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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Promotion Is The Start - But 'Connecting' Is The Key

Let me give you a scenario: You're out on the town with your mates, checking out a couple of original bands. The first band comes on, they play an hour of cool rocking songs, they finish and head back off the stage. The second band comes on, they also play an hour of some cool songs, they finish up, they come off stage and go mingling with the crowd - one of the members comes up to you, introduces himself, asks if you're having a good night, did you enjoy the music etc.

Tell me something: a week later - which band are you going to remember? The one that went on stage, did their thing and left again; or the one that went on stage, played their songs and then came down and chatted to you? Well, for me, it's definitely the latter. There's something about being approached by someone that's just been on stage and now they are giving their sole attention to you. It makes you feel special and that your opinion matters. Suffice to say, it's one thing to go out and play, but it's quite another to gain, connect with and keep a fan.

You see, promoting your band isn't just about getting people to hear your music and like it. It's also about connecting with those people and keeping them coming back for more. Your fans are going to be your bread and butter... treat them right, look after them, and they will help you promote your band more than you could ever hope. Because one form of promotion that beats all others, is word of mouth. Each of those fans, going and telling each of their friends about you - is the end result you want.

I was reading a while back how Billy Corgan (formerly Smashing Pumpkins)
spends as much as an hour a day on the his MySpace site exchanging messages with his fans. He says "For me, it is a way to connect with my fans on a one-on-one basis in a way that I wasn't able to do before. It's much closer to the feedback that I would get from someone on the street".

So, remember, promotion starts the process - but gaining and connecting with fans is the goal.