By: Mona Loring
DO-IT-YOURSELF MUSIC PR
As a professional artist your music career entails much more than song lyrics and an album. There is an actual business practice involved if you want to try and make a name for yourself. It’s not astronomic science, but it takes hard work and determination. Sure a great publicist can do wonders, but new artists can rarely afford one.
If you follow the steps below, you will at least take a step towards getting yourself out into the public eye and media. Remember, without these essential music publicity components, your career will stop short real quick!
Your bio shouldn’t be the typical birth date/birthplace formula. Take the time to devise a bio that is concise (should be about one page max) yet interesting. Don’t use the language that everyone else uses to describe their music. No one cares if you are the hottest band in the tri-county… they want to know WHY. Try to make your description stand out without sounding too odd or extreme. Write from the heart, after all isn’t your music your greatest passion? Write an intro that succinctly elucidates your sound and style. The intro can make or break you. If you start out by writing something boring, you will lose your audience. Go about your bio thinking that you and your music need to come across regardless of the reader knowing about you or hearing your music. The bio can be your first impression… make it last.
A picture speaks a thousand words. You don’t need to spend money on a professional photographer or buy new clothes. You don’t need a set or the perfect lighting. You need to be creative. No one wants to see another picture that has a band leaning against a wall ever again. Try something new. What’s your favorite thing in the world? Do you love tress? Fruit? Incorporate an original object in the photo. Now, keep in mind that even though you need to be creative, you should not forget that the photo needs to be clear, with enough lighting and YOUR FACE. People need to learn who you are after all.
These days there is nothing more important than an artist’s website. They are your key to the public. Nothing else will reach an audience as well as a website. Websites are easy and inexpensive to design yourself if you’re on a budget. You just have to purchase a template through your host. If possible though, get someone to help you design it. An artist’s website should include a bio, photo gallery, music (to listen to or even better—purchase!) upcoming show dates, and merchandise. Once you start getting press, you may want to show it off on there as well. If you have a Myspace, Sonic Bids or You Tube account, you can also link those on the site. Websites are relatively easy and inexpensive to create and maintain, but some artists just don’t have the means for one reason or another. Luckily these days all you really need is a free account with Myspace.com, Stickam.com and/or iSound.com and you’re all set! If this is the case, keep the same tips in mind and make the most of your site.
When you’re trying to garner media attention—or simply just a few CD reviews, you should have a press kit. A press kit is a professional “all about me” package that includes the following:
· Artist biography / History of the band
· Discography (if you have more than one EP or album)
· Color photo
· Contact information for the band's label, manager, publicist, or other representative
· Past tour dates/upcoming shows
Try and make your press kit as creative as possible. You don’t need to spend much on them; you can just buy folders from Staples and order photos of the band to include. This isn’t a cheap thing to do overall though. You need to take the time to not only make each kit but you need to spend money mailing these out. Try and send these kits to people who you really think will want to receive it. Sending unsolicited material isn’t as easy as it used to be—and can be a costly waste of time!
Mona Loring is the President of MLC PR in
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