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When I started managing cover bands back in 2006 having a promo video was rare. Having even a decent quality video gave us a massive advantage over other bands.
The markets moved on…massively and very fast.
In today’s market you HAVE to have a cover band promotional video if you want to compete and I don’t mean having some dodgy old mobile phone footage. That’ll do you more harm than good.
Today you need even more than just a good promo video. It’s become so easy and cheap to get a promo together that almost everyone has one. The 4 or 5 of you looking like you’re enjoying yourself pumping out the tunes one after the other to a plain old backdrop is good but…
You can and need to do better if you want more bookings AND you want higher fees.
You need a video that’ll SELL your band
Think about it this way. How do you want your prospect to feel while and after watching your promo?
Ideally they want to watch your video and feel that they can make a decision about whether to book you by the end of the video. Sounds like a lot to ask for doesn’t it? Well it is but that’s the goal of your promo video. Make it as easy as possible for your prospect to make the decision to book you.
You’ll need it to stir some emotion in them.
Here’s one of my bands promo videos. They’re called The Milestones.
Watch the video for a few mins.
This video has been seriously successful for us. People call me while watching it. I know because they tell me and I can hear it in the background. They tell me how brilliant it is and how they’ve trawled the internet to find a band like this and are so happy. Point is, there are other great bands who are similar but the promo video we put together just does a great job in selling the band.
Ok so how do you go about getting a shit hot promo video together?
Well, it’s about thinking a little differently to all the other bands out there. Careful planning, a little imagination and putting yourself outside your comfort zone will go a long way. If you feel like you’re just going through the motions and recording a promo because you gotta do it and you just want to ‘get something out there’ then the chances are it’s going to be pretty bland and boring.
Bland and boring doesn’t sell. It won’t get you bookings and you’ll just blend in with all the other similar bands.
You’ve got to do whatever you can to stop the commoditization of your band.
So before you fall into that trap here are 7 key areas and elements you need to consider and think carefully about.
You won’t get all of these ideas into your promo but aim for as many as you can and you’ll produce something way way better than the majority of bland, dull and boring videos your competition will be pumping out.
1. Tell a story
People connect and relate to stories. We’ve all grown up listening and reading stories. They engage people. It’s tricky but try and weave a story into your promo. It could be as simple as the one in The Milestones video above i.e. classic tunes through a timeline. The video edit, on screen captions and effects help to tell this story as well.
What’s In It For Me! – A prospect watching your promo doesn’t really care about you (I know, shocking to hear) they are totally self interested. So you need to show how what you do will help them. For example a bride and groom may want to see some footage of you performing at a wedding. If you’ve got some good footage try and cut it in somehow. The first dance is always a biggie, so cut in some footage of you performing a first dance.
3. Answer FAQs
This is tied in to the WIIFM one – Intersperse some talking head footage of you throughout the video answering some of the FAQs you know your clients have. Alleviating their fears and answering their questions will move them closer to booking you. Moreover showing that you’ve understood their fears and anxieties will only help build the relationship between you. Remember this – People will book you when they feel they’ve been understood.
4. Show your personalities
People buy people. It’s a cliche but it’s true. Smile and look like you’re having fun. That your exciting. You have energy. You can keep a full dance floor all night. That you’re a likeable bunch of people they’d want to have at their wedding or event.
5. Grab them by the balls in the first 30 seconds
In fact make it 15 seconds. Yup, that’s how long you have to grab the attention of most of the prospects that’ll watch your promo. The best way to achieve this is a great edit job, quick cuts that compel the viewer to keep watching. You need to make them feel like they have to keep watching or they’ll miss out on something special.
6. A promo of more than 3 mins is way too long
Don’t put those 5 tracks you filmed back to back and make a 10 minute video. It’s boring and no one will EVER watch the whole thing….ever. Honestly they won’t. If you don’t believe me go and check your Youtube analytics. 3 mins should be your max length. If you want to have the longer videos then break them up and have separate videos so that those interested enough have the opportunity to watch more of you.
7. Show the breadth of your repertoire in 5 songs
For me having 5 or 6 songs in a promo is enough. The key is to carefully choose those songs so that they best represent what you offer. You have literally 2 to 3 minutes to show the viewer what you do. Use that time very wisely.
I like to think of these as rules but it’s not that simple. Putting together a great promo isn’t just a science. Yes you need to have these elements included where possible but you also need a little magic and inspiration. That’ll come from a great producer or director. I would recommend you find a good one. They don’t have to be expensive. Try working with a film student or someone looking to get a video done for their portfolio. Whoever you work with just make sure that you are clear about the fact that your promo video exists to sell your band, that’s the bottom line.
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- 6 more ideas to help you enhance your promo video.
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Do you agree with all these? If not what would you do differently? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Have you got a shit hot promo and still struggling to fill your gig diary? Click the link to download my free guide:
Cover Bands Essentials – 5 Free and Easy Killer Tactics and Strategies to Get More Bookings and Dominate Your Competition in the Current Economy