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Be Your Own Music Publicist Part 3 Cyber PR

It is possible to be your own music publicist, but it’s not easy. In this free step by step guide, Ariel Hyatt and her team of music marketing experts at Cyber PR, show you how.

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By Ariel Hyatt and the team at Cyber PR

PART 3: START COMMUNICATING! [ Read Part 1 and Part 2 ]

Getting that first article written about you can feel like a daunting task. Two great places to start are your local area with online calendar editors (assuming that you don’t live in NYC or Los Angeles) or any smaller music blogs.

Music blogs are run by normal people with day jobs, who just happen to have a deep love for music. Making genuine connections with them is part of the foundation that will help your career flourish. You’ll need to work like a passenger pigeon when contacting these writers and blogs, making sure you’re precise, consistent, and to the point.

The music publicity process for any band or artist – no matter how big or small – is very much the same. Of course, the size of the outlets in which you receive placements will vary dramatically. This is based on what style of music is hot at the moment, combined with many other factors including label, tour schedule, size of your online fan base, and number of streams.

The Last 5 Steps in Your Music Publicist Journey

1. Prepare and Send Media Pitches

2. Follow Up Again (and Again)

3. Tour Press

4. Update Your Fans Through Your Newsletter and Socials

5. Show Off Your Results

1. Prepare and Send Media Pitches

For each blog or podcast you are sending to, find a specific writer or editor to pitch. Find someone who is covering/writing about artists that are similar to you, a writer you admire, or someone who is writing the column on the site reserved for up and coming artists.

REMEMBER: If you are trying to secure a premiere, you’re going to have to pitch to one blog at a time, to ensure that you don’t double book a premiere (that’s a big no no). For a deep dive on how to secure premieres, read The Musician’s Guide to Premieres.

Sending Your Pitch in an Email

Always start your pitch addressing the blogger or journalist by their first name.

Thank the writer right off the bat for their time, and get straight to the point of who you are and what you are reaching out about (and be very specific about what you are asking for). Your first paragraph should be customized with them and the site they are writing for in mind. For instance, you might want to mention why your music would be a good fit for the site or why you personally love the site.

Your second paragraph should include your basic info (who, what, when, where, why) and a description of your sound that is razor-focused and absent of superlatives and generalizations.

Be sure to include links to your website, all of your active socials, and a SoundCloud link to the music you are pitching them (unless told otherwise in the submission guidelines).

Include any upcoming tour dates, releases, and relevant news.

Close your pitch by thanking them for their time and consideration.

As a Facebook Message or as a DM on Twitter
A pitch you are sending via Facebook message or Twitter DM should be considerably shorter than a pitch you send through email. If you are pitching a writer’s personal account it is imperative that you be polite and respectful. Keep in mind you can only DM people who are following you on Twitter so you may @ them first and ask for a follow.

Briefly state your reason for reaching out, describe your sound/important facts, and include a link to your SoundCloud (and maybe your website).

TIP: Direct messaging a writer or music blog on Twitter can be a really effective way of following up on an email that you never got a response to, even after following up via email several times.

2. Follow Up Again and Again

It is critical that you follow up. Most musicians never follow up at all. This will separate you from the pack. At Cyber PR we follow up with bloggers 3 times before we stop and move on, and I suggest you do the same. Be careful though, there are some music blogs that state in their submission guidelines to never follow up. If they absolutely don’t want you to follow up, they will make it clear.

1-2-3 Strike & Stop Strategy

If you use Gmail, there’s a fabulous reminder tool called Boomerang which will keep your follow-ups organized. Once you send a pitch, you can schedule reminder emails to yourself. If the email was unopened it will come back to you to send again. Stick to a 3 strikes and stop strategy (meaning send the pitch 3 times). If the writer doesn’t respond then choose another target.

Use Sidekick!

An amazing tool that allows you to see which writers are actually opening your emails is called Sidekick. Use this link to get a free trial month, and after that it’s only $10 per month, you will never wonder if people are getting your emails again. We can’t live without this tool. It makes us seem almost psychic when we follow up with writers moments after they open our emails. You can refer your friends too!

When you follow up, write a short and sweet email that includes details to spark the writer’s memory.

Be Patient

PR is a slow-moving vehicle that can take time to get results. If a writer didn’t love the first EP, she may love the second one. This means that you may need to try a few times to get certain writers to pay attention.

4. Update Your Fans Through Newsletter & Socials

Never forget that your fans are a very important part of the equation! They are the ones who are going to attend your shows, buy CDs and merch, and tell their friends about you. So keep them updated! Post regularly on your socials. Announce presales, tour dates, giveaways, contests, merch, etc. through your newsletter. Make your fans happy that they signed up for the newsletter by offering them exclusive content!

