So I’m on my Saturday morning coffee run at a local joint called Joe Van Gogh when I unexpectedly experience a great example of unconventional music marketing. While the barista readies my organic Ethiopian blend, I peruse the bags of coffee being displayed at the counter when I see it: a limited-time specialty brew care of a local indie Americana quartet called Mipso. After reading a bit more about the band and the HARMONY BLEND promotion they thought up, I had to pick their brains a bit.
There’s no worse feeling than pouring a ton of time, energy, and money into a musical project that no one ever sees. Unfortunately, this is something that far too many musicians have experienced. As a publicist and blogger myself, my first recommendation is always to budget for a publicist when you’re outlining your release plan. Publicists aren’t cheap, but there’s a reason for that: they’ve spent their careers building and maintaining their relationships, honing their writing and pitching skills, and identifying the best stories and angles for each and every artist.
It’s no easy task, as you’re about to learn. But if you have a shoestring budget and simply can’t afford to hire a publicist right now, take a look at this DIY PR guide and learn how to get your next release the blog coverage it deserves.
Your music always comes first – it’s the contact point for new fans and it’s the whole reason you’re here. But beyond the music, your story is a huge part of your artistry. It’s what gives context to the music and what can turn a casual fan into a long term listener. A compelling story is also a great way to get press, influencers, and industry connectors hooked into your band. So when my musician friends ask, “How do I get press?”, I tell them to lead with a great song and a better story.
Everyday the music industry seeks out ReverbNation artists to book on stages, license their songs, sign to labels and more through exclusive opportunities. To celebrate the hundreds of emerging artists selected for these opportunities, we’re going to share a random sample of five every week on this blog. Let’s go!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an assistant helping you with routine online stuff, like posting on social media the way you want, helping build your Twitter lists, informing you about new PR opportunities and doing other such handy things?
While web apps are rarely referred to as “assistants”, there are two tools I use actively and treat as virtual (literally) assistants – they are IFTTT and Zapier. IFTTT (stands for If This Then That) is a free app which I recommend you to start with.
Lesson number one of soliciting press for your songs: treat music journalists with respect. We go into a relationship with an artist with the best intentions. After all, we can’t do our jobs unless you do yours well. A song premiere, review, interview, or think piece about your band can introduce your music to new pods of rabid fans and raise your profile considerably.
But when you make the following six mistakes, you can kiss press coverage goodbye forever.
In today’s music landscape, emerging artists are expected to do everything yourself, and that includes music PR. Long gone are the days where A&Rs discover you in smoky bars and dictate your entire persona and image. Not only are A&Rs and labels no longer a necessity, but they often expect you to already have a following, a brand and a style before you even get a reply to your email or a meeting on the books. This is because every single tool you need to “make it” is already available to you. A label or partnership is just icing on the cake (and/or a bank loan, really).
Ozzy Osbourne. Aerosmith. Zac Brown Band. Kid Rock. The Doobie Brothers. These are just a few legends who have performed at the world’s largest motorcycle festival, Sturgis Buffalo Chip, and this year 5 bad-ass ReverbNation bands will be selected to play at the nine-day festival. The Best Party Anywhere® is located three miles east of Sturgis, SD, on 600 scenic acres of open land. Sturgis isn’t like any other festival; audience members rev their engines to show their approval of an artist, there are nonstop bike races and art exhibitions, and even though you’ll run into people from all walks of life, there’s a huge sense of solidarity.
For an emerging band this can be quite a memorable experience, and that’s why we got the scoop from festival organizer, Daymon Woodruff, on some essential things every artist needs to know before heading to Sturgis Buffalo Chip: have few good covers in your arsenal, consider playing more than one night, read the Essential Guide, and most of all don’t be scared to get a little dirty and have A LOT of fun.