I've met a lot of really good working drummers lately who seem to have an aversion to self-promotion. They perform with two or three really good bands, play out regularly, and have some great chops, but when asked if they have a card or a website (something beyond a Facebook or MySpace page), the response is usually, "That's not my style," "I don't have the time," or (more typically) "Too expensive."
The truth is, if you make a living (or supplemental income) playing drums, shameless self-promotion needs to be your style! Ask any "professional" drummer and he'll tell you: Making a living behind a kit is business -- and business means competition, so if you really want to land that next gig, you need to be certain of one of two things: 1) You're better than anyone other drummer who could possibly be called on, or 2) you're more likely than any other drummer to be called on...period. Number one may not be so easy, but a little self-promotion can go a long way toward putting your name on the "short list."
Business cards may seem old-fashioned, but "drummer" cards can really help you to differentiate yourself when it comes to networking and scoring your next big gig; handing a contact card to that bass player you just met will let him know you're serious about playing, so do it: Get creative, think up a clever "title," and get yourself some cards. Want to take it up a notch? Make sure they include your personal website's address. What's that you say? You don't have one? Listen up...
MySpace and Facebook are great, but just as with cards, setting up and maintaining a website affords two distinct advantages. First, it seriously ups your "professional" quotient. Do a little searching on Google, and you'll find that some of the busiest working drummers have their own websites and use them to great promotional effect. Second, a dedicated website offers a far more powerful and personalized means of communicating with your audience. With a little time and creativity, a dedicated website will help put you in the spotlight, generate more interest in you and your playing, and -- cross-linked with your Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter pages -- ultimately increase your visibility within the musician and drumming communities.
Don't let money (or the lack thereof) stand in your way; with the proliferation of online tools and services available these days, printing up a few cards is easy and affordable. Sure, setting up a site can take a little time, but it's also relatively easy and often completely free, so check out the resources below, be shameless, and get promoting!
Quick, affordable cards: Zazzle, Vistaprint, Moo
Simple, affordable (even free!) websites: Weebly, Wix, Webs, Yola
All new galleries are coming soon. Some cool new builds are in the works and photography is all lined up, so stay tuned!
Now that the new site is live, I've got some other work cut out (in addition to photography and builds); also in the works is new O'Neill Custom Drums gear, some of which will be included free with the purchase of any OCD snare or kit. On the menu will be caps, beanies, t-shirts, stickers, and perhaps...just perhaps...a few cool surprises. :)
Whew! It's been a while in the making, but in addition to building drums, yours truly has been working on an all-new O'Neill Custom Drums website, complete with improved layout, navigation, features information, a dedicated blog, and more. Next on the agenda will be getting Mr. or Ms. Photographer on board for a gallery refresh. More to come, so stay tuned!