A an amendment to my blog post yesterday, lets make everything an event.
Where would your band be if you committed to working with 4 separate charities a year. The possibilities are endless, but here are just some quick ideas.
-Host a charity show that is co-promoted with the charity.
– Create a series of merchandise (related to your band) with a visual artist that benefits a specific charity. Host a party to kick off the event.
– Write a song related to a specific cause and pitch it to a charity. Get them to release it, or get them to sponsor the production of a whole albums worth of songs related to their cause. Want help with this? email me email@example.com
– offer to book a series of shows, with your band as the host all benefiting a specific cause or charity. Choose bands that are more popular than yourself to headline these events. This puts you in a position to leverage your band, while still helping the charity.
None of these ideas will make you money directly, but that is the point. The publicity, and karma, and relationships that you build through a commitment like this can be just the push your band needs. What are you waiting for? I am here to help. If you commit to this kind of thing, so will I.
A modern pop rock musician would think nothing of creating a series of albums that relate to a theme or have a cohesive story line.
A musician would jump at the opportunity to repeat a phrase to establish a consistent emotion to the listener.
So why would that same musician not take that aesthetic approach to marketing? Why not create a theme, and a culture around your images on flyers. Why not make them valuable and pieces of work that only a few people can get?
Why not create a story line within your merch (shirts?). If you want the audience to follow your every move, make it every move part of the storyline. everything an event.
As I have said before, in different contexts, collaboration is a key element to musical success in our new music economy. Although our culture celebrates rock stars as individuals that “rise from the ashes” without help from anyone, the reality of this, like most rock star myths, is not based in fact.
It is encouraging that hip hop has always, and is still promoting the idea that collaboration is a stronger selling point than any one artist or idea. A modern hip hop record will be filled with producer and co-songwriting collaborations that create a work larger than a single artist. Even in collaborative rock bands, this idea is rarely engaged in the same obvious manner. Rock bands may be collaborative within their tight circle of a group, but beyond that it is usually an uncharted territory.
What does this mean for your music?
– Collaboration Is A Way Out.
If you are stuck with some element of your personal music endeavors, a collaborative approach, even if it steers you away from your initial goal, can be just enough to push you back into where you need to be. If your band lost a drummer and cannot find anyone to fill the shoes…. start another band. If there is no other band, offer to play a different instrument for a singer-songwriter project. It could be just enough to get your band to focus on what you really should be doing.
-Collaboration Forces You To Learn.
The notion that you are playing with someone new forces you into musical territory that will be foreign in some way. As long as this is taken as a positive attribute, you can only grow stronger as a musician from it.
– Your Audience Will Grow
Either your audience will grow in intensity, with a more focused musical idea, or your audience will grow in numbers due to an expansion of musical ideas. Both ways you win.