I was impressed. It was standing-room only; maybe 100 people had come out for a basically unknown band’s concert. Fact is, I didn’t even know what kind of music they would play (in the end I loved it), but I was there. Hey, my friend is the drummer, and I’ve known he played in a band for over 5 years, and this was the first time they had a concert. It might be the last, for all I know. I wasn’t going to miss it.
As I looked around, being impressed, I realized, well, truthfully, any 5 people could probably fill a room if they set their minds to it. But how many people would turn into fans? And how would the band know who the fans were? I mean, the worst thing any one of these people might say is “It’s not the style of music I usually listen to, but you guys are really great!” (I think that’s what I told my sister about her ensemble.)
So how does that relate to your blog, or any kind of marketing? Here’s my list:
- You want all your friends to know about your blog or band. You want everyone you’ve ever met to know, and you want them to at least go check it out once and let other people know about it. If you’re a band, hopefully you have a link where people can listen to the music without going to the concert.
- You can probably get many, if not most, of your friends to check it out once. They are your friends. They like you, and, at least to be nice, they will do you the favor of checking out any link you send them, if you say “this is important to me, please check it out.” The thing is, very few of us do this. I realized I haven’t done this. Yes, I posted to Facebook and Twitter (which in truth is what my friend did for his band), but that’s not the same as reaching out to the people you know like this kind of thing (music, blog, or whatever you are doing) and telling them personally, hey, check it out.
- You should have some idea of what you want to achieve. Maybe you are just having fun and expressing yourself. Maybe you want to at least break even (Hopefully the cover charge helped with that; though I’m sure it didn’t cover a year’s worth of rehearsal expenses).
- If you want to achieve anything other than “have fun”, you must have a call to action and clear contact information available. If you look over to the right, you can sign up here, not for the blog subscription, but for Awesome stuff which I’m developing. Some will be free and some will be worth your hard-earned cash. You can only find out about it by signing up, and I won’t spam you or write often, I promise. So many blogs I go to fail to tell you who is behind the site and have no call to action. Sometimes they are anonymous affiliate sites, selling stuff, so I guess that’s legit. Still, I don’t spend much time on sites when I can’t figure out who the “real person” behind the site is. Some people use avatars or personas, and that’s OK too, as long as you do admit who you are in real life.
- Even if you don’t want to achieve anything other than “have fun”, make it easy to find you again. The band gave out bumper stickers with no email or web site (They don’t have one to the best of my knowledge. If they did, I’d link it here. They really were very good and I want you to know about them. Oh well.). I have a friend on FB who puts on cool cultural events. They are always booked solid. He’s built up his list over time, been very careful to invite the right people, and made sure to make it easy to contact him and sign up for events.
- Marketing and sales go hand in hand. “Getting the word out” is great, but to get that first following, there is no substitute for personally calling or personally writing people and telling them to check it out. People listen to you personally for a reason. You have something in common; they trust you about certain things; you have a unique voice. Use that voice.
- Finally, you are extremely unlikely to make money from your band or blog. It might be a means to an end. You can work on generating cool enough stuff that people will pay for it, but it’s no guarantee. In other words, you want to keep your day job.
Oh, and they’re both fun! Enjoy!