Are you daunted by the prospect of being on tour for months on end? Or maybe you've been around the block a time or two and are looking for a way to recharge your batteries and refresh your perspective? Well, you've come to the right place. To kick off our new "Tour Smarter" column, here are four of the best ways to keep a level head and steady momentum while on the road.
1. Keep track of your press
First and foremost, by keeping track of your press you'll get a big picture idea of what works and what doesn't. It'll give you a chance to zoom out on the trajectory of your campaign (i.e. an album release) and provide you with a plan for future ones. You can also use it to leverage press with other outlets. Plus, press clips (features, previews, live reviews) are prime material for sharing on your band's social media accounts. This is a great way to let your fans know more about who you are. So, start keeping track of your press right out of the gate! That way you can pull from your coverage when the timing is right.
For instance, you'll want to share a feature (preview with an interview) ahead of your show. These typically run week-of- or day-of-show, whereas a live review could run the day after or later. When sharing these clips, make sure to credit the writer, publication, and photographer. If you're posting a live shot to Instagram, be sure to credit the photographer there as well.
2. Say hello, goodbye, thank you
We've all heard the adage, "Manners matter." While it's a hackneyed phrase, it's an excellent sentiment to keep in mind when interacting with people on the road. Thank the opening act, the venue, and the fans for coming out. Be sincere! Maybe it seems like a minor detail, but this is the type of thing that people remember. After the show, introduce yourself to fans by working the merch table. This is your chance to get some real interaction with your audience. Plus, you’re building your fanbase in remote locations that you don’t visit often.
The opportunity to connect doesn't end there! Tweeting something such as,"Thanks for a great night @EARL_EAV, #Atlanta! We'll be sure to come back soon!" is a simple, great way to extend your engagement with fans, and it'll help keep up the momentum and excitement of your tour. Feel free to be creative and play up the personality of your band (or yourself)!
3. Take care of yourself
Things are going to be tough. You'll want personal space, your own bed, anything to not be crammed in a van for the day. It's important to do everything you can to make sure you stay healthy on the road. Obviously, this is easier said than done, especially when most routes are dominated by fast food and gas station fare. At the very least, be sure to take a lot of Vitamin C!
4. Plan things to look forward to
This could be something as simple as getting tacos at that place you love in Atlanta, or setting aside time to call or FaceTime your friends, family, or significant other back home. Giving yourself little things to look forward to will better your odds of avoiding burnout. If it sounds up your alley, map out some highlights before you even leave home. Are you a fan of good coffee? Look up the highly recommended coffee shops along your tour route and make a note of 'em.
By making use of these tips, you'll have manageable, concrete ways to ensure you're in it for the long haul – rain or shine. The most important thing to do is to be aware. Keep tabs on how you're feeling, what works, and what doesn't. Not only will this help you figure out how to improve your condition, but it'll also help you adjust in the future.
Caroline Marchildon handles in-house publicity for Secretly Group (Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar, Secretly Canadian, Numero Group). A Southern transplant living in the Midwest, she's a certified coffee shop hopper and weekend adventurer. Find her on Twitter @carolinefm or visit her website, carolinefm.com.