There are common mistakes a lot of bands make that end up sapping the enthusiasm out of being in a gigging band. By making simple shifts in behavior you can make your band more successful than it currently is.
Mistake 1: Failure To Make Sales
I see this happening all the time. A band makes great music yet doesn’t release anything for sale. It’s great that you want to play shows but if you aren’t selling your music the fans have no way to take that experience home with them and you’ll soon be forgotten. Related to this are bands that do release music but feel guilty or nervous about pushing sales. You need to get your music out there and charge something for it. Do you value your music? If you want your fans to value it then sell it.
Mistake 2: Playing Terrible Shows
By playing terrible shows, I don’t mean the band had a shitty performance. I mean taking every gig offered without thinking things through. Yes, it’s important to be working hard and getting out there but it’s pointless to play shows if no one shows up. Playing a lot of shows early on is important in order to get experience but once you are past that phase you need to be more selective. Playing to empty venues where you are not making money is not only a waste of time but it kills the band’s enthusiasm for their music career. Instead of playing a crap gig where no one is going to show up, spend that evening working on booking a better show. One really great show is worth a dozen bad ones.
Mistake 3: Not Marketing Consistently
Do one thing per day to push your music. It doesn’t have to be huge but do something. It’s not fun and you’d rather be doing something else but it’s important that you are out there reminding people of your existence. You may have the greatest songs in the world but if nobody knows about them what’s the point? If you focus on making an effort daily it will pay off.
Mistake 4: Jealousy
The little green monster. It’s natural and it happens to the best of us. You’re out there playing shows, working hard and you see another band get ahead because they have a connection you don’t. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of jealousy and anger but a simple shift in perspective can turn this negativity into something that can benefit your career. The next time you see another band becoming successful, just have the mindset of “Hey, if this band can get do [X] then so can I” and then work towards that goal. Competition is good and it breeds better music. If it’s a band in the same genre as you, set up a Google Alert to help track what they are doing. You can see where and how they are connecting with their fans and then come up with your own plan of attack for getting exposure.
Mistake 5: Being Boring
Don’t play the same set at every show. Seriously. If your hardcore fans are coming to all of your shows they are going to get bored as shit hearing the same exact songs in the same exact order every week. One good set is not enough. Write more songs. Working on writing every day.