Why Your Current Self-Promotion Strategy Isn’t Working (Part 2)

Written by Michael Eastwood Founder & CEO of Mastermind Promotion

Just Added

Why Your Current Self-Promotion Strategy Isn’t Working (Part 2)

As promised, here is the second half of our two-part post, outlining just a few of the possible reasons why your chosen approach to self-promotion isn’t currently getting the job done:

6) You’re not worth talking about

It’s a point we’ve covered time and time again, but your success in music will be determined just as much by your brand as your talent. It’s one thing to be able to produce great music, but if your image portrays just another generic and downright boring indie band, you’re hardly going to be memorable. Success in music means looking considerably beyond the music itself, in order to create something worth talking about…..

That’s the way we worked with the visual artist and singer Anuladè. We developed a 360 branding strategy focusing on her interesting back story, analysing her tracks, reworking on her logo and developing ideas for her music videos and press photos. With our strategy we secured appearances on BBC LondonBBC Three Counties and a premiere on Music Week.

Michael and Anuladè outside BBC Radio Three Counties Station

7) You’re not in a bartering position

Contrary to popular belief, approaching an editor, blogger or record company worker as an artist or band actually puts you at a comparative disadvantage. At least, when compared with approaching the same individuals via a PR company, promotion agency or indie label. The reason being that when you approach them personally, the only thing you have to offer is you. And as they may very well not know you from Adam, they’d be taking a risk dedicating any kind of time or page-space to you and your music.

By contrast, they tend to be much more open and willing to work with established agencies, given the way in which mutually beneficial long-term relationships can be established between the two. Both parties involved in the negotiation process benefit from networking and potential cross-promotion opportunities in both directions.

Generally speaking therefore, it is fundamentally more likely that you will make headway with these kinds of influences and authorities, if approached via an established representative of some kind.

Anuladè & Michael on the set of London Live TV

8) You’re unwilling to spend

One of the most important things to accept and acknowledge when looking to go it alone in the music industry is that it is probably going to be expensive. The simple fact of the matter is that not only have you had not yet reached a kind of stage where people will be willing to pay you for what you do, but chances are it will be you that ends up temporarily out of pocket. From running ads in the local press to promoting concerts to putting on shows and right through to paying the pros to represent you at important introductions, none of this comes cheap.

Which is precisely why one of the biggest mistakes so many newcomers make is that of assuming they will be able to get by without spending. Or at least, spending very little. Of course, it’s tricky to know which kinds of investments represent savvy spending, along with which qualify as being taken for a ride. Which is again one of the reasons why going it alone can be something of a minefield to say the least.

9) You’re not networking and/or collaborating

Think you’re the only band or artists doing what you do in exactly the same position? Not a chance. In fact, it’s probably likely that across your immediate locality there are plenty of opportunities for networking and collaborating. This is exactly the kind of industry where there is no such thing as having too many names and numbers in your phone – nor should any opportunity for collaboration be passed up. After all, team up with a couple of other bands or artists from your area and it suddenly becomes two-thirds cheaper to organise and promote killer live shows.

There are far too many industry newcomers who take the whole ‘going it alone’ thing a little too literally. In fact, given the way in which you are guaranteed to need a good amount of help along the way, you could quite accurately say that there is no such thing as going it alone.

10) You’re not committed enough

Self-promotion and management as a new band or artist represents an enormous catch-22 situation in its own right. If you really want to make it, you need to treat it as a fulltime job and invest every shred of your being into the cause. But at the same time, you also need to survive. Which means ensuring you have some kind of revenue stream heading in, all the while doing everything you possibly can to make a success of your music. Suffice to say, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

One thing’s for sure – treating it all as some casual or part-time venture just isn’t going to work. You need to be brutally honest with yourself when it comes to just how much of your time and effort you are willing to invest in your music and making a success of what you do. If you cannot honestly say that it is 100% of your time and effort, you could be barking up the wrong tree. Or at least, it could be that the self-management approach isn’t for you and you could benefit from bringing in the experts.