Friday, August 27

Music Marketing & Promotions

Preparing to show your talents to the world is not the easiest task. Certain steps must be taken to ensure maximum exposure. Here are a few things to consider as recommended by Rick Goetz.

Research – it’s amazing to me that people don’t spend more time looking into where they want to be, who they want to write about them and what other groups, brands or niches they should be in contact with. This process includes making a methodical list of your existing relationships and how they can be leveraged to make new ones as well as just making lists of different types of people you need to contact. What other bands in neighboring markets do you need to know who are on your level or slightly above? What club owners do you need to meet? What blogs write about artists of your genre and stature that really need to be writing about you? What message boards, festivals, groups or other gatherings do you need to be a part of to make this work? If you don’t know – that’s step one – go find out by doing your homework and seeing what people who are just slightly ahead of you are doing that is working for them.

Marketing Materials- In addition to having all of your content together and a sketch or your next several months of activity I think many artists forget about getting their pitch materials tight. Sure – you can approximate many of the sales functions that used to be handled by the sales departments at record labels (at least digitally) by getting your new music distributed through tunecore or reverbnation or partnering with one of the aggregators and of course – making sure that the positioning of your products is front and center on your homepage and social network pages but that doesn’t mean the “selling” is over. To make this work you are going to pitch yourself over and over again and you had better get a form letter, a one sheet and / or bio about your project together ASAP to make you sound as good as possible. You will be pitching yourself to journalists, club promoters and other bands over and over again – Sharpen your pitch and have marketing materials ready to go long before your release date.

A Reasonably Paced Rollout plan – I see people trip over this one all the time. An artist or band has a new record coming out so they quit their jobs, max their credit cards on several weeks or months worth of promotional efforts and throw all of their resources behind one of their early releases. This is a surefire way to land yourself in trouble. Don’t quit the day job just yet, don’t plan a US tour when you’ve never left your home market and don’t spend all of your money around a six week push of an album. Your career has to be sustainable – sure hiring the philharmonic to back you on your CD release show could help you move the needle with local press but you had better make sure that you are not breaking the bank because at the end of the day you have to figure out a way that you can continue to make live and recorded music on a regular basis – invest in that first. Regional touring, home recording gear and cultivating relationships with studio owners and producers are great spends of your money and time. It is about building a house one brick at a time not about going to get a gold plated roof when the foundation isn’t built. Pick a few markets you need to start with, find a touring schedule (or webcast schedule for that matter) that has you maintaining contact with your home market on a regular basis and slowly expanding in concentric circles outwards. You have to figure out a way to make music, video and content related to your art on a regular basis and for most of us this means finding a way to be consistent with a slow and steady approach.

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