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Nov 20, 2017

When A Show Goes wrong – 5 Tips for Handling It

Every musician, no matter how experienced, has bad gigs from time to time. It's an inevitability, and while it's always a stressful experience, having a show go wrong can be handled with professionalism and grace. Here are five tips for when a show goes wrong – and how you can save the day.

Stay Calm

When something goes wrong at a show, it's a totally natural response to feel panic and even fear. It can be especially palpable if it's your first show, or it's in the middle of a tour. If something goes wrong, take a minute to focus yourself, take some deep breaths, and get centered. Staying calm will help you from both a social and a pragmatic standpoint – you won't have any fans or other professionals witness you having a full-blown freakout, and if you're calm, you'll be better equipped to solve whatever the problem is.

Focus On Solutions

Don't spend time arguing over whose fault it is or how it happened – focus on fixing it. Whether it's a blown drumhead or a technical issue, focus your efforts on solving the problem. Argument and speculation won't help you fix the problem, and it will cost you precious time in a live environment. Your only speculation should be about possible fixes for whatever's wrong.

Don't Get Confrontational

Even if it's obvious that an issue is a particular person's fault, don't get confrontational with them. Include them in the process of helping to solve the problem, whether it's one of your bandmates or the audio tech assigned to your event. If you handle things professionally, they will usually be much more on board with enthusiastically collaborating to solve the issue, and it's likely that they'll apologize for the mistake, too. Confronting them will put them on the defensive and make them less willing to help – and you might not get an apology, either.

Ask How You Can Help

If you're not personally handling the issue at hand, ask the person or people who are how you can help. If there's nothing you can do to assist, just stand back and let them work through the solution process; but if they ask you to do something that you are able to do, do so without complaint or delay. Helping will hasten the process of solving the problem; but even if you can't help, the person whom you offered to help will probably be better disposed towards you and may work harder to solve the problem quickly.

Follow Up

Sometimes it is appropriate to follow up with the venue or promoter – for better or for worse. If you were faced with an issue that was resolved quickly and professionally, give props to the problem solver. If your show was a complete disaster due to lack of professionalism or skill, that is also something the venue or promoter should know about. Be courteous and professional with your follow-up, but be honest – the venue may need better staff, and if you want to play there again, that will help you too.

There is always potential for something to go wrong at a show, whether a minor issue or a legitimate disaster. However, these tips will not only help you weather things better, they'll help you build a good reputation as a helpful and reasonable person and a musician who is easy to work with – and those sorts of musicians are favorites among venues and promoters alike!

Nov 11, 2017

10 Steps to Better Music Marketing

Much to the chagrin of most musicians, marketing often takes up almost as much time as the creative process itself. For musicians who aren't on a major label and don't have access to a dedicated marketing team, marketing management is a vital skill to develop. But marketing your music doesn't have to be a headache-inducing endeavor – there are lots of ways to streamline the process and make it easier to get your work in front of people who want to hear it. Check out these ten steps to better music marketing.

Know Your Core Demographic

Knowing who you're marketing to is key. Know the kinds of people that listen to your genre(s) of music – where they go, what they do, what they like, where they're from. Knowing your audience will help you better target your marketing – and in turn will help you sell more music and book more shows.

Choose a Platform 

Social media marketing has become an incredibly important part of selling and promoting just about anything, and choosing a social media management platform can help you streamline and manage your social media posts – not to mention save you lots of time. Take a little time to research relevant social media platforms as well as available platforms for social media management, and choose carefully in accordance with your needs and budget.

Occasionally Review Analytics

Analytics show you how frequently your social media posts are viewed and which ones are performing the best. Reviewing social media analytics will help you get better at marketing by showing you what kind of posts are performing bests and even which times of day your posts tend to do well.

What's Paying Off? 

Do your video posts perform well? What about pictures and text posts? Good marketing generally translates into sales and opportunities, so pay close attention to what's getting the most responses, particularly to would-be music buyers and promoters.

Regularly Release New Material

While some bands go years between albums, you should at least occasionally show your audience what you're working on. Post some audio tracks you're working on, photos from the studio, or pics of your new instrumental setup – anything that gives your audience the inside track on your process is good to share.

Engage With Your Audience 

If you get comments or messages, don't ignore them – respond to them as much as you possibly can. If you get a lot of these – and we'll talk about this next – gather up common questions and comments and address them in Q+A sessions, whether you do static videos or livestreams. An audience that feels listened to is going to keep listening.

