Playlists are something serious musicians can’t afford not to care about or pay attention to in today’s music industry. You probably already knew that though, unless you just got rescued from an island in the middle of the ocean that had no internet. Things like conventional radio and licensing placements can still be hugely influential in music, but playlists are becoming so popular that many seasoned music industry professionals worry the listening format is pushing out traditional albums. By now, most of us have heard of success stories in music where artists get featured on huge playlists and become hugely successful shortly after. But the truth is that playlists are still new as listening formats, and they work much better for some artists than others.
Running a DIY PR campaign can be exhilarating (because you’re in control of your own destiny) or it can be exhausting (because you have no idea what you’re doing.) Or, very often, it can be both. After all, it is exciting to know that you have at your fingertips the power to pitch and get in front of whoever you want. That if you can just nail the perfect pitch, and find the perfect place to pitch it, that your entire career could change with just the click of the “send” button.
Pretty cool, right?
For this article, we’re working with the assumption that you’ve already done the work of perfecting your pitch and creating a stellar EPK, filled with all the assets. If so, you might be wondering—ok I’ve done that…now…where do I even begin to pitch?!
While there are a ton of ways to pitch your music to music blogs, and I’ll go into them quickly below, we’re focusing mainly on some of those outside the box placements today. These ones are going to be just as fun as they are practical, and they’re bound to get you in front of a totally new audience.
For many music fans, a feeling of intimacy is what makes them feel most connected to the songs they love, whether they’re being played at home or live on stage. But from a musician’s perspective, creating music that feels a certain way when it’s recorded is often challenging to replicate in a live setting where the pressure of having one chance to get things right often dominates the performance. Intimacy in live performances can be a big challenge for musicians, it’s one of the characteristics that make playing on stage special, so it’s something you should care about.
Whether it’s sending music to a local venue in hopes of landing an opening spot at a big show or reaching out to blogs and playlists in an effort to get featured, pitching music is an integral part of making progress as an unestablished artist. It’s also an incredibly frustrating experience for many musicians who always seem to be pitching their work but never see the results they’re looking for. It makes perfect sense why so many musicians loathe writing pitches when most, if not all of them, usually end up getting sucked down into a digital black hole in which messages never return. The good news is that there are things we can do as artists to drastically increase our chances of catching the attention of music journalists and curators.
Most of the time, it comes down to remembering one very important thing: empathy.
Playing in a major city is always an exciting experience. While it takes a lot of planning to set up a successful show, it can also be very rewarding in the end. The most obvious advantage of playing in a major city is that you get exposure to more audiences and to different niche groups that might not exist in smaller towns. But there is also more competition, which is why planning, strategy, and flexibility are key for playing concerts in major cities.
Fortunately, we live in the age of social media and we can start spreading the word about our upcoming show to people beforehand. Even if we don’t have a fanbase in that city, we can still target certain audiences, demographics, and people who listen to artists who have similar sounds to us. This will not only build word of mouth marketing, but it will also lead the way for playing in more venues and selling more tickets. Read on for 10 tips to build an audience in a major city:
When you’ve been working behind the scenes on your album for the last couple of months or maybe even years, getting it out into the world can seem like a huge relief. But let’s not forget to celebrate this for what it is—a huge accomplishment! I mean you took this one idea and you made it into a full-blown reality, and that is HUGE!
So take a second to celebrate your success and how far you’ve come, because although it can be easy to just move right on to the next thing, I think it’s important to remember that what you’ve just accomplished is a big deal, and if we don’t take the time to really appreciate our accomplishments, what’s the point?
Ok, now that you’ve celebrated, if your album has been out for a little bit and organic interest has died down, you might start to wonder, “Is this it?” All that prep and after a couple weeks the buzz is gone?”
Don’t get discouraged! There’s a way to revive interest and we’re going to talk about it today.
For the uninitiated, touring often appears like a glamorous affair filled with big, rewarding shows capped off with fun nights that play out in exciting different cities. Touring certainly can be fun and rewarding, but there’s an immense amount of work and sacrifice involved, and, depending on what’s going on with your project, it’s often not worth it. But setting inaccurate reputations aside, many bands set out to tour knowing full well they won’t likely earn money, fans, or acclaim by doing so when there are much better ways to build their careers. Here are a few things unestablished bands should focus on early in their careers instead of touring: