Unless you have a major label money behind you, the ability to promote your music yourself is one of the most important skills you have to know.�With the little money you have, you can hire some PR people to run media Promo and Hypes for you, it is up to you to make sure people know about the music you are making by engaging some contacts where ever you are. Getting started can be a little stressful, however. These steps will help you start out on the right foot, and make sure all of the right people are standing up and taking notice of you.
1. Identify Your Goals�- When trying to promote your music, don’t try to cover too much ground at once. Look at the way larger artists are promoted – they have specific campaigns that promote their new music or video.�Once you choose what to promote, you will be able to make clear goals for yourself, i.e. if you want to promote through blogs/websites, then your goal is to bring traffic to the site. With these goals in mind, you’ll find it easier to come up with promotion ideas, and you’ll be better able to judge the success of your promotions.
2. Know When to Act Small�- This step ties in with targeting the right audience and identifying your goals – you can save a lot of time spinning your wheels by keeping the small stuff small. While it’s always useful to keep other people up to date with what’s happening in your career, that guy from club vegas doesn’t really need to know every time your are playing a half hour set at the local bar/club, especially if bloggers/websites hasn’t given you much coverage yet. When you’re getting started, the easiest place to start a buzz is your local area. Build up the small stuff to get to the bigger stuff.
3. Find Your Niche�- The sad truth is, every radio station, blogs, or fan for that matter, you are trying to reach is likely being bombarded with info from other music hopefuls. You must be able to stand out. Try to find something that will make people more curious about you – give them a reason to want to know more. Being different worked wonders for Terry G, Burna Boy�at the start of their career. You don’t have to tread same line that’s not your thinking you are gonna get the same attention the present top artiste is getting. Just find yours and work On it.. Burna Boy has that different tone … Those who tried to copy are no where to be found now.
4. Branding�- Get your name out there. Make up some artworks, posters or anything else you can think of that include your name or band’s name. Then, leave the stuff anywhere you can. Pass them out at your favorite eatery, clubs, leave them on the poster the light posts – go for it. Soon, your name will be familiar to people even if they don’t know why, and when they see your name in the paper advertising an upcoming show, they’ll think “hey…I know that name, am going and let’s see what he can offer.
5. Keep Track of Your Contacts�- As you go through all of these steps, chances are that you are going to pick up a lot of new contacts along the way. Some of these contacts will be industry people and some will be fans. Never lose track of a contact. Keep a database on your computer for the industry people you have met and another database of fan contacts. These databases should be your first port of call for your next promotional campaign – and these databases should always be growing.�Don’t write anyone off, even if you don’t get much feedback from them. You never know who is going to give you the break you need.
6. Grow your Database�- �When keeping tracks of the contacts you have, don’t be afraid to help your database grow by adding some “dream” contacts to your list. Is there an agent you want to take notice of you? Then include them on your press release mailing list or promo mailing list when you have big news to share. Let them know you’re still working and still building your career – pretty soon, they may be knocking on your door.
LASTLY Most Importantly !
7. Bribe/Sort People�- This is the hardest but the most important tip to stand out from the crowd is when you are expecting free stuff. DJs, Bloggers and OAPs love getting something for nothing, and also you’ll whip your fans into a frenzy (and get new fans) by giving stuff away. Some ideas:
Put some money behind the bar at a show and give free drink passes to all the industry people who come to check you out.
Give people on your mailing list an exclusive download once a month (be it a new song or an alternate version of a song) At gigs, raffle (for free) mix CDs made by the band – everyone who signs up to your mailing list at the show gets entered in the drawing.
Finally Pray and Work Hard And Surely Success Will Come….
Oke Femi �’Jaychoc’ (Petr. Engr., Online Media Expert/Advertiser, PR. Nigerian Music Analyst)
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