Five and a bit things bands should probably start doing in 2013
So you may have noticed it’s a new year, which is nice. For some reason our psyche has this foible of letting us think that because the year ends in a different number now compared to what it did not so long ago that we can change elements of our characteristics which we find undesirable within ourselves despite us essentially being exactly the same person we were in early December.
Bit odd really; we never think “Right, Simon, it’s the 19th May, time to stop eating so much chocolate and cut down on caffeine”
Anyhow, in the spirit of this I thought I’d do a post which mentions a few of the things I come across on pretty much a daily basis which bands/artists/musicians etc are still doing which would take no time at all to correct and result in a much nicer experience for their fans and for people like me who might want to work with their music.
On a side note; Blimey this horse is quite high isn’t it? At least it means I don’t have to climb much to get onto my pedestal mind…
And so we begin.
1) Get your Facebook profile sorted out please
Facebook has pretty much become the go to destination when I come across an artist I want to know a bit more about. There are a number of things you need to do to make sure you are in tip top order…
1a) Get your URL sorted please
If your Facebook URL is something eye-wateringly mammoth like http://www.facebook.com/OMGWTFLMAO/thisisthebiggestURLeverisitnot/blimey/howmuchlongercanthisgoonefor/pleasesendhelp then all you need to do is simply go to www.facebook.com/username and make it nice and short.
1b) Have your music on there please
Bit odd I have to include this as you’d expect everyone to have their music available to listen to, but surprisingly not. I come across many Facebook band pages that don’t have their ditties up there.
1c) Don’t make me ‘Like’ your page in order to listen to your music please
This is a terrible, terrible, terrible thing to do. If I like your music, I will ‘Like’ your page. If you make me ‘Like’ your page then I won’t listen to your music and therefore will never know if I actually like it or not.
PEOPLE WHO DO THIS: Before you start typing your angry reply to the above, I assure you it’s not just me who feels this way. A lot of people do, so don’t shoot the messenger. Just think of me as your gobby guardian angel delivering worldly advice in a dulcet northern accent.
2) Get your branding sorted please
That amazing link tells you what sizes all the customizable elements of your Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/LinkedIn/Pinterest profiles are.
If you’re rubbish with Photoshop or design yourself, I’d strongly suggest thinking about spending some money on a graphic designer to come up with some branding for you. You should be able to get a decent designer for a couple of hundred quid, or alternatively get a graphic design student to do it for free if they need work for their portfolio. Logging on to an artists’ page for the first time to find a really distinct bit of branding genuinely results in a great first impression because people are fickle like that.
3) If someone says something nice about your music, tell me about it please
You obviously think your music isn’t too shabby (I hope) so therefore your biased hyperbole is no good to me.
Quotes from reputable sources such as traditional press or known music websites/fanzines are great. You don’t need to put full reviews up; just choice pull quotes which show that the right people are both hearing your music and, more importantly, enjoying it.
Also mention any significant radio airplay you’ve received in the past as that’s always a turn on to read. “Our single XXX was played by Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 and Lauren Laverne on BBC 6Music as well as a number of regional BBC stations” etc.
Basically: Tastemakers respect tastemakers’ tastes. Tasty.
4) Realise how important first impressions are when contacting someone and treat it with the respect it deserves please
You can make or break a relationship before you’ve even said hello, so make sure you do that properly eh? I wrote a full blog on this not so long ago so be sure to read 10 Tips On Proper Email Etiquette For Bands.
5) Keep abreast of the industry that you’re trying to make a living out of please
The internet is awash with a number of free resources which will tell you what is happening in the business we call music.
The CMU Daily, Music Week, Record Of The Day and The Generator all do mailouts that include anything newsworthy you might want to cast your eye upon. If you can’t muster up the motivation to read then CMU also do a monthly podcast, which you can listen to.
There you go. Happy New Year and all that – I’m off to drink some coffee and eat some chocolate.
What I’m reading this week: Any Human Heart by Willliam Boyd
Hope you’re well,