I have been authoring a column for a while now on basic business and music law concepts on a music site (notjustok.com) focused on Nigerian musicians and its music industry. Going forward, I will republish some of those articles here for the benefit of UDUAK LAW BLOG readers who are musicians here in the States. I thought to start with this article on getting buzz for your music. As a member of the press and also owner of a media startup, Ladybrille, I can tell you this is one question I receive often. How do I get my music out there? What do I do? Here you go. A lot of the tips shared in this article are parallel concepts if you are in the fashion or film industry.
- Tip #1, Lay your foundation: The media is in the business of giving their audience want they want. Show you are worth their time and can give them what their audience wants by first laying your foundation. This means you must take advantage of your social media tools to gain traction. Create your Myspace, twitter, YouTube, facebook fan page, blog or your own website. Your social media sites are FREE and will come in handy when dealing with media.
- Tip #2, Target and know your media well: Invest the time to research and compile a contact list of influential music journalists, publishers & bloggers (aka media). Research their style, genre, how they like things sent to them, read some of the articles they have written/published. You do not want to waste your time sending information to journalists or bloggers that do not focus on music, much less your genre.
- Tip #3, Get your press a.k.a. media kit together: A media kit immediately sets you apart from the competition. It says you are serious about the business of music and you will be taken seriously. What goes into a media kit? Traditionally for musicians your cover letter, bio and basic frequently asked questions, brochure, past media coverage, CD and photo. These days, especially if you will be e-mailing your press kit, make it not more than one page long. Include a short and straight to the point information about yourself, your company if you are a record label, your new music, upcoming album and a link to your website/social media site. Make sure to include your contact information so you can be reached.
- Tip #4, Don’t send MP3s: I know it seems counter intuitive but the level of spam the media gets means your MP3s will often end up in the spam/junk folder. To increase the probability your music will be heard, send a link to your MySpace. If they like what they see and hear, they will follow up.
- Tip# 5, Send your release as an embedded text: Press releases are independent of your media kit. A press release is for the media not fans and it says, “I have newsworthy information that will benefit your audience.” Do not send press releases as attachments because they will find their way, most often, in the junk pile. Journalists get tons of e-mail everyday. Make their life easy and increase your chance of getting buzz by sending an embedded text.