Resource Links for Event Promotion

The following links and advice will help you promote an event you are organising. Publicity for a ‘one off’ gig uses different strategies to the long-term promotion of your music as an artist.

Advice about a long-term publicity campaign to promote your music and yourself as an artist can be found on B Sharp’s Links for Music Promotion, Marketing & Getting Heard

EVENT PROMOTION ADVICE

B Sharp has written a publicity guide for promoting gigs, as part of its free online short course on event/project planning. It covers strategies to co-ordinate a multi-media campaign using press, social media, posters and how to create content that will connect with your audience etc. The guide will help you use the links below to tell your story.

Promote a Gig advice by , About.com Guide.

Watch the 2nd video (under 5 minutes) at the bottom of the page in this link, of Harvey Goldsmith, one of the UK’s iconic event promoters, giving great advice on the most important parts of event promotion. Excellent music business advice! It’s not all about publicity, it’s about problem solving and communication between a team to create the best possible experience for the audience and performers.

JamMob has useful blogs about music marketing. It has various categories such as concert promotion, social media, radio, mobile marketing, publishing and more.

The Youth Media Agency is the National home for UK Youth Media: raising the profile of, and supporting over 300 exciting media platforms. They deliver campaign and media training, working with 16-25 year olds.

PRESS RELEASES

Sending in a story of around 300 words to your local press will often get you free editorial coverage. Many more people read their local newspaper than national ones, so it is a good way to reach a potential audience who are near your gig venue. The first paragraph should use the 5 Ws rule – who, what, when, why, where. More advice about when and what to put in a press release can be found in B Sharp’s publicity guide. In addition, good advice about writing press releases has been written by Ideas Tap  and can be seen here: How to write a press release. They have also blogged Five common press release mistakes.

A really good contemporary piece of advice about press releases has been written by . It makes full use of links to social media, images and story telling. She says, “The content and structure of press releases have a far greater influence on the visibility of the message, and as competition for attention increases, the formula for a successful press release is changing. Here are some ways to freshen the news releases your organization publishes, and get more results for your campaigns.”

WEBSITE

Having a website as a promoter, or an organisation running events is an important way to keep people aware what you are doing. Your website is the place where you can tell your story in its fullest form, using text, video, audio, photos and has the ability to be designed and navigated to attract and lead viewers to what you want to say. It is important to keep it up to date. All other campaign tools can direct people to your website so you can tell your story in full. You can create QR codes for print material so that smart phones can be directed to your website on the spot, from wherever they see your poster, newspaper advert etc.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Great advice on how to use social media to promote events/organisations/projects by SoundDelivery. It explains the pros and cons of various social media sites, etiquette, and how to tell your story and interact with your audience. Some sites help you track how effective your posts are so that you can evaluate what works and prioritise your tools and time.

Facebook. Social media site to share information with friends/fans. It is an important tool to let potential customers know about what you are doing. You can create an event page and invite friends who can then invite their friends. It can be interactive and updated as news develops about your event. Facebook tools:

Twitter. Social media site for short blogs of up to 140 characters. Useful to link your more detailed story on another site.  For concise advice, see this infographic on how to create the perfect Tweet.

YouTube. Video sharing. The second biggest search engine (after Google), so a very important tool to tell your story. If you are promoting a small event, you may not have the resources or time to make a promotional video. However, one or more of your artists may have uploaded a video of their work and you can link your publicity to this. Videos are easier and more accessible for viewers than text. To make a video, see

Vimeo Same principle as YouTube. Video sharing – Upload, share, connect on your TV and phone, sell your work, promote your event.

Soundcloud. Link your event campaign to any uploads by your performers on Soundcloud. It is an online audio distribution platform which allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings. SoundCloud enables anyone to upload, record, promote and share their originally created sounds across the internet, in a simple, accessible and feature-rich way. As an artist, it’s a good way to get feedback on music you are producing/remixing. Twitter: @SoundCloud

Mixcloud‘s mission is to deliver great radio, for everyone. They describe themselves as “Re-thinking radio, joining the dots between traditional shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes. Still curious? Check our FAQTeam page. Upload your own music, interview your band etc to make a small radio show.” You could make a short audio piece about you event and direct people to it e.g. through Facebook and Twitter.

