You can use Fiverr.com to promote your band.
Most bands are unaware that Fiverr even exists, let alone aware that they can get their band valuable press coverage for $5. Why? I think it’s because it takes a lot of pull to get bands away from social media spamming (Facebook, Twitter, etc) and start to promote themselves in creative and unique ways.
The tagline of Fiverr is “The place for people to share things they would do for $5”. Simple enough. If you run a business, this is a place where you can outsource anything from press pieces and search engine optimization to advertising and facebook likes. And guess what? If you run a band, you run a business. Fiverr gives you a chance to start outsourcing.
That’s not to say that every opportunity on Fiverr is going to get you very far. Think of it as a cumulative effort – planting seeds. Each opportunity only costs $5 after all. But I encourage you to think of the possibilities for your band. Sonrisa FM, for example, will positively review your band for $5. Another freelancer will provide you a video review (excellent for Youtube promotion of your band) for $5. I offer band interviews and other opportunities as well on Fiverr.
If you are against paid reviews, open your mind for a moment and consider this. Reviews take time and provide valuable coverage. They build your profile as a band, and the idea that reviewers should not be paid for their efforts has to go. The reason that Stereogum or Pitchfork do not charge is that, first of all, they are two of the very few music blogs popular enough to pay their writers from advertising revenue. Also, chances are very high that you will never hear from them. Extremely high, in fact. They receive thousands of submissions weekly. The music industry has changed drastically in the past 20 years, and the market is oversaturated. You can go the “straight and narrow” route and simply ship out your 200 CD’s to your favorite record labels and music blogs, and most likely get 10-20 reviews depending on the quality of your music and how many of these destinations even opened your package.
Or you can try everything. Instead of paying a publicist, outsource your own reviews and coverage. Put a small investment into furthering your band and guarantee yourself some reviews from the starting line. The Doors used to request THEMSELVES on Los Angeles radio to give “Break On Through” some initial traction, so that may bust some of your illusions. “Pure artists” don’t necessarily stay at home and have companies call them up because of their soulful tunes. In order to begin to compete with the big players, you need to generate some tangible coverage fast. If you know your music is the real deal, you shouldn’t have any issue with ordering coverage.
The main benefit of Fiverr is that other people are talking about you. The more outside sources that talk about your band, the better. The main issue most bands have with their marketing strategy is that they are mainly talking about themselves on networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This tactic is unfortunately an illusion, and beyond fan participation and community building, it doesn’t work very well. It can come across as bragging. I would encourage any independent band to get as many different sources as possible to spread the word about your music. It’s not just reviews, too. There are tons of different services you’ll find when searching through the site. Use your intuition to choose the best ones.
For more ideas, read my “3 Ways Indie Bands Can Use Fiverr To Their Advantage” piece.