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Tuesday
Oct072014

The 7 Fundamental Steps To Cover Band Success (Part 1 of 2)

If you’re in a cover band and serious about getting more lucrative private and corporate event bookings chances are you’re starved of specific strategies and tactics that’ll help you achieve this.

There’s plenty of excellent marketing advice for musicians working on original material but very little for cover band musicians.

A word of warning. While the marketing info for original artists can be very valuable, there’s a fundamental distinction that needs to be made. Artists writing their own material are generally focused on ‘getting exposure and building a fanbase’.

As a cover band looking to secure wedding, private party and corporate event bookings your main priority should be different. You don’t need exposure per se, you need to generate actual leads and inquiries from prospective clients that want to book your band for their event.

The difference seems subtle but the approach you take to marketing and selling your band is in many ways fundamentally different.

I’ve been managing, marketing and selling cover bands to corporate and private event clients for just short of 10 years.

Here are the 7 fundmental steps you need to follow to set your cover band on the path to success. (This post includes steps 1 to 3. Part 2 of this post will have steps 4 to 7)

1. Know who your target audience is and what it wants 

You are looking for clients that will pay you healthy fees for your performance at their event. Stop to think about who that ideal client might be.

Ask yourself what type of an event are they having?
Do they have specific preferences for the types and styles of music that they want?
How old are they?
Are they primarily male or female?
Now think about what you stand for as a band.
Does it appeal to the picture of the client you’ve imagined? If not, think about how you may be able to tweak and change what you offer to better appeal to your audience.

This process is a balancing act between giving your market and audience what it wants while also ensuring you continue to be fulfilled and excited about performing with your band. 
One things for sure…..Once you know what your market wants, you can more effectively engage with them on a level other bands won’t be able to…and that means more bookings.

2. Create a promo video that’s an advert for your band. 

Over the last 3 to 5 years video has exploded as a medium to communicate with. The cost to produce high quality video content has come down drastically in that time. This gives you an amazing opportunity to really effectively sell your band to a prospective client in under 3 minutes.

The majority of cover bands will just show what they do with a straight up performance video. BORING. We can do so much better than that.

Think of your promo video as an advert for your band. You’ve got under 3 minutes to either impress your prospect or turn them off you. Make those 3 minutes count.

How?
Include up to 5 songs that showcase the breadth of repertoire you cover.
Answer some FAQs.
Use screen annotations to communicate multiple messages at once.
Include testimonials.
Tell a story.

Find more detailed info on ways you can improve your promo video in a post I wrote at the Gigging Success blog.

Your promo video is the biggest weapon in your marketing arsenal. Don’t under estimate it’s power to get you inquiries and bookings. 
 

3. Have a website that sells your band while you sleep. 

Your website is your cover bands home online. In 95% of cases it’s the first place a prospective client will find you and check you out. Moreover it’s the last place they’ll likely look before they decide to book you (or not).

If you want to be taken seriously by them and give yourself the best chance of getting the booking over the other 3 bands they likely have on their shortlist then you’ve got to have the best website you can possibly afford. It’s got to look great, be easy to get around and have amazing content on it.

More importantly it must educate them as to why your band is the right choice for their event.

There are literally hundreds of ways of creating slick and amazing looking websites at a fraction of the cost of even 5 years ago. Use services like odesk.com, fiverr.com and swiftly.com to get coding and design work done at a fraction of the cost you’d think you need to pay. 

A word of warning. Do not think that having a Facebook page is a substitue for a website. It’s not and it never will be. As well as it not being a place where you can effectively market and sell your band. It’s not yours. Your Facebook page is owned by Facebook. They can decide they don’t like something you did and then that’s that, you have to start all over again.

In Part 2 I’ll outline the final 4 fundamental steps to cover band success.

About:
Brad Lazarus has been managing and marketing cover bands for 10 years. He is the founder of GiggingSuccess.com a blog and podcast dedicated to helping musicians in cover bands increase their bookings and multiply the income they receive from them.
For 5 quick, no cost strategies to increasing your cover band bookings download our free guide

The 7 Fundamental Steps To Cover Band Success (Part 1 of 2)

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