Audioboo allows people to record and upload audio that can then be shared via other social networks. Audio can be recorded and uploaded straight from your phone or computer, allowing you to become a “social reporter” at events – where a group of people interactively and jointly contribute to some form of reporting, in text, photos, images or video. You could make a short audio piece about you event and direct people to it through Facebook and Twitter. An example of Audioboo at work is Zoe Ivory from the Big Lottery talking about the importance of blogging. Twitter: @theboobot

Blogging – opinion pieces, behind the scenes, what’s happening. They give more information than Facebook or Twitter. You could blog about the artists in your event, why you are putting the gig on, funny things that have happened when organising it etc. Lots of tips about blogging can be found on these links: basic blogging and blogging resources.  How to become an online ‘influencer’ Blog with 10 tips on how to become an influencer, as a ‘taste maker’ and opinion former.

Linkedin is a network for professionals to interact, get advice and support and make connections and endorsements. Useful for promoters, musicians and the music industry. Check out the range of groups with mutual interests e.g. Event Peeps: For Live Event Industry Professionals. The groups have lots of discussions and you can ask questions and receive advice from experienced peers.

MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. There is MailChimp for Music.

Storify users curate what people post on social media and turn them into stories. Create your own stories about what you do, your music etc.
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Addthis. Merge tag tools for sharing – allows readers to share your music/story/campaign with their friends by connecting your posts to other sites. Add ‘follow’ and ‘share’ buttons to your social media sites.
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Hootsuite is a tool that allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. Control all of your accounts on the move with the mobile version. You can set up times for posts to be released, so that a social media campaign can be coordinated to ‘amplify’ your story at times most likely to be read. Twitter: @hootsuite or @HootSuite_Help

GigaTools manages your gig promotion publicity across several social media sites. Designed for artists, DJs, bands, labels and agents to manage, promote and share their upcoming gigs online. A little like Hootsuite.

ReverbNation – Similar to Hootsuite but designed just for music. It can update all of your online profiles with new information from one central location and track stats from all of your social media sites. Reverb Nation also gives you multiple ways to sell your music, from linking to your offsite shop on your Reverb Nation profile with a free membership to having your music on iTunes and Amazon in exchange for a nominal membership fee.

Digital toolkit – websites for modern musicians seeking to promote and distribute their music, or for music entrepreneurs looking to develop their businesses.

GIG LISTINGS

Lemon Rock. A site that automatically finds your location (it asks for your permission) and then gives a local gig guide. Register your gig.

South West Music Services This is your portal to concerts, gigs and other music related events in the South West of England. If you would like a reciprocal link please get in touch. Bands, Jazz, classical and more. Register your gig.

Gig Guide provide information on Gigs, Live Music Venues, Wedding and Function Bands, Music Festivals and a host of other music related businesses in the UK. Register your gig.

Music Glue has event listings and offers services to support gigging artists. Register your gig.

Vocalist Gig Guide Add Your Gigs FREE to our online Gig Guide.  Amateur to Professional Solo & Duo Singers, Vocalists, Musicians, Songwriters, Venues, Pubs, Clubs, Covers & Original Acts.

PUTTING YOUR SHOW ON THE ROAD

You may want technical expertise or other resources for your event, whether it’s at home or you are taking a show on tour. To find what you need, you could use Showcase, the International music directory. Find contact details for a vast range of specialist suppliers to the music industry – concert services, venues, equipment, recording studios, music business services, media, musical equipment and musical equipment hire.
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Links to What’s On? Music Listings

These links will help you find live music to see and hear, or find venues that may book you to perform as an artist. Some venues may have age restrictions. Venues usually have e-newsletters about what’s coming soon. Join mailing lists of local venues and those that you like further away. Also see Festivals.

Buying Concert Tickets:

Don’t get caught out by ticket cons and fraud. Advice about buying concert tickets can be found here on the Concert Promoters Association website.

What’s On? Music Listings:

Ents24 – “dedicated to bringing you the easiest way to find events and buy tickets no matter where you live or what you’re into. Live music, stand-up comedy, festivals, clubbing, theatre, family days out, or cinema”.

Songlines gig guide where you can search and purchase tickets for concerts, tours and festivals in the UK and Ireland. Roots, World and folk music specialists.

Skiddle guide to events around the UK. “Our huge What’s On Guide covers clubbing, live music and gigs, comedy, dating, theatre. Plus, we sell the cheapest available tickets for many events!”

Britevents is a diverse cultural event guide.

