Announcing An All New Presskit Theme: Gray Steel!
To our amazing Presskit.to users!
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.
Introducing Gray SteelGray Steel brings many slick layout changes to the Presskit that you can see first hand on Gentlemen Hall’s Presskit embedded below. WHAT?! A fully-functional Presskit embedded into a blog post? Hot damn.
Gray Steel Theme RSVP
Changes to our Subscription Plans: Presskit.to for Creators & Business
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 two new plans called SOLO & INDIE. SOLO is $2/mo. and allows you to create a full-featured Presskit for $2/mo. INDIE allows you to create three full-featured Presskits for $5/mo. and gives you a slew of other perks like access to our Partner Network and Presskit101. 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
Refreshed Homepage and Logo
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!
Embeddable Presskits, Refreshed Control Panel, Improved Stats & MORE!
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.
[7/12/2013] v1.1 public beta
Control Panel Navigation: Refreshed the nav making it easier to build, manage & share your Presskit.
- Clearly marked buttons for View Presskit & Settings located right below your cover photo.
- Manage your Project Members, Contacts, and Media (Audio, Video, Images & Files) with a single click from the sidebar. No need to go digging through other pages anymore!
- The Share page is now called Share & Embed.
Embeddable Presskits: Embed your Presskit on any website that supports HTML.
- Embed your Presskit directly on your website’s Press page or create a Press tab on Facebook.
- People can stay on your site while having full access to the contents of your ‘kit.
- All future updates that you make to your Presskit will automatically show up on your embedded Presksits.
Activity page: We made a few adjustments to the activity page.
- Our new Daily Views graph allows you to learn more about the traffic to your Presskit and whether your efforts are seeing a return.
- We’ve rebuilt our view counter so now selfies won’t inflate your view totals. You may notice that your lifetime view count is a little lower than before, but it’s a much more accurate because it doesn’t include your own views.
- New share buttons make it really easy to send your Presskit to contacts and groups on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Calendar: We took an entirely new approach to our calendar.
- You can now manage your calendar in the list view as you did before, or in an all new calendar view.
- The Create Event form now supports the time of your event which will come in handy for a future update that we’re very excited about.
- This update also paves the way for our Songkick integration which is launching very soon!
Media: This round of updates saw minor adjustments to the media section, but more are slated to launch soon!
- You can now reorder Images & Files without re-uploading or deleting anything. Just click & drag them into the order that you need and you’re good to go!
Re-order Project Members, Links & Contacts:
- You can also now reorder your Project Members, Links, & Contacts. WOOHOO!
Boutique Services: We launched our new services page. Read the announcement here!
"Guess No More" Webinar Recap
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!
Tips & Takeaway Points
- Use data to understand how you can best promote a potential marketing campaign, and how you can effectively plan for moving forward - making the most out of your time & budget.
- Use “tags” to track data through Google Analytics to see how engaged your audience is, and how they react to your campaign.
- Track data that deals with your target demographic, cities you should be touring in, or simply data that answers your questions.
- Don’t get caught up with vanity metrics - data that does not create a clear, actionable outcome.
- Number of Facebook page likes or Twitter followers cannot drive fact-based decisions, and are an example of vanity metrics.
- Track your data closely and carefully,as a spike in traffic could be due to an audience landing upon your content while on the search for something else.
- Engage with your audience to attain the best social interaction possible on social networks.
- Data you produce is historical,and although it can help make educated decisions, it cannot necessarily predict the future.
- Most importantly, KNOW your audience - no more guessing!
All-new Webinar Series Premiers April 25th!
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.
26 Angels Video Tribute
Today marks the one month anniversary of a tragic and horrific incident in Newtown, CT. in which a troubled gunman wreaked havoc at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, killing 20 children and 6 adults. The incident shook not only the quiet Connecticut community, but the entire nation, bringing issues like gun control and mental health to the forefront.
This tragic incident has, however, brought together a slew of people across the nation who have stepped up to help in any way they can. For some this means volunteering locally to help victims’ families, donating time for those grieving to ease the pain. Others help by donating gifts, charms, and kind gestures to those who have lost so much. And for a few, like Director Ben Proulx and Singer/Songwriter Justin Cohen, the gift they could contribute was art shared through music and cinema.
