How To Recruit Band Members: Get Your Ad Headline Right

(I might put this post under the category of either “obvious” or “doh!”  Either way, I kinda slapped myself in the forehead after realizing what I’ve been doing.)

I’ve been trying, rather unsuccessfully to recruit band members.  I just discovered my problem.  The headline to my ads were wrong.  I just changed the headline and immediately got three hits from musicians.

For the headline, include what instrument you play in addition to what instruments you are looking for.

I changed my headline from “Shiplosion seeking guitarist and drummer” to “Bassist seeking guitarist and drummer.”  Boom, 3 hits whereas I was getting barely any before.

The Ad Format To Use:

<your instrument(s)> seeking <needed instrument(s)> [optional: genre]

Example:  “Guitarist and Bassist seeking Drummer.  (funk)”

I’m guessing why this works so well is musicians do searches for specific instruments.  I’ve been searching specifically for guitar, guitarist, and drummer.  If those three items are not in the headline, I will not see the ad.  So me listing what I wanted without also listing what I do was pointless.  No one is doing a search for “Shiplosion”.

So even if you already have an established band, I would recommend the above format for better results.  Hell, it’s Craigslist.  Try more than one format to see which hits better.

The Drawback:

Unfortunately, this format will also get hits from bands that really need a particular instrument, but might not be the style or level of band you want.  To me, that drawback is worth it.


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4 Responses to How To Recruit Band Members: Get Your Ad Headline Right

  1. Definitely good advice – sometimes you just have to spell things out for people. I struggle with the ‘overthinking’ part myself, especially with twitter, where formulating a good tweet could mean the difference between a post getting 0 or 200 clicks. Sometimes the best route is to just make it obvious for those looking, as the keywords that are most obvious, like ‘bass’ or ‘bass player’ are probably what is being searched for.

    …FYI I’m a fellow bass player as well. 🙂

    Jon Ostrow

  2. Cheers to the low end!

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could make one post have multiple headlines and see which one works best? Ah, in a perfect blogger world…

    • Brian John says:

      Totally agreed – key words are, well, key now that everything is search-able! I think it’s worth sifting through a dozen replies to find the one that best fits to having no replies at all. BTW – to test the effectiveness of different headlines, you can always double-post! Same content in post, just different wording in the headlines. Might be a fun experiment!

      • I suppose I could experiment by guest posting on other blogs using different headlines. Hmmm….

        Otherwise, I think people might get a little pissed at me if they see a bunch of posts, but they are all the same! A neat way to lose readers. Yikes!

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