Dorset Gig Guide The Dorset Music Guide aims to be the definitive destination for Music related News, Reviews and Events Information for the wonderful county from which it takes it’s name. Twitter: @DorMusicGuide

Lemon Rock. A site that automatically finds your location (it asks for your permission) and then gives a local gig guide.

Dolphin Music – Gig listings for Bournemouth, Poole and beyond.

South West Music Services This is your portal to concerts, gigs and other music related events in the South West of England. If you would like a reciprocal link please get in touch. Bands, Jazz, classical and more.

Bridgewater Music Scene is an open Facebook Group for people that are involved in the Bridgwater’s live music scene.

Yeovil Music/Gigs An open Facebook Group – All the info you need on the hottest gigs in Yeovil. You can be a promoter, A Band member or a punter

Yeovil Music Scene An open Facebook Group – Builing a scene for everyone.

Student Traffic Home of the UKs biggest student parties! Twitter: @StudentTraffic

Gig Guide provide information on Gigs, Live Music Venues, Wedding and Function Bands, Music Festivals and a host of other music related businesses in the UK.

GigaTools – search tool choise for/by artists, venues, cities and countries.

Vocalist Gig Guide For Amateur to Professional Solo & Duo Singers, Vocalists, Musicians, Songwriters, Venues, Pubs, Clubs, Covers & Original Acts.

Music Glue has event listings and offers services to support gigging artists.

Bandsintown Facebook ap that tells you when bands you like on Facebook have up and coming gigs. Good to register as an artist.

NME Music magazine. News, tickets (thousands of artists), videos, blogs, new music, reviews.

Concerts in the West showcase classical music in the South West region – some concerts are in Lyme Regis. They have exclusive and generous discounts for B Sharp participants.

Where to find live folk music, by region in the UK.

Folk music in the South West.

Nags Head pub in Lyme Regis. Local pub with regular live music. Free entry.

The local Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis has a diverse live music programme.

Time Out London. Comprehensive listings of what’s on in London. Twitter: @TimeOutLondon

Worldwide guide to what’s happening  “in the most exciting cities on the planet”.

Gigs and ToursTour Announcements, Music News, Priority Booking! Subscribe for free to receive weekly email announcements. Twitter: @gigsandtours

Crowdsurge. Ticket company. Event listings.

Ticketmaster. Ticket company. Event listings.

Local newspapers usually have an entertainment section with coverage of what’s on. e.g. around Lyme Regis there are:

View from Lyme Regis A free weekly newspaper with sister editions covering towns in Dorset, Devon and Somerset.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News A weekly newspaper covering the Lyme Regis and Bridport area.

Yellow pages for nightclubs in the UK, listed by town/city, with links to the clubs websites to see what’s on.

Venues in the UK listed by region, compiled by Showcase – the international music industry directory.

If you know of other links to help find music events, please reply below.

A complete B Sharp music resource menu can be found in  Links to Progress your Music Interests and Journey.

Links to Music Resources and Support


Here are some links to music resources. They are a little random. A bit of a lucky dip odds and ends list.

Music Jokes! Just for fun.

LP Cover Lover Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of record covers from the golden age of LPs. Lots of quirky categories.

Monkeyboxing is the number one blog for FUNK, SOUL, HIP-HOP, NU/ GHETTO FUNK, associated MASH-UPS/ BOOTLEGS and a bit of REGGAE, SKA and PSYCH. We bring you the latest news, (p)reviews, features and release details because we’re all about the funky bumpin’ beats. Put simply, if you’re someone who thinks fat drum breaks and basslines are the apex of musical culture, then you’ve come to the right place. Lots of links to related music and lifestyle sites.

Bemuso Great insight and information “Debunking music biz middlemen, info about the industry and web for indie musicians”.

Are you a songwriter? Lots of advice about publishing, contracts, protecting your rights and marketing on the International Songwriters Association site. E.g. The Basics, an impressive list of songwriting links.

Music Publishers Association’s code of fair practice concerning copyright.

B Sharp’s Links to Music Training and Colleges.

An excellent resource page by the International Association of Music Libraries with links to loads of interesting information about music.

British Music Information Centre Links to music resources. A little random!

CV circulated to friends and members of AIM.

Advice on starting a record label.

Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet. Search by genre or curator. Listen or download.

