Thursday, June 16, 2005

Constant Contact-Staying in Front of Your Fans

So you're trying to promote your live show and keep yourself in front of your fans as much as possible. One accepted approach is to maintain the all-important fan email list. But if you have it, what do you do with it to get the loudest bang for your effort?

First, build the biggest list you can. You probably have at least 250 friends, between you, your band members, and all of your affiliations with jobs, civic associations, schools, churches, fraternities, sororities, professional associations, etc. Ultimately, you're looking for thousands of people, so get creative.

And don't forget your local chamber of commerce. Be sure to join it and seek email-list signups there. You'll probably be the only music act in the chamber, and you can go to the networking events to find playing gigsā€¦restaurants, parties, that kind of thing. You also get great exposure playing free for the chamber, if you have the appropriate music for that group. If you have too brash a sound, join anyway. Many of us in the chamber have kids that may like what you do. I'd be the coolest dad on the block if I hired a punk band for my son's party. Okay, maybe not.

But I digress. Of course, you'll want to send emails out to your fans every time you have a gig, and that's great. But there's more. Make sure your emails have links to your website. Make basement tapes, demos, home-made or professional videos and put them up on the site. Announce those features every time you add them, so people have a reason to go there. If you don't know how to do this, I promise you that someone in your circle will be just geeky enough to handle it for you. If you're like me, you're just geeky enough to do it yourself, which gives you a lot of control over how quickly things get on the site and how they look.

Have you hit a slow period? Keep in front of your fans by sending emails that recommend other local acts that you like. Publish your suggested music agenda for the upcoming weekend. Go out and support your fellow musicians, and you'll run into a lot of your own fans when you do.

Managing an email list is hard at first, but gets easier with time. It's worth it to spend the money to join an email list management site like, to keep track of different fan-bases in different geographical areas, track reads and click-throughs, and send professional looking communications to just the right group.