An Indie Model of Low-Budget Marketing for the DYIer

I have been diligently been trying to think of ways to promote my band, Hilary Marckx & 45-90.  Being broke, or close to broke, most of the time adds a little extra effort to the thinking process, but I have come up with a few ways to promote the band that is within my limited budget.  I know that many of you are way ahead of me on many of these points, but here is what I have come up with so far:

  • Tascam

    Over the years, I have saved up so I can own my own recording device and use it to do my end of the recordings.  I then take my WAV files to Rob so he and John can record their own tracks, and so that Rob, who is a very fine sound engineer, can mix and master.  This gives us product, and we use it for our Demo CD, and also to our upcoming CD, “Borderlands of Hell.”  BTW, Rob is a smash-up engineer, and is putting together a recording studio.  Just sayin’ that if you want to give him a try, contact me and I’ll sent your info to him and he will contact you.  He’s in the Sacramento Area, but as we have proved WAV files are a wonderful means by which to get information back and forth.

  • Pink Attack

    I have either designed or had designs made that  can use for stickers and patches.  My Granddaughters are both artists, and they can do the art work that  cannot.  I designed the 45-90 logo, but Megan and Brigit made it usable.  I did the “Pink Attack” sticker and they made it look good.  I also used designer and fellow songwriter, Ralph Elliot, to design the “No Good Man” sticker.  So this gives me “Merch” I can take to the clubs where we play.  One of my ideas is to have stickers made to illustrate my song titles.  “Borderlands of Hell” is a song and it is also the title of our upcoming CD, so the sticker works for both song and CD.  We are also using it as a teaser for the CD.

No Good Man

  • I play single at open mics and say that I am with the band 45-90.  I do this for a couple of reasons: One, I can test audience response to material I want to present to the band; Two, I can up band visibility, and many times I get bookings from this.  Also, I pass out free stickers and Demo CDs when I play to build our fan base, and good will.
  • Borderlands of Hell

    A good way to for self-promotion is using the social networking and songwriter/band opportunity sites.  These sites are crucial for the DYIer.  I belong to many, but I try to be choosy.  For instance, I just canceled my SonicBids account because I felt I was not getting enough bang (or any for that matter) for my buck.  StarNow, has been productive, MusicXray works fairly well, Indie On the Move will work in the future, but we are not quite ready to launch off into the unknown.  So far I like ReverbNation the best because of its pitch-friendly EPKs.  Social marketing is often overlooked, but is major.  I belong to the following: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Only for Blues, DoesNot, NorCal Rockabilly, and Hoodlidoo.  Many fit a specific need I have for promotion, and hype, but most are platforms by which to simply keep in touch with my industry, and to keep my industry aware of me.  I recently entered a contest and they wanted me to list my social networking sites as part of the tools I use to get out the word about me.

  • Finally, there is this blog and my weekly posts.  At first I was not sure if anyone even read it, but my daughter, Shannon, assured me that I just needed to keep on keeping on with it and it will grow–she was correct.  Many of the Social Networking sites are good to get the work out about this blog, and up readership.  Every little effort can have big results.
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5 thoughts on “An Indie Model of Low-Budget Marketing for the DYIer

  1. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I’ve been a DJ for 18 years and I have been self-employed as a DJ for the last two years. It is difficult to learn from scratch how to make a success of your art forms. Nice piece!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Tom. Nothing that’s worthwhile is actually easy, but many times we ignore the things that make success easier. I have many musician friends who are terrified of the social network sites. They say they are afraid of losing privacy. I figure that privacy is the first thing one must be willing to give up if one wishes to be an entertainer. Good luck with your DJ business, people need to have fun, and we’re the kats to give it to them. H

  3. Branding is indeed the name of the indie game these days. Today’s listeners are hard to figure out. One thing that seems inevitable however, is that your audience gets older as you do!

    • I used to think that, Johnny, but when I went back and started to play my original songs that reflected the music out of my own youth, I soon discovered that my audiences got younger and younger. I now have mostly kids (20s-40s) at my shows and they scream and shout and egg me on. I’ll be 68 this year, and this just blows me away! It does, however, affirm my belief that the early HonkyTonk/Rockabilly/Rock ‘N’ Roll is still raw enough to affect even the most jaded youth. So, you’re right, Johnny, it’s hard to figure out.

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