WFMU – FM is a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station and is currently the longest running freeform radio station in the United States. Worth checking out. WFMU’s programming ranges from flat-out uncategorizable strangeness to rock and roll, experimental music, 78 RPM Records, jazz, psychedelia, hip-hop, electronica, hand-cranked wax cylinders, punk rock, gospel, exotica, R&B, radio improvisation, cooking instructions, classic radio airchecks, found sound, dopey call-in shows, interviews with obscure radio personalities and notable science-world luminaries, spoken word collages, Andrew Lloyd Webber soundtracks in languages other than English as well as Country and western music.

British Music Magazines A comprehensive list of British music magazines, with links to them.

List of online music databases including a list of sites that currently provide free and paid for on demand music as a streaming media.

List of Online Music Stores with number of tracks (in millions) and type of format – WAV, MP3, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, WMA, DRM, Vorbis.

Music Software list Listed here are articles for free and commercial software concerned with various aspects of music creation or enjoyment. Music software covers a wide array of functions ranging from musical composition softwareaudio recording software and editingmusic synthesis softwaremusic playing software, music education tools, etc.

Free sheet music Over 1 million musical scores, categorised by instrument or composer.

Index of Musicians Biographies of over 8,000 musicians and bands.

Music and environmental responsibility. From Julie’s Bicycle website, “Our global infrastructure – including music – is reliant on fossil fuels and other finite natural resources. It is critical that we revalue, reconfigure and rebalance what we do. The music industry can make a positive difference by transforming the way it does business”. Here’s how – guides for artists, producers, festivals, record labels, orchestras etc.

HSE Entertainment Information Sheets Health and safety guidance provided by the HSE on a number of operational areas in film, broadcasting, theatre and live events.

KFTV – the worldwide guide to film and production services. KFTV is essential for anyone involved in finding suppliers for producing films, TV programmes and commercials.The website enables you to find facilities around the world – helping you to find the very best production equipment hirestudiospost-production facilitiesfilm crewcrew servicesbroadcasting facilitiesproduction companies, and location services.

The Knowledge is a leading UK based online directory service for the video and broadcast production industry, enabling users to find film and TV contacts as well as a wide variety of production information. It helps you choose from over 20,000 UK and international production suppliers. It’s frequently updated, free to use and you don’t need to register. (You can register to get lots of free extras.) The Post Prduction and Sound section is particularly relevant to music.

Music Business: Producers is a resource for the music industry, including record companies, music business attorneys, managers and producers information.

A glossary of terms used about copyright, copying and distribution of music on computers.

The Live Music Forum is a group of independent live music campaigners representing the interests of performers and gig goers.

The government’s Departure of Culture, Media and Sport. DCMS works to make sure the communications, creative, media, cultural, tourism, sport and leisure economies have the framework to grow and have real impact on people’s lives.

The Musical Instrument Makers Forum: Acoustic guitar building, electric guitar making, archtop guitar building, violin making, dulcimer making, mandolin building, banjo building, or any other type of lutherie; pickup winding and rewinding; drum making; flute and recorder making and repair; brass instrument building and repair; and more.

Musical instrument makers A massive list of musical instrument makers and suppliers.

Musical instrument repairers What they do, qualifications and how to learn to be one, trade associations.

A large set of links for music resources. Quite a few are out of date and sites are not found, but many are still live and useful.

If you know of more useful links, please comment.

Links to Music Blogs/News/Discussion/Interaction

Here are some links to help you interact with others connected to music. Always pay attention to Internet safety when talking to others online.

A complete B Sharp music resource menu can be found in  Links to Progress your Music Interests and Journey.

Music Blogs/News/Discussion/Interaction Resources:

Bemuso blogs about everything you want to know as an independant musician, with information about getting your music out into the world and insights into the music industry. Very good and lots of detail.

British Music Magazines A comprehensive list of British music magazines, with links to them.

Alltop. An “online magazine rack” of the web. They do this by collecting the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic. This is their Music Selection.

NME Music magazine. News, tickets (thousands of artists), videos, blogs, new music, reviews.

BBC music learning resource lists key magazines to check out on page 20 of this great document.

Channel 4 Music What’s on, news, videos and more.

Classical Music UKLeading UK Classical Music news and jobs website. Twitter: @classicalmusuk

Music Week: Industry news/insight from the Music Week team. Twitter: @MusicWeekNews

Electronic music blogs like Generation Bass, Tropical Bass, SoundNomaden, Radio Canalh, OrganikFunk and Eclectikstudio. On Facebook e.g. sublvl

Ted videos on music – Ted is a site of “Ideas worth spreading”.

