Bewildering Mistakes Bands Make

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

It’s hard enough to make headway as an independent band as it is, so why are so many bands unnecessarily adding obstacles in their efforts? Most likely, nobody’s making things more difficult for themselves on purpose. But the hurdles you unwittingly place in your path can set you back or slow you down.  Some of these mistakes are borne of inexperience; others from a lack of objective, big-picture thinking. Whatever their cause, each one is easily avoidable.

1. Setting their social media to private

A public account is a no-brainer, right? Apparently not, because there is more than one band out there that sends a follow request  presumably for press, not friendship from a private account on Instagram. How are we supposed to learn anything if we can’t see the posts? This applies to all social media platforms, of course. The only instance we can imagine in which this would make any sense is if someone’s personal account doubles as their band or artist page; in that case, you should really separate the two.

2. Not connecting their social media whatsoever

Why isn’t your SoundCloud linked in your Facebook info? The extra two steps it took to find it by googling is a minefield of distractions. Any number of really hilarious memes, gifs, or actually important news stories could steal a user’s attention in the process.

3. Sending booking inquiries with no info

So your band wants to play a specific venue – what else?  Facebook messages (not the preferred method, by the way) and emails (the preferred method) Could be better with relevant details. Your first inquiry about a show should include links to your music, a range of dates, proposed lineup, and anything else you’ve got that’ll help sell the person in charge on your band.

4. Picking an unsearchable band name

It’s not good to stifle anyone’s artistic intentions, but choosing a common word for your band name is a terrible idea. Nowadays, word-of-mouth leads to an internet search, and if you’ve dubbed your group something too simple, you likely won’t be seen in the top results. Sure, we can add the city you’re based in to make a query more specific – but what if we don’t already know that information? Of course, there are examples of making it big with basic names: Battles, Real Estate, Swans, Girls, and Peaches, just to name a few. Adding the word “band” to a search also helps. But why not just avoid that potential barrier altogether and choose something easier to find online?

5. Choosing a hard-to-pronounce band name

If you intentionally choose a name that for whatever reason is difficult to pronounce, people might hesitate to bring it up in conversation. (Well, anyone who fears sounding uninformed, at least.) Additionally, a name in that vein is hard to search for if you’re not already aware of the idiosyncratic spelling. That’s not to say stylized or intentionally misspelled names can’t work, but it’s not unusual for a hard-to-pronounce band name to come with an aura of holier-than-thou hipsterdom, and that can really narrow your appeal.

 

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