Artists that are new to a particular music scene ask us all the time, “How can I get any traction when we’re just starting out and don’t have any accolades or press clippings to get the attention of people like club bookers and local journalists?” Remember, everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t just stay at home and sit on your hands in frustration. Even without the support of press or an active fan base, there are a few things you can do to make sure the ball starts rolling towards your ultimate goals.
3 tips for baby bands to get the ball rolling
1. Make sure your website and photos look captivating and professional. It should appear like you are an artist who is in touch with what is going on within your musical genre. Even if you only have a MySpace page, it needs to look like you are relevant to the musical conversation.
2. Make sure you treat people with respect. Contact them in a professional manner. No spamming. When they ask for more info about your band, follow directions completely. Gatekeeper-types get really tired of bands not following directions. Sometimes they’ll give a new band a gig just because they know they have paid attention and can follow directions.
3. As a new band you may not have any real “fans” yet. However, everyone has friends, family members, and co-workers to call upon in the beginning stages of a musical career! Give the booker a realistic sense of how many people you think you can draw to their club (even if it is only 15 people). Then they’ll have a good idea what bill you should be on. After all, they’re always going to need an opening act on Tuesday night, right? Misrepresenting your band will ensure you don’t get asked back.
If you get those three things down (+ have some good music), things will happen. Everyone has to start somewhere, but it’s important for other people to know they won’t have to constantly hold your hand through the growing pains.
Have any album art tips to share? Please weigh in at the DIY Musician blog here.