NOTE: All of these things are free, or included with your service plan (provided you have a data package and unlimited texting…which I think I may be one of the last people in the world to get).
Your Music from Your Phone
1. Store Media contacts and USE them – yes, you can store thousands of phone numbers on that little device, but do you use them to promote yourself? Shoot a text to the writer at the local newspaper/magazine/entertainment blog when you release a new song or have a show… or just to tell them you enjoyed their review of Dog Face Cow’s new album. Tip: ALWAYS include your name and band name.
2. Use Gowalla and FourSquare – When you’re doing band things, “check in” on one of the apps that let people know where you are and what you’re doing. If you’re checking out another band.. share the love.. and share the pictures too.
You may even use one of these for promotions. “Anyone who is coming to the show and checks in here can get $1 off cover if they show the doorman when paying.”
3. Photos – Use them, take them, and encourage them. When you’re at a show, take photos and post them to your Facebook page, Twitter account, Flickr… anywhere you can. I use a free app called Instagram (the “free” version of the popular Hipstamatic). It takes “square” photos and gives you the option of posting it to Twitter, Facebook, Email, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, and Posterous. I don’t use all of these... but if you did.. it’s one stop-shopping.
4. Play Games – I’m currently playing “Words With Friends” and “Hanging With Friends” with members of several Austin bands. It‘s fun, it’s relaxing, and it’s keeping me top of mind with these bands. Nobody has pitched anything to me while playing, they’ve shot me some Facebook invites (like every other band that’s vying for my time out there) and you know what? I read theirs. Why? Because we have a bigger connection than an ominous e-mail or Event Listing. I play Hangman with them. Yes, on the surface it seems trite, but think about it. If you had the ability to play a game with your fans one on one… and it brought them closer to your music… would you?
5. Is there an App for that? – I have seen a few bands that have their own apps. So, I googled and found a few companies who do this service, there’s Mobbase, who has, among others, a Rebelution app, Mobile Roadie, who handles the likes of Train and Xenodium has several bands represented on their “Artist” page. I used Xenodium to create a version of what an app for my fictitious band Dog Face Cow could look like.
Sean Claes is the owner of Austin's INsite Magazine and has been a freelance entertainment writer since 1996. For an introduction to his "52 Weeks of DIY Music Advice" visit this link - http://www.tinyurl.com/Claes52DIY. If you like what you read... please share. To visit Claes' homepage, go here - http://www.seanclaes.com/.