The two directed and produced the “26 Angels Video Tribute”, a video made to heighten awareness for a campaign that will raise money to build the Newtown Memorial Park and the Sandy Hook Arts Center for Kids. All of the money raised will be going towards these causes. I am proud to have co-produced the video, and am now managing much of the fundraising and partnership efforts for the campaign.
Everything came together very quickly, with the video being shot on December 26th and released on New Year’s Day. We made the Presskit.to/26angels page to get everything up and running quickly, then setup an IndieGoGo page to start collecting donations.
We will soon be partnering with the Wish Upon A Hero Foundation to further collect donations after the IndieGoGo campaign has expired, and are partnering with a few local individuals to produce the Light The Sky festival in June marking the 6-month anniversary of the shooting (more details will be released as they become available).
It’s a privilege to have Presskit.to be involved in something so great. We wish all of the families and friends affected in Newtown our very best and most sincere condolences.
Presskit.to Receives $10k Northeastern University IDEA Gap Fund
My team and I have for the last several months been a part of IDEA at Northeastern University, a venture accelerator program designed to support entrepreneurial endeavors in the Northeastern community. Along the way, we’ve met so many incredible people, from those obligated to be our guiding lights like our coach Ben Preston and mentor Greg Dalle-Molle to those who lent advice and knowledge out of pure kindness, like Dan Gregory, Bob Lentz, Chris Wolfel, Matt Saitta, and everyone else who played a role throughout the process. Thanks to their remarkable efforts and the hard work of my team, I am stoked to announce that Presskit.to has received $10k in grant funding from the NEU IDEA Program!
I’m confident that this funding is only the beginning of where our NEU IDEA experience will take us, and can’t wait to make the most of this tremendous opportunity we’ve been given. We owe a big thank you to everyone involved along the way, and are so excited to carry this momentum into the new year, for music and its future development!
Make it happen!
Featured Presskit: Hello Bear (Norwich, UK)
We’re psyched to announce that our featured Presskits are now supported by Audio Cotton. Need tees? Audio Cotton will make it happen and has some really affordable options, including one off prints.
Check them out at http://audiocotton.com, and be on the lookout for their new website launching soon.
Between their Melodic vocals and Punchy guitar and bass lines, Hello Bear caught my ear instantly. With the visual image to accompany the sound, these guys are ripping up the UK’s Pop/Rock scene both on the Airwaves and on Stage.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Hello Bear’s Manager James Richardson about how they’re using Presskit.to/HelloBear to showcase their career, and how some of their awesome initiatives have brought them the success they’ve seen thus far. Check it out!
Presskit.to: How have you used Presskit.to/HelloBear to showcase your career thus far?
James Richardson: We’ve used our Presskit extensively for a recent radio campaign (which we received national airplay from Amazing Radio amongst others) and we’ve been sending it to other promoters to secure more shows/future touring opportunities ever since. Just recently actually we managed to secure a great London show to coincide with the Single we’re launching in November. I really think our Presskit aids us in our pitches by having lots of relevant content plugins like Soundcloud and Youtube available in a visual way. Being able to showcase your notable achievements into categorized Wins is another feature we’ve found useful too.
Pk: In 2010 Hello Bear won the Next Big Thing Competition. Have you seen any notable Dividends from this Win?
JR: I think we’ll let the giant cheque do the talking here ;)
Pk: You guys have included several of your Music Videos in your Presskit, and they’re all great! Have you seen these Videos as a useful way to showcase the group when reaching out to Agents, Promoters, etc.?
JR: Thanks very much! It’s very important to show a visual side to the band’s music, and I think it helps promoters to really ‘get’ what they’re about, and how they can fit into one of their nights. I mean, without seeing what the band is like live it can sometimes be difficult to understand what a band is all about just by listening to one of their tracks. Hello Bear is quite a fun, animated band so it always helps to use videos to showcase this kind of thing.
Pk: In March, Hello Bear was featured in Artrocker Magazine. Can you tell us a little about that Win?
JR: They were featured in the ‘New Blood’ section which is their area for showcasing the best new artists around, and basically who Artrocker think you should be keeping an eye on. It was great to be included in that feature and they were very kind to the guys in this review. We also had a full page ad the following month which was great as the album was released then.
