A typical independent musician today will spend considerable time posting on social media, writing emails, and reaching out to fans. While our minds are constantly on social media, it is important that we do not forget about the offline world. Ultimately, our success depends on the people who listen to our music, come to our concerts, and support our art. So it is very important that we have real connections with them. In this blog post, I will show you five ways that you can use offline promotion to promote your music.
1. Engage with your fans
Your fans are not just numbers of likes on your social media, they are real people. Your engagement with your fans will ultimately determine the success of building a fan base. Creating meet-and-greet events are excellent ways to engage with your social media fans and to get to know them in real life. They are also super simple to organize. You can set them up before or after shows when you’re on tour. This way, you will really get to know who your fans are.
2. Word-of-mouth is the greatest medium
Many artists these days will buy targeted social ads and set up outreach campaigns to get more fans, but sometimes all it takes is one of your fans to recommend your music to their acquaintances. To start building the word of mouth in your fan base, you don’t need to look too far. Start with your close circle. Make sure your close circle–your friends and/or your family–support you and are actively spreading the word out for your music.
3. Your personality speaks for your music, not the other way around
Some artists are shy about promoting their music and talking to people about it. Unfortunately, being shy is not an option for an independent artist when we’re first starting out. The message we deliver about our music will give people an idea of where our music is coming from and who we are. To practice your message, try this exercise: Can you walk up to anyone in the street and explain what your music is in less than 20 seconds? If you can master this, then you can meet anyone and talk with anyone about your music. When people get the basic picture, they will be able to see your music in context, which should make the rest of your job easier.
4. Live music is more important than ever
People might love listening to your tracks or watching your videos online – but live music is a totally different experience. I’ve come to become fans of many artists who impressed me with their live performances, specifically because of the vibe they created for the musical experiences. Similarly, you might have a very special knack for playing live music and entertaining people, which can take the recorded music experience to the next level for your current and future fans.
Additionally, a great way to engage fans offline is to talk to them after shows. Learn their names, take pictures with them, ask them where they are from, and get to know them. Maybe they will like you even more after a chat. Be on the lookout at all times, say hi to everyone, and be nice and humble.
5. Keep networking at events
Going to networking events are key in the music industry. The idea is that you should keep meeting different people, including different artists. A good friend can also introduce you to someone which will eventually lead you to get you a spot in a festival, or a concert series. The thing is, you never know where you are going to meet the people that will help you. Social media and internet help a lot, but the impact of your offline relationships will get you a long way in the music business.
An important aspect about networking events are also to look for how you can offer your services to people. You can ask for things for yourself, but the important aspect is to make a real connection with the people you meet and figure out how you can help each other. If you are not quite sure how you can help someone, you can simply ask “How can I help you?” Networking and having the right people around you will take your career to the next level.
In the contemporary music industry, we should never forget the importance of real connections and the offline world. What we’re doing is music, and ultimately it is for the feelings, thoughts, and entertainment of people. Consequently our music, personality, and communication should reach people accordingly. This is why offline relations matter more than anything else today.