Musicians Against Playing for Free is a Facebook page with lots of examples of promoters trying to get professional musicians to play at their events for free with the lure that the performers will get future offers of paid work – getting your name about etc. Strong arguments supporting resistance against this. Why is the musician expected to be the first to not get paid at an event?

In B Flat turns user generated content into user generated composition by embedding video of people making music (in the key of Bb) on the same web page and allows you to: play them together, some or all, start them at any time, in any order. You are the remixer. Great idea.

MusicDish An online community gathering music sites & webradio. Several different services: a creative approach to artist development and representation; online press release distribution & marketing; publications disclosing all the latest information involving the music industry; and even a indie music video channel.

Discussion forum for musicians, especially music technology – studio work, software, hardware, DJing, buying/selling, collaborations.

Create Hub ‘Writing about those beautiful collaborations between art and creative technology.’ All art forms covered, including music e.g. an interview with Max Cooper, the electronica and Techno producer and his new 4D project of surround sound. Innovative stuff! Twitter: @CreateHubUK

Music Education UKIndependent national magazine, news and information for everyone in the music education sector. International music ed conferences in Asia and Europe. Twitter: @MusicEdUK

http://www.factmag.com Factmagazine describe themselves as: The world’s most on-it music magazine, and home of the weekly FACT mix series. Twitter: @factmagazine

The Quietus A new rock music and pop culture website. Twitter: @theQuietus

The FutureEverything Island provides a place for technologists, thinkers and creatives to share, innovate, & bring the #futr into the present. Twitter: @FuturEverything

Sentric Music. Music Publishing/Synchronisation/Royalty Collection & much more. Home to *thousands* of artists/bands & getting their music on TV. Twitter: @SentricMusic

Blog example of The Unsigned guide. Must pay to be a member to access full service

Mattew Moran blog site Reflections on the music industry.

Free music software blog Discussion on favourite free music software from the Youth Music Network.

Arts & Business. From Twitter – Arts & Business unites culture and commerce to create a better future for both. Tweet us with questions. Twitter: @arts_business

Twitter Music. Music related tweets from around the world. @TwitterMusic

Guardian music. Twitter: Squashing music into 140 characters since 2008 @guardianmusic

BBC Music Magazine. Twitter: The official random musings of the BBC Music Magazine editorial team @MusicMagazine

BBC Radio 1. Twitter: This is the official Twitter account for BBC Radio 1. Talk to us, ask us questions, get involved!@BBCR1 and @BBCR1MusicNews

MusicTank. Twitter: A unique, neutral information hub for UK music business…addressing change and innovation through informed debate, objective analysis and industry engagement. @MusicTank

If you know of other links that would be useful, please comment.

Publicity

Telling Your Story

Your project is a great story. Why would you be doing it if it wasn’t worth the trouble?Letting people know about your project is important. What’s the point of having the best event in the world if no one knows about it?

In addition to these notes, it is worth looking at Promote a Gig. For musicians, these blogs giving lots of advice on Music Promotion.

Before the age of the Internet and social media, a general guide was to use 10% of your budget for publicity/marketing/branding – telling your story. If your target market uses new media, you may be able to reach people more cheaply.

To carry out a good awareness campaign takes time. Plan for this. How can you tell your story and pass on the good news?

Press Releases

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Image sourced from Daily Blogma

More people read local newspapers than nationals. They are a good way to reach local audiences.  Press coverage is free if the publisher writes a story about you, so you get editorial coverage rather than have to pay for an advert (you may decide it is also worth paying for an eye-catching advert to strengthen/amplify the article). They may do this after interviewing you or after receiving a press release from you. A press release is a story written by you and sent to the editor. Press releases are the safest way to ensure your message is told in the way you want. Misunderstandings in an interview or different emphasis created by a journalist can distort what you want to say.

Press releases should be about 300 words. Editors generally cut from the bottom up so get your message into the first paragraph using the 5 ‘W’s rule – Who, What, When, Why and Where. For the editor, put your contact details (and those of other partners if they could give more information) at the bottom and when you want the article published e.g. ‘For immediate release’ or ‘Embargoed until 21 March 2013’.

Try to use some quotes from people involved so that enthusiasm and personal touches can be shown to readers. This will warm and excite the story.

You may want magazines to tell your story. Find out when they want information so that you  get it to them in good time, for the edition you want. They may publish once a month or even less frequently, so make sure you have your press information planned well in advance.