Pk: What’s up for Hello Bear in the coming months? Anything we should keep an eye out for?
JR: Next month (the 12th of November) we’re going to be releasing the fourth and final single from their ‘This One Girl…’ album, it’s going to be called ‘64 Hit Combo’ and the video is going to have a thumb wrestling theme to it! They’re also gearing up to record the 2nd album which we’re hopefully going to encourage some label interest with.
Pk: Thanks James!!
Exclusive: Joey Cape of Lagwagon (INTERVIEW)
Lagwagon has been on the punk rock scene since 1990 and is the flagship band for FAT Wreck Chords (next to inbred label mates, NOFX of course). Lagwagon has had their share of triumphs & disasters over the years but have managed to stick together and maintain relevance in the hearts and minds of so many punk rock fans around the world.
I had a chance to sit down on the bus with lead singer, songwriter, Joey Cape (also known as Caper) for an intimate conversation about what it takes to stay together as a band for so long, how his perspective on the touring industry has changed, what keeps the guys in Lagwagon busy between tours, and his advice for other artists looking to build longstanding careers in music. It was an organic interview with a guy I look up to, telling it how it is from his point of view. Enjoy.
Interview by Ben Maitland-Lewis
Ways to use Presskit.to: Professional/Personal Resume
Here’s Part 3 of our blog series outlining ways to use Presskit.to. For Part 1 on Creating a Presskit for an Upcoming Album Release, click here. For Part 2 on Creating a Presskit for an Upcoming Tour, click here.
Don’t call us. We’ll call you.
The job market in today’s economy is a dog-eat-dog world. With the competition greatly outweighing the number of available jobs, it’s important that individuals remain on their toes and find tactful ways to set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd.
The days of the PDF Resume are over. Gone are the lines of hyperlinked text directing to your latest portfolio accomplishments. Present yourself like an Amateur Professional - NOT a Professional Amateur. Presskit.to is the best platform to showcase your abilities as an individual and a professional competing in the job market. Check it out!
Cover Art: You, of course! Make sure it’s a picture you’re okay with using in a professional setting.
Title: Naturally, the Title of your Presskit should be your name, if you’re using it as a way to present yourself as an individual. List your Hometown as wherever you’re active in the Job Market.
Tagline: Throw in a few words about yourself, such as “2010 Graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz” or “Law School Student currently applying for Internship Opportunities.”
Audio: Include anything you’ve done that can be encompassed in an audio form: speeches, interviews, lessons, spoken word/poetry, performances, or even an “about me” introduction to your potential employer.
Video: Include some videos of you performing, speaking, teaching, or even a video introduction of yourself. This section can be used to show people what you do.
Images: Throw in your Headshots, Photos of you “hard at work”, or PDF’s where you’ve been written about, etc. Feel free to get as creative as you’d like!
Files: Include your most recent Resume in your Files section.
Bio: Write a concise biography of you as an individual - from school credentials and areas of study, to past and current experience in your working field. Be detailed, but remember that no one appreciates hearing your life story.
Members: Well, this section is fairly self-explanatory. Add your name as well as the current or past positions you’ve held professionally in the Role/Instrument field.
Links: Add relevant links to your professional career in the links section, such as your LinkedIn profile or your personal website. Mark the 4 most relevant links to your career as Featured Links. Note: If you choose to post your personal Facebook profile in the Links section, you may want to do a sweep of the information that’s listed on your profile to make sure it’s work-friendly.
Wins: Add your accomplishments to the Wins section, like Graduating from College, winning a Scholarship, or any awards that you’ve gotten over the years. You can take a lot of accomplishments from your resume in the event that you don’t know how to brag about yourself!
List your email address and phone number, and street address if you feel comfortable.
List any important events that you plan to attend, or use this section to plot out your un-availability for the next series of months. For example, you could list “Going on Vacation” as one of the Calendar items, and specify the duration and other details.
Ways to use Presskit.to: Upcoming Tour
Congratulations!! Your tour kicked off with a BANG!
