You can’t get far in the music business without a publicist.
The problem is, a lot of indie bands don’t have the dough to hire staff. It’s certainly nice to have a dedicated manager or publicist, but they take real money unless you happen to have a relative willing to work pro bono.
The good news is that if you’re willing to do some extra legwork, you can easily do some basic publicity on a budget.
Be Your Own Publicist!
1 – Start a little black book.
Publicists need contacts more than anything else. Start trying to make connections in the arts/music departments of local newspapers, magazines, or even broadcast stations. If you can make even a few friends in the media, life in the music business gets a lot easier.
2 – Really define your image.
One role of a publicist is to “massage” the look and message of a band to be more appealing. It defines the direction of your look and publicity materials.
If you haven’t, sit down and ask yourself or your band: “What image are we projecting here? What messages do we want to send?”
3 – Find a real print shop.
Don’t take your posters and flyers to Kinko’s. Talk bulk prices with the local printers who handle ad agencies and such. You’ll be able to get much better deals on printed materials.
4 – Outsource easy work.
There’s no reason you can’t get in on the freelancing craze, too. Go out to Fiverr or other low-budget creative sites and look for artists and copywriters. Even if the results won’t be pro-quality, unless your band is multitalented, it’ll be better than what you can do alone.
5 – Make some “spots.”
Spend a day watching a music station like MTV, and focus on the interview segments. That’s a “spot.” If you make a few of them that look professional, you’ll have a much better chance of talking a media outlet into giving you 3-5 minutes of airtime. Or else, put ’em on YouTube.
Have you self-promoted your way to music business success? Let us know below!