3 Ways You Can Use Community Involvement To Boost Your Music Career

If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a million times—there’s nothing quite like the power of community to take your career to the next level. Calling on your network in times of need is one thing, but the real power of a strong community is that they call on you before you’ve even had a chance to ask for help. They’re the ones that connect you with an opportunity before you even knew it existed.

But one thing that doesn’t get talked about a lot is the power of local community, and how musicians can leverage what’s right in front of them to give real boost to their career. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, these tips are for you.

Getting involved with local festivals

One of the most obvious ways to get involved with your community is to play the local festivals and events that your town or city puts on.

You’ll want to apply for the music and arts centric festivals, but think outside the box too. There are usually a ton of events to choose from, especially this time of year, and just because it’s not a music event doesn’t mean there’s not an opportunity for musicians. Nearly all events will have bands playing (come to think of it, I’ve never been to a community or town event that didn’t have a band playing). This is your chance to get in front of people that might otherwise not see you, and lead to new opportunities, including more paid gigs in settings you might have otherwise missed. Think: the company office party, other town gigs, non-profit fundraisers.

Volunteering

This is where your branding becomes key. Take what it is you’re known for — the thing that your band cares about and is vocal about, and find a local cause that aligns with that. Once you’ve got that you can find a way to bridge a partnership.

Example: A band full of vegans or animal activists who volunteer at an animal shelter once a month, while also helping the shelter put together a compilation CD (that includes one of your songs) to sell to the community to raise money for the shelter. You gain local recognition, you do a good deed, and you help a great cause. Win-Win-Win. Even if you just volunteer somewhere as a group, once a month, you’re not only doing a really amazing thing, you’re spending time together outside of the band, increasing your bonding, and creating sharable content for your socials to boot. There’s really no downside to this.

Looking for your next gig? Search ReverbNation Opportunities today.

Sponsor or create your own event

If you really want to go all in, sponsoring an event, or better yet—creating your own from scratch, is a fantastic way to make your mark in the community, show your support for your town or city, and put your names at the forefront of everyone’s lips.

This is a big undertaking, so it might even be best to bring on the help of another local business owner or band, further strengthening your ties and relationship building.

There are a zillion different ways you can approach this, all of which will depend on your unique story and your community, but trust me when I say that there are a TON of opportunities. Just like the other ideas, these events can incorporate music, but they don’t have to be all about music. The more diverse crowds they can draw, the better. Get creative, have fun, and go make your mark.

If you have any ideas, throw them in the comments! I’d love to read them.

Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR and Infectious Magazine, as well as a personal development coach. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.

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Jay3 Ways You Can Use Community Involvement To Boost Your Music Career

5 comments

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  • Jason Tom - September 14, 2017 reply

    Great write up Angela!

  • Yvonne Slater - September 15, 2017 reply

    Thank you for this encouragement, and knowledge of what this is really all about! Knowing this information, really helps to connect!

  • PickerDad - September 16, 2017 reply

    Getting booked to do local events is great, but it’s equally great to just show up, unexpected. If there’s any kind of gathering, there’s no reason you can’t just show up and entertain the folks. Obviously, don’t intrude on an act that’s actually booked, but with their permission, you could sit in and jam with them. Build a reputation that you might show up anywhere in your town and share a little music. People will start coming to these events just in the off chance that they may get to hear you play. “hey, YourTown is a great place to go., half of the time you end up getting an impromptu concert from ThatGuitarGuy who lives there, and you can hang out, ask questions, learn a couple of licks.” The volunteers who work hard to stage an event will not object to you drawing more attendees. And of course, impromptu concerts are a great way to try out new ideas or new pieces without any pressure.

    I go busking locally any time I want to try something out, or just warm up a set I’m booked to play. It can be a lot more effective than an indoor practice session.

  • Jamie Woodfin Jr. - September 17, 2017 reply

    Solid tips. Thank you for the suggestions!

  • Tom 'Ketchfish' Inglis - December 6, 2017 reply

    I book a lot of private parties at community events, particularly during the tourist season. The key is to ask for the gig. As soon as someone shows interest, take note and make a beeline for them during the break. If you don’t ask, they may never know that having live entertainment at their family reunion or backyard barbeque is even a viable option. Beats the heck out of bar gigs.

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