Thursday, January 14

Ready to Promote Your Music But Dont Know Where to Start?

Top Ten Tips for New Musicians and Bands

Many times great musicians and bands remain a secret to the world. Why? Because those great musicians and bands don't quite know how to market themselves. Sometimes they are a little intimidated at the thought of "tooting their own horn." Marketing your music is a lot easier than you may think and it all begins with a good press kit.

Don't freak out! A press kit is not difficult to put together. It's not mysterious or incredibly expensive. A press kit is simply a demo of your music along with pictures and information about you and/or your band. After putting your press kit together using the following ten tips, you'll be ready to market your music to the world.

1. Be Professional - Your music may be creative, even bizarre, but the theme of your press kit should be all business. This doesn't mean your press kit should sound stuffy. It just means that you should keep it professional while putting forth a "hip" image of you and your music. Agents, reps, radio stations, and club owners get tons of press kits and most of the time they are not put together well. Don't make a bad impression on someone who could make or break your career. If you present a professional press kit, you will give the reader confidence in your talent and dedication to your career. Besides, many times people will look at your press kit first before deciding whether to listen to your demo. If your press kit is good, your demo will be heard.

2. Be Honest - Don't lie in your press kit! You only have one chance to generate interest in your music. The people you will send your press kit to see press kits every day. They know who is desperate, who is all hype, and who has talent before even listening to your demo just based on the contents of your press kit.

3. Keep Personal Information Limited - It's great to give the reader an idea of where you or your band came from, but they really don't need to know about how you played Tiny Tim at the age of seven in your church's production of "A Christmas Carol." Remember the term "less is more" when writing a bio about you or your band. Keep your bio brief and to the point. Nobody will read a twenty page bio. Keep it to one page. If you include too much personal information, it will come across to the reader that you don't have any professional experience to include. Make sure you talk about your music more than you talk about your life. Make comparisons with other famous musicians and tell the reader what your music sounds like and why your music is special.

4. Quotes and Clippings - Including copies of legitimate clippings in your press kit adds credibility. These can be anything published about your music - from a newspaper article to a review of your cd. Good clippings and reviews will lead the reader to want to listen to your demo. In addition, include a quote sheet with quotes from legitimate sources. Don't include a quote from your mom saying how talented her baby boy is! Ask for quotes from people involved in the business like club owners, reviewers, and even from people who have bought your cd!

5. Upcoming Gigs - A list of your upcoming performances shows that you have actually performed for real people, that you have more performances coming up, and it gives the reader an anonymous chance to come and see you perform live without having to commit to anything first. If you have a particularly special performance coming up, consider including free tickets in your press kit when possible. If not, offer free tickets in your press kit to the reader if they call to let you know they want to attend.

6. Pictures - Include live performance pictures and at least one professional posed picture that reflects the image of your music. The posed picture should look like something appropriate for a cd cover. Put the name of your band and your contact information on the back of every picture.

7. Your Music - Never send a press kit without a high-quality, professionally recorded cd! Don't write the name of your band with a marker or apply a stick-on label to your cd. Have professional cd inserts made with your picture on the front of the cd and a song listing on the back. Don't send an old scratched and cracked cd case. Invest in new plastic cases. In addition, include the name of your band and your contact information on your cd and cd insert.

8. Cover Letter - Always write a personalized cover letter to include with your press kit. It should be addressed to a specific person and give a reason why you are sending the press kit. Don't forget your contact information, including your phone number, website, and e-mail address.

9. Package it Up - Put your press kit materials together in a nice folder. Consider being artistic and creative with your folder and even come up with a logo for your name or the name of your band. Take care in assembling your press kit folder so that your cd won't be broken and your pictures won't be bent during shipment. In addition, mail your press kit in a new envelope of an appropriate size and don't over-tape the envelope so that it is impossible to open.

10. Mail it to Yourself - Take the time to step away from your press kit for a few days and mail it to yourself. When it arrives in the mail, notice how the mailing envelope looks and how well the contents survived shipping. Read your press kit as if you don't know your band so you can judge whether it is professional and clear.

Putting together a good press kit isn't hard. Actually, it's a simple and effective way to promote you and your music. Always be on the lookout for new items to add to your press kit and for new people to add to your list of press kit recipients.

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