Good advice about writing press releases has been written by Ideas Tap  and can be seen here: How to write a press release. They have also blogged Five common press release mistakes

A really good contemporary piece of advice about press releases has been written by . It makes full use of links to social media, images and strory telling. She says, “The content and structure of press releases have a far greater influence on the visibility of the message, and as competition for attention increases, the formula for a successful press release is changing. Here are some ways to freshen the news releases your organisation publishes, and get more results for your campaigns.”

Website

Having a website as a promoter, or an organisation running events is an important way to keep people aware what you are doing. Your website is the place where you can tell your story in its fullest form, using text, video, audio, photos and has the ability to be designed and navigated to attract and lead viewers to what you want to say. It is important to keep it up to date. All other campaign tools can direct people to your website so you can tell your story in full.

Social Media

The Internet is becoming increasingly important. Half of public relations is about getting other people to repeat your messages. Social media is a great way to do this. Create content and experiences that people will want to share, then use a mix of digital tools to ‘amplify’ them across all media to support your campaigns. Be friendly, fun and interactive. Tell your story through a website and use the variety of social media sites available – they are generally free. Scroll down this list of services to see what is available.

You can refer to a detailed story e.g. on your website, blog or video through shorter sound bites and links on e.g. Twitter or Facebook. Lead people to where you want them to go by cross-linking information.

Remember – if you are doing more than a one off event and you want to be known as a promoter, its not all about you and what you put on. You need to become part of an online community with mutual interests. In a blog ‘Voluntary sector marketing myths‘ Zoe Amar says, “You won’t reap the full benefits of social media unless you use it to have conversations with your stakeholders. This is particularly true of Twitter. Social media expert Kirsty Marrins advises charities to follow the “rule of thirds”, ie one third of your tweets should be used to push out your charity’s content, one third to engage in conversations, and one third to share content from other useful sources.”

SoundDelivery have written fantastic guides on using social media for campaigns and marketing. See their Social Media Handbook The handbook was originally written for organisations supporting families, but the principles are good for all campaigns. The useful bits are from page 5 onwards.

Also see the blog  A beginner’s guide… to sharing content online using 5 really useful websites by Rebeka Haigh on the Youth Music network site.

Some examples of tips:

  • Use photos in Facebook posts – no more than 10 in an album. If you want to show more, use Flickr, an image and video hosting site.
  • YouTube – make 2-4 minute videos to tell a story. Plan your story before filming.
  • Twitter – allowed 140 characters but try to use 120 or less (this allows retweeters to add on a little extra information or @somene to your message). Twitter automatically shortens web addresses to 20 characters – a web link in your tweet can expand your story.
  • Audio Boo – Record a message or an interview and add photos and links. People can listen to an interview while looking at photos and reading a little background information.
  • Hootsuite – links all your social media sites and can schedule times to post things, so you can co-ordinate a media campaign in advance, before it’s launch and prepare tweets etc for times people are most likely to look at them.
  • Blogging – opinion pieces, behind the scenes, what’s happening. They give more information than Facebook or Twitter. Lots of tips about blogging can be found on these links: basic blogging and blogging resources.
  • Blog a maximum of 500 words – you want the blog on one page. People can comment on blogs. Ask questions to create interaction.
  • Update blogs about once a week. Blogs are archived and you can tag words to link to other blogs and websites. All the blue words in this article/blog, and throughout B Sharp’s Resources website, are tagged to take you to more information if you click on them.
  • Find blogs with Google blog search.
  • You can use Google alert to find out what’s being said about you – keeping you aware of how your brand is doing.
  • You can shorten web addresses using services such as bitly.com. Bitly also monitors how many people use the link, so you can measure how effective your campaign is.

Other useful guides are:

A Guide to Twitter

hootsuite-guide

Tumblr guide

Creating a Fanpage on Facebook

Blog writing tips

8 Top Tips for Writing Excellent Blog Posts

When publicising an event/campaign/service, try to use at least 10 ways to tell your story (or ‘amplify’ your story) e.g. a mix of press releases, posters, facebook, Twitter, Audio Boo, YouTube, blogs with e.g. Tumblr, e-mail, mobile texts, word of mouth, newsletters, partnership networks, merchandising with a message (T-shirts/mugs/pens etc), sandwich/blackboards, publicity stunts.

