Band Help! Insight and Tips that Breed Band Success — Part 1: Refined Focus
Does luck have anything to do with this? You might be saying to yourself, "Of course it does. Luck is involved in the music business 100%. You have to be in the right place at the right time...right? How else does it happen without luck?" The answer is this -- with the proper planning & preparations, you can do anything that you put your mind to.
Luck is simply a byproduct of those two things -- proper planning & preparation. The phrase "you have to be in the right place at the right time" is incomplete and in this case totally outdated if you take that into consideration. Try this version instead: You have to be the RIGHT PERSON, in the right place, at the right time. What does that mean? It means that you really are in control of your own life, and you are capable of creating your own "luck" -- as long as you take the steps necessary by being prepared and planning ahead.
If you can impress and amaze just a few people from each show that you play, then they will each walk away with your band on their mind. They will go to school or work the next day and tell all of their friends about this amazing new band that they just discovered. Those friends will then turn and tell their friends, who will in turn go and tell their friends, etc. etc.
In business terms, this idea is called exponential growth, and is also known in the musical world as "word of mouth". It is one of the keys to getting your band's name out there and to having your music spread like wild fire. It's like a highly contagious, incurable disease that people actually want!
What does the idea of "exponential growth" mean for your band? It means that next time you play a show in the same area that you'll have 10x as many people there to see your band perform. Quite an awesome thing to witness right? Well, it is -- except that it's not really about how MANY fans you have as much as it's about how FANATICAL those fans are. You want the type of fans that will be in the front row screaming your band's name, singing your lyrics back to you, banging their heads, throwing their hands high in the sky when you tell them to, and air drumming every single snare hit and drum fill that is played.
You see -- those are the people that will go to all of your shows, buy your t-shirts as well as all of your albums (even though they thought your previous album was better). They'll cheer louder for your band then they will for X-Band, they'll tell every person that they walk by in the streets about you after the show, and they'll support you and your band until the very end - no matter what. These people are your loyal supporters -- your super fans. They are the fuel to your fire. The oil for your machine. The air that your band breaths. They are what your band's career is dependent on. You must take care of these people in return for them taking care of you.
Offer these true fans exclusive experiences to show your appreciation and to remind them of how much you really do care about them. Maybe offer them incentives to help your band grow as well. You can do this by asking them to help promote your band in their areas, and in a sense you will be creating a "street team" for your band. You can do this in every city that you play in -- get creative with it.
You can offer them exclusive experiences such as free tickets to shows, backstage passes, one-on-one lessons with members of the band, exclusive video content that only THEY will see, as well as merch contests & giveaways -- all in return for supporting & promoting your band. You'd be surprised at how willing your fans are to trade their time for yours. Why? Because they are just that -- fans of your music and what you do. Just remember that if you want to prolong the life of your band that you must treat your fans with respect, hospitality, honest appreciation, and a true sense of caring. As long as you know how to interact with your fans and deepen the connection that they already have with you, then your fan base will continue to grow, and you will begin to harvest the fruits of your labor.
Take time out of your day to really learn about them and what makes them tick. Take every chance that you get to talk with your fans so that you can strengthen the bond that you already have with them. Doing this will prove that their is no difference between you and them. It will show them your true character and give your fans even more of a reason to love what you do. Remember, you're just another human being playing an instrument -- it just so happens that you've taken the steps (preparation & planning) necessary to be where you are today -- something that they look up to. This genuine interest that you have in your supporters will bring them even closer to you and your music, and it will also inspire your fans to continue their support for you. It might even inspire them to chase after their own dreams and aspirations -- my personal fuel for doing what I do.
When someone approaches me and says that it was my band that got them into metal, or my solos that inspired them to pick up a guitar, or my lyrics that kept them from taking their own life -- THAT is the reason why I do this. It is one of the most rewarding and powerful feelings I've ever felt to know that my music's message has been received and taken to heart. You guys are the reason why I put myself through hell -- I do this all for you.
Keep these ideas in mind and be sure to exercise them daily. Remember that knowledge ISN'T power. It's the APPLICATION of that knowledge that gives you power. Keep going, stay true to yourself, and stay inspired.
Well, that concludes Part I of "Band Help! Insight & Tips that Breed Band Success". Thanks for taking the time to read all of this through until the very end. I hope that you've learned a few things here and are willing to put the time and work that's required into making your dream a reality. Think ahead and take advantage of the tools that you have available to you so that you can leverage your way into the spot light. Take your life into your own hands and forge your own future. You have no excuse not to at this point!
Stay tuned for my next installment of "Band Help!" as I will be discussing the proper way to practice as a band, as well as performance advice & tips.
But until then, this is Dan Sugarman here, signing out.
You stay classy, planet earth.
(Contact me for guitar lessons & band consulting at www.bandhappy.com/profile/dansugarman if you are interested in receiving guidance along your path to greatness. I am accepting students of all levels, ages, and styles. Don't hesitate! Contact me today.)
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