Band Help! Insight and Tips that Breed Band Success — Part 1: Refined Focus
In today's column, "Band Help! Insight & Tips That Breed Band Success - Part I: Refined Focus," I'm going to reveal some of the biggest secrets about how to turn your band into a marketable product that people will flock to see and want to become a part of. I will also discuss with you in great detail where you need to focus your energy, and how to get the results that you and your band are looking for.
Being in a band -- seeing as you're still reading this particular Guitar World column -- would also mean that you're a musician. But in today's day and age, where the New Music World revolves around social networking, heavy touring, downloads, guerilla-style marketing and merchandising -- being a musician is simply not enough. You must be a true entertainer, and a business man if you want your band to stand out and rise above the rest. More on the latter in my next columns.
Let's kick off today's lesson by talking about what really makes your band stick in peoples' minds and how to stand out from the rest - YOUR LIVE SHOW. You must not forget that being in a band really means that you're an entertainer, right? Playing a show in front of a ton of people means nothing if those people don't walk away with sore necks from head banging, raspy voices from screaming their lungs out, and a hunger for more. If your band can't give solid and consistent performances of your band's music played to perfection, then you have a major problem. If you're not playing those songs with high energy, coordination, and without offering something different visually -- then you and your band are simply out of luck and will fall victim to what every band fears...achieving absolutely nothing. If you're looking to take the next step together -- continue reading.
When your band plays a show, you have to recognize that your music is only about half of what most of your fans are looking at. Whether that decision is a conscious one or not, it is still a fact and it must be attended to. Where does the other half of their interest go you might be wondering? The answer is simple -- it goes into focusing on the visual side of things. They are looking to be entertained by what's happening onstage, and you must to deliver.
If they just wanted to hear your music, then they would have stayed at home and listened to your demo, EP, or album. But no! They've already left their homes hours ago and paid good money to have their ears AND eyes pleased. You need to engage the audience members, fulfill their needs, and leave them feeling like they were just a part of something special -- thus wanting more.
When this is executed properly, these new fans will feel compelled to invite others to your performance the next time you come around their area. If you can succeed in putting on an unforgettable show, then people will walk away with the impression: "Wow! That band sounded incredible AND looked extremely PROFESSIONAL. They must know what they're doing and have something going for them. I want to support this band by doing whatever it takes to become a part of their movement and what they're doing!"
Perception is Reality -- if these people leave your show thinking that you're a professional band because of how amazingly you've executed your show, then you are a professional band. What you present to them on the surface is all that they can see, thus making THEIR perception YOUR reality. Make sense?
In this business, it's the audience who decides which bands make it and which bands break it. Although you can do your part to sway their opinions, in the end it is still up to them. On top of that, people are prone to following the "herd mentality." They often herd together and follow trends, or quite literally jump on the bandwagon. So in other words -- if you put the right amount of effort and ground work into this, then you will have decided the outcome for them. In turn, you will have successfully created a domino effect in your favor. Recruit the right people to your "team", and win over the masses. Simple as that. Well...maybe it's not so simple.