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November 20, 2008

Help Promote Our Band

Filed under: website promotion, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:06 am

Here are two emails I got this morning:

Subject: No Subject
Body: hey our band could really use some promotion. Can you help us out?

++++

Subject: WE NEED HELP TO PROMOTE OUR BAND IN EUROPE
Body: Nothing

Please Send Me Your Band Information.

Contact information is one of the most important parts of your Email. Include: your name, your band’s name, a couple of telephone numbers, postal address, email address, website URL.

Don’t just rely on contact information to give your email a sense of realism, also include your genre and a very short bit of original blurb - otherwise I will trash your email!

TURN UP THE VOLUME,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/

November 17, 2008

God Is In The TV Zine

Filed under: Band Sponsorship, Band Promotion — ian @ 7:02 pm

God Is In The TV Zine - the independent music and culture webzineI’ve just read an article - that I think all unsigned bands should read - on God Is In The TV Zine by Bill Cummings called Take a stake in a band.

The Article describes how The Race, a male and female fronted, 5 piece alt. indie band from Reading, intend to raise money through a scheme called "The Stakeholder Fund". It is a great idea, and one that I have always advocated. It is not a new idea however, in 2002 Jake Shillingford (click on /Invest) of Exileinside was one of the pioneers of the Do-It-Yourself approach to promoting and marketing his band and music through the internet and Web 2.0.

I also love The Race’s idea of "PASS IT ON" …follow the links and read "Take a stake in a band" to find out more. And while you are there, join GIITTV.

October 15, 2008

The MySpace Matrix on Metal Music Promotions

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:35 pm

Want to know how I feel about MySace? Read this: The MySpace Matrix by Metal Music Promotions, it hits the spot.

Calling all bands, GET A REAL WEBSITE

October 11, 2008

Band of Me - Indie Music Videos

Filed under: website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 8:36 pm

Band of Me - music videos Bands and Solo ArtistsNow, this isn’t The full Unsigned Band Promotion endorsement and recommendation of Band of Me because I don’t really know them, but, it is a Link to a new community where musicians can be seen and heard through their music videos.

What they have to say about themselves: watch music videos of the top emerging bands and solo artists. Browse videos by instrument and genre. Join the Community and have your voice heard! "Where Musicians Come to Strut Their Stuff"

And I say good luck to them. It is another place for bands to post videos, and let’s hope it attracts music lovers who will become Your fans ;)

Out for kicks,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/

October 7, 2008

Fancorps - Street Team Management

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 11:35 pm

Fancorps - Street Team ManagementI’ve been interested in "Fans" for ages because they’re obviously So important to a band’s success. And recently there have been some very thought provoking and inspiring articles on the subject: Kevin Kelly’s - 1000 True Fans, From Exposure to Conversion "How to Create a Real Fan" - Part 1 and From Exposure to Conversion "How to Create a Real Fan" - Part 2. Then there is Fancorps who caught my eye over the last eighteen months, so I emailed them and asked for some blurb. They referred me to their website! And that was from Marketing & Client Relations - God bless them –I hope that isn’t indicative of their service!

What They Say and I quote:
Fancorps are a software provider in the form of a social network [Ed. Oh, it’s Web 2.0 again!]. We have created a unique environment that enables a band or record label to build, organize, maintain, and manage a grass-roots "street team".
We are NOT a street team and we do not provide you with street teamers. We do not have hundreds or thousands of willing volunteers waiting to promote your project. Fancorps believes that your street team should be built from your most devoted friends, family, fans and followers.
[Ed. and the bit that sort of worries me:] it is essential for you to reach out to your current mailing list, MySpace, Facebook and other social network friends and encourage users to join your team
They do continue, but you can visit their website if you want more.

So, Fancorps are about communication and tools that will help You run Your street team - which seems fair and that’s what I like about them. They call it a "Street Team Management Community" which fits in well (almost) with another article that I like: The only thing wrong with Music 2.0 is your mental model of how it should work - by Bruce Warila –can you imagine the Fan Pulling Power of six like minded, same genre bands joining together, synchronizing and using 6 sets of devoted fans, friends and family and 6 sets of mailing lists, MySpace, Facebook and other social networking friends. Powerful to say the least!

Unfortunately Fancorps have given themselves a militaristic look - that I’m not too keen on as a Pacifist, and the cost could be a little high for some bands at $50 per month for just 250 members.

My advice (for what it’s worth!), give Fancorps a go if you can afford it, otherwise/and also, work and join with other bands to build a humungus fanbase (and don’t just use them to fill pay-to-play venues) that would cost you a fuckin’ fortune per month on Fancorps.

September 27, 2008

No News Is Good News!

Filed under: SEO, website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 10:15 pm

British Pathe News Logo - no news is NOT good newsNo news is good news. Err, no.