Well, unfortunately, that “bang” we’re referring to was your transmission disconnecting itself from the undercarriage of your 15 passenger. Bummer, man. As you patiently await AAA’s arrival, you wonder how the hell you’ll make it to Saratoga in time for your 9 o’clock set.
Presskit.to probably can’t help you out in that kind of a situation while you’re on tour. What it can help with, though, is a TON of other things. One of the hardest parts of getting a tour together is the planning of it. Placing phone calls to venues, promoters, bookers, and getting lost in email chains has just about worn you out. So let us help with the clerical side of things so that you can prepare to rock the faces off audiences nationwide.
Title: The title of your Presskit should reflect the name of the Tour. (i.e. The Thickness West Coast Tour)
Tagline: Use the Tagline to describe the tour in short detail.
“The Thickness will embark on an 18 day tour along the West Coast.”
Cover Art: The Cover Art should reflect the press images used on the tour, a flyer for the tour, or the album that the tour is supporting.
Include songs from the album you’re supporting in the Audio Section. Also include a song by the opening acts on the tour.
Add performance videos, tour announcements, promotional videos for the tour, the Kickstarter video that funded your tour, and on-the-road documentaries to the Videos section.
Add Tour Flyer images, Press photos, and Live shots to the Images section.
Add your Technical Requirements, Stage Plot, Press Release, Riders, and Day Book to the Files Section. This will be extremely useful to send to Production Managers, as well as Promoters throughout the tour.
Under the Bio section, include a summary of who’s performing on the tour, why the band is touring, and which venues/cities the tour will be stopping in.
Include Bands performing on the tour in the Members section.
Add links to bands’ Facebook & Twitter pages to keep up with them on tour. Also include links to the group’s Online Store, Official Web Page, and any Venues in which they’ll be performing.
- Tip: Be sure to include a link to your main Artist Presskit in your links section, and make it one of your Featured Links for easy access.
Add Wins for the tour as they are completed. For example, “First Show of the Tour” or “Sold-Out Hometown Show” could be notable milestones of the tour.
Be sure to list the Tour Managers, Business Managers, and Booking Agents that are working on the tour. Also include a contact person for the Band.
Add tour dates to the Calendar, and be sure to include information in the description about the show. For example:
“Doors at 6pm. 18+ show. $5 presale, $10 at the door. Tickets available here.”
Ways to use Presskit.to: Album Release
Here’s part 1 of our blog series outlining ways to use Presskit.to.
So, your band is just about to release your debut album. (Or your 3rd album. Maybe your 50th…) Regardless, any new release deserves it’s own publicity. What better way to showcase a new album than to create a Presskit specifically for it?
*Cue Billy Mays voice*
That’s right, folks!! Presskit.to is the PERFECT platform to not only showcase you as an artist - but all of the Projects related to your music career!
All kidding aside, there are multiple uses of Presskit.to that you can take advantage of, and an Upcoming Album Release is a perfect example.
Upcoming Album Release
The Cover Art for your Presskit should reflect that of your album - it’s Cover art! This is the first thing that will catch the viewer’s eye, so give your Album Art the chance to stand out!
Different from a Presskit for a Band or Artist, the Title of your Presskit should be the name of the album.
This is an opportunity to give a little more insight about your album. Feel free to give a little detail into a certain aspect of the album. For example, one could write:
"The Band’s 3rd studio album, recorded at Avatar Studios in New York City."
Use the SoundCloud audio section to showcase some of the New Album’s material. Add two or three songs as a teaser, or add the whole album and make certain songs Private. This gives a great opportunity to Share your unreleased material with a Publicist that’s reviewing your album before it’s released.
Add “Making of the Album” videos, In-studio documentaries, the Kickstarter video that funded the project over the edge, or anything else that’s relevant to the release of your new album.
Be sure to include a Hi-res image of the Cover Art, as well as any other PDF liner notes or Press images used with the release of the album.
Use the Files section to include PDF files of Song Lyrics, Liner Notes & Album Art, Artist Logos, and a Zipped Folder containing the Album’s songs in MP3 Format. Remember: You can set these Files to Private to ensure that the general public won’t see anything you don’t want them to!
