It has been a little over a year since we released Presskit.to into public beta and we couldn’t be happier with how far we’ve come in such a short time. With your help, we have grown to over 4,000 creative users who are building & distributing Presskits to promote their initiatives. We’re also working with some really top level names in the industry, from chart-topping artists like Karmin, to fine arts institutions like Berklee College of Music and label service legends Caroline Distribution (UMG). My team and I have heard some incredible success stories of how our ‘kits have helped users get professional representation, press or blog coverage, sponsorships, gigs, jobs, scholarships and new customers, and it’s an honor to have played a role in these developments.
One of the coolest things we’ve discovered is that musicians aren’t the only creators using Presskit.to; Actors, comedians, producers, directors, authors, voice-over artists, public speakers, app developers, and even street performing contortionists are building ‘kits to promote their creative talents. I’ve already been a professional carnie, musician, tour manager, marketing director, label exec., session player, and now - an aspiring tech entrepreneur. It makes perfect sense for us to create a tool that caters to the greater Creator community, which is why I’m extremely excited to announce our new theme that we’re calling “Gray Steel”. It’s a little more gray than blue, but it’s still really, really, really ridiculously good looking.
Doug, our fearless CTO and our Dev Wizard, Mr. Steve Callan have been working their butts off on this new look and functionality after numerous discussions we had with musicians, actors, directors, and publicists looking to have a “Media Spotlight” section at the top of each ‘kit. This addition allows actors to put their reel front & center without making people go to the videos section of the media tab to view it, or for musicians to highlight a new track or video.
We’re rolling out Gray Steel to all INDIE and PRO users starting this week, but fill out the form below to be first in line to make the switch! For a limited time there will also be an opportunity for Starter users to switch to the Gray Steel theme with a one time upgrade fee of $5. We’ll post more details on this on the blog in the coming days, but in the meantime we’d love to know what you think of Gray Steel in the comments!
We also recently announced our Presskit.to for Business product category for entertainment companies, agencies, and labels, to help them manage the mess of having too much media to organize & distribute. This is a major step forward for us as a company and we’re pleased to be launching the product with our friends at Caroline Music.
With this evolution we’re adjusting our subscription plans a little. You’ll notice two categories now: Creators and Business. For Creators, the Starter plan will continue to be free, but we’ve introduced a new plan called INDIE for $4.99/mo. which allows you to create three Presskits and gives you a slew of other features including the Gray Steel theme and personalized backgrounds. The existing PRO plan that we’ve had since we launched public beta last year is moving into the Business category featuring all of the same awesome features as it did before, plus the new Gray Steel theme and personalized backgrounds. The new price for PRO is $20/mo. for new users.
As early adopters, existing PRO users will keep their PRO features and won’t be charged a penny more even though the price is going up for new users. :) More info regarding these changes will be posted on the blog and help site, but if you have questions in the meantime please reach out to our awesome support team at email@example.com
You’ll also see that we decided it was high time to give our homepage and logo a facelift. As much as I liked the script look and found it a little bit of a hat tip to the old days, we wanted something bolder and more defined. We hope you like it!
Thank you all for being with us as we continue to grow and develop tools to help advance your career. We care deeply about helping artists of all disciplines find ways to build sustainable careers in the arts, and we couldn’t do it without you and your feedback. Please let us know what you think of our service and request the new theme when you have a second. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Make it happen!
Wait, where’d summer go? We’ve had our heads down since May and it looks like we missed a beach day or two… On the bright side, we’ve made some exciting progress and continue to improve Presskit.to on the reg.
Over the last few weeks we’ve quietly released some improvements that definitely deserve some excitement! On the heels of our Facebook app and Songkick integration, this release makes it much easier to manage the media in your Presskits. We’ve also been busy laying the foundation of our Partner Network which we announced yesterday.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, I want to publicly welcome the amazing Steve Callan who officially joined our team back in May. He’s been involved with Presskit.to since the beginning, but we’re extremely excited to now have him on board in a greater capacity.
This has been one of our most requested updates. You can now add entire SoundCloud sets to your Presskit! Just head over to your Presskit’s control panel, click the Connect with SoundCloud button and you’ll be able to add any of the sets that you’ve previously created on SoundCloud.
