By now most of you have heard of the term "Street Team". If you haven't, then here's a little 411. Street teams are a group of music fans that are willing to spread the word about your band on the street. They tend to want to hand out band swag (Cds, stickers, pins, flyers) to friends, family members, and other aquaintances or music lovers. In most cases, street teamers are rewarded by special prize packs, pre-sale tickets, exclusive contests to meet the band, ect... Never by monetary means.
Not everyone has what it takes to be a street teamer. It takes a loyal and dedicated fan to be a true street teamer. In many cases it also involves having people skills. You can be shy and run away from people. You have to be a little more upfront than that. But just because someone is shy doesn't mean they can't help your band.
Welcome to the concept of the e-team. The idea of an e-team is pretty much the same as a street team except e-teamers spread the word online rather than on the streets. This tends to be a little more accessible than a street teams. Fans can now do most of the work from their computers. It's also a cost efficient alternative to a real street team.
Street teams require a budget in order to print out stickers, send out posters, give away cds, ect... E-teams don't require you to break the bank, although if there's any way to pump some money into your e-team efforts, I would suggest that you do.
There's a lot of avenues for promotion online. You should not take this point for granted. Conducting an e-team doesn't cost a lot, is relatively easy to do, and can be very effective in promoting your band.
So what should you have members of your e-team do for you? The major thing I would suggest getting your e-teamers to do is to request your song or video to as many stations as possible. This is if you have a song or video being played, of course. If there are video and radio stations paying your song, I would find out if they have a website and special request page. If they do, provide a link for it on your e-team page.
Another suggestion would be to get your e-teamers to spread messages on various music forums. Most forums/message boards are divided by region or interest. A search for key message boards or forums online would be nice. Sometimes this can be a very long and tedious thing to do. Allows your e-teamers to explore and hit forums that they might already be familiar with. Chances are, someone in California visits different forums than someone in New York.
If your fan base consists of mostly teenagers, then there's a good chance that they chat online with friends that are not necessarily in the same country. So get them to chat about your band.
Distribute MP3s of your best song. There's a large debate amongst people on whether they stand to benefit from giving their song away. Sit back and think for a minute. If no one hears you, can you still get famous? Give away MP3s of your best tunes to your e-team. This way they can burn their own copies or email your songs to their friends. Yes, the very friends that they might be chatting with from across the world.
These are just some suggestions on what you can do, but sometimes it really depends on the type of band you're in. Use your own creativity and judgment when making e-team missions. And remember, don't give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Always clearly suggest what to do and never assume anything of anybody.
Keep things fun and interactive. Nothing in life is free. Don't expect people to anything for you if you don't do something in return. Give e-teamers stickers and/or CDs. Email them about shows in advance and put them on your guest list. If you have posters, get the band members to sign them and send those out too. Remember, there are a few costs involved. There will always be costs involved but, if you don't bother to invest in yourselves, no one else will.
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