It’s tough being an artist. Most days, you can’t get a gig unless someone knows you’re good, and nobody knows you’re good until you’re already on stage shaking your butt like it’s on fire.
Somewhere between that 3 foot rise and band practice in your garage you stand every day sending out cold emails, scanning websites where you send out desperate messages looking for gigs, and practicing your most enthusiastic “Hi, can I talk to your booking manager” for whoever you can get on the phone or in person.
The worst part is that there’s never been an easy solution to this. What are you going to do, hand them a business card? One of the burnt cd’s with your name sharpie’d on doesn’t seem much better. What you need is a business card that you can hand to someone, have them hear your sound and book you on the spot without the messy crap of back and forth calls or vague emails.
That’s where Artistbomb comes in. From an artist point of view, the most effective use of this site is as that digital business card, all of your content and websites are listed under the same page and if you’re liked, you can get booked before a booker’s attention gets pulled elsewhere.
When it comes to being a band, I hate being on Facebook. Not only is the design unintuitive for what your band wants, but to be frank it’s clumsy, there’s always problems, and you’re constantly facing apathy from friends, fans and family alike. Who wants that kind of hassle?
You have to go find bars and start messaging them back and forth asking for things, all of the content is under separate widgets and people look at your facebook “fans” first before they even hear what you sound like.
Going back to the other point, have you ever noticed that you can’t get anyone to confirm they’re going to a gig to save their life? Heck, even commenting or even liking a status, picture, or video is a hassle for some people; the same people who claim to “like” your band. And why? because it’s like leaving the television on channel 99, they get bombarded with impersonal messages, events, pictures and media that it all seems like static, and having your gig on Thursday next to someone posting a half-naked selfie isn’t doing you any favors.
Social Media for Social, Artistbomb for Artists
It’s time to stop using facebook as a hub for bands and artists and start using it for what it’s supposed to be:social networking. Talking to fans, networking with other bands, showing photos, share experiences and keep people updated on how great the new track is going to sound.
Instead, move it all to Artistbomb. Stop having 20 events made by the bands, the venue, the promoter and your friends, just have one that everyone can get excited about through Artistbomb. Stop telling your fans about gigs and start talking to them so they come to you to see when you play. Stop begging for gigs from the club up the street who has no idea who or what you are and point them to your Artistbomb page.
Perhaps the biggest fear I have as an artist is being seen as a rookie despite having played many gigs. Many a time I’ll get booked into less than ideal slots on bills that, genre-wise at least, I shouldn’t be on, and all because a promoter hasn’t worked with me yet and isn’t willing to take a chance that they don’t have a working relationship with, and thus have no real history of.
On every Artistbomb page, future and past gigs are all instantly viewable so that promoters can know your history in addition to your sound and your likes to get a greater idea of your experience and can put together better shows with your band so that you don’t have a metal and funk collision crowd. Likewise with so many gigs under your belt and easily viewable you can enter a situation with the confidence that someone using a site strictly for booking isn’t going to brush you off or ignore you.
As an artist, personally I hate calendars. They’re constraining, they need constant upkeep, and frankly no one looks at a venue calendar and says “Ooooh, That Band! I’ll go check out that band tonight!” In fact, nothing jumps out when you have calendars or lists of dates, it’s a terrible system that clutters up personal websites and confuses fans.
Luckily, Artistbomb has a widget accessible for your band so that you can list your upcoming shows as they get confirmed and you get added to the event for quick, clean viewing. No more weird learning curve from some strange calendar that you have to update over and over again as bands drop, you get new dates and the like: the event list updates automatically on the widget so that every time someone looks, it’s the most up-to-date and clear as it can be.
Throw out the confusion. Use Artistbomb to be an artist, use facebook to social network, youtube for videos and untangle the mess of being in a band on the internet. Treat it like the personal business card of your band, and present take some price in a professional presentation to further your career. After all, lots of bands used business cards.
This article reflects the views of the author, not the views of Artistbomb Inc.