Pay it Forward: Self Promotion is Like a Job Search in the Recession
There comes a certain time in your music career where you recognize your friends like your music, and you become pretty well known locally. But what happens if you play somewhere else? No one knows you, you are just a stranger, and even worst, no one shows up to your show?
If you are reading this more than likely you want to say , well that's because the locals you played with didn't have any draw.
This may be true, but what could you have done? Did you contact any local bloggers? Did you reach out to local news papers/ media? Did you create flyers and contact a local radio station the day of tour to record a session? Do you have a mailing list or street team promoting your shows?
All of these are reasons why self promotion is important. Working for yourself can at times make you feel like you are some sort of ego driven narcissistic jerk, but its a necessary evil to allow the wheel to keep moving and the word to keep spreading. Here are a five fundmental tips to get yourself promoted.
1) Use Social Media and Analytics
Managing and cultivating a social media page will not only allow you to engage your followers and fans, but it will help people know when your shows, record releases and any other band related events occurs. Make sure to strategically cross promote across platforms and use analytics to time your postings effeciently.
2) Learn how to write your own Press Release
I learned how to write a press release through an old friend when releasing Island (2013). Little does she know this was the most powerful thing she did for me and it has been instrumental in landing me reviews, shows, and many other strong relationships. Make sure you find someone in your corner that knows PR or try to teach yourself and get friends to review it for you.
3) Sell your Band as if it is your Brand
As uncomfortable as it sounds to say that you should sell yourself, it's not being a sell out. Learn to show who you are and appeal yourself for what you are worth. Always remember, that anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. This will take a lot of failure , but being yourself can go a long way and this is through songwriting and communicating with others on and off the stage.
4) Always always have merchandise
When you are at a show make sure you have people who leave a part of you at home. Whether it be stickers, tapes, tshirts, or even an email to develop a mailing list. Make sure you always do that, over time this will grow and grow and grow and before you know it more people will enjoy who you are .
5) Talk to people
I know it sounds very oversimplified, but simply talking to people on or offline will literally get you in great places. In the end of the day not everyone will like you or your music, but if you stay persistent , you will find where you belong.
Overall, I have been still learning many many tricks of the trade in bettering my craft as a songwriter , musician, performer and a self managed artist, but what is most important is that you are able to engage and gather a message to people that makes them believe in you.
Stay persistent, Remain Consistent, and Never Give Up!