Yesterday I took a call from the manager of Tomas Ford, an established Western Australian performer, who presents something like the Bowie of electro. At the time of the call, I didn’t know anything about his music or theatrical self. His manager was looking for replacement support acts for the SA leg of his national tour (accompanied by DOS4GW) after discovering that the venue they had booked the gig had paired them up with a couple of wildly inappropriate musical acts! Pairing up glam-electro-pop and chiptune music with anxious punk rockers wasn’t going to fly with TF’s manager, so he found us online, and gave us a call. Understanding his situation, and an a few descriptive words like break/noise/electro later, we confirmed the spot. The gig is on Sunday, September 6th at the Crown & Anchor Hotel in Adelaide, and we’re happy to announce that it’s licensed and all ages.
So, what do you do after you take a gig with less than a week’s notice? You put your internet and web 2.0 marketing skills into top gear! The most powerful tool I’ve found to date is ArtistData– a service I discovered a few months back. Artistdata is too hot to not seize control of. It works on the simple principle that artists and their managers should only have to upload or enter data once. News, blog entries, gig info, bios, pics… the service handles the lot, and redistributes the information you feed it across a range of popular social networking and music specific websites.
Better than that, it creates custom webpages for every gig you create (click on the image above for a sample) featuring handy links to your other online presences, and pumps out RSS feeds (ask me about that one if you’re not up to speed) that you can have feed data directly back into facebook, your blog etc. In North America, ArtistData is even establishing direct links with traditional music media across the continent, so that provided you post events with at least a fortnight’s notice, street press will get all the details in whatever town or state your playing in in time for publication. Smoking hot.
So once I’ve keyed the event into Artistdata and hit ‘Publish’, it does its thing and breaks the back of my online promo work. Next there’s some tidying up to do elsewhere- picking up the trail of fans that are clustered at various sites. More than likely Facebook and Myspace are the core catchments, and both have pretty obvious means available for broadcasting to fans. Beyond this, I try as best I can to centralise our fan management via a managed email list hosted by another great website I’ve used for a couple of years now- ReverbNation. Reverbnation is dynamite for many reasons, not the least of which is FanReach, a very flexible and powerful fan management system for artists to tap into for free. I use FanReach to send an HTML email blast with customisable links and content out to all the fans specific to the town we’re playing in, and we’re well on our way.
The whole exercise should take less than a couple of hours, and the value of that time in targeting key audiences is immeasurable. If you’re an artist, set yourself up with free accounts at Artistdata and ReverbNation today- they will make the path forward in marketing your band much easier to manage. These sites continue to impress me with ongoing improvements and new services, and certainly make mass communication manageable for the self-managed or breaking artist! I guess we’ll see how the short-burn campaign pays off on the weekend… hope to see some of you there!