guest blog Meet George Brown and her 3-Step System To Marketing And Promotion Triumph
Felix recently asked me about how I have been promoting my EP which was released in April this year.
While there are tonnes of promoters and PR agencies out there it got me to thinking about someone who might want help who had zero budget and didn’t know where to start.
Believe me, I have tried the strategy of writing cold and unsolicited to newspapers, magazines and blogs and was unsuccessful. I didn’t receive a single response. They receive countless albums for review each week and it is almost impossible for them to go through every one.
I was in need of a different approach so here are some of the steps that I used to put together my Meet George Brown promotion campaign.
- Follow Those That Have Gone Before
The first step is to get gigging. Find bands or artists that play the same genre as you. It doesn’t matter if they are experienced or well known to you, or not.
Let’s say the music you play is folk, then look for something like a roots/Americana/folk evening and check out who is playing there.
Choose an artist from that list that appeals to you, then go through their gig list that you find on their website, and then contact the places where they have played.
Introduce yourself to the promoters or venues listed and get started offering your talents. You can also contact the artist directly as well for some support through this process.
I got a couple of gigs using this method – I played at The National Portrait Gallery in February and The Bedford in April. I had also contacted the artist whose gig list I used, to say hello. He invited me to his show the following week: incidentally, this gig’s promoter hadn’t responded to my email. So the following week I introduced myself to the promoter and now I have a gig through him coming up later this year.
Having exhausted this artist’s gig list, I started going through another. Same kind of style; same kind of music.
It was during this process that four other promoters got in touch. One of them has let out to me their method of finding bands for gigs – they look to see which bands are gigging through other promoters. Same kind of music; same kind of method.
[Click here to see George’s gig list so far]
- Seek Out Reviews
Next, you use the same method for getting reviews.
If your recording is finished then around a month or so before the release date send it out to all the people or publications or bloggers who have reviewed the artist(s) that you chose in Step 1. Be sure to include a short biography of you/your band and a short description of your music. It’s worth mentioning to check how reviewers like to receive music – some will only consider CDs.
Through this method, I had a review from FolkWords. (Tim Carroll from FolkWords had reviewed my first artist’s record and only reviews music sent to him in CD format) Similarly, I saw on Twitter that my second artist had a gig review written by the editor of an American university’s online student paper called Odyssey. So I contacted said editor (she was spending the academic year in London) to ask if she would review the gig at The Bedford and/or the EP. She reviewed the EP.
I recommend covering your tracks by logging everything in a spreadsheet so that you can see who responded and what you need to follow up. If you’re like me then you’ll actually love this step. If not, then make at least some record of what you are doing otherwise it can get confusing.
By this stage, repeat the process with other artists similar in nature to you. I found the same few artists kept cropping up in my searches so I followed up several at once.
[Click here for the FolkWords review][Click here for the Odyssey review]
- Take It To The Airwaves
Thirdly, continue “trawling through lists” to get yourself some radio play. Find radio stations and preferably radio shows that play or focus on your genre.
Get in touch directly with the shows’ presenters and introduce yourself and your music. Ask them if they would be interested in playing your music on one of their shows.
For instance, I knew about K2K Radio from Felix who had produced my EP. I went through their schedule and listened to the shows which seemed to be in the same category as Meet George Brown’s music. I then wrote to one of the shows called ArtSpeak because I felt that of all the shows on K2K, Meet George Brown’s music would be most suited on this programme. From this, not only did we have two tracks played on air but we were also invited to the studio for an interview for the show.
I also recommend finding radio stations on Twitter. This is where I discovered EGH Radio. I sent them the first single from the EP and it was played on Niki Tyler’s Unsigned Pop Show a fortnight later, and then made it onto the show’s monthly chart.
[Click here for the ArtSpeak interview][Click here for Niki Tyler’s Unsigned Pop Show][Click here for Niki Tyler’s Unsigned PopChart Show]
The self-promotion approach is ongoing and a constant work-in-progress. Although sometimes arduous, it is enjoyable and, especially when a gig has been offered or a review has been written or a song has been played on the radio, extremely fulfilling and chuffing!
Please get in touch if you would like to have a chat about anything. It would only be my pleasure.
Best of luck!
Indie folk rock artist George Brown is one of the co-leaders at the “What If Weekend for Creatives”, a 2-day workshop of connection, inspiration and transformation for creatives, artists and musicians. Save your spot and sign up here!