Breaking into the music industry isn’t just hard, it’s a real challenge that only a few will succeed it; it takes hard work, perseverance, talent and the right connections.
The biggest selling, most talented bands will put hours upon hours into practising, but this is only half of the battle as it is a major case of ‘who you know, not what you know’ and the more exposure you can get for your band, the better. These are a few handy tips to get your band more gigs and contacts and therefore a much bigger chance of cracking into one of the toughest industries in the world.
Play anywhere, no matter how small or amateur it may seem.
This isn’t just a case of doing as many gigs as you can just incase a hot shot music producer happens to be in the audience of one show; it’s about getting plenty of practise at performing in front of a live, unpredictable audience (including dealing with hecklers and building up a rapport with the crowd), building up a local fan base who will support you, turn up at your gigs and buy your music and creating a good relationship with local venues so you get more bookings. One of David Bowie’s first gigs was at a tiny, spit-and-sawdust type pub in Tolworth, so go to that open mic night because it could start off a chain reaction.
Build a knowledgeable, proactive team around you.
Building the right connections isn’t easy and marketing your band takes up a lot of time and energy that could be spent writing music, rehearsing or even talking to interviewers and bookers, which is one of the reasons why it is wise to find a music marketing team who will do that for you. Your marketing team can work out a promotional strategy and help make connections with the right people to really get things moving. They can also help coach you in social media and use it to its full potential as well as managing the finer details and giving you expert, reliable advice.
Create a clear, concise press pack.
A press pack is like a musician’s equivalent of a CV and should be sent to any record companies that you are sending demos to and anywhere that you are trying to book a gig. This should explain who you are and who does what (if you are a band), a brief biography, your style and influences, your typical set list including original songs and covers and a good quality photo. As they will receive hundreds of requests every day, providing the right information will give you a greater chance as there is no confusion about who you are and what you do.
Learn to promote yourself.
Get online and start chatting to your fans via Twitter and Facebook and let everyone know what you’re up to and where you’re playing next. Put up plenty of posters and updates to generate more interest and speak to as many people as possible.
It takes a lot of hard work and determination from you and your team, but you can get your band seen and heard, increasing your fan base and chance of a record deal.