Q+A

Q+A sessions can be lots of fun for your audience. Whether you do one a month or one a year, bands with engaged followings usually get a great response to them. As mentioned before, collect questions via comments or messages, and encourage fans to view the Q+A sessions or participate in the livestream. Livestreams are becoming super popular among creators, so see if it works for you.

Post Shareable Content

The best marketing relies on people discussing what you're doing with one another. By posting highly shareable content – especially videos and photos – you're more likely to get post shares and video clicks, and, ultimately, more fans.

Regular Posts

Making regular posts across social media platforms and blogging sites is one of the best ways to keep people regularly engaged. Posts daily or every few days are a great bet, and this is one area you can use your analytics data – see when the most people are viewing posts and schedule them via your SM management platform for around those times.

Don't Overpost 

While daily posts are probably just fine, a dozen posts a day will probably drive people away. It's a crowded marketplace, to be sure, but don't be the screaming harpy. Keep your posts regular but not overfrequent, and keep them on point.

Most musicians don't want to spend their time on marketing, but it's especially important for indie artists of all stripes to gain knowledge of this area. Knowing how to market means you might not have to do it yourself for too long – because getting your music in front of the right people is the path to every musician's success

Nov 09, 2017

3 Steps to Choosing a Good Band Manager

Having a good band manager is a key ingredient to the long-term success of professional musicians. Band managers assist musical talent in handling the business side of their careers, and help to promote their music, secure shows, and book tours. They also handle scheduling for non-performance events, like meet and greets, signings, and label interviews.

Choosing a good band manager can be a challenge – but these three steps can help you with your search.

Ask Around

Musicians talk to each other – and a lot. Chances are if you're in the market for a band manager, some of your compatriots will have recommendations (or warnings). Start asking around, particularly within the scene of the genre you work in, if your fellow musicians or even DJs have recommendations for someone who can effectively manage your music career. Make a list of the names you hear and start making connections with them – this is the best way to see who may not only be a good fit professionally, but personality-wise as well.

Review Their Track History

An experienced band manager will have some successes to share regarding the acts they've managed in the past. If you see that the acts they've worked with have enjoyed steady success (even if it's slow), that is likely a combination of the band's dedication and their band manager's professional skill. If they've worked with a lot of acts that have dropped them in a year or less, or the acts they've managed have not really gone much beyond playing all local venues, it could mean that they're not the person you're looking for.

Stay Alert to Red Flags

If you hear more negatives than positives, pay close attention to what people are saying and why. In particular, be on the lookout for band managers who have been accused of taking payment from acts but not doing their job, taking total credit for the act's success, doing drugs on the job, or just straight-out lying to the acts they manage about things they're working on for them that never quite seem to materialize. If these are the kinds of reports you're getting, don't work with them – and warn other musicians against it, too.

All dedicated musicians take on a band manager at some point in their career, and it's important that you be selective about who you hire for this very important job – they will be responsible for helping you secure a large part of your income as a musician as well as representing you to labels, venues, and tour managers. These three steps will help you find the best fit for your career needs as a musician – and will help you foster a years-long association with your band manager that will benefit you both.

 

Jun 12, 2017

Stay Connected With Newsletters

Staying in touch with fans via email is essential to any artist's success, and that's why we are excited to announce our newsletter feature upgrade. In this blog post, we will go over what's new and how best to use new features.

Before we dive into the fun stuff, keep in mind that to send newsletters, you'll need to set up email using BandVista and your domain name. If you do not have one already, log in to your account and visit the 'Mail' option at the top of your page, selecting 'mailboxes' and then add a mailbox you want to send from. All of your email addresses will be available to send from when setting up your newsletters.

Now that you know what email address you are sending from, it's now important to know who you're sending to. Email subscribers can join your list from your site if you have the newsletter widget enabled. You may also add email addresses by pasting them in or by uploading a CSV file. Make sure when you add the email address on your own, that they are valid subscribers that are expecting to hear from you. 

When adding a CSV file, you may also add custom fields that will allow a more advanced use of your fans both in the newsletter and in future product updates. Your spreadsheet may include first name, last name, email, and physical address. You'll be prompted to match these fields to your list during upload.

Make sure when you add the email address on your own, that they are valid subscribers that are expecting to hear from you. Otherwise, you are spamming, a violation of our terms of service.

