Tag Archives: Publicity

4 steps to take to market yourself as an independent artist

Disc Makers and TAXI present “Achieving Success With Your Music: Hard-hitting tips on marketing, A&R, record labels, and more”

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Top 10 Music PR tips for Today’s Unsigned Artist

As an unsigned artist, publicity is a huge driving force when you’re looking at success in the music industry. Although it’s definitely beneficial to retain a publicist once you have your music career in gear, you can still manage to create a little buzz on your own in the meantime. Below are the top ten tips for generating your own publicity as a music artist. 1. Make sure you have a press kit that includes a well-written bio, an 8X10 photo, CD and contact info.
2. Go local. Local press is by far the easiest press to get. Let them know your story and send in a CD. Shoot for the music editor or columnist and if they don’t have one assigned specifically, contact the entertainment editor.
3. Social networking sites are all about music these days. For example, Myspace’s reach is incredible for gaining new fans. Where else can you find people to listen to your music in the convenience of their own home? Make sure you are updating your music, adding friends, keeping them all posted, and updating the tour dates. There are magazines on Myspace looking for music to feature all the time.
4. Radio is a great way to share your music with the masses. You don’t have to approach the big ones—you can see success with air play on smaller stations as well. Send in your CD to local DJs and look up college radio shows nationally and see if they’ll spin your music. Online radio is picking up these days too… USA4Real.com is a great option… it doesn’t cost much and it gets your music heard.
5. Music licensing is a great way to make money and get publicity. Try contacting some music supervisors on TV shows for a start. Send them an inquiry with your information and a link to your music. If you get placed, you can use it for press—and it becomes a story!
6. Music websites and e-zines are always looking for music to review. Look up their websites and send emails to their editors. Tell them why you’re a fit for their magazine and ask if you can send in a CD. Again, try to make contact first… sending in a random package may be useless.
7. Youtube.com and Stickam.com are wonderful outlets to share your music. You can even upload your music videos and video tips for other artists now at Getsigned.com. Just Upload your videos HERE and they’ll be on the site in a couple of weeks when the new site re-launches! When done right, you can really start gaining a fan base. Try to do something charismatic and original. Reaching out to people online can do wonders. Create a music video, a video blog, sing an acoustic set, take a stab at some comedy– anything… Just remember, first impressions are everything.
8. Be philanthropic. Charity does wonders for publicity outreach. Find something you believe in and offer to play at their event or donate proceeds to their cause. Not only does it get you out there and give you a story angle… but it feels good to help out.
9. Send your CDs to appropriate magazines for your music’s genre. Make sure you call ahead and find out the right contact, unsolicited packages get lost in the shuffle. A good rule of thumb is to look up specific writers you feel would enjoy your music and find out how to reach them.
10. Try to book shows in different towns, that way you can easily label the cluster of shows as a tour and contact local newspapers and radio stations and offer them merch in exchange for promotions/articles.

Note that PR is about being smart and creative. It’s about finding a reason for people to care about you and your music. Sure, great music and a good look are helpful, but you also need to reach out to the public and come up with stories. Think outside of the box and you’ll really benefit from the results in no time. Good luck!


What is a Publicist and How Does a Publicity Campaign Work?

Curtis Smith, the head of Maelstrom Music and Maelstrom Music PR, walks us through the various ways that a publicist gets attention for an artist in the press, how a regional or national press campaign is orchestrated and what such a campaign can do for an artist’s reputation, and what publicists can and can’t do for an artist as part of their services.


The Twitter Trolls: How to Deal with Criticism Online BY: Brian Thompson / MTT

It’s impossible to be liked by everyone. No matter what you say or do online you risk the potential of offending someone (or even just rubbing them the wrong way). But for a musician, writer, photographer or anyone in the creative arts it can get even worse. Your soul, your art, is on display… available for anyone to rip it to shreds.

Enter the world of The HatersThe Trolls. The Vociferous Nerds hiding in their parent’s basement behind a bag of half-eaten cheese doodles, whose job is to make everyone they encounter online feel worthless.

The Twitter Troll has taken things to a whole new level. With the speed of delivering a text message, your ego and self worth can be crushed by a simple tweet sent from someone completely unknown to you… and delivered publicly for the whole world to see.

Receiving negative feedback is hard. But if it’s honest feedback, most people can hold their head high and accept it for what it is; an opinion and potentially a suggestion for improvement. But if the tweet you receive happens to be from a gutless troll who does it for sport, your temper will flare quicker than they can lick the cheese dust from their chubby little fingers.

Your first reaction will be to fire off a quick (and probably juvenile) response, delivered in a crude tone similar to that of the troll’s. But you must resist. You must take the higher ground my young tweeter. You must take a moment and breathe deep… and remember these wise words: Think twice. Tweet once.

If their criticism has any value whatsoever (such as, “Your vocals are way too quiet in that song and makes it suck”), then you should respond to it. But… respond to it, not argue or fight about it.

For example I might respond with, “Hey man, thanks for your tweet. It’s tough deciding on that type of thing. I’ll keep your comment in mind during my next recording though.

Even for a hater, that type of response makes it pretty damn hard to deliver a venomous reply. Problem solved.

