How to get your music past your hands and into the hands of music lovers? You will need to make people hear you and your music. This is where marketing comes in. Marketing to promote you and your music and your album.
The most basic kind of promotion is publicity, where you get key people in media to pay attention to you and to your music, as well as help review your material. This is usually handled by a public relations group or someone called a publicist. He has a network of contacts in the music and entertainment industry, journalists, bloggers, reviewers, etc.
If they are handed something to promote, the publicist spreads the word to key people. Some of those who were contacted may feature you in their columns, articles, websites or blogs they write in. If you want to do this yourself, it is possible. Try to get a list of these people, get their names and contact numbers and be friendly and knowledgeable about what you intend to ask. This will definitely save you some money on the promotional side of things. This may not turn out successful but it would be good to try. If you’re choosing the publicist to do it for you, then you can also rest assured that people know of him already and will surely give him time and attention. A publicist of this sort will definitely get an answer somewhere.
You can create a press kit containing the following: your album CD, complete with track listing, song information and production credits / a cover letter to say your friendly introductions about yourself and your album and why it merits a review / your artist bio with information about you or your band / a fact sheet (short – bullet list of pertinent information) / your artist photo, usually an eight by ten size. Include an email and other contact information.
All of this should go into a clean and professional-looking folder.
You can send this to newspapers, music or arts journalists, music bloggers and music reviewers. Wait a couple of weeks before following them up. Follow ups can be done through phone or email. With the follow up, you can ask if they received the album CD. You can also ask if he’s listened to the album, if he does plan to review the album and ask where and when it will happen. You can also ask for a copy of the review once it’s done.
You can also ask around as to how to land an interview or a feature article somewhere.
Promoting yourself online is a quick and inexpensive way to get noticed. Maybe even more effective! You can have a mailing list and send out newlsetters and such for anything you want to announce. (CD release, your touring whereabouts, etc) If you have a website or blog, here you can keep your network up-to-date and informed about anything you’re going through. You can also offer freebies of any kind to keep it interesting. Include in the list social networks, online publicity outfits, etc.
Think of the many people you can reach out to online! It’s a great way to get known and relate to people on a personal level. Who knows what other surprises lay in store once you establish a fan base. Good luck!