When a person visits your band’s website they’re probably just looking for a free download of your music. But, they will also discover your credibility! If your band’s website has a NEWS page that contains No News or Very Old News, the visitor will think, “no action”, and wonder if your band is going down the pan. Why support an ex-indie band? - so many bands break up. Give your visitor what she’s looking for. Band News!

No news is not good news

Ciao 4 niao,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/

September 17, 2008

Press Packs - what should they include

Filed under: Band Promotion — ian @ 11:15 am

Press Packs - what should they include?My strapline is, helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own and to that end I’ve written Promoting Gigs From Your Website, SEO for Bands and now Press Packs - what should they include?.

I don’t receive many press packs, but I do get lots of email, and I could moan on about the spam ad nauseam. My big bugbear with many of the emails I receive is the totally unbelievable lack of content, there’s no: band name, MySpace address or website address - I got an email the other day that just said “Help” in the Subject bar. So I’m thinking, I bet when these bands send out a press pack it’s the same - Poor Information! Then there are the bands who Do include contact details and loads of blurb about the band - too much blurb in fact. I click on the links, and they’ve got exactly the same tomes of information plastered everywhere. Bored out of my box, I don’t read any of it. So, put yourself in the mind of the receiver; if you were to receive your press pack and a hundred others exactly the same, would you be sorting them into the sorting-bin? Here’s a truth, nobody cares about you or your band (yet).

“Anything interesting in the post today darling?”
“Oh yes. Look at this one love.”

Overall
The main thrust and idea of a press pack is to be proactive, meaning - You are aproaching Them, and ‘Them’ are: Gig Promoters, Venues, Labels, Press, Online Radio, DJs and anyone else in the music industry who might employ you! Sending out a hard copy of your press pack is not the same as sending a crappy email that includes your MySpace or website address. The purpose of a press pack is to target and present your band’s information, in the best possible light, towards a specific audience, and they will use the information accordingly! First impressions are always very important, you normally get just one chance to make the hit. Put in as much effort as you can to create a simple and professional looking press pack - quality, not quantity - with easy to read and understand information that is correct (spelling, grammar, punctuation), honest, relevant, current and hits the spot. Keep to industry standard layouts and sizes.

Tip: it’s a good idea to contact the recipient of your press pack first, to find out if they want it!

The Different Versions
You’ve got to ask yourself, “who is the press pack for?” and tailor your press pack at them. You’re a band. Your products are music and performance, and that’s what all of the recipients of your press pack are interested in. For gig promoters and venues, it’s all about how many people you can draw, so who & what you sound like and how you perform is important. On the other hand labels - who will invest in you - want to see a return on their investment, so they are also interested in your future potential and your current achievements. The press are always looking for news, so they are hunting for stories that will attract readers (I wouldn’t make up stuff). Online radio and DJs want new and entertaining music to play to their listeners.

Gig Promoters, Venues, Labels, Press, Online Radio and DJs all want to hear quality music and see your full contact information, if you sound good they will want to contact you because they will all want a slice of the action - they’re in it for the money. As always it’s a good idea to start off locally, both in the real world and online, so if you have already been gigging locally, include the details of where you have been playing - extend this out as you get bigger.

Your Contact Information
This is one of the most important parts of your press pack. Your contact information should be on everything - you could use self-sticking return address labels or self-inking rubber stamps to good effect here. Get yourself a business card for the band.

Include: your name, your band’s name, a couple of telephone numbers, postal address, email address, website URL.

The Website
From a website point of view, you could make a short snappy version of your press pack as the opening page with the links pointing to the full versions. Your band’s website Is (or should be) the ultimate press pack. You may want to include how to get the printed version, or a zipped ‘electronic’ version? Fans, friends and family might also be interested in the printed version especially if it includes a free DVD of your latest gig - that might co$t you!

Note: more people are accepting ePress packs, as they take up less office space, however, the same rules apply.

The Covering Letter / The Biography Blurb (one sheet)
It’s called a “one sheet” because it’s on one sheet of paper, but I think if it goes to two sheets, it’s O.K. It should contain your full contact details (on headed paper) that is dated and signed. The opening introductory and closing paragraphs of the letter/biography should be personalised. And K.I.S.S. (keep it short + simple ;) ). Create a strap line that describes your band, something like this: The Flying Footstools are a female fronted indie rock band from Reading, Berkshire (England) - I’m sure you can do better than that. Try to include a couple of short testimonials/reviews (I wouldn’t bother sending photocopies of newspaper clippings) from the music industry, details of your forthcoming gigs and if they’re local, ask them if they want to be on your guestlist.

The Photographs
A high resolution (300+ DPI), preferably B/W (monochromatic) or full colour, 4in x 6in (postcard size - takes up less space) [8in x 10in (magazine cover size) version can be downloaded off the ‘net], portrait orientation, group shot. I would recommend you to use a professional photographer - money well spent. If you really can’t afford to use a professional photographer, use a student photographer or an assistant photographer. A student photographer will/may/should only charge you for materials, but will want to use the photographs for inclusion in their portfolio. An assistant photographer is always looking out for subjects for “test sessions” - everyone involved gives their services free and the photographs are shared around for all to use in their portfolios.

