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How much media does your band post after each show?


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To modify a quote from the great Howard Stern, we are The King of All Cover Band Media. Last Friday we launched our new website design... a media support template design with an emphasis on pictures, video and audio. We waited a long time for this... mostly because no one had the time or wanted the responsibility of pulling together a new site. We lumbered along with an old PHP driven site design since 2002 which was functional?: yes... pleasing to look at?: no... unpleasant to update?: F**k yes!. It took hours in what should have taken minutes. Since I've managed most of our website updates over the last 6-7 years I really pushed us really hard to make some investments in a new design... one that wouldn't just support the band as an address on the web, but would also support the tons of media we put up for every show. The new site design is THIS and our new media page supports video, pictures even embedded audio. A trifecta. Last week I finished the first of several media portfolios from recent shows (backtracking the last 4-5 months and heading forward into 2012). The effort looks like this: THANKSGIVING EVE. In less than 12 minutes... video and pictures posted from one of best shows we had all year. One single post on Facebook telling people that 'dinner's ready' picture gallery is up and we had 223 hits on Saturday to that page... and another 143 yesterday. Based on our history of posting to the previous site, out of 95 gigs in 2012 I predict we'll average 45-50 such galleries next year.


Which got me to thinking... how much supporting media does your band post via website or Facebook? How time do you spend thinking about it and effort to get it posted. Is the reason your band doesn't post it because you think it's a waste of time... or you just don't have someone to capture it?


I think it's an important question for most cover bands. There's a famous saying that a picture can say a 1,000 words, and it's true. Media is the connective glue that holds a follower to a band during the week or in between shows. Bands tend to waste so much effort over promoting an event to get bodies in a bar, yet rarely post any supporting media either before or after the events. Or I see a ton of missed opportunities: example, a band trying to build it's following posts 220 pictures of themselves from a recent show and none of the audience. I really scratch my head at efforts like this because some bands do this all the time. One of the early decisions we made as a band was to make the shows about the audience and not about the band. That meant that 90% of the media we take and post is about the crowd... not the 5-6 guys onstage or their girlfriends and drinking buddy's. Nothing says amateur like posting 23 shots of your bass player as his eyes are closed or a dull face looking at the floor for a lyric sheet. I try to keep our galleries at less than 50 pictures... I try to not include shots of elbows, the floor, heads cut off etc. It's not always possible during a time crunch, but I'm often surprised at how many bands post pictures it looks like my grandmother took while using a digital camera for the first time. I tend to think we go a bit overboard at times, and maybe we need to post more band shots... still this has been a big reason why we've built the following we have over several years.



For us it isn't just pictures... we capture photos, video, even audio from every show... all with the intention of sharing it with the public. We want people to relive that good time they had on Saturday night, on Monday morning, Tuesday night, Wednesday at lunchtime. They can show their co-workers and classmates what a great time they had. We also want them to get prepped for the next weekend's events. For those who aren't sure how we accomplish capturing all this stuff every show, I'm happy to share: I have a routine now for every single show... again a bit easier for me than most since I don't perform on every song. it's as important as setting up my gear for a performance. I bring three things with me... a camera, an audio recorder and a video camera setup. I enlist the help of three key people I trust in and around the band to make everything manageable.


For photos: we bought a camera for a loyal follower to take pictures at every show... yes that's right WE bought the camera he keeps it. The caveat is that he uses it to take pictures exclusively at our shows and he sends us the pics soon after. He takes the camera home with him, weeds out the fluff, elbows and cut off heads and sends me a zip file the next day.


For video: I have a video camera setup which is prepped before each performance. It's actually a pretty nifty shooting rig... but I won't fool anyone. I've invested close to $3000 of my own money to support this. The camera stays with me the entire show. I only let two trustworthy stage crew guys film with it. I prefer to shot most of the video while I'm not performing. It's easier to remember a memorable shot rather than having to review an hours worth of video. As soon as I come home from the show (at 3am) I import the video. In less than an hour I usually know the clip I'll use from the gig for a quick video project, sleep, work on it on Sunday night. By the Monday night (about an hours work) I have video posted.


Audio: I record at least 3 shows a month, not really for the audience, mostly for the band, so we can listen to our performance each week and tweak things that need tweaking. It has made an enormous difference in our performance. I have a Zoom H4, a stereo TRS cable and I plug into our A/B Output on our mixer. aI just hand it to our manager soundguy and he sets it up for me... and returns it during breakdown. They're pretty good recordings too. Dry of course. I may experiment and put a snippet Mp3 of some live audio (crowd shout outs, or some mic banter) on a gig media page and see how people respond. It would be great to have a media gallery from a show that included pics, video AND audio from a memorable show.


My suggestion to bands trying to build a following: don't think of media as an afterthought. Nothing screams 'mission accomplished' more than uploading a picture gallery to Facebook and having dozens of people tag themselves in pictures. It's free marketing and so much more effective than telling people what a great time it was!


If your selling a good time, why not show people, instead of telling them? Opinions, thoughts, concerns :D

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