Behind the Opportunity: Sneak Attack Media

Sneak Attack Media is a boutique digital marketing and creative services agency based in NYC. Since its inception in 2006, Sneak Attack has worked with some of the biggest artists in the world including The Cult, Tom Petty, and many more. We chatted with Marni Wandner, the President of Sneak Attack Media, to learn how artists can market themselves like a pro.

Hey Marni, thanks for chatting with us and we’re excited to launch the Sneak Attack Artist Reboot opportunity! As President of Sneak Attack Media, can you give us an introduction to the company?

Hi!  We’re excited for the launch as well – we’re looking forward to being able to help a lot of artists navigate the crazy world of promoting their own music. We’re extremely passionate about putting the keys back into artists’ hands and giving them the map they need to build their own fanbases.

Sneak Attack is a boutique digital marketing and creative services agency based in New York City. This year marks 10 years of promoting entertainment and lifestyle brands through innovative digital strategy, and collaboration directly with our amazing clients.

We tend to do things a little differently than most marketing and PR companies so each campaign is quite different, and our clients are people who think outside the box right alongside us.

What does Sneak Attack Media offer artists?
Sneak Attack offers creative online PR, grassroots digital marketing, social media strategy, content creation and consultation, creative promotions, and influencer partnerships.  Some of our campaigns are a few months long, some go on for years.  

At what point in an artist’s career should they consider working with a marketing and creative services agency?
It really depends on what results they’re looking for, and what kind of campaign they want.  For social media campaigns, we’ve worked with artists who are starting from scratch.  We’ve literally created social media profiles for artists launching a brand new project.

For artists that come to us for PR, very often we need to see that they have done a bit of work on their own end to get themselves to a certain point before we jump in, but that’s why we created the Reboot Program which was designed to give artists the tools they need to get themselves to the point where they do need extremal PR.

What are some factors an artist should consider before hiring an agency?
I think the most important thing is to make sure that the agency you’re talking to understands who you are as an artist, your image, your “brand.”  Of course, you want to make sure they love the music but you also want to make sure you’re very much on the same page with regard to your vision.  You want to make sure your team consists of people you’ll want to work closely with because the most effective campaigns are the ones that feel like a partnership.

You also want to make sure that the agency’s promises are realistic.  If it sounds too good to be true, it just might be – if it feels exciting but also in the realm of possibility, it’s probably a good fit.

How has the rapid evolution of the digital landscape influenced how artists market themselves?
It’s changing every second!  Artists have to to do SO much more work on their own these days – they have to stay on top of trends and changes in social media, they have to be active on their own platforms, and they have to be continuously creative with how to promote their music.  They also have to do all of this without  being salesy which is an art in itself and that’s something we have our clients with a lot.

With so many platforms out there, how does an artist determine what one(s) are right for them? Is it better to be on all of them or focus on certain ones?
We get asked this all the time, and the good news is, you don’t have to drive yourself bananas mastering every single platform out there – you’d never leave your house again. We usually tell artists to focus on a few key platforms to start, grow a real fanbase on those, and then move onto others.  In terms of which ones to focus on – that depends on the artist.  If you love using Twitter and you’ve started to grow a little following there – give Twitter more of your attention and make sure you’re using it proactively and that you’re aware of everything you can be taking advantage of on the platform.  Ideally, you’d have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube but you have to start somewhere so if you need to grow your following on Twitter and then get that crowd to check out your content on YouTube, etc – that’s the start of your marketing strategy, and that’s what works for you.

I will say that I think it’s extremely important for all artists to have an email list – that is how you’re going to be able to convert fans to consumers, so that should be your ultimate goal.  You also do need a website – it’s so easy to create good ones these days, and that’s a place on the web that you own.

What are the benefits of hiring an agency versus taking a DIY approach?
It just depends what your goals are and where you are in your career.  Most of our clients are at a point where they know what they can do, and they know what they need help on, and that’s where we step in.  If you really have done all you can by yourself, then maybe it is time to talk to an agency and see how they can work alongside what you’re doing to create a full-fledged marketing strategy, and to execute it – or to help with very specific tasks like pursuing press coverage or brand/influencer partnerships.

If there are things you can still do, and would rather do, on your own, maybe you need an agency to consult and advise a bit, to point you in the right direction.

As an emerging artist, how much money should someone dedicate to marketing themselves?
Again, that depends on the artist and whether they’re spending the money on an agency or on promotions they’re setting up themselves. There are many different packages out there and many different promotional initiatives you can do yourself.  The most important thing is to make sure you’re focused on what you want to get in return for your investment, which is why it’s important to get clear what kind of promotion you’re ready for, and what you really need in the moment.

What are some important factors to consider when planning a digital marketing campaign?
I think the place to start is defining your own brand – who are you, why do you do what you do, what are you all about (aside from being a musician).  All of these questions help you to create your voice, and the content you’ll be creating to generate a connection with your fans – existing and new.  

Also, timeline – how much time can you commit to building up your presence before releasing it.  We get calls sometimes for artists who want help marketing their debut release only to find they’ve already put it on Spotify and Apple Music etc – in that case, it would have been much better to to plan a number of months before the release and to work with a company like ours to build a strategy and create demand for the music.

Finally, can you give us your top 5 tips on how to optimize your social media presence?

  1. Keep it consistent: don’t take a two week break after building up momentum
  2. Keep it current: when someone goes to your socials, they should know immediately what you have going on – try to avoid an old pinned post or an outdated cover image
  3. Keep it diverse! Mix in a good amount of posts that are personality-driven to ensure that every post is not promotional
  4. Keep it conversational: always remember that social media is a conversation, not a megaphone
  5. Keep it authentic: Your social media presence is an extension of you, so be yourself with everything you post. Because, hey – you’re awesome.



Sneak Attack Media Opportunity:
Sneak Attack Media will select one (1) ReverbNation artist to receive a complimentary Reboot Program – a deep-dive audit of the artist’s current promotional strategy along with a fully customized marketing plan. The plan will equip the selected artist with the tools to define their brand, grow their following, and optimize their marketing strategy. Sneak Attack Media’s clients have included: Nathaniel Rateliff, Motörhead, The English Beat, Tori Amos, Florence + the Machine, Tove Lo, Lou Reed, The Cult, Umphrey’s McGee, Rob Zombie, Ani DiFranco, and many more. Submit here.


To learn more about Sneak Attack’s Reboot Program, please visit:

MikeBehind the Opportunity: Sneak Attack Media

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