Artists: Let Data Be Your Guide
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.
Stand Above the Noise: The Challenges of an Indie Musician
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.
How To Get Music Blog Coverage
Written by T.J. Petracca
Getting your music blogged about is one of the best ways to help your band grow on the Internet. Believe it or not, bloggers are some of the most powerful and influential people in the music industry. Sure, some of them are reclusive nerds slouched over glowing screens in their parents’ basement, but an increasing number of bloggers are producers, managers, A&R guys, and musicians themselves. Even if they are nerds in their parents’ basement, their influence can be extremely crucial to the success of your band. Below, find the top 5 ways to improve your chances of being featured on blogs.
1. Content is King
Creating bloggable content should be your first objective, but doing so is easier said than done. I’m not talking about overloading the web with songs, videos, and pictures, or talking about compromising your art, but rather that you stay current with the type of music that is getting coverage right now. Learn about the blogs you want to see your band on, and target them with the content you create.
2. The Album is Dead
At least when your band is first starting out. At that point in time, it’s all about releasing singles. Put your single up on an attractive Bandcamp page and upload it to Soundcloud. (Soundcloud is crucial to getting reviews. Many bloggers have soundcloud dropboxes built into their sites, making it super easy to share your tracks with them without clunky email attachments.)
3. Keep it Short and Sweet
Now that you’ve uploaded your content to the web, it’s time to start reaching out to blogs to get your music covered. Don’t spam them! Instead, learn about them and make sure you think they will actually like your music based on their previous posts. Always read the ‘about’ section on every blog and understand who you are talking to. Bloggers get hundreds, even thousands of submissions every day. Keep your email short and to the point. Use your subject line wisely so you’ll stand out. Talk about their blog and tell them what you like about it. Maybe highlight a specific post that made you think they would like your music. Attach a .jpeg of your album art and link to your bandcamp. Look at the format of their site — if you can size the photo you send them to fit perfectly with their layout, they are more likely to blog about you.
As I mentioned before, many bloggers prefer to receive submissions in their Soundcloud dropbox. Make sure to do that, but a follow up email is always a nice touch and it gives them another chance to see your name.
4. Follow them Religiously
Dedicate your band’s twitter “following” section to only blogs that are relevant. Follow them on twitter, soundcloud, instagram, tumblr, and everywhere else. Make them see your name as many times as possible, make them know who you are. Don’t harrass them, but stay in touch with them. Interact with them on twitter about everything, not just your music.
5. Thank Them and Keep Records
When someone writes about your band, share the article on all of your social media outlets, making sure to tag the blog in every post. Write them a short thank you email for featuring your song.
Compile a spreadsheet of bloggers who have featured you. Write down their site, name, email address, twitter handle, the link to their post about you, and their geographic location (the location will come in handy later when you decide to tour). Once you have a list of bloggers who have featured one of your singles, you can hit them up again in the future when you have new content, allowing every new release to go smoother and bigger than the one before.