absolute first thing that you must decide even before
deciding to promote your band is "Why am I doing
this?" Is this something you really want to
succeed? Are you willing to put your heart, soul and
every single second of your life into making this
band successful? The answers to these questions must
be a resounding YES. Otherwise you're probably just
you've decided that you're willing to do whatever it
takes, you must face the fact that your band is a
business. You must treat it like a business from the
very beginning. Taking this standpoint makes the
promotion end of things much clearer. Look around you
at other businesses. How do they promote themselves?
Most, if not all, of the standard business promotions
will work for a band.
the first thing every band does is flyers. Flyers are
cheap and they work. How about using business cards?
While not quite as cheap as flyers to produce,
they're just as effective and much more businesslike.
People generally keep business cards, while they
rarely keep flyers. Don't forget that there are two
sides to a business card and it's not that expensive
to print a slogan, demo offer, or other information
on the back of your cards. If you have a computer and
printer at home, you might want to look into printing
cards yourself. Card stock is widely available at
office supply stores and is inexpensive.
you're still thinking about flyers and business
cards, don't overlook press releases. A press release
is a simple statement about what you are doing at any
given time. Send them information when you are
involved with a big show, when you're recording a new
demo, etc. Send them to local newspapers, radio
stations, to anyone you want to keep informed about
your band. Start keeping copies of not only your
originals, but of any clippings from newspapers that
print your items.
you will want to put together a press/promotion package of your band.
The industry standard is to have an 8x10 black and
white photo of either yourself (if you are a single
artist) or the band together. Don't wear lots of
patterns. It's usually better to wear solid
colours...stay away from white around the face. Wear
colours that are bright.....They tend to show up
better in black and white. Try to look natural. Don't
over smile. Don't back light your photo's, as it
distracts from the pictures' subjects. There are very
good professional photographers that can give you
suggestions...You'll do fine if you remember K.I.S.S.
(keep it simple stupid).
with a photo you'll need a brief biography on each
member of the band as well as an overall biography on
the band itself. A little introduction about who you
are, where you come from and where you're going. What
is your purpose and goal, what is your experience?
All of this framed around the idea "why you
should hire me." Typically each band member
writes a small paragraph about themselves and their
own personal experiences so that the reader gets an
idea of the personalities that make up the band.
way to both promote your band and get free publicity
is to contact local charities and non-profit
organizations. Offer to play a benefit for them. If
they agree, you not only get a gig but you'll get
great promotion mileage. Anytime you can play a
benefit - do it. Then announce it to the press,
including all radio and television stations in your
area. One good benefit can give you free advertising
for months. As with any business, the primary focus
should always be keeping your name out in front of
your target market.
friends with your local reporters, DJ's, the
receptionist who answers the phone at the radio
station and newspaper, anyone who might be able to
assist you with anything. Most of these people are
very nice and would probably enjoy your music. It
will definitely pay off big if you're nice to them.
Send them things. Along with your press release send
a handwritten note or card thanking them in advance
for passing along your information. If you have a
demo tape, send them a copy with a handwritten note
asking for their feedback. If you have T-shirts, send
them one. Whatever you send them, always send along a
handwritten note either thanking them or asking for
their opinions on something. This makes sure you stay
in their minds. It flatters them to think that their
opinions matter and they will be more inclined to do
more for you. Don't waste their time, however. Don't
become a nuisance and send them things too often. You
have to realize that these are very busy people,
appreciate that and only send information to them
when you have something to report.
areas have public access television. For a nominal
fee you can produce your own TV show. While this does
offer somewhat limited exposure it can reach a
different marketplace for your music. Not to mention
that you can then put "as seen on TV" on
all your flyers, business cards, press releases, etc.
Demo tapes and CDs
are great marketing tools providing they are good
enough, sound quality wise, to adequately show off
your material. If you have a demo that's lacking in
sound quality (noise, etc.) there are people
experienced in re-mastering and post-production who
can probably fix that.
your band as a business and you may be rewarded by a
successful band. Treat your band only as "play
time" and it's likely that's all you'll get --
time to play. Always remember your objective: to
expose as many people as possible to your band and
your music. As long as you remember that, you can
find an almost infinite number of methods to achieve
You Being Ripped Off?
We've all heard about these so called Artist
Promotion companies who advertise in the back pages
of the musical press offering performers a fast track
into the big time. The music biz has always been
about the mixing of cash and talent. You bring your
talent to the deal and the record companies their
investment. While not all of these outfits are
deliberately setting out to rip-off unsuspecting
musicians, have you ever heard a positive report from
anyone who has paid for their services? Therefore,
before considering using the services of one of these
companies, ask yourself the following three
1) Do you ever
buy compilation CDs featuring unknown bands and
styles of music and that record shops want to stock a
product like that?
2) Do you believe
that a demo which has previously been rejected by a
record company would subsequently be accepted if
offered in CD form, or accompanied by a photo, CV
3) Do you believe
that someone who is paid £500 to try to achieve a
result will work as hard as someone who receives
£500 if and when they achieve a result?