Okay, now it's time for the fun stuff! You now have four templated options when sending newsletters, so let's dive right in to what each of them does.

Free Form

The free form option is great for sending plain text email updates to your fans. Customize your emails by adding a featured header image, and if you have your full contact information uploaded to BandVista, add a personal touch by adding the {firstName} wildcard in your introduction to address each of your fans by name.

This option also allows for HTML for custom newsletters you may want to send. To do this, simply click the 'source code' icon in your editor, where you can then paste your HTML. Keep in mind; you are responsible for any third party HTML you use.

Blog

As the name suggests, this templated option allows quick and easy delivery of your latest blogs to your fans. Select the blog you would like to email, and this option will automatically insert your text and featured image from the blog post. If you don't have a featured image on the page or want share something different in an email, you can upload a new image.

Upcoming Events

Keeping fans informed on where you'll be playing is probably the most important thing you can do, and this template makes that very easy. This template pulls from your current events calendar, so make sure to send it right away or schedule it once your calendar is up to date. This template shares everything your fans need to know, though links to your events on the page are included.

Store

Releasing a new track, or a new batch of merch ready to be mailed to fans? Send the store template to share items your fans might like to purchase.


We hope you like the new upgrade. If you need help using it or any feedback for us, chat with us online in your builder or give us a call at 1-877-875-4470.

Mar 22, 2017

Your Site is Secure

Making that most important connection between artist and fan is a top priority for all of us, and your website plays a key role in that. To help earn fan trust, we are happy to provide an extra layer of security by enabling HTTPS for all current BandVista platform powered sites. So lets review why this change as made and how it benefits you.

Added Security and Trust!

The added layer of security on your website insures all information entered through it is encrypted. While your login pages and eStore payments have been secure for a long time now, offering it site wide tells users everything they enter on your site will be. Adding that s at the end helps gain their trust when they see the green lock and secure text in all modern browsers.

Improved Search Results

Major search engines like Google indicate a ranking boost for sites that are secure. While that is only a modest signal to the search engines right now, all signs point to this being a more significant factor in the future.

It's FREE with BandVista

While purchasing certificates can range from $60-$250 per year, your BandVista powered websites come with this for FREE thanks in large part to Let's Encrypt, a free service our development team worked to implement on your behalf. The Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) works hard to help create a more secure and privacy-respecting web.

Thank you for powering your website with BandVista, and we look forward to sending you more feature rich updates in this blog very soon!

Oct 31, 2016

Earn More With Tip Jar!

Cash is quickly declining as a way to pay, with even the smallest items like a cup of coffee or a soda frequently charged to a card or through a mobile device. Even vending machines have card readers these days! This trend is terrible for your tip jar with fewer fans having cash on them while enjoying your music. 
 
Now's your chance to earn more with your online Tip Jar! Adding this new feature to your site allow fans to show their support while using their payment method of choice, Paypal, credit card, check or direct from their bank account. 
 
Adding a Tip Jar to your site is easy. From the site editor, simply drag and drop the feature to any page. Add any text you like to the Tip Jar. If you already have your Store configured, no further steps are required. If not, click into the feature and configure your store by verifying your Paypal address and the currency you would like to receive. 
 
Make sure to promote your new feature on social media and at your shows! 

 

Sep 20, 2016

Welcome to the Slideshow

Welcome to the slideshow! We just released a new feature that allows you to quickly and easily add a multi-image slideshow to your website.

Adding a slideshow is a great way to keep your site looking fresh and add some visual flair. Show off each member of the band, a new album release or different shots of your live performances. It literally takes just seconds to change up the look and feel of your site.

We offer three different configurations for the slideshow feature:

 

Carousel Fade: Select this for a smooth transition from one image to the next.

Carousel Slide: Each new image quickly slides from right to left.

Page Reload: This shows a new image each time a user reloads or visits a new page.

 

The video example below shows the 'Carousel Fade' setting, which is the most popular choice so far. Try each of them to see what works best for you!

To try your own slideshow:

 

1) Login to your account and click the change image option from your site editor, or navigate there by clicking design at the top and selecting the header images option.

2) Drag and drop new images or add to slider galleries from your existing media library. Create new galleries for later use, inserting them into the page when you are ready, and easily discard old galleries with the quick click of the remove button.

 

We'll be adding more to this feature in coming weeks and would love to hear your feedback on how we might improve this for your experience! Shoot us an email or give us a call if you have questions or comments.

