1) HIT THE ROAD - Where are new fans to be found? Not in your hometown. If you are a musician your imperative is to play music for other people. Go on tour, play to new audiences. Take smaller gigs than you are used to. Use resources like E.I.Y. to find gigs, places to stay, other bands to book shows with.
2) GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE - Killola released their "I am the Messer" album for free through True Anthem. Fans who supplied their email address were able to download the album tracks for free but the band got paid through a sponsorship set up by True Anthem. In addition they captured a database of new fans who were able to discover and explore their music with no "risk".
3) MAKE IT COOL FOR THE FANS - At first blush I would say any money or effort put toward the creation of a music video was a waste. MTV is dead and gone. BUT, in the YouTube era a music video created on the cheap is a great vehicle to introduce a new act to fans. Especially if the members of the band have compelling personalities. Check this out:
"Cracks in The Armor". Killola made this video on their own. While the production values are very high here. That is not entirely necessary, you need to let the fans get to know you. At the Aderra Studio we waited anxiously for each Friday so that we could watch a new episode in the build up to the release of the Blakroc album.
4) ENGAGE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA - Actively engane your fans through all of the FREE social media tools available at you fingertips. Just remember: You are having a conversation with fans, don't just shout your lame hype at them. They will quickly de-friend you and disengage.
- Killola USB Wristband Video on Blip.tv
- Killola Facebook
- Killola MySpace
- Killola Twitter
- Killola Blog
- Killola YouTube
- Killola thestream.tv
- Killola Livestream.com
5) WORK HARD ON THE MUSIC - With all of this "busy" work tweeting, youtubing, touring etc. it is easy to run out of time for the music. WRITE GREAT SONGS. Make every effort to always be working towards writing great songs. Get help with merch, touring, booking shows etc. but NEVER ignore the music.
So, are these strategies working for Killola? So far I'd say it seems good.
Without management or a record label they moved over 50,000 copies of their "I am the Messer" album,8 songs have been placed in the new "Girltrash" feature film, they have toured the U.S. and UK and are headed back out on the road this March (See number 1 above). Which is all pretty cool.
But in my mind the biggest commitment a fan could make to an artist is to get a TATTOO of the band's logo on their skin. Forever(unless you use a laser to remove it). Not just one fan has a Killola tattoo, A LOT do. Check them out: K)) Tattoos.
If my benchmark for victory as an artist is "One engaged fan", A tattoo is probably the ultimate engagement.