The Bio section of your Presskit can be used to discuss the process of recording your new album - from the writing stages, to where you recorded, who you worked with, the track listing, and any Thank You’s you’d like to include. Feel free to insert as much info about the album as possible, as this is a great place to insert anything special about this album and its awaited release.
Add Band members, as well as Producers, Engineers, Additional Musicians, and Songwriters related to the album in the Members section. This can act as a place to properly credit those who recorded and worked on the album.
As your album gains momentum, try adding some Wins to your Presskit. Album Release Dates, Radio Rotation, and Benchmarks in Sales can act as Milestones for the album, while Album Reviews can serve as great Press quotes!
Add all relevant links related to the band to the Links section of your Presskit. To tie your Album’s Presskit back to your Artist/Band Presskit, make your Artist Presskit a Featured Link for easy access. Be sure to include a link where someone can buy/download the album!
Add contact info for the Band, Record Label, Publicist, or Management in the Contact Section.
Use the Calendar Section to list Release Dates, In-store Signings, Radio Interviews, or Tour Dates surrounding your new Album.
Featured Presskit: Drew Ryan’s Mixtape (Los Angeles)
We’re psyched to announce that our featured Presskits are now supported by Audio Cotton. Need tees? Audio Cotton will make it happen and has some really affordable options, including one off prints.
Check them out at http://audiocotton.com, and be on the lookout for their new website launching soon.
Using a Presskit for an Album!
Here at Indie Ambassador we’re all about people that are doing new, cool, and creative things to leave their mark in this ever-changing music world we live in. Whether you’re getting your music out there by busking on the streets, or dressing up as Jesus and singing on Chatroulette, being creative in the way that you market your music is key in today’s industry.
Enter Drew Ryan.
In promotion for his new single “Losing Hope,” Drew brainstormed marketing tactics to maximize exposure around his release. After soliciting some of his favorite Indie artists across the country, Drew compiled a Mixtape of artists to accompany the release of his single to draw in a larger audience. We caught up with Drew about how he released the Mixtape through his Presskit, which is what makes this week’s Featured ‘kit so unique! Remember, you can create a Presskit for more than one use!
Presskit.to: You used Presskit.to in a unique manner by creating a Presskit for your MixTape that was released in August. Can you tell us a little about how you used Presskit.to in the promotion of this release?
Drew Ryan: Presskit.to was a great way of offering up my single “Losing Hope” and my free mix tape exclusively through a digital release, which made it really easy to get the word out quickly to media outlets and fans. The unique and easy to navigate layout of my profile made uploading the tracks, artist info, images, videos, and other media that went along with it a painless effort on my end, and a fun experience for everyone who visits my page. I linked to my Presskit.to profile in my email blast to fans and media, and sent it out to over 1,500 people.
PK: You’ve included songs by several of your musician friends on your MixTape, all surrounding the release of your single “Losing Hope.” What was your thinking behind this marketing tactic, and how has it worked out so far?
DR: Since I was releasing a single, I wanted to give listeners something extra for taking the time to check it out. My track “Losing Hope” was a collaborative effort with my friend and platinum recording artist, Dylan Charbeneau. In keeping with the spirit of collaboration, I thought putting together a mix tape that included some of my friends’ music would be a great way to give listeners a cool freebie to download with my single, and to share some of my favorite bands with everyone. The best part is that all of the music on there is really different, and no one genre is the same. You’ll hear everything from hip-hop, to indie-rock, to an Americana folk singer you’d swear was straight out of the 1920s. So far, I am extremely lucky to have amazing people in my life who all support what I do, and I’ve received nothing but positive feedback on Losing Hope and the mix tape. People really love the concept, and since it’s completely free, they are happy to share it with their friends, which was my whole goal in doing this project.
PK: Any specific mixtape Wins you can tell us about?
DR: I was actually just approached via Facebook by a casting director who heard my mix tape and dug it, so she met me out in Hollywood to cast me for a web series pilot for the video site VEVO. She asked me to get her in touch with my friend Scout, who she also heard on the mix tape, because she wanted to audition her as well. I think Scout is touring up north in Washington now, so I*m not sure if she was able to do it, but yeah. I think that’s a pretty cool win so far.
PK: Do you have plans to release an EP or full-length album any time soon?