Most importantly – PUBLICIZE EVERY FEATURE YOU GET. No matter how small. Take full advantage of the bandwagon effect, and get your fans excited about every piece of publicity you receive. This also makes it clear to music bloggers and journalists that you are taking it seriously. Not only does this make a good impression on the people who featured you, but it increases your chances of getting more publicity when bloggers check your socials. They are trying to drive traffic to their websites too, and you want to demonstrate that you will promote their features effectively.

5. Show Off Your Results

This is a bit of a reiteration of the last point in #4, but it’s SO IMPORTANT. If you get a feature, make a quality graphic in Canva so that you can post an eye-catching link on all your socials.

Here is an example of one we created and shared on our Instagram for Beau + Luci:

Make a press section on your website. Add the best quotes.

Here is a great example of a beautiful press page from Sleeping Lion’s website:

The bandwagon effect works very well on music bloggers, as well as fans, and a lot of bloggers know one another. If you show that you’ve made a good impression with one blogger, it might be that much easier to secure a feature with another. Remember that bloggers are constantly looking at other blogger’s social media and the music industry is a giant, interconnected web. You never know when you’re making an impression on someone who could really help you. Put your best foot forward, and show appreciation to everyone who supports you!

Remember to also share your PR victories in your monthly newsletter!

You have come to the end of our “How to Be Your Own Music Publicist” series! If you missed part 1 or part 2 go back and read them! have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section. We hope that these three blog posts have helped you on your music publicity journey. Go forth and conquer! And for an even deeper dive on how to effectively kick arse on your own PR, download our Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity by clicking on the image below (You can also buy it on Amazon!)

Source: HypeBot

Fan Insights Rebrands As Spotify for Artists, Now Available To All Artists and Managers

In November 2015, Spotify released Spotify Fan Insights, a dashboard to help artists better understand their Spotify listeners. Today, it exited beta as Spotify For Artists combining analytics, profile management tools and some new features.

spotify for artists

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Spotify Fan Insights has rebranded as Spotify for Artists and is available to all artists and managers.

It’s designed to be a one-stop shop for artists on Spotify, including access to audience insights and song data, plus tools to manage their artist profile. Artist verification and artist playlisting are also part of the new Spotify for Artists.

Existing verified artists will remain verified, unverified artists no longer need to fill out a separate request to get verified, and artist playlisting is being simplified.

Over the last 17 months, tens of thousands of artists joined the Fan Insights beta.

Two success stories:

  • Artist Lucy Rose used data to select Latin America as one of her tour locations – and played packed shows to crowds that knew every word to her songs.
  • Jake Udell, founder of TH3RD BRAIN, which represents artists including ZHU & Gallant, used Fan Insights to recognize a spike in streams of ZHU & Skrillex’s “Working For It”. They used the data to double down on marketing efforts.

“This is just the beginning,” promised Spotify in a blog post. “We’ll continue rapidly evolving and growing Spotify for Artists based on your feedback; you and every artist on Spotify deserve the chance to build an audience, engage your fans, express yourself, and get the support you need.”

Source: HypeBot

5-step Guide To Getting Music Coverage for Your Next Release

Most musicians want their music heard, and hiring a publicist can be a great way of getting the word out. Unfortunately, publicists are also expensive, and not always affordable on a DIY budget. Here we walk through a five-step guide on how to be your own PR agent.

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Guest post by Angela Mastrogiacomo of the ReverbNation Blog

There’s no worse feeling than pouring a ton of time, energy, and money into a musical project that no one ever sees. Unfortunately, this is something that far too many musicians have experienced. As a publicist and blogger myself, my first recommendation is always to budget for a publicist when you’re outlining your release plan. Publicists aren’t cheap, but there’s a reason for that: they’ve spent their careers building and maintaining their relationships, honing their writing and pitching skills, and identifying the best stories and angles for each and every artist.

It’s no easy task, as you’re about to learn. But if you have a shoestring budget and simply can’t afford to hire a publicist right now, take a look at this DIY PR guide and learn how to get your next release the blog coverage it deserves.

1. Make sure you have something new to promote

This one is critical. If you don’t have a new piece of content to promote, securing coverage is going to be incredibly difficult. Because blogs receive hundreds of emails a day, it’s imperative that yours stands out not only in your pitch and quality of material, but that the material is relevant.

