Saturday, January 5, 2013

Doing it the old-fashioned way

Each day I wake up and think about new ways to market the band. I've come to the conclusion (or at least, I feel like) that the old fashioned way of writing a bunch of cool songs and playing as many shows as possible just isn't enough anymore. In today's day and age - the technology available to most of the musicians we run into makes it easy for anyone to record a song and have the quality be through the roof. There have to be 2 million bands in the Los Angeles area alone - 10 on every corner - and you need a way to stand out. How the hell do you do that? Start beating each band down with your "listen to me!" signs?

We remember what happened when Steel Panther tried to chase us off...

For a long time I was stuck on Facebook. My last blog post, however, detailed the disorganized and frustrating EdgeRank system - basically, it's ruining your communication and connections with your online fan-base. So what next? What can we do to increase fan-base, increase merchandise sales, convert random viewers of your YouTube videos and increase your fan attendance at local or out of town shows?

I hit a wall.

Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Instagram, Blogspot, Bandcamp, ReverbNation, YouTube, PureVolume, DailyMotion, Indie on the Move, TuneCore, Soundcloud, Tumblr, iTunes, You can find us on any corner of the internet. We are in random forums and message boards talking about things that we enjoy and encouraging others to also check us out. Our online presence is awesome - if you google "AHTCK" - we will show up as every result until you reach page 4 or 5 (and even then, we are most of the results). Even googling "All Hail The Crimson King" will give you our websites mixed in with fan pages and posts regarding the Dark Tower universe in Stephen King's novels (which, yes - we are heavily influenced by!)

I sit and count all of our hits and numbers; over 100,000 views on our YouTube page... over 600 likes on our Facebook... lots of followers on Instagram and Twitter and other social media sites... Great reviews on iTunes... Why do we not pull people into local shows anymore? Why are we not selling more merchandise online or at shows? Why is the increase of our fan base such a small trickle? How do we change that? How do we reach new listeners that fit into that "target audience" that we're looking for? I think I found the answer.


 Hang on - let me Google that word...

Gone are the days of asking thousands of people on Myspace to be friends with your band. Gone are the days of expecting those 250 "suggestions" to "like" your band page on Facebook to turn into actual fans to come on out to shows and buy your shit. If you're anything like me, you've been playing in different bands for years and years - your friends are getting tired of coming out to shows and buying shit they don't want.

Do we need to step back and take an "old-school" approach to advertising, marketing and promoting? I think we do. I volunteer some time at the local concert venue here in town - I've had bands come up to me and say "Here is a free CD. Hope you like it!" That is always super impressive to me. I've found some really cool bands out there (look up Intake(CA) for a good example) and I've found some really BAD bands that way. The point is - I gave the music a listen, I checked out their website and it got me into the band. That is way more effective than "Joe Schmo has invited you to like his page "Awful Band Name" again!"

So where do we start? Do we go up to the mall and start handing out fliers? No - they'll kick you out. I've spoke with the management.
Do we walk up and down the local farmers market with our giant zombie handing out fliers for our next show? Sure - it worked in the sense that we had a lot of little kids taking pictures with our giant zombie (thank god I spray painted our website on it's shirt.) Unfortunately I didn't really see a return on that - our website hits didn't even budge.
Do we leave a bunch of fliers/business cards/stickers under the windshield wipers of everyone's vehicles at the mall, local shows, wal-mart parking lot? Sure - but if the city catches you, they fine you $200 PER item that you leave behind.
Do we pay to run an advertisement in the local paper that no one is subscribed to?

I'm getting ahead of myself here - the point is this;

Where the fuck did that building come from?

We need to get off of Facebook, open up the window and get a fresh breath of marketing air. Do a Google search for "Projected marketing trends 2013" and see what you can do.

We've already made a big long list of what we plan to implement for this year. What are your ideas? How do we break this damn marketing wall and reach potential fans again?

Oh - Happy New Year!