DR: I would love to start putting some of my newer stuff down and get a record going, but I’m really busy for the next few months being back in college and studying Environmental Sustainability. I think my next project will definitely tie in with what I’m learning and doing there, though there’s always something in the works.
PK: What’s up for you this Fall?
DR: I’ve got a gig in Vegas this weekend, but I’m mostly just concentrating on my schoolwork, my songwriting, and getting myself in the studio as much as possible. When I’m not in or reading for class, I’ve been reading a bunch of great books on how to be a more efficient songwriter. So, I guess I’ll be spending this Fall getting better at the things I love to do the most.
PK: Thanks, Drew!!
Presskit Quick Tips:
- Presskits can have Multiple uses: Drew used one of the Presskits on his Pro plan to build a Presskit solely for his Mixtape. Artists can use this concept for upcoming album releases, tours, and more!
- Make the most out of your files: Drew uses the Files section to host all of the MP3’s and PDF Track listing for his Mixtape for the users to download. If you’re making a Presskit for a specific Album, try adding a Zipped folder of the tracks in your Files section!
Featured Interview: Indie On The Move
Indie On The Move is an online service that connects artists with venues and press outlets, to make booking shows and tours across the US much easier. Artists and venues can sign up for a free account and browse venues, show availabilities, and gig classifieds. IOTM even provides valuable tips for approaching a particular venue’s talent buyer. On the flip side, venues can browse bands in a given area or post available show slots to be filled by interested artists. Our team has followed along since the early days and really respect their dedication to independent artists and the DIY/DIT (Do It Together) movement. If you haven’t checked them out definitely do so!
We recently had the chance to chat with Indie On The Move’s beloved President, Kyle Weber, to learn a little more their service and how it has evolved over the last three and a half years. He also gives some great advice on contacting venue bookers and music professionals.
Presskit.to: IOTM has been a free service since day one. Has it been a struggle to sustain the business over the years while providing an awesome service that requires a lot of manual upkeep?
Kyle Weber: It has been and will continue to be A LOT of work, but I would not say a struggle. We are actually working towards putting in some new features that will make the manual upkeep easier on the administrative side of things and will cut down on the man hours. Additionally, we get a lot of great user input and have amazing workers and investors that really believe in our product.
Pk: Have you seen any interesting emerging trends — either on the venue side or with artists — in the live music sector since starting IOTM?
KW: The first major trend that we saw was the disappearance of Myspace. One day it was there and almost every venue and band had a page that was kept up-to-date. Then all of a sudden everyone jumped ship and we found ourselves removing almost all Myspace links from the venue listings. With the daily venue checking that we do, we tend to observe a lot of what is going on on the web and how venues and bands are utilizing those services. Facebook and Twitter are obviously still huge resources for everyone, but we have noticed that people have kind of stopped using the [direct] messaging on there. Now if you want someone to see your message, it needs to be posted publicly either on their wall or on your wall with a tag.
Live streaming has popped up somewhat recently, but with all the copyright infringement issues that it can cause, only a small percentage of the IOTM venues actually utilize it the way that it can be.
Pk: You guys have been at this for quite a few years now. Do you have some notable successes (or “Wins”) — company, artist, or otherwise — that you’re proud of?
KW: Of course! Growing from about 950 venues to north of 5500 in just 3 and a half years is a big one for us. Keep in mind, those are live and active venues too; we remove all listings from the site for venues that have either stopped hosting live music or have shut down. Since the site was first launched (solely as a music venue database), we have been able to add additional sections that cater to show/band availabilities, classifieds, live streaming, radio, press, forums, and more, all that assist in the success of our users’ experience and ultimately their music careers. And that is where the real “wins” lie, in the success of our users. Check out these testimonials: http://www.indieonthemove.com/forums/view/17.
Pk: Booking Agents, Venues, and Music Professionals receive hundreds of emails a day. Do you have any tips or best practices for artists hoping to stand out when contacting intermediaries that they don’t already have relationships with?
KW: Definitely. Keep your emails short, concise, to the point, and grammatically correct. More than 4 or 5 sentences is too long in my opinion. The thing to keep in mind is, like you said, agents, venues, and professionals receive hundreds of emails a day. The last thing that they want to do is have to spend 5-10 minutes reading a really long email. Typos and spelling errors look very unprofessional and might stop someone from reading on. Remember, this email is your first impression a lot of times, make a good one.
