Article by: Chelsea Dunstall
You've probably heard of it before…a street team. But what does it do and how can it help your band?
Or maybe you’re on the other side of the fence…you’ve seen your favourite band recruiting for their street team…but you’re not fourteen years old anymore and are clearly way too cool for that. Follow along below for a brief synopsis of the scientific relationship of band-fan in the form of the age-old street team.
Fan: What the heck is a street team?
Band: What the heck is a street team?
A street team can be exactly that….a group of fans plastering their cities with posters of the bands upcoming shows. But there has gotta be more to it, right? Well, if you want to get all politically correct perhaps we should start off first by renaming it a "sidewalk and online promotions team". But for simplicity's sake, let's just stick with Street Team for now.
As a band, you've got to know your market and your goals. You definitely want to have a strong group of fans willing to hang posters, pass out flyers, and get talking about your band in cities you tour to the most. But, with the way technology has shifted it's become even more important to have a few fans in each city willing to promote your music and band online — through the use of blogs, social network sites, and more.
Fan: So, I love this band… but why should I join? What’s in it for me?
Band: I've got a street team. But how do I get them to help me out?
This is where the importance of reciprocity comes in. As a band, if you're asking your fans to go out of their way and give you some free help, you've gotta offer incentives! Depending on your budget, the options are endless. Video chats, phone calls, and signed set lists can be a huge hit with a teen crowd, while the more traditional rewards like free music, guest list spots to your show, swag from your sponsors, and free merch go a long way with an older audience. Get creative — the more you rely on your team, the more you should offer as a thank you.
Fan: I'm still not convinced…. why should I join?
Band: You really think my fans will do all this work just for some free stuff?
If free stuff doesn’t do it for you, consider it a stepping stone to get your foot in the door in the industry. Thinking about a career in music? Interning like it's nobody's business? Don't underestimate the power of joining a street team. Commitment, reliability, and networking go a long way in this industry and you never know what path it may lead you down and what doors it will open along the way.
The bottom line: Every band can benefit from having an army of dedicated fans willing to help them out when they need it most. And every music fan can find something beneficial from being involved on a team with your favourite band.
Audio Blood is a Canadian music marketing, publicity, and promotions company specializing in full-service national and regional artist and brand development campaigns for artists, labels, and events.