Go beyond the music. Advertise YOU.
Without a doubt, the music industry is changing. Record labels are operating on smaller budgets, singles dominate revenue streams (what's left of them), and radio listenership is just not what it used to be anymore. So…how in the world are you supposed to break an act today?
First and foremost, musicians are still totally capable of achieving great success in today's transformed market - they just have to go about it differently now. If you're an artist, you probably already use a variety of different outlets to advertise yourself. You post tour dates on your website, upload content on MySpace, connect with fans on Facebook, share photos on Flickr, and post videos on YouTube. You make your music available through iTunes, you promote yourself through live shows, and you may even use Kickstarter to raise money to cover recording costs.
But stop and think for a minute - are you really selling yourself with any of that?
Don't get us wrong, all of these methods are great (and usually necessary). But there's one small problem - most of it is just clutter. If you're not truly making a connection with your audience, then you're not truly promoting yourself. So how do you really gain valuable exposure?
It's all about the visual aspect to promotions.
Michael Blanton, President of artist development company BE Music and Entertainment, shares his insight in the realm of promotions for the month of May. First comes the music, that's obvious. But after you've figured out what direction you're heading in musically, it's time to figure out how you're going to sell all of that. And we'll give you a little hint - it all starts with you. Once you're ready to really promote yourself, Michael shares with you his top two tips for this month:
1. Think visual, visual, visual. Take every facet of your career and figure out ways to capture it all on video to show the world what you're doing as an artist. In the world of self-promotion, everyone has access to social networking, but many artists are only showcasing their music; not everyone is thinking "visual". Go beyond photographs - create and capture things visually to show people you're putting effort into presenting yourself.
2. Specifically concentrate on local and regional markets. Don't think you have to win America's Got Talent to bask in the glory of visually exposing yourself. Start small and work your way up. Get broadcasted on local television, get featured in a local filmmaker's documentary, use college campus networks to your advantage, book a gig at local event or music festival and film quality recordings of your performance - these are just a few of the hundreds of opportunities that exist for you. Receiving this kind of exposure adds value to your name, and your reputation will thrive because of it.
Michael has made notable efforts in this field with his recent work on the upcoming CW series Troubadour, TX - a docu-reality television series showcasing the stories and sagas of a variety of different independent artists, all who have some connection to the Lone Star State. So how is Troubadour, TX any different from your average reality series?
Well, it's not your typical southern honky-tonk show; it's certainly a far cry from Jersey Shore; it's also not a "winner takes all" fight to the finish, either. There are enough music shows out there, and let's face it - reality television has a certain stigma attached to it nowadays: Rock Of Love gives a whole new meaning to jaded rock stars, and competitions such as American Idol receive criticism for limiting the creative freedom of artists. However, Troubadour, TX is different; rather than searching for the next mega vocalist, it tells the stories of artists and follows the legacies they're building through their creative journeys.
Whatever path you choose to pursue in the world of visual promotions, the exposure you can gain from these outlets is tremendous. Whether you live in Seattle or South Africa, as an artist you must find ways to incorporate visual components into your work. It allows viewers to personally relate to you, something otherwise incredibly difficult to do from just listening to your songs alone. And when people can relate to you, they can connect with your music in an entirely different way. In the end, that can guarantee you long-term success and even longer-term enthusiasts who will continually support your career.
Be on the lookout for the premiere of Troubadour, TX - coming this September to the CW Network.