Not sure what a set is? No problem! Click the ‘Learn more’ link below to check out our new SoundCloud tutorial that covers everything you need to know.
Create specific albums for press photos, live shots, album artwork, and press clippings. We let you choose the name & thumbnail and you can organize them however you like.
This feature is currently available for Classic & PRO users.
Adding images to your Presskit is now as easy as copying & pasting a URL. Whether you host your hi-res images on flickr or a clumsy FTP (yuck…), you can now paste the URL into your Presskit, give your image a title & description and we’ll handle it from there. Your image is then transferred over to our secure media server and will be preserved in full resolution for future downloads.
We’ve made it much easier to download images from your Presskit with a dedicated download button on the thumbnail and inside the image viewer. Just click the button and the app will start the download process. The functionality works a little differently depending on the device you’re using but we’ve outlined the process below.
It’s now extremely easy for people to download a PDF version of your bio, one sheet or resumé right from the Biography section of your Presskit. Just upload a PDF file in the Files section and check the “Allow download from Bio” box.
This feature is currently available for Classic & PRO users.
We’ve made a few improvements to the calendar UI. In addition to a new event address section you can now select the type of event you’re adding in order to clearly show what kind of event it is.
We’ve had live chat on the homepage for quite a while, but now you can ask us questions from anywhere on the site, including the dashboard and our new help docs. Whether you have a question about a feature, need to report a bug, or just want to say hey, we’re only a click away now. Our team should always be online from 9am to 6pm Eastern, Monday through Friday but you’ll probably catch us online more often than not.
We’ve also been adding a bunch of tutorials and quick tips to the control panel. Keep your eyes peeled for the (?) and Learn more links while editing your Presskit.
We’ve made it easier to follow along with updates to Presskit.to. Just click the ‘What’s New?’ link at the bottom of the dashboard to stay up-to-date with all of our feature releases, updates and bug fixes.
As always, we love feedback. We have a pretty good idea of what features are needed to make Presskit.to the standard in press kit and portfolio management for creative professionals, but your input is the most important part. If there’s a feature you can’t live without or an update to a current feature that you’ve been thinking about, please let us know on our community board or hit us up on chat.
Until next time!Chris
Building a sustainable career in the music & entertainment industry means collaborating with a lot of great people, partnering with like-minded companies, brands, and opportunities to elevate your efforts, and finding ways to save money while doing so.
This hits close to home for all of us at Presskit.to, so we decided to reach out to some friends to launch the Pk Partner Network! This is just the beginning of what will grow into a thriving network of offerings that add additional value and awareness around your projects.
All of our partners are hand-picked to make sure we’re offering legitimate opportunities that aren’t taking advantage of artists. That’s why we’re so happy to announce our first official service partner, EmuBands!
EmuBands, based in Glasgow, Scotland, provides independent labels and bands with a simple-to-use, affordable digital music distribution service. For a one-time fee they’ll service your audio and video releases to pretty much every major digital retailer, like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3, Rdio and many others. Say goodbye to per-sale fees and recurring annual fees! They offer a tremendous service to artists for distributing their music, and are offering all Presskit.to PRO & Classic users a 15% discount on the distribution fee!!
Likewise, all EmuBands customers can get a 15% discount on a Presskit.to PRO account. Click the button below to learn more & to get your discount code. If you have any questions about the deal or anything else be sure to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
A couple of weeks ago, we laid the foundation for a ton of sweet new features with the introduction of Presskit.to v1.1. This week we’re rolling out the red carpet for round one of those new features and we’re inviting you, our most excellent Presskit.to users, to come check them out!
Like MySpace profiles of yore, Facebook Pages have become the first line of contact with the professional industry. That’s why we’re extremely excited to announce our new Presskit.to Facebook app! Now, with just 2-clicks, you can add a Presskit tab to your Facebook Page.
This means your entire Presskit will be at the fingertips of each and every industry professional who’s looking to learn more about your project, without even leaving Facebook.
Just a few reasons why we’re so stoked:
To get started check out the quick tutorial below, then head over to your Presskit’s Share & Embed page and click the blue “Install on Facebook” button!