Start with a short intro (name, band name, genre, city of origin, etc.); then mention 1 or 2 of your biggest selling points as well as exactly what you are emailing them about (if emailing a venue about a show, include any desired dates), make sure to include a hyperlink to your music (the exact page that the music is on, don’t expect someone to go looking around; think just 1 click), and thank them in advance for their time. If you have a direct solicitation, be sure to mention that in both the title and the body. Lastly, a good subject will help ensure that your email will get opened, so spend some time on it.
Pk: Are there any new IOTM features or initiatives on the horizon that you’re excited about?
KW: There most certainly are and I am VERY excited about them, but I can’t really divulge what we have in store. We are always working towards making the booking, performing/touring, and promotion process easier, more efficient, and as successful as possible, so you can bet that the features will be along those lines.
Pk: Anything else you would like to mention?
KW: Yes, Indie Ambassador is awesome. Thanks for doing the interview!
Pk: Thank you, Kyle! Right back at you.
It’s Aliiiiiiive! Presskit.to public beta that is!
It’s PB Launch Day at Presskit.to (and we don’t mean we’re starting an all out Peanut Butter war in the cafeteria, although that sounds like a most triumphant time.) It’s PUBLIC BETA - What you’ve all been waiting for.
It’s been an incredible journey getting to this point and we couldn’t be more excited to see what happens next. It’s an extremely proud moment for the entire Indie Ambassador team - and we’re happy that you’re a part of it!
We are all musicians and young industry guys (and gals) who are actively involved in the new music landscape. Building Presskit.to alongside our peers in the field has been an awesome experience and it’s something that won’t ever change. This is only the beginning of what our team is capable of and how much we want to contribute to music & it’s future development.
There’s a ton more to do with the site and we have some big things planned, but we’re honored to have you involved from the very start. It’s your musical career; we’re just here to help you communicate your work to the pros in style.
So - we’re raising a glass to you dear musician, maverick of creativity, for working towards your dreams no matter how big or daunting. We all contribute to this industry, and today, we hope to have made it just a little bit brighter..
Make it happen!
Ben! & team Indie Ambassador
Now get familiar with Presskit.to!
Epic Deal-ers! Get Started Here!
Hey there! If you’re here, chances are you purchased the EPIC DEAL from The Musicians Guide!
CONGRATULATIONS & thanks for checking out Presskit.to!
This whopper of a deal gets you access to 3 free months of our Presskit.to PRO plan, where you can make up to 10 Presskits for your various creative projects! With a PRO plan you can showcase all the media, information, and Wins you want into these mobile-ready portfolios. We also let you make stuff private so sharing your sensitive media and files is super easy.
We suggest that you put only your best foot forward! We’re dedicated to strengthening the communication between artists, industry professionals, and writers of all kinds, so it’s important to showcase only your most relevant and up-to-date information and media in your Presskit. Leave the rest for your website and social media channels.
There are three quick steps outlined below to get you started, but we also invite you to watch our brand new welcome video to learn more about Presskit.to and how it can work for you. If you have any question please reach out to us! We’re here to help and are committed to music & it’s future development.
Founding Alchemist | CEO
1.) Select the Presskit.to Pro plan
2.) Create your first Presskit
3.) Enter your billing info and the unique coupon code from the Presskit.to PDF that you received in the Epic Deal download.
How it Works
Signing up for a PRO account as part of the Epic Deal will lock in our limited time intro pricing of $1.99/mo for life before we raise the price in the coming weeks. This means if you sign up using your Epic Deal code while the limited time pricing of $1.99/mo is in place, after your 3 free months are up, you’ll be grandfathered in at the discounted rate for the life of your account! Cool huh? Get going!
Note: You are also more than welcome to downgrade to our Starter plan before the end of your 3 month trial and you will not be charged at all.
Since we initially published this blog post we have increased the price of the Pro plan to $4.99/mo. All other terms of the special are the same meaning that you will never pay more than $4.99/mo for the Pro plan if you sign up now and you will not be charged at all for three months.