subtle, but distinct difference.


photo credit: infomorph via photopin cc

Gig Etiquette (or, don’t be a dick!)

etiquettebook_smManners. Etiquette. Remember those things your mother tried to teach you? “No, honey, that’s the SALAD fork.” Turns out they’re actually pretty important in the real world. Every situation has its own social rules that must be followed if you don’t want to appear to be a jackass, and gigs are no exception. No one’s ever really set those in stone, or even written them down from what I can tell. It’s more of a “you learn it as you go” situation. So, for those of you who don’t have natural gig manners, allow me to present:

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