Top New Music Industry Leaders Share Tips On Telling Your Story To Press & Fans

Amplify-your-story StoryAmp, a soon-to-launch self-marketing service for indie musicians is currently offering a free ebook, "Amplify Your Story: Getting More Press through the Art of the Pitch", as bait for future customers. It's an excellent guide to getting press and attracting fans by telling the stories of your life as a musician as well as the stories of your music. The guide also includes storytelling insights from business leaders of the new music industry.

StoryAmp's Amplify Your Story is composed of two sections, "The Art of the Pitch", discussing "what makes a compelling story", and "Tales from the Field", which shares "lessons learned from key players in web-based music promotional services". Here are some interesting nuggets from part two.

Spencer Richardson, FanBridge Co-founder & CEO:

"There's a great book…called Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti. Ultimately it says that when a Crowd is aligned to a goal or a story, they want to grow. The Crowd's nature is to grow. Give them ways to grow and you don't have to worry about anything else. A lot of that starts with a unified story. It gives people a place to rally."

Jennifer Elias, Business Development for Bandcamp:

"Artists like Amanda Palmer are all story all the time…I think she is incredibly honest about who she is…Every show is a story; it's like going to see a work of theater. So I think people know that when they are getting something from Amanda Palmer, it is really genuine. She is creating it for herself and for her fans, by being incredibly honest."

Ian Rogers, CEO of Topspin Media:

"Every artist could do more work on tour marketing, building a story on why someone should come see you and what that experience looks like. If artists would put as much work into their tour marketing as they do into their album marketing, we'd have a totally different industry across the board."

Jed Carlson, ReverbNation COO:

"The most successful bands are experts at telling a good story about their music, and they do it with more than just words. Everything a band chooses to display to a new potential fan is an opportunity to tell that story. Their photo, the first song a fan will encounter (or video), their bio and PR—all of these add up to the first impression a fan has about the artist."

Additional interviewees include Hoover & Voyno of The New Rock Star Philosophy, CD Baby President Brian Felsen and Brenden Mulligan, Founder of ArtistData.

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. Flux Research is his business writing hub and All World Dance: World Dance News is his primary web project. To suggest websites and related topics for review, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. Thank you for spreading our message about how to draw in press and fans with compelling stories!
    If I may, I’d like to invite artists to comment about how they have crystallized their stories and the ways they have expressed them to the public. Case studies are a great way to inspire other musicians. Context helps a listener hear a piece of music with greater understanding and sometimes appreciation. Once you identify compelling aspects of your story as a musician or band or composer… how do you express those ideas in your press materials, but also in your photos, video, from the stage, in your album packaging, through your use of the web and social media, etc.
    Every piece of music has a story… what’s yours?

  2. Can you get some people actually working in music?
    Like promo people and real folks breaking artists? Yo?
    I think it would help new artists.

  3. Yes, please. Experienced musicians and industry veterans please join the conversation. BTW the book itself includes examples of musicians who have successfully used their story to break their careers. The people who provide the examples in the book have worked with hundreds of musicians at all levels.
    — Dmitri

  4. How I started my career… I was mugged and beaten by a group of five guys late one night while returning home from work. I had a concussion… my right side of my face was bruised… I had a lump on my head and my gums turned black. I had a seasonal job that had just ended and after taking a new job for the winter I discovered that after few days I couldn’t keep up with it. I was having panic attacks and headaches. I couldn’t sleep. After letting them know that I wouldn’t be able to work for them I stepped onto the subway system and heard someone playing. That’s when I thought to myself that I could do that just to get by until my seasonal job started back up in the Spring. I traveled immediately home, grabbed a case (to sit on), my guitar and went right back out to play for the first time to strangers that night. That was the beginning of my journey.
    Free album download at http://www.facebook.com/chancius

  5. Thanks, Spencer! Thanks for the inspiring conversation at SXSW and for the Q&A you did. You guys at Fanbridge are doing great work!

  6. Thanks, Clyde. The approach has worked well for us. We hope to help hand over the reins to more artists. It’s an exciting experiment.
    — Dmitri

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