Hi and welcome to Sound Music Business Tips
Episode 15. I’m Anthea Palmer. Recently, I had a big conversation with one
of the musicians I coach who lost a band member. Losing a band member can feel like a really
major blow and likewise, trying to find band members if you are putting a band together
can be pretty trying. So for his (my client’s) sake, and now I’m sharing with you, I wanted
to put some tips together to help you find musicians; help you find players.
Want and don’t want list So, the first step it’s important to do, before
you start advertising, is to make a list of what you do want and what you don’t want.
And this will help you create the advert that you’re going to put around to find the musicians.
It will also help you weed out or screen out the tyre kickers, I’m going to call them.
So, it’s really important to do that. Now, the sort of things that could be on your want
list: • must have own equipment
• must have own transport • Must be able to write or co-write original
material. • must have some experience of playing live
….and so on. Be very specific about what you want from the player. So, on the other
side what you don’t want. Well, you don’t want say under 18 if you’re playing licensed
venues. You don’t want a player that’s playing in 10 other bands and is gonna be difficult
to book for your gigs and so on. Be very specific and I think that’s the very first thing that
you should do in this process. Application Process
Now speaking of process, I also want you to think about how you’re going to manage this
process of getting new players in. So for instance; how do you want them to apply
to you? Do they need to include video of them playing?
Do you need to have an artist that has a recording or something that you can listen to?
If you’re putting your phone number out there, your email address out there – make sure it’s
a method that ensures you get the message and you’ll be able to respond efficiently.
Don’t put advertising out there that goes nowhere and people can’t contact you – because
it’s just a waste of your time and theirs. Also with the process, work out where and
how you going to screen the players. Are you just going to telephone screen them? Are you
going to set up a chat forum perhaps? How are you going to audition them and where?
Are you going to have individual auditions just as applicants come through? Are you going
to wait and have one big audition session for any applicant that you’re interested in
looking at? Where are you going to audition? So work out all of that sort of process driven
stuff first before you start advertising. Online Forums
Now, as far as where to advertise. The musician that I coach and had the conversation with
said that he finds a lot of the online forums are full of “talk” and he doesn’t get much
quality from them, but I wouldn’t stop at this. So do a Google search “forums for musicians”
in your city and a list will come up. Look at all the forums. They probably have a place
where you can put a wanted advert and probably also have a place where musicians that are
looking for gigs have got their own listings. I recommend giving the forums a go.
Page on website or blog Now, if you are an established band or an
established artist and you already have a website, I would recommend creating a new
page or post on that website just for the purpose or recruiting members. I’ll tell why,
because all of your other advertising that you do for this can point to that blog or
post, and as well as trying to find the right musicians, you might find that it actually
helps you to market the band. Because let’s say, for instance, you are posting
on most forums, you can put the relevant link to the page of your website on the forums.
People will click there and land on your website. Who knows? They’ll probably have a listen.
They might join your mailing list. They might check out when you’re playing next and go
along. So it’s all worth doing that; having a page
on your blog or website if you do already have one. I would even be tempted, depending
on how serious you are to get players, that you create a blog or website for this purpose
if you don’t already have one. Use Facebook
Facebook. Use Facebook. There’s a couple of ways, in fact 3 ways I would recommend using
Facebook. Firstly of course, if you have a page for
your music, you can post to that page and I would post frequently, even daily, and mix
up the content each time. Maybe add a bit of content and add photos
of the band . But yeah, post regularly and remember that you can optimize. You can pay
to optimize those posts and give them a better chance of being seen in the news feeds.
The other thing you can do is Facebook advertising, and if you have an ad on the side of Facebook,
have it link straight to that blog page or website page. That would be fantastic. Make
the advert very specific so that you are not wasting the pay per click money. Be very specific
;”Indie rock bands seeks motivated guitarist” a title like that. So that you are really
going to get the right people click on the advert. When you put the advert in, you’re
going to choose your area. You might choose within 25 km or whatever the options are there,
to make sure that you’re really optimizing the ads so that its only people nearby and
its only the relevant sort of musicians that are gonna click on the add. Send that to your
website or blog post. Awesome. Awesome idea. The other thing to do with Facebook is to
send a personal message out to all your musician friends on Facebook. Let them know what’s
going on. So “hey, Anthea, I just thought I’d let you know that we’ve lost a bass player.
We are desperate to find a new one. Here’s what were looking for…..” of “If you know
anyone available, or if you know any bands that have split up recently, please let me
know or feel free to give them my details.” so touch base personally with all the musicians
and industry people that you know through Facebook.
Use Twitter Now if you use twitter, here’s good tips for
twitter. Of course, you can just tweet saying that you are looking for somebody, or you
can put a link to that website or to that page on your blog that you’ve created for
this purpose. Also go to twitter search. So, twitter.com/search
and put in relevant things like “guitar”, “wanting band”, “musicians wanted,”and see
what comes up in the search results. Twitter can be very powerful if you’re looking for
something specific. Then when the results come up, you can have a look at those tweets.
You can reply saying “hey I just saw your tweet and we are looking for a guitarist in
your area!” so that’s another good way to find musicians.
Tertiary Music Colleges Okay so here’s another great tip. This is
a really good one. Look for tertiary music colleges. Go to Google put in Music College
or music school and your city and a whole list will come up. Ring those people or email
those people. Contact them and say “do you have an online bulletin board or physical
bulletin board on campus?” and if so, put your ad there. It’s a great place to find
really driven musicians who are spending their time studying music. They’re usually very
driven and professional and wanting to get ahead.
Music Instrument Shop The good old music instrument shop. Go to
all the music instrument shops in your area. Most of them will have a physical board that
you can pin an advert to. And also make sure that you have a chat to the staff there because
from my experience, the staff at those instruments shops know a lot of the regulars that come
in. They also hear a lot of gossip about who is playing with whom, and which band has split
up etc. S, if you actually network with them, let them know who you are and what you’re
looking for, they might keep an eye out for you. They might point people towards your
ad. Networking Materials
The other thing to do is network, network, network. So get out to gigs of bands that
are a similar genre and make sure you take some flyers or postcards with you. Actually
make a little batch of materials for this purpose. So give them to other members of
the band too – so that when you are all out in the band and you meet somebody and you
say “hey I suppose you heard about our bass player leaving, don’t suppose might know somebody…..”
you’ve got something you can just hand them. They’ll put it in their pocket and when they
get home they won’t forget – they won’t forget to point that person in your direction.
So there’s a whole stack of stuff that you can do to find players.
I that’s been helpful. This is Sound Music Business. I’m Anthea Palmer.
Onward and upward!