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Gig Memories: Viral Marketing with Flickr!

You outta be in pictures! In fact, as a performing musician in today’s self-promoting, DIY world, every one of your shows should be photographed and everyone who is there supporting your music should be included. Take pictures of your fans having a great time at your show. You should also have pictures taken of the band performing, the crowd interacting, the soundman, the club manager, the show poster on the door, the waitresses… everyone! (Of course, if you do children’s music, it’s important to secure the proper permissions before taking pictures of your audience.) Then, immediately after each show, follow up with everyone who was there using the pictures from the gig for viral marketing!

There are several web-based applications, such as flickr, that will provide storage for your images online, and easy-to-use tools that enable you to share your memories with fans through your email newsletters, and Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Reverbnation, and your band’s own Web site.

Before you know it, your fans will link to the images from within their own personal blogs and social networking sites, and your gig pictures will quickly become viral marketing vehicles, making more and more people aware of your music!

With flickr, you can upload pictures, add descriptions, links, and keyword tags, and then organize them into “Sets.” Here’s a link to my gig Sets on flickr. A screen capture of my gig Sets page is presented below. Notice, each Set is focused on a particular show.

Debbie and Friends Photostream of Gigs

Each thumbnail image above leads to a flickr Set page. Here is a link to a Set of pictures from a recent Debbie and Friends gig at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA. The Set contains 26 pictures. Interesting to note that even though I only sent the link to a handful of people, the gig Set has been viewed 130 times on flickr as of this article’s writing. The hits came from link-sharing and viral marketing efforts by a few fans. Nice!

You can add descriptions and thank you messages to the fans as a way to personalize your gig picture Sets, along with a link to drive traffic to your band’s site, after the images have been enjoyed. See an example of this below.

Debbie and Friends at DeCordova Museum

Here’s a quick, step-by-step list on how to get started using flickr for your band’s gig memories.

  1. Create a flickr account. There are free- and fee-based versions available, depending on your needs. You will also need a Yahoo email account to create a flickr account.
  2. Log into your account.
  3. Upload pictures.
  4. Edit your pictures with comments and tags.
  5. Organize your pictures into sets.
  6. Spread the word: embed the set page link into your email newsletter and on your Web site(s).

There are many more features to explore on flickr. To learn more, take the tour at http://www.flickr.com/tour

Sharing pictures after a gig is a great way to help build community with your fans and provide tools that enable them to share their excitement about your music with others.

You really outta be in pictures!

Debbie Cavalier is the Dean of Continuing Education at Berklee College of Music. A prolific author, she has penned more than 100 music method books and arrangements. Debbie is also an award-winning children's musician with "Debbie and Friends" including a 2008 Parents' Choice Approved Award. For more information, please visit http://www.debbieandfriends.net


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Published: 09/16/2008

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