Guest blog post by Leonard Patterson, Indie Band Coach
Here’s the truth: No one knows when the pandemic will end, or what the word “end” even means. Anything published or announced is an estimated guess at best. And that’s not just effecting performers like musicians, DJ’s, and bands.
According to a survey conducted by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), a recently established advocacy group for music venue owners and promoters: “90 percent of independent venue owners, promoters and bookers say that they will have to close permanently within the next few months, if they can’t get an infusion of targeted government funding.” (npr.org)
But even if you can’t plan your calendar, book gigs, or plan tours, there are still solid marketing ideas you can be implementing right now to grow your fanbase. I believe it was Tony Robbins that said “energy flows where attention goes”, and if we continue to focus on what we don’t have — gigs, control, stages, normalcy — that’s where our energy will start and end.
So let’s focus on what we do have control over and put plans in place that don’t depend on being face to face. Here are a few marketing ideas to help you accomplish that.
- Deliver Recurring Content
Create a recurring series to stay connected with your non-local fans. Seriously, we have an opportunity to “become the content not the commercial”. How can you show up and provide value to your fans? Whether it’s a consistent concert series, weekly hangout, trivia post, etc.
Also, consider this: you don’t have to be everywhere. Not only do you have access to all of the tools you need to connect with fans, but any one of the social platforms has enough of your target audience to fuel and fund your passion.
- Connect Via Email
Start or revive your email list. I know it seems like extra work, but having an email list gives you an opportunity to connect with your fanbase. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy, elaborate, polished newsletter either. In fact, it’s probably better if it isn’t.
Send a weekly email to say “hey”, share a recent story, and link to your most recent social media post. The truth is sharing through social media is “one to many” dynamic where email is “one to one”. Plus you actually own your email list. If Facebook decides to change their algorithm or if
Instagram crashes, you can still communicate with your audience via the email address by which they opted in to your list.
I’ve used several email providers over the years but always seem to end up back at Mailchimp. I would encourage you to sign up for a free trial or two and see which platform works best for you.
- Launch a Facebook Group
Consider launching or revitalizing a Facebook Group around your music/band or even you as a brand. It definitely takes work to maintain, but is a free way for you to start a community geared around you and your art.
Plus, if you haven’t seen an ad or even a commercial, Facebook is all-in on groups. They’re rolling out new features to enable people to communicate more easily, including the ability to connect via Zoom style rooms right from within groups.
This could be a really painless way to stay connected with fans inside your group without the need for streaming software or cumbersome sign ups. Both group admins and members will be able to create dedicated group Rooms from the Groups composer, and be able to host video chats of up to 50 people at a time.
These are just a few marketing ideas you can start today that are essentially “virus-proof” in that you can implement them regardless of that the current #StayAtHome orders are at the time.
What things have you started since “lockdown” that you plan to continue? Let us know in the comments and stay safe out there!
Leonard Patterson is a former front-man for a 6-figure party band, a booking agent with 1000’s of shows under his belt, and a certified digital marketer. He launched Indie Band Coach with a mission to help indie bands create, curate, and automate their social media to share their music and get better gigs. Subscribe to the Indie Band Coach YouTube Channel and get more tools, tips, and training to help you on your journey.