 

 

Aug 02, 2016

5 Ways to Have an Unforgettable Show

One of the best ways to really set yourself apart from other bands and make a lasting impression on fans is by putting on a live show that is unforgettable. Providing a great show can make up for a multitude of shortcomings as well. If you don’t have to best vocals or best guitar solos around, a killer live performance can make up for that. Here are a few ways to bring your shows up to the next level:

 

Special Guests

Do you know anyone that performs in another local band, or just another artist that is popular locally. Consider bringing them on stage for a song or two as a special treat for the crowd. This simple act accomplishes a few different things. First, it makes that particular show special and unique from your other shows that the same crowd might have seen. Second, it makes people in the crowd feel like they are almost getting to attend two shows for the price of one! Lastly, it’s just fun for everyone to have some surprises tucked up your sleeve. No one likes going into a show knowing exactly what to expect.

 

Giveaways

Everyone loves free stuff. There is no exception to this rule. It could be anything t-shirts, posters, albums, picks, buttons; the possibilities are endless. You can do the giveaway in various different ways as well. You can have giveaways for the first or hundredth (or both) person at the show, random raffles, or simply make it all rain on the crowd during your show. Any way you do it, giveaways are sure to be a hit with everyone at the show.

 

Photo Booth

Having an area set up for photos is a really fun idea. Just pick a spot in the back to set up a backdrop and camera. You can have a laptop, tablet, or phone set up next to it to set up the timer that the show goers can operate themselves. Afterwards, you can have a mobile photo printer set up, or have an option display to have the photo emailed to the fans. It’s as simple as that. Bonus: Have a box of props set up at the photo booth for people to use in their photos. You can use anything from hats and signs to scarves and mustaches!   

 

Take Yourself Seriously

On a serious note, it is important that you take the show and yourself seriously during your performance. You need to make sure that you go into the show having had plenty of practice and rehearsal time. Everything should be tuned, set up, and ready when you get on stage ready to give it all. Play every show like your band’s future depends on it, and really focus on giving the crowd a show that they will walk away from and talk about for a long time.

 

Have Fun

Having said all that, make sure that you are having fun on stage. People can tell if you are not really into the set, and it’s going to set the mood for everyone there. Play up all your strengths and make sure to interact well with the crowd. Get them to participate and join in on the fun. After all that is why everyone is there in the first place: to hear some great music and have a good time!

May 04, 2016

Best of BandVista: Showcase Your Website

 

We love watching artists build industry level websites using our tools, and we want to help more of you do just that. So, if you are ready to take your online presence to the next level, now's the time to partner with our team as we search for the "Best of BandVista".

Best of BandVista site selections will have the opportunity to be showcased on BandVista.com and social media, earning you a little extra traffic for that much-improved website! Final selections will be made on Tuesday, May 31st, though we may share your site before that time if selected!

Think you already have the best site on our platform? Email support@bandvista.com with the subject "Best of BandVista" and a link to your website in the body.

Need some tips on what we are looking for? Here are five of the most important things to consider as you build. 

 

The Perfect Design 

With more than 100 designs available and more coming each month, BandVista offers a design that fits your needs now, and will continue to keep you in style well into the future. Since you can change easily and for free, try them all on for size! 

Adding a great featured image of you or your band is a must. Professional images are great if you have photographer lined up, but today’s phones work just fine. Having a clear, high res image has never been easier. Also, consider using one of our filters to make the image look better or to pair it with the design.

Login to try a new design

 

Let's Hear It

Adding tracks to your website is easily done by visiting your audio file manager where you can upload, or simply add your SoundCloud ID. From there, off to build your playlist and enable your audio player where your visitors will now have hours of listening pleasure. 

Login to add audio files

 

Time to Sell

Ready to start selling? We thought so. Setting up a store is easy to do, and you keep 100% of the profit. Sell downloadable music by the playlist or individual track, or mail hard copy CD's and merchandise. Add your Paypal email and build your catalog in minutes. 

Login to configure your store

 

Share Your Schedule

Arguably the most important feature for any performing band is the events calendar. Let fans know where they can catch you when playing public events or when you are booked up for private events. 

Login to add events

 

Connect with Social Media

There are so many platforms to keep up with! From Facebook to Instagram and everything in between, now's your chance to tie them all together by adding ready-made social icons with your corresponding links. 

 Login to add icons

 

Your fellow musicians are here to help with anything you need, so email or call us for assistance building a great presence for your band.

 

 

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