Saturday, July 23, 2011

Learn From The Bands Who Are Succeeding... Today

There's so many bands out there and so much choice for music to listen to. There's more music available now than ever before and so it has become even more challenging to get your music noticed as an indie artist and even if you have a major label behind you.

One thing I always suggest when it comes to getting your music heard is to take a look at what the most successful bands of our time are doing to achieve these results. It is always great to learn from those that are succeeding in a big way; however, you must be careful when it comes to the U2s and the ACDCs of the music world because they're playing on a whole different level and they began in a different time. I'm certainly not saying you shouldn't pay close attention to those artists. You absolutely should, but the music industry has changed so much that modeling exactly what many of these artists have done and are currently doing will not always catapult you toward the success you're seeking.

Who's Become Successful In Today's Music Industry?

It's probably a good idea to have a look around at some of the newcomers who've been making a big noise. Although most of the newer acts (if not all) haven't come anywhere close the level of success of the aforementioned U2 and ACDC, what they're doing is a lot more likely to be of use to you when it comes to implementing new strategies with regard to your music career simply because it's a much more sensible comparison. Wouldn't it be nice if an indie act could come up with $100,000,000 to put together a tour, just like that?

Arcade Fire is definitely a band worth having a look at. They and the team around them have obviously done a few things right and maybe there's something there that you can capitalize on for your own musical endeavours. I'm sure there are many artists out there from whom you could learn a thing or two. The trick is to recognize what is working for others and then determine which of those things resonates with you the most and makes sense in the context of your music and your brand.

Listen To The Fan In You

Spend a great deal of time thinking about this type of thing from a music fan's perspective as well. I'm guessing that 100% of people who get into a band are probably big music fans and so you can check in with yourself to find out what you'd appreciate as a fan from the artists you love. Maybe write a list of marketing strategies that have succeeded in prompting you to part with a few dollars for an item or an experience. And also, write a list of things that put you off, so you know not to repeat those strategies with your fans.

Take some time with this one. You may find that you're not consciously aware of why you follow certain bands with such a great degree of loyalty. If you do some critical thinking though, I'm sure you'll come up with the answers and that will put you in a much stronger position than those who don't do the work.

I'd love to hear what it is about certain bands that either pull you in or turn you off. You don't have to mention names, but I'd love to know which marketing strategies are effective and which are not. As always, thanks for reading!


  1. I tell my band clients the same thing so of course I completely agree with you. I often tell bands that are new to social media, especially Twitter, to follow the four Shinedown lads :) -why? Because they impressed me so much that I have been following them faithfully for a year... they pulled me in by how they treat their fans and how they market without 'marketing'... they're not accessible at gigs (too many fans to even try) but they do make themselves ss accessible as they can via social media (without losing their personal space). They all do spur of the moment Q+A sessions when they are waiting - waiting at airports, waiting in the Greenroom, waiting for the ribs to bbq at home etc.. and the fans love them for the personal touch.

    There are two bands I think about when I think about 'turn offs'. I wont name either. One has posted nothing but links to their reverbnation site, links to their itunes site, or PR tweets and FB posts. Not one shred of interaction or engagment with fans.. I unliked the page and quit following on Twitter within 2 days.

    The other band decided to be lazy and cross post everything to Twitter from Facebook. Anyone that tweeted back to them was never answered as the band wasnt even there. As soon as I realized this, I unfollowed. If you cant be there engaging with fans, then dont be there. Last thing I'm going to do is help pad a band's 'numbers' as a follower.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Donna! I really like what you said about marketing without 'marketing.' That's the trick I suppose and I think that's what being authentic is all about. You just can't use these social media platforms as a one-way blowhorn. Unless you're Paul McCartney or Mick Jagger, it ain't gonna fly.

  3. :) or unless you are The Edge (who posts sneak peek photos of backstage as well as location shots and follows not even one Twitter person).

    There was a major band 3 yrs ago who learned how to use Twitter over weeks/months and became so good at it that they managed to make all of their fans feel unique and special... and those fans becaome brand advocates and brought more new fans in. THATS the way to market socially.

    I also think that if you dont start with a good product though.. you can have all the marketing experience you need and as a band will never get anywhere... and unfortunately there is a lot of mediocre crap out there presently. I think its being weeded out though, as more and more bands are quitting to take on a regular day job.

  4. Agreed! You have to start with 'good' and then worry about your marketing and social media strategy. First things first.