When you think of DIY bands, chances are the acts that come to your mind are not on the billboard charts. At least not yet. When we first reached out to 3OH!3 for an interview, we had our doubts as well. However, as you will see below, 3OH!3 was born and raised in DIY ethos and continue to move forward with the same mentality even today.
Entries in promotion (27)
Part of being a DIY artist is marketing yourself like an entrepreneur or small business owner: You’re presenting the brand of “You, Inc.,” comprised of all the unique things about your music and you as an artist. And while putting some tracks up on social media platforms like Facebook and Myspace or on your own website is an important part of your larger portfolio of marketing tactics, you can’t just leave it at that and hope that someone will eventually stumble across you. A very important part of your PR campaign as a DIY artist is presenting yourself well to blogs, podcasts, online music communities, music websites and magazines. It’s a given that if you’re at the stage where you’re ready to approach the press about your music, you should have at least two things: a professional-sounding collection of your songs – whether that is in the form of an LP or a full-length album – that represents you at your best; tangible proof that you are playing whenever and wherever possible, working hard at providing an engaging experience for your fan base – who essentially act as your paying “clients,” buying albums and coming to your shows – and to turn new people onto your music. Assuming you have both those things going for you, what comes next?
Odds are if an artist has to calculate their potential for success based on statistics – regardless of veracity – they are doomed from the start. Really. Think about it – the only formula known thus far to work with any predictability is BEING an act REMARKABLE enough (thanks, Bruce, a favorite word the past year or so), to spread by word of mouth. A formula NEVER out of date.
Viinyl is a fairly new service that popped up in late 2010 that allows you to create “song-based websites.” They ended up being one of my top picks for 2010’s most interesting and innovative music start-ups, and I’d like to dive a bit deeper into the free service with this post.
If you ever find yourself wanting to promote a single, using Viinyl is an excellent way to provide your fans with a rich media experience surrounding a single song. In this post, I want to show you how you create a one-song web page with Viinyl, and how you can link to it via a subdomain on your official website (e.g. “singleimpromoting.mywebsite.com”).
1. Sign up for a beta account
It happens to me all of the time when I teach artists social media.The face goes blank, the frustration begins to settle in and then the artist says it:
“I just don’t have anything interesting to say.”
I’m shocked by this every time. You are an artist; you do things we mere mortals are totally enamored by: you PLAY MUSIC, you write songs, you perform them in public!
So PHLEEASE, do not tell me you have nothing interesting to say. I ain’t buying it.
All you are missing is a System for Social Media Success.
Luckily, unlike sheer god-given musical talent, social media is a learnable skill.
As I was teaching my system to a client in my kitchen a few weeks ago over coffee and bagels and it HIT me… and so I created:
THE MUSICIAN’S SOCIAL MEDIA FOOD PYRAMID!
Devo got loads of press by letting fans choose everything from the songs on their new album to the color of their hats. If you’re secure enough to make your own wardrobe decisions, you can get useful feedback on your songs by conducting a focus group on Jango. It only cost me $75 to play 12 of my songs to targeted listeners 3,000 times in a single day. The information I gleaned helped me select which track would open my new album, and persuaded me to cut two others.
Here’s another reason to shoot high-definition video that’s connected to your music-related ventures: Demand for short, interesting, compelling, non-explicit, music-infused, high-quality, high-def content is going to be driven by the digital signage industry.
I have been doing some work for a venture that’s focused on digital signage. Here are some stats to consider:
- Digital signage is going to be an explosive growth (exposure) opportunity - with over 500-million connected screens predicted to be in the market by 2013.
- The combination of all the impressions generated by all the connected digital signs - already makes digital signage one of the largest impression-generating networks on earth.
Since the average exposure (time) to digital signage is relatively short, music videos are perfect for digital signage loops. Expect new mass-exposure opportunities to grow out of the digital signage networks over the next twenty-four months.
Question: Do any MTT readers have high-quality music videos that they feel are under exposed?
About Bruce Warila
So you have a show and you want to promote it. Many artists take this pretty simply. They post on their website, announce it on Myspace, share it on Facebook, sometimes list it on Craigslist and then maybe send it to a local music magazine. There is this idea that people will just make the effort to find out about you. Now in some cases that can be true, but with each gig and show it is much more effective to pull those that already know you, reach out to those that might be some what familiar with you and connect with people that have never heard of you before.
When a westerner (an American for example) walks by the office of a co-worker, and the co-worker is quietly sitting there doing nothing, the westerner’s first reaction is that the co-worker is lazy and probably slacking. On the other side of the world, when an easterner (someone from Japan for example) walks by a co-worker, and that co-worker is doing nothing, the easterner’s first reaction is that the co-worker is most likely engaged in deep thought whilst grinding away at a solution to some problem…
I want to say two things in this post:
Artists looking for a stunt or promotion angle. Look into augmented reality (Wikipedia). Six months from now or sooner, journalists will be looking for interesting augmented reality stories. Come up with something unique and hire Ariel to get you the PR bang you are looking for. I just posted an example (sort of) on my site. This is for artists that are also geeks (yes they do exist).
Since I started my career in this business. I’ve always been working within the 1,000 True Fans model.
Here’s my story: In 1996, I was living in Boulder, CO and I had just started Ariel Publicity, my boutique PR firm.
Acoustic Junction and Zuba two local bands became my first clients. Both had been staples in Boulder for a couple of years, and both made fantastic livings touring and selling their independent releases from coast to coast. They did this with no label, no distribution, and no major marketing budgets: just a manager, a tour manager, and me.
I also represented The Toasters, Bim Skala Bim, The Slackers, and Skinnerbox, (and practically everyone touring during the third wave of Ska).
These artists and dozens like them all made full time livings from playing and touring. They had a core group of fans that supported them by seeing several shows a year, buying merch and buying albums.
Today, it feels revolutionary when we hear about bands that make a living based on their music.
What happened? What changed?
Networking sites are great promotional tools. Everyone from the indie artist to the artist who has a massive advertising and marketing budget has one. But when is it time for house cleaning? When is it time for certain things to go away? A good deal of what is posted is unimportant, boring and, let’s face it, stupid. Now, if you’re just another face on Facebook or Twitter, it doesn’t really matter. However, if you are an artist, a band or someone who is trying to promote and market, those little stupid updates can harm you more than help you.
So what is the answer?
Simple. Do some housecleaning now and then and make sure you are providing the information, the image and the promotional materials that will reach the most people in the best way. Be smart in a world of social networking. Twittering, face booking and whatever other term you can come up with where people are putting out the dumbest information that might only apply to the fewest people and end up causing the most problems and over all disinterest possible.
It’s the most common frustration I hear uttered by independent artists and promoters: The workload.
How can I find the time to do all this social networking and guerrilla marketing stuff?
I’ve got so much on my plate already, how am I supposed to add even more to my overflowing to-do list?
I hear you. I know. And ISN’T IT WONDERFUL?
Huh? What in Jehovah’s name is so wonderful about being overburdened by all that needs to be done to succeed with music?
I have a good answer. Let me explain …
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(Updated July 8, 2015)