2011 is the year that Casey James’ decade-long dream becomes a reality. He will become a recording artist, releasing his debut album under the name the Casey James Band for the BNA label, part of the Sony Music Group. His label and his management will do their part to promote him and the album. But in the current economic environment for music, with sales down and even established acts having trouble selling like they used to, it is incumbent upon fans to go the extra mile to support their favorite acts if they want to help guarantee success.
That is what many of us have been trying to do for Casey James since he was on American Idol. There is already a small army of devoted Casey James fans who update their Facebook pages with news about Casey, post on forums, comment on articles, maintain blogs, respond to Twitter inquiries, and otherwise help keep the buzz going for Casey in anticipation of his upcoming release. Links to those other sites for Casey James information can be found on the banner above, or click here.
In this post, and in the comments below, let’s start discussing what we can do to help Casey and ensure that his album is a commercial success. The basic concept is to show and share your support with other potential fans.
You can show your support in many ways, some that take very little time and some that may take a greater investment. The easiest way is to put your money where your heart is — legally downloading Casey’s music that is available to purchase and preordering when it becomes available. In the music industry, money talks and the primary way to keep a record company happy is to make them money. Sales are a clear, unequivocal way of showing whether this is an artist the company should continue to back. So make sure you’ve already bought all of Casey’s songs from iTunes and when the album is out, buy it (no sharing or illegally downloading or borrowing).
Aside from shelling out the money for the music, there is plenty you can do that doesn’t cost a thing. Show your enthusiasm for the album by responding to Tweets, blog posts, forum discussions or articles you see talking about the upcoming albums or tours for 2011. You can do a simple Google search for such articles/discussions and post your comment that you are looking forward to the CJB album and tour — and why. You can start educating other potential fans about the CJB and what kind of album it will be.
There are a number of websites and in print magazines that focus on country music. Bookmark them, read them, and find opportunities to share in the comments’ section about the CJB. Spread the word. So if the article is on country guitarists, or Texas musicians, or upcoming albums, or upcoming music festivals, mention Casey. You don’t have to wait for them to mention Casey, you can bring him up if it’s related to the story. Of course, when you see an article in one of those outlets that actually discusses Casey James, respond and then share it via Twitter, FB and here so his other fans can go and add their comments as well.
Get to know the country radio stations around where you live. Go to their website and see if they have ways for you to request songs. When Casey has his first single out, call and post your requests. If they have any articles about upcoming concerts or albums and ask for feedback, offer your suggestion that they play CJB and have them in studio or in concert. Don’t be a pest, but if they ask for your request — go for it!
Whenever there is a contest or a vote and it makes sense to vote for Casey (whose album are you looking forward to or what concert would you like to see), do it. Then share the contest with his other fans so they can weigh in.
One of Casey’s fans, Girl4Reba, wrote a comment yesterday on this blog, identifying a number of sites that we should be following for mentions of CJB and for opportunities where we can spread the word about the band. She mentioned The Boot, on AOL, CMT, and Today’s Country Music Videos. I’m sure there are others we can add to this list, such as Country Weekly , Great American Country, Country Music News, the CMA, Roughstock, and Best Country Today.
This is, as they say, my first time at the rodeo. I have never joined a fan club, let alone started a blog supporting a musician, and I have no idea what fan street teams have done in the past that has been successful.
So here is where you come in. If you have any suggestions of other things we can do to help promote the Casey James Band, please post your ideas below in the comments section. Another idea I had — and let me know what you think — is to have an email list of the most devoted fans, those who want to know news as it breaks and who will mobilize immediately whenever needed. I’d be interested in some feedback on that idea as well.
Thanks for your help!