How do you get more press than other bands? It’s actually quite simple, and over half the work is accomplished by switching your mindset from one of an artist who is being “affected by the world” to a serious artist who is affecting the world with ease. The term serious implies you take the time to promote yourself. You don’t wait for someone to throw you a bone.
The following is an excerpt from “Your Band Is A Virus – Expanded Edition” from the Chapter “My Strategy of Behind-the-Scenes Marketing”. Here I’m sharing 5 out of the 13 tactics I share in the chapter. Further information covered in the book includes embracing the user-content revolution, the normal route done right, embracing the ego, donating to blogs you respect, launching your own platform and cross-promoting, advertising, and a full navigation through the controversial world of paid reviews. Some of the information is so counter-intuitive to the current industry that I prefer to share it with the book readers only.
The below excerpt alone should provide you with some counter-intuitive tips you’ve never heard before, and I hope they help you on your path!
Build A Freelance Army
Post an ad on Craigslist looking for quality freelance writers who want to write music reviews, features, and interviews, and are willing to pitch these pieces to various publications and blogs. Outsource reviews the same way you outsource advertising. Get people working on your behalf, because you’ll find that not many people are going to take up your mantle for free.
You would be extremely surprised as to the quality of writers you’ll hear from. Writers with multiple degrees, writers who contribute to top publications and magazines, you name it. There are no guarantees, but why not have them pitch your music to those publications? This is an inside track, and I’d go as far as to say it could be more lucrative than anything else you do promotion-wise.
We encourage you to check out “Staff” sections on music websites. Many music websites will have an area where they provide a list of their staff with email addresses, photos, music preferences, hobbies etc. Find someone you relate to and email people! Once again – have a conversation first and foremost. Many writers will even ignore great artists if the artist doesn’t take the time to engage them. Ask yourself, “What is a blog post worth to me?” If it’s worth $5, $10, $20 or even $50, it’s definitely worth some deep thought and a conversation.
As with conversation, so with emailing. Nothing gets people to light up more than to talk about what they’re interested in with the knowledge that someone is really listening. The blogger wants to be appreciated for their blogs the same way you want to be appreciated for your music. Once you understand that, you can start working on that premise. Independent Music Promotions
Support the Media
Independent media is at once thriving and collapsing. You would be surprised how much it helps when you retweet a review, share it on Facebook, or suggest it on Pinterest. It makes you look good to the place that supported you and opens the door to further coverage, and at the same time spreads your music to new potential fans by making your name more visible. It also exposes more people to the publication, making them more able to influence the success of deserving bands. Help them help you!
Drop the Unfounded Negativity
Somewhere along the line, the general perception of music reviewers, at least from the musician’s standpoint, became extremely negative. This is the same thing that has happened generally with the music industry. It’s a “no one is throwing me a bone” mentality. Seeing both sides of the coin, I have to say that musicians tend to show more ignorance when it comes to not realizing that no one owes them anything, especially time. It takes time to read your bio. It takes time to listen to your music. It definitely takes time to write about your music. Considering 99 percent of the people who write about music do it for the love of it without pay, it stands to reason that they should be respected, and that they are really no different from musicians. It’s merely a perceptual divide. Drop those misconceptions. They will only divide you from others. Fix that up and all of a sudden you are connected with another human being who is just like you.
Become a Stalker
Please note that this title is meant to be humorous and I in no way advocate any kind of harassment. Here’s the deal. There is no easy way to get your band featured in major publications such as Pitchfork, NME or Rolling Stone. Seeking out freelance writers and contributors can be a way to get in the door. You can find them through creative Google searches and appeal to them by getting personal through email. Check Blog Critics, Examiner.com, Technorati.com, About.com or Suite 101 and get in touch with the writers there.
Many writers for major blogs such as Pitchfork, the Aquarian Drunkard and Stereogum are freelance writers who write for a variety of publications. Also, most professional writers have their own blogs, Twitter accounts, and Linkedin profiles where their contact information is accessible. When you contact them, be polite and clear as to your intentions, and don’t take much of their time. There’s nothing wrong with “finding” someone as long as their information is readily available, they are treated with respect, and you only ask