So You Made an Album

 

Promoting your band’s first album in a structured way begins by building a strong,very relevant network of contacts. This describes how to acquire, organize and maintain your network of contacts to How to promote your bands first album. Use the practical tips and tools described to start building and using your promotional network today.

Building relationships in the digital world.

Just like in the real world before the arrival of the internet, a big part of promoting your band is about building relationships. In other words, getting to know the music writers, publishers, A&R managers, venue bookers and so on. Unless you are a big established name, sending out un-solicited emails is not going to bring you far. If being read at all by the receiver, it can quickly generate dislike, giving you a bad name in the long run.

Be sincere and relaxed.

It is obvious you like to promote your band but take it easy. Getting introduced to somebody doesn’t mean you need to start promoting away from the start. If you are not genuinely interested in the person you are trying to get acquainted with then why should they be in you? It is often better “not Promote” your band on the first introduction, but talk and listen. Learn about what the other’s interests are, have fun and relax. After some time, when you do promote your band, the other person will be happier to receive the info and check it out.

Acquiring and organizing contact information.

When you start meeting people and acquiring contact information, you need to store and organize it in a way that will help you “utilize” it when you are going to promote. One of the easiest ways to do this is using Google Documents. This web-based tool lets you create, store and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations,

It is not only important to save all contact information but to organize it properly so its easy to use. Keep the following things in mind while doing this:
-Save contact info Name, Function, Email, Phone number, website in a Spreadsheet
-Add useful info for future reference such as the Date the contact was added or you had Last Contact with
-Add a column to keep track of things you discussed or actions you need to perform “contact again for possible show mid-October.”

Then organise your acquired contact information into a spreadsheet with categories such as:
-Venues
-Blogs
-Magazines
-Websites
-Festivals
-Radio stations

Maintaining your contacts/relationships life cycle.

The most important thing to understand about promoting your band is that it should be a continuous and longterm process, not a one-off event. Wether you are just starting out or already an established name, promotion needs to be frequently done. Wether its new shows to be booked, a new album to promote, an anniversary to celebrate, a bandmember that joins, promotion is ever-present. If your promotion drops away (even for a brief moment) you will likely notice it, at least in the long run.

To prevent your promotion to be random and scattered, it is important to categorize your types of “information/events” and the frequency of “contact moments.” For example, it works better to be in regular contact with venue bookers to get shows instead of emailing them a week before you want that show. The most killing to your precious network however is not following up at all with your valuable contacts. Running a band is busy at it is and if you don’t schedule your follow up it will easily be forgotten.

Filtering types of events and scheduling your followup.

Begin by filtering your different types of events/information you like to promote. A couple of examples:
-New releases
-Upcoming shows
-Booking shows
-Band member changes

For each type determine how frequently you plan to promote or followup on a previous contact. Some examples:
-New releases (a month before release)
-Upcoming shows (when ticket sales open)
-Booking shows (bi-monthly contact venue bookers and agents) (or ask them when they like to be contacted)
-Festivals (ask them when they accept band entries, usually so much as six months ahead!)

Set Google Alerts to harvest information
The internet is so vast it can be a waste of time to manually search for information. A good way of automatically staying up to date on specific persons, topics and venues is to set Google Alerts keywords. Whenever there’s a new online entry mentioning the contact person’s name, venue or another keyword you set, you will get an email notification. Set your band name as Google Alert as well, to learn what is “buzzing” on the net about your band.

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