Friday, September 23, 2016

Here Are 5 Way More Interesting Things You Can Pitch To Music Blogs

If you’re disappointed that you aren’t getting a lot of attention from blogs, magazines, and other outlets despite your pitching efforts, think about what you're trying to get. Keep in mind that these places are pitched every day with thousands of people begging for interviews, reviews, and general features.
It’s fine to ask for these, but it’s difficult to stand out. Writers and editors only have so much time, and when everyone is requesting the same things (or worse, nothing in particular, just “coverage”), it all blends together.
Why not try telling these publications that you’re willing to go out of your way to try something totally different? The effort will be appreciated, as will the options you put out there. Here are a few alternative ideas that might make you much more interesting to the outlets you’ve been reaching out to.

Monday, September 19, 2016

You want your tour to be a success, of course, and there’s plenty of things you can do to make it happen. It’s best to start promoting before you hit the road, but if you’ve already departed for the first town, you can still find ways to promote the very next show and increase your chances of a successful tour.
Here’s one secret: invite the local music industry folks to come out to your shows. 
By “industry,” I don’t mean record label A&R execs or artist managers. There’s no need to reach out to these folks; they will find you when you’re ready. You should focus on reaching out to radio show hosts, DJs, bloggers, and local promoters in each market. If you offer the right incentives, they'll not only come to your show, they’ll write about it, snap and post live photos on their blogs and social media, and spin your tracks on their radio shows.
Here’s what you do: Find an FM college station, an internet station, a blogger, and a local promoter in each town on your tour. You can search the internet, or use music companies that specialize in this work. If you go it alone on the internet, it’s more work, but it can be done. Do an online search of each town’s media outlets and put them in a spreadsheet with their contact information.
Next, you need to get their attention. Here are three ways to get industry attention and bring them to your show.

Give away VIP tickets to your shows to "industry" only

Of course there are a million other summer touring bands, but with the right strategy, you can stand apart and get noticed. 
  • Reach out via phone. If no one picks up, leave a message with your band name, venue, date, and time of your show, and offer free tickets to a specific person’s name at the station or publication. 
  • Send an email. An effective subject line is crucial. Use this format: "[Band Name] at [Venue Name] this Friday – free tickets for [Radio Station + Host Name]. For example: "Steve Law Band playing Larimer Lounge this Friday – free tickets for Dave at Rock On Colorado." Repeat the subject line in the body of the email, and include a link to your band’s music.
  • Use social media. Conveniently, the same email subject line works in a tweet or Facebook post as well. It’s always good to include a personal note regarding their show or blog in your message, or you’ll come off spammy. This is not supposed to be easy, so do your homework and be creative!

Offer the station or blog free ticket giveaways to their audiences

If your VIP invitation to the local DJ or blogger is politely declined, come back with an offer to give away tickets on their radio program. The benefits of a ticket giveaway during the radio program is two-fold: one, it works as free promotion for your show, and two, increases your chances of getting your music spun. You’ve just bought yourself radio promotion for the low, low price of a handful of tickets that you didn’t even purchase anyway, which means literally zero out-of-pocket costs.

Have hardcopy CDs and band one-sheet ready for industry VIPs

Now let’s say the DJ or blogger has taken you up on your invitation. Give them the VIP treatment. Have hardcopy CDs waiting for them, with a one-sheet bio and/or press release about your band and tour. Typed one-sheets make it easier for radio and press to talk about your band while spinning or posting your music. You can’t buy publicity like this any cheaper. 
At this point, you may be asking yourself: If I give away all these tickets to my shows, how can I make any money on my tour? After all, there are plenty of expenses on the road – gas, food, etc. Should I really be giving away all these free tickets? 
The answer: Yes, definitely. You should pack your shows, even if you have to comp every ticket. 
Keep in mind, early on you’re not trying to make money by touring. You’re actually trying to build and grow your fanbase. A packed house with only 10 paying customers is better than 10 people in the club, all of whom paid to get in. True, the door receipts are exactly the same. But consider this: 
  • A packed house is a better music experience for everyone in the room.
  • You have more opportunities for merch sales.
  • The venue is happy. In fact, everyone is happy. It’s win-win-win across the board.
And, your band has the potential for radio spins, blog reviews, more photos and social media posts, and solid contacts for the next time you blow through town.
Think of it like this: By reaching local industry folks along every stop of your tour, you’re building “connectors.” Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, explains how “connectors” can help a new idea (your band) spread like wildfire, or, as we say in the music industry, that elusive “magic dust” your band needs to go from obscurity to ubiquity.

