Everything I’ve ever done in business has always come back to this. And since it’s been such a huge part of my success in my career, this is going to be a recurring topic, so stay tuned for more after this initial post. The foundation of everything I’ve ever done in business and have yet to do, always come back to this topic. This will be presented as an ongoing topic here on the blog, so keep checking back for more posts on this.
From 1993 to 2000, I was heavily involved in the NJ underground music scene. This included a multitude of bands in the punk rock, hardcore, ska, and indie rock genres as well as a system of record labels and distribution, live shows, zines, art, and more. All of this was done underground, with no corporate backing at all, and was mostly run by kids between the ages of 15 and 21. It was the very definition of D.I.Y. and I loved every minute of it.
I didn’t realize it then but the experience I gained during this time in my life set the stage for my future successes. Some people talk about their first lemonade stand, or their snow shoveling or lawn mowing businesses as their entrepreneurial starting point. Mine was the underground music scene. During those seven years, I played in several bands, performed and booked shows at VFW halls, started a record distro, and DJed at two radio stations in college.
When you’re in a band with $0 in capital, you have to get really creative with how you market yourself in a way that distinguishes you from all of the other bands out there. I’ve seen and heard some absolutely awful bands, but some of the worst bands had the most AMAZING marketing strategies.
When your band is just starting out, you’re most concerned with booking shows, recording your music, and building a loyal fan following who are willing to buy your music and merch. When you stop to think about it, these goals can be applied to ANY BUSINESS, including yours.
Here’s how to switch things up and market yourself like the band:
When I say get creative, I mean try to put yourself in the mindset of a band. Think of your business as a brand new band that’s hungry to book shows to and get your music heard. Your business is like being in a band: you want people to hire you, buy from you, etc. In order to do that, you need to get the word out and promote yourself. You need to let everyone know who you are and what you do.
You may say “I’m not creative”, but the fact is you are in your own way, so get the head trash outta here and follow these steps.
First, put on music that gets you into a positive headspace. Choose your tunes wisely — trust me it will matter as you go along.
Next, grab a notepad, whiteboard, poster board, a wall, whatever you can write to create a list of all of your company’s services, products, etc.
Now create another list of everything you do in the business and everything you know about your industry and market.
Keep your list simple so you can write down as much as you can.
Once you’ve written it all out, sit back, look at the lists, and read all of the bullet points. Put on your favorite playlist to listen to when you need to concentrate. You need to take your time reading over your list.
Generating these lists was a sort of brainstorming exercise that you’re now going to mine from to create the marketing content you need to promote your “band”. The can include:
- Blog Posts
- Social Posts
- Podcast episodes
- Print Collateral
It may seem like a lot, but don’t worry, you don’t have to build Rome in a day. If you want to “get your music heard” and “book shows”, then you must GET CREATIVE and focus on producing at least one type of marketing content on a regular basis.
When you’re in a band, your goal is to get people to come to your show, listen to your music, and hopefully, like what they hear enough to buy your album and your merch. Set a schedule that works for you and build off that.
Don’t forget to have fun with this! The more fun you have doing this, the better your content will be, and the more “your fans” will engage with you.
In order to make your business ROCK, start thinking of your business as “the band”.
You have a lot of shows to play and fans to impress!