Music Promotion – What You Need To Know
The ability to self promote your music is a key skill to possess. When you are starting out you may not have money to hire a PR person or someone to run media for you. So how do you let people know about your music? Follow these steps and you will get the start you need.
1. Know Your Goals – When you start promoting your music be specific in your target. Notice how larger artists are promoted. The campaigns are always specific and promote certain things whether it be a new album or a tour. Ideas might be:
- A single
- A show
- A website
2. Target Your Audience– Once you know your promotional goal you can then figure out who the right audience for your campaign is. If you have a concert coming up, then the right audience for your promotion are the local print publications and radio stations in the town in which your show is happening. Got a single coming out, your primary audience is your band mailing list, plus the media. This approach is especially important if you are working with a limited budget. This approach will also save you time and money. Contact the town you are playing in rather than towns you are not. Contacting your folk magazine in town will do very little to promote your rock album.
3. Have A Great Promo Package– Promote your music with a very good promo package. What should your package have? These are some great things to include.
- A press release detailing your news
- A short band bio (Perhaps one page)
- A CD (a demo recording is ok, or an advance copy of an upcoming release)
- Include any press coverage you have had so far
- Your contact information (Make sure you include an email address)
- A color photo, or a link to a site where a photo can be downloaded.
4. Stand Out– Work to stand out of the crowd. Try to find something that will make people more curious about you – give them a reason to want to know more. All the stars that have this difference are the ones people go to see. Give people a reason to check out your show or your CD.
5. Free Stuff– One way to make people stand up and take note is to give away free stuff. Yes, even press people and label bosses love getting something for nothing, and your fans will love you even more.
Here are some examples:
- Give free drink passes to all the industry people who come to check you out.
- Give people on your mailing list a free exclusive download once a month (be it a new song or an alternate version of a song)
6. Branding – Branding is just another way of saying get your name out there to the masses. Try making up some stickers, badges, posters, lighters or anything else you can think of that include your band’s name. Then, place these items anywhere you can. Pass them out at your favorite clubs, leave them on the record shop counter, poster the light posts – go for it. Soon, your name will be familiar to people even if they don’t know why, and when they see your name in the paper advertising an upcoming show, they will recognize your name.
7. Keep Track of Your Contacts– As you go through all of these steps,you are going to pick up new contacts. Some of these contacts will be industry people and some will be fans. Never lose track of a contact. Keep a database on your computer for the industry people you have met and another database of fan contacts. These databases will be invaluable for your next promotional campaign – and these databases should always be growing. Don’t write anyone off, even if you don’t get much feedback from them. You never know who is going to give you the break you need.