But if the tweet you receive is clearly from a troll (such as, “Dude, you suck. I hate your voice and the noise that comes out of your head sounds like a wet donut fart.”), all I can say to you is… Do Not Engage. Walk away. 

As tempting as it is to fight fire with fire, there is nothing to be gained. Ignore them. Even if the troll comes back for a second attempt, your refusal to engage will completely take the wind out of their sales and they’ll quickly move on to acquire a new (and easier) target.

Engaging in a war of words online is dangerous, especially on Twitter where your response can be instantly viewed by thousands. A childish reply can irreparably damage your career. You can lose the respect of both fans and the industry. You can come off as being childish and immature. You can come off as being someone who I don’t want to support or do business with. There is nothing to be gained.

Don’t Engage the Trolls. 

 Think Twice. Tweet Once.

SOURCE:
The Twitter Trolls: How to Deal with Criticism Online


Great! You’ve Got Their Attention – Now What? BY: BOB BAKER / MTT

Everyone wants attention. You want it too, right? Of course, you do.

In fact, that’s the first crucial step in marketing: getting people (specifically, your ideal fans) to simply notice you among all the noise and chaos of their busy lives.

It’s such a challenge to get that fleeting hint of attention these days, you probably put most of your “marketing” focus on that aspect alone. That’s why you celebrate every small gain you make in getting Facebook fan page likes, Twitter followers, email subscribers, YouTube views, LinkedIn connections, and more.

You should celebrate those wins. No doubt. But your marketing efforts shouldn’t end there. As I’ve been harping on a lot lately in my live workshops, what’s really important is what you do with attention once you have it.

Getting it is great. People notice you. You appear on their mental radars for a few moments (or minutes, if you’re lucky). Awesome! But then those good people move on to other things and sadly forget about you.

What’s a self-promoting musician to do?

The answer: Build some sort of interactive element or “call to action” into many of the things you post online (including Facebook updates, tweets, videos, audio clips, images, etc).

One example of how this works can be found in a video that guitarist Walt Pitts published on YouTube recently. (Walt is one of only a handful of musicians I do some part-time consulting work for.)

Walt had an idea for a series of videos he would record at home that featured him playing live using a Boss Loop Station, which allows him to play and layer multiple guitar parts live.

Before posting his first video to YouTube, Walt sent me a sample to get my thoughts. Of course, his playing was great. But I noticed right away that he had positioned the camera to shoot vertically, so there were large empty spaces to either side of the frame.

Walt explained that he did it that way to capture everything – from the hat he wears and the guitars on the wall behind him to the footwork of hitting the effects pedals. This was also a good representation of what Walt does when he performs live.

I understood, but all that wasted space on the screen was bugging me. So I encouraged him to create some text and graphics that would use the empty space to let people know who he was and remind them of how to reach him.

Here’s what he came up with:

If I were to get hyper critical, I might make the text and graphics a little less cluttered. But I love the way the description on the left side explains who Walt is and what he does. And at the top right you find a clear call to action that invites people who need a solo guitarist in the Phoenix area to contact him.

This is a smart way to make great use of whatever attention this video gets.

(I also gave Walt the specific words to use in the title, description and tags of this video to help it get “discovered” in searches, but that’s a topic for another day.)

Compare this video treatment to your own music videos – or blog posts, fan page updates, etc. When a potential fan sees your stuff for the first time, do you make it clear who you are and what you do?

Do you have an “engagement objective” (a phrase I just made up) for every piece of content you publish? In other words, what do you want people to DO after they watch, read or listen to it?

From now on, decide ahead of time what those answers are. Then design the various things you post online to make the best use of the attention you get online and off.

What do you think? Have other examples of effective engagement and call-to-action strategies? I welcome your comments.

UPDATE: Since there are some fervent comments below concerning the design and use of effective calls-to-action, I wanted to share a link to this How to Master the Design of Compelling Calls-to-Action post on Hubspot. Some good advice there.

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Online,” Berkleemusic’s “Music Marketing 101” course, and many other books and promotion resources for DIY artists, managers and music biz pros. You’ll find Bob’s free ezine, blog, podcast, video clips, and articles at www.TheBuzzFactor.com and www.MusicPromotionBlog.com.

 

SOURCE:
Great! You’ve Got Their Attention – Now What?


Artist Publicity, and Promotion

A publicist is a person that is in charge of your publicity. What does this mean? A publicist is entrusted with the task of generating buzz for an artist’s music and newsworthy information to the public. Publicists write media friendly press releases that directed at many different media outlets for the purpose of announcing something. Press releases are common in the field of public relations (PR). The goal of a press release is to attract positive media attention to clientS of PR professionals and provide publicity for products or events marketed by those clients.

Bob Merlis on Artist, Publicity, and Promotion

Bob Merlis is the owner of Merlis For Hire, an independent publicity firm based out of Los Angeles. In this clip, Bob speaks about different methods of exposure, promotion, publicity and the various services his company provides for up and coming artists.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

Reference:
Artists House Music. “Bob Merlis on Artist, Publicity, and Promotion.” Video. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Jan. 2012. <www.artistshousemusic.org/videos/bob+merlis+on+artist+publicity+and+promotion>.


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