If it’s a new album or EP you’re looking to promote, you’ll want to give yourself at least eight weeks of lead time, meaning you’ll want to start pitching exclusives and sending your music to blogs that far in advance. Once the album is already released, it becomes much more difficult to secure coverage. For a single or video, give yourself a few weeks to secure a premiere, then once it goes live, you can get to work sending it to press.

Once your tracks are ready to go, get yourself a sleek, customizable Electronic Press Kit right here

2. Do your research

Trust me on this—you don’t want to just blindly email 50 outlets and hope that one of them sticks. It won’t work. It has never worked, and you will not be the exception.

The key to success is targeting. Take the time to research different blogs and see what kind of music they cover and if yours is a fit. Be honest with yourself. If you’re primarily a country artist with just a tiny bit of rock, the rock blogs probably won’t be interested. On the other hand, if your sound is akin to Jimmy Eat World and there’s a blog that covers everything Jimmy Eat World has ever done, they’d be a great target outlet.

One of the most popular ways to find outlets to pitch is through HypeMachine. Simply type the name of an artist you sound like in the upper right search bar, and take a look at all the outlets that come up. You’ll still need to do your research to make sure those blogs still cover your genre and accept artist submissions, but it’s a great way to get started. You can also try searching on Google for emerging artists with a sound similar to yours that have had success with press, and see where they’ve been featured.

Here are 5 must-have DIY PR tools for any musician looking to get some pub

3. Build relationships offline

Relationship building is one of the most time-consuming and necessary steps in securing press, and, really, in building your career in the music industry. For better or worse, it’s an industry built off nepotism, and you need to work that to your advantage.

Although the internet is a powerful tool, one of the strongest ways to build bonds is through face-to-face interactions. This means getting out to local shows and actually talking to the other bands, friends running the merch table, people in the audience, etc. It can also mean attending local music industry meetups or starting your own. Many cities will have different options for industry meetups, but if you’re looking for a head start, Balanced Breakfast has chapters in more than 12 cities.

Find local venues and see who’s playing them with the free Gig Finder feature

The goal in all of this is to make yourself seen and put yourself in the position to meet people by continuing to show up. Most seasoned musicians will tell you that when they go to the same event week after week—an open mic, a local indie night, etc.—they tend to see the same faces, and it creates a natural clique and bond.

When the same people continue to drag themselves out to the same events every week, it’s usually a signal that they’re serious about what they do and heavily involved in the music scene—and those are exactly the kind of people you want to meet.

4. Build relationships online

Although in-person meetings are among the strongest ways to form relationships, there’s something to be said for the power of online networking.

Twitter and Instagram are both great ways to maintain relationships by interacting with current connections, or those you’d like to be more connected to. But if you’re starting fresh and looking to meet people for the first time, Facebook groups are one of my personal favorites. There are so many great ones out there that foster strong relationships and introduce you to like-minded people.

Networking hack: sign up HERE, sync your social networks, and message artists who already follow you

Like with meetups, you’re bound to find a few musician and industry groups specific to your city, which can be a great way to connect with your local music community. If you’d like to connect with artists and industry people across the globe, though, one of my favorite groups is the Music Launch Hub. It provides a truly supportive community to connect, learn, and share.

5. Craft the perfect pitch

So you’ve built your relationships, done your research, and now you’re ready to craft your pitch. Take your time with this, and always remember to do a double (if not, triple) read through before sending. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, as they say.

The most important thing to remember here is to keep it personal. Just like you can’t blindly email 50 blogs and hope one of them covers your genre of music, you can’t blindly email a blog with a generic copy-and-paste format and expect them to care.

Whenever possible, take the time to find the email of a specific person (preferably a writer who has covered a band you sound like or a genre you’re in), and then address them by name. “Hey Angela” gets my attention much more than “Hey” (or even worse, a misspelling like “Hey Angelina”). From there, take a sentence or two to compliment them on their work, and let them know you took the time to really check out what they do. After all, if you don’t take the time to care about what they pour their heart into, why should they care about what you pour yours into?

Each blog will have different submission guidelines, so it’s important to always look for those. However, as a rule of thumb, you’ll want to include a link to your music, (SoundCloud private stream is a great way to link to unreleased content for a premiere offer), your electronic press kit (bio, press photos, album download), and your social media pages. Keep it personal, but short and to the point: who you are, where you’re from, who you sound like, and what you’re looking for.

It’s an arduous process, but I promise you that if you can perfect this skill and continuously work towards building and maintaining relationships, your press coverage – and your music career – will flourish.

Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR and Infectious Magazine. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.

Source: HypeBot