While many artists and bands may think that hiring a publicists is some kind of silver bullet that will instantly propel them on to fame and fortune, this is far from the truth, and hiring publicist is something artists should only do when they're good and ready.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
To many artists and bands, PR is some sort of mythical magic bullet. The thought is, “I’ll hire a publicist and then I’ll immediately be in all the music magazines, and the music bloggers will want to interview me, Spotify playlist curators will open up a slot for my music, and I may even get a guest appearance on Ellen.” Just about every publicist will tell you that it doesn’t work that way. It takes a lot of work on your part in conjunction with the PR specialist to make any of those things happen. In fact, much of the work occurs before you should even consider hiring a publicist in order to get the most out of the process. My friend Ariel Hyatt, who’s one of the best in the music publicity business and an expert in online PR, wrote a great piece called “The 5 Things You Need Before You Start Music Publicity.” You should read the article, but I’ll paraphrase the 5 things (actually 6) here:
1. Have a social presence and a daily posting practice. Why? Bloggers and anyone who wants to write about you, interview you, or play your music wants to make sure you’re legit and the main way they check you out is via your social presence. You don’t have to be on every platform, but be at least somewhere with more than a token presence.
2. Constantly release music. If you’ve followed this blog you know that I’ve been championing this for a long time now. The digital environment we live in today is a singles world, not an album world. That means you benefit greatly from music that is dripped out on a consistent basis, rather than a lot of songs all at once. You’ll have greater engagement for each song, and keep your audience interested.
3. Have a professional, compelling bio. We all have a story and in some way it’s interesting. If your personal story isn’t deep enough, the project or the reason behind your music is. Inquiring minds want to know, but you have to tell it well.
4. Professional promo photos and cover art. Selfies, brick wall, and train track photos are not an option. This is where you need to spend some dough to get it done well. A bad photo will have you tossed to the side in a mere second.
5. A niche to conquer. You need to know how and where your music fits in the grand scheme of things. It’s probably the type of music you’re most passionate about, but there may be a cross-over into a genre that you never considered. Targeting is important in PR, so know your target audience.
6. Music on Spotify and SoundCloud. You need a presence on both as they both have different uses, but it’s how music is delivered today when it comes to PR.
Remember, these are the things to have in place before you spend a dime on professional PR. And it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Do check out Ariel’s article as she has so many more tips that are well worth the read.
You can get more social media tips from Social Media Promotion For Musicians, and read excerpts from my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.