A MESSAGE FROM THE MAMA PRESIDENT:
Starting from a place of knowing absolutely nothing about what it took to be a working musician, I spent years searching for opportunities. I sent emails for booking that never received a reply, bugged my friends and family with mass-texts begging them to see a show, and struggled to find courage in talking about my music. It was years before I learned what an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) was. Through trial and error I built up enough confidence to keep going. I am hoping these ramblings will give you the insight needed to further your career.
At our last general body meeting we discussed promotion and gathered a variety of perspectives on what it meant for a musician and for a show-goer. For someone starting off or someone looking to revamp their approach, I hope the information gathered benefits you in some way, shape or form!
• Consider having an artist rider handy. You can visit smokinggun.com to find examples of what artist contracts can model. A rider is to ensure that your needs are met by the venue.
• When contacting venues provide links websites including, but not limited to: facebook, instagram, twitter, personal website, music, and videos. Provide an up to date biography (number of members included), band photo for promotion, stage plot and a description of music. These are examples of things that should be included in an electronic press kit.
• Pitch all bands for the evening at once. Collaborate with other artists in town and provide the venue with the info on all bands for a full night of music.
• Create a lasting relationship with the venue. This may include being a present face at the venue. Be easy to work with, but also firm enough to advocate for your worth.
• Have business cards readily available for venues, family & friends. Include your social media tags, website, streaming platforms & contact information on the cards.
• Go on podcasts that surround the music industry.
• Youtube is a perfect platform for musicians on both sides of the scale. Your videos can be as quality as you’d like them to be. Throw up a tapestry, balance your phone against something to film, and share your songs OR hire a crew, design a set, and share your songs. Voila! Whatever your budget, you now can be heard and seen all over the world. Note that the quality of your video can reflect to prospective listeners, bookers and opportunities.
• Facebook is a solid go to when websites aren’t in your budget yet. Here you can have your events posted, links to other social media outlets, contact info, videos/photos, live streams of shows, gratitude posts, promotion posts, stories about upcoming shows/news/updates...THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. Try and post 3-5 times a week for engagement around lunch-time and 4-6 pm. (Think times people aren’t preoccupied) Have a solid plan in place, you are building a brand.
• Instagram is a space for visual satisfaction and your insta should be a visual extension of your music. I love going to a band’s Instagram and seeing photos that document their journey. Create a channel on IGTV to showcase songs without the lagging of the stories.
• Put your music on every streaming platform you can, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Deezer, Spotify, Apple Music, Vimeo, Tidal, Google-play, Youtube, Reverb Nation. Diversify and open the door to more listeners. There are many small streaming websites and you never know who will click on what link when. The more, the better! Consistency in branding will help will help in the long run.
• Engage. Engage. Engage. Speak with confidence, own your product, relax and have fun. If you are enjoying yourself on stage, your audience is more likely to enjoy themselves off stage. Own whatever it is that you are on a stage. Shy? Be shy. Goofy and awkward? Be goofy and awkward. You do you boo.
• Make meaningful eye contact, smile, wink, be approachable
• Find ways to make it memorable and unique. Give your listeners a variety of reasons to come back…. “Do you remember that band that [insert action here]? Let’s find out when they’re playing again. That was such a fun show!” Give your audience an experience that they can relive over and over again.
• Thank your audience. Thank your sound engineer. Thank your venue. Show genuine gratitude. It ripples out and means so much more to your listeners.
• Invite them to the next show. Tell them where they can find you next, how they can listen, and what they can do to stay up to date with your journey.
• Be mindful how many times you’re playing in a specific area or venues. Over-saturation can kill the number of attendees if people feel like they’ll have another opportunity to see you play.
• Put something in their hands. Merch, CD’s, free stickers. Something tangible they can take home to remember you by. • Consistency. Look, sound, vibes. We live in a society that is ever-evolving and rapidly changing. Having that consistency may help in being remembered.
Putting yourself out into the world in any situation can be scary. With the support, vision, consistency and confidence you’ll navigate hurdles thrown in this topsy turvy industry.
Remember: we’re stronger together!
MAMA is happy to help with any questions you have regarding promoting your music! Don’t hesitate to email: firstname.lastname@example.org or attend a general body meeting. These meetings occur the first Tuesday of every month at 7am or 8pm. Thank you to Break Espresso for hosting our meetings!