In this segment, I'll be touching briefly on the topic of networking and the importance it has for a DIY band.
When we first recorded our demo and pushed it out online, we primarily posted our music on forums and sites that we were regulars on and/or familiar with. You want to be sure that you are taken seriously; spamming sites/people with your music is never a productive way of getting it out there. Having good online etiquette is a very important part of networking. Look at sites and see how other bands promote themselves to get an idea of what is appropriate in this regard.
Another really neat thing that is popular in the metal scene is social networking "tag" days. A lot of bands participate in "Tag Tuesday" or "Follow Friday" on Facebook and Twitter respectively. This is a great way to build other upcoming band's fanbase while drawing attention to your own. Having a good product that people get excited over is essential in getting others to share your music. Be very careful to refine your recordings and get professional help if necessary. Use forums to get advice on mixes and/or song structures if you are still in the recording process.
Once you have a final product that you're proud of, then you should promote. You want people to hear you at your best on their first listen in order to captivate their interest, while sounding as professional as possible to the public's eye. This will keep them interested in following your band and they will feel as if they've known your band from the beginning. People like saying that they knew a band before they were big!
These tips are things that we kept in mind when first starting out, and they have helped us to extend our fan-base immensely over the past couple years. Just remember that this process takes a bit of time. The only way you'll gain popularity any faster is to create a unique viral video or something similar, but do you always really want to be known as the band that played your first guitar play-through on the toilet?
Look for next week's final pillar: Live shows.
Stealing Axion will release their debut album, Moments, on August 28 via InsideOut Music/Century Media Records. Check them out on Facebook here.