You certainly know the headaches that come along with touring. “Sleeping” on strangers’ floors, slim jims & combos for every meal and the grumpy, tone-deaf sound guy. But if there’s one thing that every road warrior detests, it’s the mind-numbing task of entering all of those tour dates.
Not even your manager’s highly motivated intern gets a rise out of that chore, which is why we’re brimming with joy to announce our one-click Songkick sync!
A few things to note!
Watch below to see how easy syncing is & never overwork your perfectly calloused fingers again!
Download the Press Release
Just before 11am this morning Presskit.to experienced some unexpected downtime. Our team was able to quickly identify the issue and resolve the problem. The underlying issue was related to a DNS error with our host and as of 1:00pm everything was operational again.
Outside of making sure our community members (YOU!) are smiling, our main objective is to keep the site online. We feel that these two things sort of go hand in hand, though, so we thank you for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience that today’s downtime caused. Please reach out to our community team at email@example.com if you have any question or concerns.
On a lighter, much happier note, as of the time that the site came back online, we released another update in addition to the one we announced earlier today.
We’re excited to announce that in addition to being able to reorder your Presskit’s videos and files, you can now reorder your project members, contacts, links and photos. To choose the order, all you need to do is click an item’s row and drag it to the position of your liking. Refresh your Presskit and voila!
After a lot of hard work and an obscene amount of caffeine, we’re excited to announce the first of several product updates coming your way. Quietly launched this past Friday, this release includes some really cool stuff as well as a bunch of improvements under the hood that set us up for much bigger updates and new features arriving later this summer.
To start things off, we completely overhauled the control panel to make editing and sharing your Presskit much easier. We also added a new feature that makes it super easy to embed your ‘kit directly on your website or really anywhere that supports HTML. You can read about all of the updates below.
As always, thank you for your continued support as we work toward our goal of providing an awesome web app which allows artists and their teams to communicate more effectively and ultimately, do more business. We’re listening to you.
Control Panel Navigation: Refreshed the nav making it easier to build, manage & share your Presskit.
Embeddable Presskits: Embed your Presskit on any website that supports HTML.
Activity page: We made a few adjustments to the activity page.
Calendar: We took an entirely new approach to our calendar.
Media: This round of updates saw minor adjustments to the media section, but more are slated to launch soon!
Re-order Project Members, Links & Contacts:
Boutique Services: We launched our new services page. Read the announcement here!
Pk General Store: We opened a new online store making it much easier to purchase services & other fun stuff like gift cards & merch.
Up until the time we created Presskit.to, we ate, slept, and breathed artist development and music marketing. While we’ve never regretted our decision to dive into the deep end to create a web app that helps thousands of artists instead of just the few on our roster, we’ve always missed that side of the industry. Now, with our feet firmly under us in the tech world, we’re very excited to announce that we’re getting back to our roots with Presskit.to’s new boutique service offerings.
Whether you need us to build or manage your Presskit, craft a press-worthy bio or pitch, tighten up your branding with a new logo or PDF onesheet, or just want to talk shop and figure out a strategy that’s best suited for the current stage of your project, our team is here to work with you to make it happen.
We’re looking forward to supporting your career in any way possible. Likewise, if you have any questions or specific requests that you don’t see listed on the site, please feel free to contact us.
If we can’t help, we most likely know someone who can!
- Ben, Chris, and the Presskit.to team
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Last Wednesday we held the second installment of our Presskit.to webinar series. We were joined by panelists Chris Bolton of CD Baby and Marcus Taylor of Venture Harbour to discuss using data to really learn about your fans. The duo had some great suggestions on using data to find actionable tactics and strategies such as working backwards by first identifying the question you want answered and then finding the relevant data to draw a solid conclusion.
If you missed the webinar, or want a recap of the presentation, we’ve archived it on both YouTube and SoundCloud.
We hope you’ll join us for our next webinar!
