Clever merch can do marvels for a band, and we’re not talking just about super-cool T-shirts and well-designed album art. Think of your shop selection—online or IRL—as having the same possibilities of any other store. You’ve got the freedom to offer almost anything you want, and if you’re creative enough in your selection, your sales will surely get a boost. Those special items can help grow your fanbase, too.
On a recent tour, I played a frantically put together house show that was a last ditch effort in saving multiple cancelled shows. Seeing as my show was one of those that was cancelled, it was a complete relief to be able to play and I met some awesome people I’d only heard of in name before. One of the bands from a different tour came to mind when I started preparing this article about diversifying your music. The reason is, their sound was completely bland. They were by far the most solid, energetic, and talented band at the show. But they had little to no originality. I had absolutely no desire after seeing them to go listen to their music, because I’d heard it before from different artists.
ReverbNation CONNECT artist manager (and former booking agent with The Windish Agency) Sharyn Goldyn lays out the ways that emerging artists can make the most out of their first tours. Read on for advice that will make your next (or first) tour a success.
What is the best way to begin planning a tour? What elements does a band need to consider?
It really depends on how much is going on with the artist and how much money they have to spend. Everyone has to start somewhere but to get the most out of your time on the road, it’s helpful for there to be some sort of story behind the artist: a new release, a few good reviews on blogs, a decent social media following, some sort of buzz like significant streams on Spotify, etc.
We spoke to YouTube stars Maddie Wilson, Noah Guthrie, and Ali Brustofski about how they used YouTube to build their career. For this post, we've compiled their 6 most essential tips on how to build a devoted fanbase using one of the world's most popular websites.
Quality and consistency are the two most important factors
This was far and away the most popular piece of advice we heard. You have to establish a consistent schedule when posting content for your fans — the more they can come to expect a new video at a certain time each day or week, the more likely you are the draw them back in. And always keep upping the quality of your videos, whether through better equipment or higher production value.
This post from hip-hop blogger and publicist Kayla Calloway will outline 5 simple and proven tips for getting the attention of hip-hop bloggers. These strategies are excerpted from the 2nd edition of Kayla's “The Essential Guide to Hip-Hop Publicity.”
When hip-hop artists reach out to media outlets, it’s pretty common for them to overthink things. And while a creative approach can make a lasting impression, you’re better off focusing on a professional and straightforward approach. In fact, former XXL Music Editor and hip-hop journalist Eric Diep says, “As far as hip-hop artists go, I’m old school. Just introduce yourself, hand me your tape, and keep it moving.” Taking a professional, persistent, and simple approach—letting your music speak for itself—is always the best practice, whether you’re online or in the real world.
So take note of these five tips — they are a great way to improve your response from bloggers and publicists in the hip-hop community.
Learn how this YouTube star created a passionate audience using simple but effective techniques that any emerging artist can benefit from.
From a young age, Ali Brustofksi had a passion for music. She grew up watching her dad, a musical theater performer, and knew that she needed to be on a stage. After trying her hand at theater, she discovered that writing and sharing her own material was the path for her. She wanted to create her own voice, “instead of playing a character onstage.”
Learn how Maddie Wilson used YouTube to grow a loyal fanbase and check out some exclusive tips for getting the most out of YouTube.
A few years ago, Maddie Wilson saw YouTube becoming a destination for music lovers, and she needed to get in on the action. Recording covers of her favorite songs songs seemed like an easy way to break into the scene, so she started posting when she was about 13.
Looking to use YouTube as more than just a way to share your latest video? Here are some tips from GLEE star Noah Guthrie on how to advance your career using one of the world’s biggest music discovery sites.
1) Have a Continuous Stream of Content
“Have that set day where you want to post, every week or every other week. For whatever reason 1-4 or 2-5 PM seems to be the golden time to post videos on YouTube.”
2) Choose the Right Songs
“You want to choose something that’s super popular so you get views, but at the same time, if you do that all the time you get super bored and burnt out. There are only so many pop artists on the scene, so you get bored if you don’t do what you love. But you know, I think it’s more of the actual content — people don’t really care too much about the song. “
3) Have Good Content
“Honestly, it may sound silly, but just make sure you have good content. You know, if you’re doing a cover of a song don’t half-do the cover — do the best you can do and make it your own because no one wants to hear the same song over and over and over again. That’s not why they’re going to your YouTube page.”
4) Get Creative
“For me, when I have to translate something to just me and an acoustic, I might have to re-work the song’s bridge. Not because I think it was bad or anything like that, but just because it just won’t work for what I’m doing. I can’t just go to the bridge of the song and hit one note and do a bass drop with my mouth. I have to put new chords there…but that’s actually fun.”
5) Use It As a Tool
“I’ve met a lot people where that’s their job, YouTube. You can buy a house off of YouTube, or a car. But for me, it’s always been just another tool, just like GLEE was a tool. For me it’s always about the song and my original stuff, that’s my goal.”
Noah Guthrie first started using YouTube as a way to share his music with family and friends. But after his acoustic cover of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” led to an endorsement from Ellen DeGeneres, Noah knew YouTube was a chance to create real success.
The [U2] video got me a ton of exposure, so we thought, ‘The video got seen by Ellen, who else can it get seen by?’
So Noah put together as much of his own original material as he could and hit the road, eventually getting spotted by Selena Gomez (who helped him land a manager). He began posting more and more videos, but his biggest break came from the unlikely pairing of his soulful voice with LMFAO’s hit single, “Sexy and I Know It.” The video received millions of views in just its first week, and it currently boasts more than 23 million views.
The video’s success, along with his avid touring, lead to him performing on shows like NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and securing a role on the final season of GLEE.
Noah is currently hard at work on a new album, and he isn’t worried about navigating the crossover from YouTube star to bonafide musician:
I’ve been really lucky that people will come to my shows because of YouTube or Glee, but they always stay for my stuff and leave with an album…I’m just very lucky.