When just getting your band started, learning how to manage it yourself can be a crucial skill to have. It is important to be aware of the inner-workings of your project.
The first thing a musician needs to understand is that effective management skills do not just happen overnight. Understanding the industry, and all it has to hold can take a long time to master. Starting small and learning the basics is the best practice in the beginning..
Setting up your band’s brand is where anyone who is self-managing needs to begin. There are many different ways a band can go about this. I have to stress the fact that starting small can and will get you further in the long run. Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and others are free, and can be used to hit a large market of people in a small period of time if used correctly.
Within those sites the band should have a band logo, bio, media, and some contact information for prospective venues to get in touch with you. If you are just starting out and have zero ideas where to begin there are a few things you can do to get ideas. Take a look at the bands in your local area that you are interested in, go on their website or social media page and look at where they have been playing recently. You will then have an instant list of venues to contact. Contact the venue and see if they have any dates available for you to squeeze in for a local support spot for a larger group, or an open night they need to fill. If they have not heard about you send them an electronic press kit (“EPK”), or the links to the sites with the bio and media files for them to check out. If they like it, they will contact you back.
Contact your local musical inspirations and see if they have any dates that your band could open for. This can start the process of getting your fan base built up within an established crowd , and have your music heard by many different people.
Keep striving to broaden your fan base. This has a lot to do with the social media sites, and staying active on pushing your band’s trademark every day. Contact as many different venues and artists as possible to set things in motion. Eventually the shows will start to come with the right amount of work.
Coming up with a reasonable price for your services can be another thing that sets your band apart from the rest. If you are just getting started and have a very little fan base, $100.00 is a very reasonable price for an opening act. Most bands barely get that to begin with. There are a lot of next to nothing and free shows that need to be played in order to get the “big bucks” and the fan base you want.
Also, making sure you are not completly dependant on gig income is important, at least at first. Try other music related jobs that provide a more steady paycheck, like teaching private or group music lessons.
With using these simple, yet effective avenues; managing your own band can save you a lot of money. Paying someone to do this takes away from spending money on the things that a band needs in order to evolve. It does take a lot of hours and is not an easy thing to accomplish, but in the end having the knowledge of your business and understanding the hard work that is involved will make the fruits of your labor sweeter in the end. Happy managing ! I wish you the best of luck!