WRITTEN BY ETHAN SCHIFF
It’s common today to hear bands proudly brand themselves as “DIY Artists,” without confronting the commitment it takes to “make it” as an independent artist. While you, as an artist, brainstorm your project’s goals and marketing agenda, it will seem intuitive to make decisions based on what you believe are the best social platforms or distribution systems to use, as well as the types of people responding best to your music. At the very beginning of your project, this really is the only way to go, as you have no history to reference. But many artists unfortunately fall into the trap of continuing this blind planning, rather than stopping every so often to check the hard facts about who is responding best to their music, where they’re consuming it, and where they’re located.
In that initial planning stage, before you have real data to build your strategy from, consider stepping out of the music space, and thinking about big-picture concepts that transcend industry, and always lead to success for a business. After identifying these concepts, then at that point begin to build your project’s strategy.
In my experience, I always focus on three things: transparency, community and exclusivity. Those three concepts transcend industry, and definitely transcend music genre. However, especially as a creative, creating a full-blown development strategy can get overwhelming. With merchandise, publishing, touring, recording and social media often all needing to be prioritized at once, artists seem to constantly crave a single thread to inform their strategic decisions.
Building your audience is no easy feat. As a manager, independent artist, or straight-up go-getter, you may seem so overwhelmed trying to figure out your next move that it’s hard to find time to focus on your art. While many artists may be searching for a starting place, there are many resources out there for artists to make their decisions based on hard, fact-based data.
In the next installment of the Presskit.to Webinar Series, we’ve recruited two excellent panelists (Marcus Taylor, Venture Harbour; and Chris Bolton, CD Baby) to talk about what kinds of Data that Artists and Managers should be collecting to make educated, fact-based decisions. The webinar, titled “Guess No More: Using Data to really know your fans” will be presented on Wednesday, April 25th at 12pm EST.
Hey! Down here!
This is a guest post by Marcus Taylor, Director of Venture Harbour, a company that specializes in consulting digital marketing to companies in the music industry.
It’s not often in music marketing articles that I quote statisticians, but when talking about data and it’s role in the music industry, who better to seek advice from?
William Edwards-Demming, the renowned American statistician, is famous for saying “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” What he’s less known for saying is that “the most important things cannot be measured.”
When it comes to building a career as an artist, data certainly has the potential to make you more effective in how you spend your time and budget. But with an abundance of vanity metrics, and ‘data for the sake of data’, it also has the potential to waste time. Here are my five tips when it comes to using data to grow your social media audience as an artist.
A big thanks to those of you who helped make our first Presskit.to Webinar a huge success. The Art of Tasteful Boasting tackled the ins and outs of writing an artist/band bio and tagline. We were joined by three amazing panelists Chris Robley, Marketing Coordinator & Blog Editor, CD Baby; Julia Rogers, Editor in Chief at Musiciancoaching.com; and Jem Bahaijoub, Founder of imaginePR. The trio brought on some great new ideas on getting started with a bio and making it true to your band and music.
If you missed the Webinar or simply want a recap, the recordings are made readily available on YouTube and SoundCloud. We even listed some of our favorite points for you to quickly check out.
We hope you’ll join us for our next Webinar on May 29.
In the newest installment of the Stand Above the Noise video series, Andrew sits down with Reimut Van Bonn of VUT (German Association Of Independent Music Companies) to talk about the current state of Music Discovery, Maintaing a Professional Music Career, and how the Music Industry is changing.
Check it out below, and don’t forget to Subscribe to the series here for regularly scheduled Music Industry video content!
Stand Above the Noise is a documentary-style series of video interviews, filmed and produced by Dotted Music. From Berlin and Helsinki, to a host of cities dotted across Europe, we have been encounter musicians and essential names in the music business, including representatives from the likes of Universal Music, Soundcloud, or Live Nation. Learn how to be remarkable and make this business work for you with Stand Above The Noise, a contemporary insight into the contemporary music industry.
This Thursday, April 25th we’re hosting a FREE, one-hour webinar that we’ve dubbed “The Art of Tasteful Boasting: How to write a press-worthy biography & tagline. We are very excited to play host to an AWESOME cast of Panelists, including:
We’ll be discussing the challenges that go along with writing strong artist bios and attention grabbing taglines for use in your Presskit, press releases, and one sheets. We’ll be covering topics like finding your narrative voice and overcoming writer’s block. We’ll also open it up for questions so you can ask about anything we don’t cover.