Market Your Band By Giving Out Free Swag

Giving away free items at your gigs is a very effective way to market your live band.

Personalized Wristbands
Personalized Wristbands

   Constant marketing is essential for every live musician to promote their music and their band. With marketing your goal is to be able to keep your name and and logo in front of as many people as you can as often as you can. That brings me to the topic of giving away free swag. Yes the term “Free Swag” is a current buzz phrase on the marketing scene especially among the young and the hip. In case you were wondering, the term “Swag” as it’s used here means cool free stuff. Traditionally, swag means booty, goods or money stolen by any thief and is most commonly associated with pirates. Yo-Ho! As I said, it’s really just appealing to the young hipsters of today.

   Free swag is a fantastic method for marketing your band as most people will hang onto something that they get for free. I’m not talking about a piece of paper, I’m talking about giving out things that are somewhat useful at your shows. There are a lot of  items that you can have custom printed with your band name, logo, website address or phone number. You can get some unbelievable deals on customized wristbands on eBay.  Here are a few more examples of products you can personalize and give out at your gigs:

  • You can get personalized guitar picks by the gross for a very good price that you can have your band name and logo printed on.
  • Lanyards
  • Carry Totes
  • Key-chains
  • Coffee Mugs
  • T-Shirts
  • Hats
  • Pens
  • Flashlights
  • Wristbands

   Those are just a few examples of things that you can give out at your gigs. People will hold onto that stuff for years and every time they see it, they’re looking at your band name and logo. Another thing you can give out for free at shows is some of your recorded music. These days a very good marketing technique is to give out little USB thumb drives loaded up with some of your music in MP3 format. Nine Inch Nails did that to promote their “Year Zero” album. That added bonus in giving out USB thumb drives is you can put all kinds of contact info in digital format on them as well.

   So that’s my marketing tip for today. Give away free swag at your gigs and people will remember who you are!

Author: Live Musician Central

My name is Matt Rushton. I have been playing in bands for 27 years. I've been playing professionally for 21 years. I have opened for Sheryl Crow, Barenaked Ladies, Joan Jett, Little River Band, and Quiet Riot.

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