We often get asked why we have such a so-called strict policy for Artist Marketing. For us, Artist Marketing is like the Fifth Beatle. It’s an equal partner in importance to what happens ON STAGE. Without it, nothing you do ON STAGE matters. So many artists continue to struggle with producing market worthy posters, organising their digital assets, scoping a photo shoot, providing publicity photos, building Social Media and expanding market value. So our In House Music Means Business coach has put together this Guide to get you started on your way.
Pubs, Hotels, Bars and Clubs provide the majority of performance opportunities for musicians. It is a tough market out there with people bombarded with a smorgasbord of choices when it comes to their “leisure” spend. Where to go, what to eat, how to get there, how safe is it, how much fun will I have, who will I hang with – these are the questions people ask themselves before choosing a place to go out. Live Music Brands are one of the ten marketing spends for a venue. The value of a Live Music Brand is in its ability to attract more people to go and see it, dance, sing, listen and while they are there – buy a meal, have a few drinks, and spend some $ in the gaming room and party in the bars with friends.
Let’s say that again.
The value of a Live Music Brand is in its ability to attract more people to the venue.
So how do you create a fan and excite them enough to come and hang with you at your gigs each weekend? Why would they want to spend a night with you? What do you offer that another cover band playing similar songs, of a similar age, look, style, format is offering? How do you grow your fan base? How do you grow your on-line value metrics? How do you bring these metrics ON STAGE? How does this impact on your gigability?
There are 7.7 billion people in the world and 5 billion of them own one little item that is our conduit to the rest of the world. 71% of our global population own a mobile phone. This is where we live, consume, purchase, make decisions, work, eat and play. If your Live Music Brand cannot be found on their phone, then you don’t exist. What is your value to a Pub, Hotel, Bar or Club if a potential audience cannot connect, engage and follow you via their phone?
If you have registered with us and sent us your EPK, then you will have an Artist Listing on our website. Go To https://pushworth.com/artists and search for your Act. Are you happy with the photos, bio, song list and Social links? We have worked with what you sent us OR we pinched it from your Facebook. Our job is to PITCH you to Venues and Clients so that they see the REAL value of YOUR brand. Please email us the following so we can update your page:
Make sure you update your photos and bio and song lists every six months to ensure we have the latest info on your act.
When setting up your Social Media accounts, one very important consideration is to claim your own PERSONAL name and your Brand Name. It is impossible for fans to find you or wedding clients to want to book you or Venue Social Media Managers to tag you if your brand names are NOT all linked:
Make sure these are all the same:
An important rule of thumb is to use the same Gmail address for each brand. Eg
Brand: Party Band
Facebook Page: facebook.com/partyband
You Tube Channel: youtube.com/channel/partyband
Ensure your ONE Tag name is the same across all platforms. @partyband
Otherwise you will miss out on value added cross tags. And that will cost you in gigs!
Once you have set up all your Social Media accounts, now what? It can be a real pain to post to all the different platforms and quite frankly it can take too much time. We recommend that you link as many accounts as you can.
Facebook Page – Set up a Page that is NOT your personal profile so that the page for you as an Artist can be tagged.
You Tube – this is where you connect to your Twitter account. As You Tube is part of the Google suite, you can also easily publish to your Google Plus account from the Upload window
You need a paid service to be able to AUTO post to Instagram as well as other platforms.
We use Sprout Social. Make sure all your posts are produced in the Instagram format.
You need to be posting at least once a day
Instagram is the New Black!
Instagram is the Social Media platform that is getting the best results. We use Sprout Social. From one post, it automatically posts to 10 platforms including Instagram – which is our most important platform now.
What this means for you. When doing your posters, please use the Instagram Template instead of just the poster template. When you do, we can include YOUR posters in all our platforms. Otherwise it cannot be posted to Instagram. Free Sites for you to use: Fotor Canva Poster My Wall
There is also a free platform available for you to post your Instagram posts directly from your PC – GRAMTO.
How do you connect your Instagram to your Facebook Page? Click here
What are you worth as a live music product? For a venue to substantiate spending $$$ on your act playing in their bar, they need BUMS ON SEATS to cover costs. Their focus is on marketing.
Ever seen how a cropped old low-res photo looks on a big Night Life Screen? Or in a full gloss colour booklet, large full colour A1 posters, or in a A2 monthly What’s On calendar in the bottle shop or venue foyer? It looks terrible and certainly not the value of what the venue is paying you to perform.
Ever tried to interest a bride in booking your act for her dream wedding with an old low res photo of your act?
It’s not pretty in every way.
Every act MUST take new Publicity Photographs every six months and provide no less than three options to us at high resolution with NO text on them. Just pure publicity photographs.
A common practice for Artists is to crop and photoshop a few different photos together when they cannot get the band together.
We cannot use those photos.
When a photo is being used for a full colour print or publication purpose, any photo that has been edited is diminished in quality and cannot be used.
If you expect to market your band for paying gigs then getting the band together for a photo shoot is paramount.
Another common practice is for Artists to add the name of their act in text on the publicity photo.
We cannot use those photos.
When a photo is being used for a full colour print or publication purpose, any photo that has been edited is diminished in quality and cannot be used. Imagine hundreds of bands, all using different fonts and styles and sizes and colours. If a venue wants to advertise bands on a website or in a magazine, it cannot produce a clean professional look when the photos are all different.