The Live Demo &/or DVD
It’s got to be said, “put your best track first”.
The most common complaint from - Gig Promoters, Venues, Labels, Press, Online Radio and DJs - the people who receive music from bands is: LACK OF INFORMATION. Label CDs with a CD sticker and include: Your Band’s Name, Album’s Name, Track Names & Numbers, Website Address and Contact Information - it is easy to print these out yourself from your PC. Three tracks is normal.

For electronic versions of the press pack Zip three mp3s with artwork, photograph and textual information - Tag mp3s - YourBandName-TrackName.mp3, include website address in ID3. An mp3 size of 192kbps would be O.K. for most purposes.

A well made live DVD shorty would go down extremely well :)

The Packaging
Brown is bad, green is clean, yellow and red are predictable, white and grey are dull and professional, duck egg blue is lovely. Just make it stand out from the others!

Press Pack Check List
include: band name, genre, email address, website URL on everything.

  • One Sheet
  • Photograph
  • CD/DVD
  • Business Card
  • Quality Envelope
  • Correct Postage

Simple, DON’T include your life story

The Professionals
Please Don’t ask me to create your band’s press pack. I’m not a professional. But, I know a man who is, Martin “GD” of Green Dragon Media (Ed. Martin seems to have a low profile at the moment!). He has over 30 years experience in the music industry, having worked in music management, record label A&R, radio (as a presenter), promotion and publicity - so Martin knows what the industry is looking for. A professionally produced press pack will give your band a big advantage over other bands who have poorly produced press packs. Of course there is a cost, £50 (about US$100) would be a bargain, because once you have assembled your press pack you’ve got to do something with it, and a good professional will have a list of contacts as long as your arm.

Written by Ian Robson
IanUnsigned Band Promotion help musicians and artists to get their websites noticed by fans, search engines and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own. Find UBP on and Twitter. Ian has been working on website promotion techniques since 1994.

September 9, 2008

New Micro-Site For Sweet City Action

Filed under: SEO, Band Sponsorship, website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 2:10 pm

Sweet City Action indie rock band Gainesville Florida | 1982 BAR GainesvilleI’ve just finished a Micro-Site for the beautiful and amazing indie rock band from Gainesville, Florida Sweet City Action. Vilma and Christina are brilliant. I want the Micro-Site to help promote the band as they don’t have a Website just various profiles - watch this space as I may change the design. I wish them well and send my love. Sweet City Action’s favourite local spot to play is the 1982 Bar, Gainesville, which is just down the road from the University - so, if you fancy a fun-filled night out go and see them.

August 20, 2008

Creative Band Promotion

Filed under: website promotion, Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 11:07 pm

I’ve just followed a bizzarre trail of links and found myself reading a creative and fun blog post on "creative band promotion", it’s well worth a gander, it will give you some colourful band promotion ideas, see: Creative Promotion Ideas for Your Band by Vilma Jarvinen

August 11, 2008

Band Name & Domain Name

Filed under: Band News, Band Promotion — ian @ 4:02 pm

Name Pistol - Band Name GeneratorI received an email from Lee Parnham of Name Pistol - the band name generator with intelligence - and I thought, "A band name generator should also be a domain name generator". I wondered if it was, so I generated three names and Googled them (with quotation marks and ending in Band): "BROOKLYN REBEL VOYAGE" Band, "EVIL SHAKEDOWN" Band, "EVIL KARMA DOLLS" Band and Hey Presto, much satisfaction, I found no results, the band name generator seemed to work :)

A band’s website needs a short memorable domain name that Is the band’s name - it’s what everyone expects. But what happens if your band’s name is being used by someone else either as a trading name, as a domain name or both? You will have to:

  • establish who has the right to use the name
  • re-think the domain name, e.g. try:
    • [Your-Band-Name.com]
    • [YourBandName-Band.com]
    • [YourBandName-Music.com]
    • [YourBandName-UK.com] (US, EU or whatever)
  • try negotiating with the other party (seek professional legal advice - sounds expensive!)
  • completely change your band’s name and therefore your domain name

Your band’s name needs to be one or two memorable words that reflect your band’s image, sound and genre. Choosing a band name isn’t easy, but it’s quite good fun using Name Pistol. When you’ve eventually selected your cool band name, make sure it’s O.K. to use it.

Test your chosen band name:

Name Pistol the band name generator will give you thousands of cool unused band names for most popular genres.

Ciao 4 niao,
Unsigned Band Promotion
UnsignedBandPromotion.com
~ helping musicians and artists get their websites noticed by fans, search engines
and the music industry in half the time they could do it on their own ~
http://www.unsignedbandpromotion.com/

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