[via SonicBids]

Friday, September 16, 2016

5 Things To Do If You're Feeling Stuck In Your Music Career

That old adage that "it’s all about who you know" isn't nearly as powerful as how someone knows you. got to know you, though; it’s what happens before the relationship starts and how you carry it on after.
It’s deeper than just how they 
When you’re feeling stuck, turning your attention to building relationships is the single best antidote. Here are five things that you can do today to get unstuck while making your relationships stick.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

9 Secrets From Indie Artists for Selling a Ton of Merch After Their Shows

You packed the house. You had a fantastic performance. The entire crowd loved every minute of your set. Now you have to turn that enthusiasm into album and T-shirt sales. How do you go about doing that? That's a question I asked a few indie hip-hop artists who are masterful at the merch table in hopes of finding out some of their secrets to success. What I ended up learning from Jake Palumbo, Tah Phrum Duh Bush, Toussaint Morrison, Joey Batts, and N.M.E. The Illest is a little something I like to call The Nine Merch Commandments.
Like Biggie said, "There's rules to the shit," so grab your CDs, your T-shirts, and your smartphone credit card reader (if you don't already have one of those, consider it your 10th commandment), because here's your manual.

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Set Up a Killer Merch Table at Your Next Show

As a live music fan, I spend a lot of my time between sets scouring the band's merch tables.
Sometimes I rush in knowing exactly what I want, and other times it's a kind of listless wandering, where I'm just waiting for something to jump out at me. But what about the fans who don't ever stop by, or who come by only to leave seconds later because they can't make sense of what you have to offer? How can bands attract the attention of not only new fans, but also future fans?

Friday, September 9, 2016

3 Promotional Tactics for Selling More Band Merch Online

Social media can help you boost sales of online merch, but there's more to marketing your shop than you might guess. Treating your online store more like any other online retailer by using promotional tactics could boost your profits – and the popularity of your shop in general. We've outlined three basic, tried-and-true strategies for online merch sales below. Once implemented, share them on social media. And, of course, as with any sort of discount, be sure to factor in the cost of production to make sure you're not losing money. Consider shipping, too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

5 Band Merch Items That Were So Crazy, They Actually Worked

It's New Year's Eve and you've been standing in line for hours waiting to get into the [insert corporate name here] arena. It's been eight long months since you've bought the $500 ticket to see your favorite rock outfit, Justin Bieber and the Looney Tunes. Finally, the doors open. You, your best friend, and that one person who always tags along rush through the doors to get into yet another line, but this one is important. This line is for the merchandise.
When seeing a big-name act such as this, merchandise is overpriced, but an essential part of the experience. It's a rite of passage. It's proof that you were at this monumental event. You'll likely wear the T-shirt from this concert for years until it becomes a tattered shred of its former self. Then, it will be tossed away with minimal thought.
To the average person, merchandise may just be a souvenir of sorts. Even for big-name acts, merchandise is nothing more than a convenient way to promote their brand. For the local musician, however, merchandise means much more.
As you may or may not know, the music industry has taken a nose dive. It's no longer easy to make money selling records. There's far more competition. Plus, technology has made it easier to obtain recordings for free. If a band just starting out wants a chance at profiting, they need to hit the road. That in itself is no easy task, and the payoff isn't anything grand. To supplement income, most bands go the way of merchandise. Even then, that's usually not enough to support the operation.
According to a recent survey, merchandise only accounts for the smallest percentage of income compared to performances, sound recordings, and donations. Don't let the statistics deter you, though. As they say, you have to spend money to make money. Merchandise is a tremendous way to advertise your brand in a creative way. To stir up some wacky ideas, here are five band merchandise products that are so crazy, they actually worked.

Monday, September 5, 2016

3 Things Your Fans Will Gladly Give You Money For

Let’s talk about superfans. Most artists have that small segment of fans who are crazy about them and their music, but they don’t give their superfans the opportunity to support them on the level they want.
Let me explain. Think of your all-time favorite artist  the one that you always catch when they’re touring through town and always buy their albums. Chances are you’re probably willing to spend a lot of money on that artist. But  and here’s the real problem  for most artists, fans are only given the chance to spend $10 on an album or maybe $40 on some merch. This is fine for the casual fans, but true superfans would totally spend more on their favorite artists  if they’re given the chance.
In a sense, you’re essentially capping off your own earning potential by only allowing your fans to spend $10–$40. You can’t blame your fans for not spending enough money on your music if you’re not giving them the opportunity.
Now, I know it’s easy to feel like higher end products are more difficult and costly to make, so today I’m going to go through a few easy and relatively inexpensive things that will be really valuable to your superfans.

Friday, September 2, 2016

How To Book Gigs

You’ve spent hours and hours honing your live set to perfection, and now you’re finally ready to start the process of booking your first gig. Or maybe you’ve played a few shows
already, but it seems that your same group of friends are the only people showing up. It’s easy to stagnate in this spot for a while, so how do you take your gigs to the next level?
There’s a ton of information out there about how to promote your gigs, but none of that matters unless you’re actually booking great gigs in the first place. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through exactly what it takes to get booked, how to find great gigs, and how to pitch venues like a pro. Let’s get started!