If you expect to market your act for paying gigs, provide professional publicity photos that are ready for publication – no text, not edited, not cropped and not photoshopped. We need the original photo file to be able to get the best photo possible to advertise your band.
Here are our Top Tips for a Great Productive Photo Shoot:
Make a Plan.Start with what your BRANDand TARGET MARKET is. What are these photos for? Aim to use the shoot for a particular purpose and get it right. Tour Shot? General Publicity Shot for this quarter? Release campaign? Sponsorship Proposal? Charity Gig Shot? Make a plan together as a band, write it down and make each other and your photographer accountable to get the end result that you are looking for.
Location Location Location. What are you trying to say with these photos? Use the background location to help you say that. Look at the colours of your brand, the mood, the vibe, the energy, the story that you are portraying. Find a location that fits that.
Practice Shots. When you choose the location, go there at the same time of day that you plan to shoot and take some practice shots. Become familiar with the location and find as many angles as you can. Check out the lighting. Know the location and the light well in advance.
What are you wearing. Match the time of day, the location, the story, the reason for the shot and your target market to what you each will be wearing. Bring some options. Work in together. Make sure that the colours and styles and textures work together. Contrast as well as match. Try as many options as you can PRIOR to the shoot.
List the Shots You Wish To Create in Advance of the Shoot. Plan it out, time it, make sure you have the right light, colors, location, set, props, space and time for each shot. Research shots by other bands, get creative, be organized and work together as one organism to achieve the best shots possible in the time allocated.
Give each Band Member the Photo Shoot Running Sheet. Schedule every single aspect of the Photo Shoot and make sure everyone is on the same page especially the photographer. This will mean that your photo shoot will run like clockwork instead of wasting time.
Strict Schedule Make sure everyone gets to the location 30 minutes early just in case.
Allow the Moments to Unfold. A good photographer will always be on the lookout for casual authentic shots where the band is super relaxed and enjoying themselves. Allow those moments to unfold naturally.
Put Together a Shoot Team. Organize a couple of helpers for makeup touch ups, clothing adjustments, lighting checks and general assistance to keep the shoot on track.
To Photoshop Or Not? From the perspective of publishing, it is a never ending nightmare for us to provide unphotoshopped images to be promoted. We recommend that photoshop is kept to a very bare minimum to preserve the quality of the image as much as possible.
The Selection Process. Set aside a few hours together as a band to select no less than ten images that best illustrate your story. Make sure you store the images in a safe place on your PC as well as in your files to ensure that you can access them again at a later date. So many bands only have the edited photoshopped version 15 of the image. So save your unedited images securely on your Google Drive as well as a Physical Back Up.
This Process Never Ends as long as you run a Music Business.
Rinse and Repeat. Every Six Months. Every New Release. Every New Tour. You brush your teeth a few times a day no matter what. Maintaining current professional publicity photos of your act is just as important for your music business. The more you do it, the easier it becomes and the better the end result for your music business.
The poster is built around your photo so make sure you have a few good high-resolution shots to choose from.
Email the poster to your booker 2 months before the gig to allow the Venue time to promote your gig in advance.
One of the hardest things to do is to write about your act – something that attracts potential Gig Promoters or Fans to want to know more about you. And many of our artists are struggling with providing this for us and have asked for a little help. We recommend that you produce the following:
As part of your ongoing relentless marketing strategy, you will be listing your act with a number of on line directories so having that Short Web Description down pat is a must.
The full biography is possibly a little more challenging but is vitally important as this will form the foundation for a press release to use at a later date.
First paragraph is to describe the band: Genre + Format + Style + Repertoire Examples. What is your Unique Selling Proposition and Point Of Difference? What makes you different to every other band out there who is playing cover songs in the same genre, format and style?
Second Paragraph is about your accolades so far. Who you have supported? Chart Stats? Who you have toured with? What festivals you have performed at? Highest bar take at a high-profile bar? And if there is nothing special about your gigs so far, come up with something creative? Great number of fan selfies on our Facebook Page on a Friday night in June? Create your own accolade that is relevant, cheeky and shows that you care about creating a great night out for the audience wherever the bar is.
Final Paragraph is about what is coming up for you. Recording an EP. Filming a Short Doco. Setting up your own 50 Gigs in 50 Days in Towns that start with J tour. Once again, be real but get creative. Your value is in your ability to create a vibe, create a party, create something out of nothing with your audience with your music and your energy. So use that super power for your marketing material as well.
When you arrive at your gig, before you set up, don’t forget to have a chat to the Duty Manager. Spruiking to promote what is happening at the venue is one of the most important aspects of your service. So make sure you ask for information like:
Then look at what events and concerts are coming up in the venue and announce the date, the artist, where to buy tickets and perhaps have a competition to give away a couple of tickets (as approved by the venue of course) by getting punters up to sing a couple of their songs. Get creative!
Venues are starting to ask that all Artists spruik in their venues at every gig so your booker may email you a list of promotions each week for you to Spruik.
Everyone in this equation has the same end game – bums on seats to keep venues open and keep you gigging. If we all work together to build business, we create a win win situation!