Today, while at lunch with some of my cohorts, we overheard some people talking about how they are not getting the exposure they need, how things would be different if they could just get that one shot. While we weren’t trying to overhear their conversation, it’s almost like we couldn’t avoid it, so my friend walked up to them, handed them a business card, and said, “I’m a publicist and my friends and I do blogs on music for indie artists. If you’re interested in getting some exposure, send us an email with your info or check out our blogs to see how to submit to get featured.” She then came back to our table and while she was walking back, they laughed and snickered to themselves and threw the card on the floor. In the words of Stephanie Tanner, “how rude!”
So you want exposure, but you’re not willing to do what it takes to get it? Heelllooo???? You have no idea what you are doing by throwing away chances at increasing your fan base or increasing the level of people who you want to have know about you and your artistry by not taking advantage of opportunities that come your way or in this case, fall right in your lap. Duh!
There are plenty of ways to increase your fan base, but you cannot shy away or wave your hand away to those who are willing to help you or at least listen to your music, I mean, because that is what you want anyway, right? You want people to listen, so they can become engaged enough to purchase your music, see you at your show, become a true supporter, tell their friends, etc. Boom. Fan base. But that’s not going to happen if you don’t carpe diem– ahem, seize the day.
Building a fan base is not as hard as it sounds, and really, you need to start right in your town, where you live. Let’s start out with having some quality music first, with quality recordings, which we already touched base upon a few blogs back. Things generally start off slow, because it takes people a while to catch on to what you’re doing, plus people are busy and they have lives, so while music is everything to you, it’s not on their list of priorities, so don’t take it personal. However, you need to think about how to get on that list, even if it’s somewhere towards the bottom. Being on the list is better than not being on there at all.
So let’s think about some ways here and truthfully, these are some of the things we discussed after those rude people threw away my friend’s card.
- Engage and network with other artists similar to your genre. Hey, their fan base can also become yours. Why not?
- Music Festivals are genius. They are all over the states, all over internationally. Submit to some that are within your range of driving, walking, skateboarding, etc. and perform. Make sure if and when you do get accepted, and you get a time slot, show up on time, and have plenty of merchandise that you can offer to your new fans, like business cards, CDs, Download Cards, anything with your name (your brand) and logo on it so that people will remember to look you up long after the beer has worn off and the festival has dimmed out.
- Don’t be afraid to go to Open Mic nights. If anything, this is a great rehearsal for you, so get better at it. Become someone that people look forward to seeing there and network with the people who continue to keep coming to see you.
- Look for Gigs. Lots of bars, lounges, restaurants, hotels, all kinds of different venues look for artists all the time to perform and play music. Do your research. Find some. You might have more luck physically going in to talk to the manager of these places than you would if you just apply online. Remember, it’s like job searching. There are a million gazillion people who can click on submit behind a computer, but not everyone does the dirty work to actually present themselves to the venue. Get up out from behind your PC, go to these places with a USB Thumb drive or CD of your music and some business cards. Don’t ever forget that you are selling your brand. So do what you need to do to make it marketable and make people want to learn more about you or at least give you a shot.
- Make sure you have your social media networks set up for your ARTIST name and brand. No one is going to go looking for Jilliana Monique, well, unless of course that is your artist name. But if your government name IS your stage name, make sure you are able to differentiate it on social media like Jilliana Monique Official Web Page or Official Fan Page, or Official (you get where I am going here). It needs to be official.
- What makes you stand out? Yes, please do tell. What makes you stand out from the rest? Why do people need to listen to your music? Whatever it is that you are doing, if you want people to engage, then you have to interest them enough to be engaged. Perhaps there is something you can offer with your CD, or a free gift for the first 50 people to purchase your new single. People don’t know what the gift is, but they sure love the allure of getting something free. Trust me, it works.
- And last but not least, don’t turn away opportunities from publicists that concentrate on the indie artists and make blogs about music that want to help you to gain more exposure. We are here to help you! So when you decide to be a big boy or girl and pick up the business card from off the floor, we are still willing to listen. So send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at facebook.com/thecoordinatedpublicist or on Instagram at, well you get it. The name is pretty consistent, folks.
That’s all for now. This is Jilli coming at you from the always beautiful, always sunny, land of dreams in LA. It’s time to walk the dog and listen to some great music on my playlist, which is so far filled with the following artists:
- TNT Tha Nasty Tone- Lime and Coke
- Daze The Nomad- Running Man
- Certain People Listen- Hurt Me Too Bad
- Miss. Weirdy- Jamaican Girl
- Aissa Torres- You Wanna Dance
- Eclipse- Castle of Ice
- Cudda Brown- Word Up
- Jamiison G- I Do Work