Quick Response Codes

If you have a website, always have its address on any publicity material. On posters and adverts, use QR (Quick Response) bar codes for smart phones to link people immediately to your website and/or social network sites. This example takes you to B Sharp’s main website:

B Sharp website QR code

B Sharp website QR code

There are many free QR generators to choose from. Your website has the fullest capacity to tell your story, keep people updated and be a point of contact. Regularly review your website and keep it up to date.

Creating Content

Creating good content in the various media you use is important. It should be relevant to the people you are targeting. What is it you are offering that they want? What are they going to get out of it? Concentrate on the product/service/event you are offering and not yourself and how good you or your organisation is. Fun, quirky and memorable content will motivate  people to share and help spread your message and brand. Think about ways your customers and others can help promote your project and encourage this.

A comprehensive guide to creating content can be found in the document ‘The Advanced Guide To Content Marketing‘ by Quicksprout.

Other advice:

  • A content strategy should focus on existing customers as well as prospects. Content marketing is a great tool to create brand affinity but can also be powerful in building a new audience of potential customers.
  • An amplification strategy should be a key tactic in a content strategy. Once the content is created, search and social networks can be used to distribute, but you should also make sure to distribute it out to others who may not know it exists. Intent is not created in a search box.
  • Invest in the appropriate resources to meet your objectives.
  • Stay honest and true to the brand

Anything you give away can be used to capture data about your customers e.g. by asking for contact details as a condition of the gift, so you can reach them in future campaigns.

You can build data bases of customers using social networks. If you are a musician selling your music, you could offer a reward such as a free music download on e.g on Soundcloud if people join your Facebook page. They are unlikely to leave it, and later on you can promote tracks you are selling, publicise gigs and other news to your new facebook fans.

If you were promoting a band, why not try to get trend setters or ‘influencers’ on board – journalists, bloggers etc who are recognized influencers? Send samples of music, invites to gigs etc. If they start to relay your messages there is less pressure on just you to get your message out, and it’s less likely you’ll be seen as a nuisance constantly broadcasting your own agenda and business.

How to become an online influencer is a useful blog with 10 handy tips.

To find the list and links to all B Sharp’s posts about event and project planning, go here: Ideas into Action

Links to other music resources, compiled by B Sharp, can be found here. Particularly relevant to publicity is the page Links for Music Promotion, Marketing & Getting Heard.

Links for Music Promotion, Marketing & Getting Heard

These links can help you promote your music and find an audience.

Music Promotion, Marketing & Getting Heard Resources:

Advice

B Sharp has written a publicity guide for promoting gigs, as part of its short course on event/project planning. The guide will help you use the links below to tell your story.

If you are using this page to help promote your music in general, there may be different strategies to use than those for a one event gig promotion. Promoting your music or musicianship as a professional is a long-term campaign and needs to nurture fan/music industry relationships.

The music industry is changing, in response to new technology. Jim Mawdsley of Generator summed it up well in a Youth Music blog. “The music industry, as we all know, has changed irrevocably over the last decade; despite what many skeptics say digital hasn’t killed it off but it has largely forced a reinvention by introducing new creation, distribution and consumption models.

“That elusive first ‘deal’ no longer exists – record companies and publishers are no longer the risk aggregators they once were.  They are looking for young artists who already have cross-platform visibility, a fan-base and performance experience – those that are ‘industry-ready.’” See their video Artist Development – Getting Noticed.

The first steps in a career as a creative artist in the music industry is down to you to be ‘industry ready’. You need to get out there, perform and build a fan base.  Many musicians are using the internet to create fans, get them to come to gigs and sell music online, cutting out the role of record labels.

A good article about identifying who your fans are and their different levels of loyalty are explained in Everything You Need To Know About Band Management Part 5: Fans. In addition to live music, an important strategy to gain fans is to let people hear your music for free. The internet is a good tool for this and there are many links below for that.

If you want to sign to a label to help your career, you need to think about how you let people hear your music online. In a LInkedIn discussion about breaking into the music industry, Peter Neefs, an executive producer at Free Lance said that record labels won’t touch music that has been posted on Soundcloud, YouTube etc because there are so many ways to download the music for free from social network sites. In addition, sales figures wouldn’t be picked up by chart compilers such as AC Nielson because tracks by artists without a label behind them rarely get registered for ISRC or ISWC codes. He advises artists to directly approach A & R managers at record labels. Sensible advice about placing your music with TV shows, radio etc can be found on this blog by Mark Alan.

The pros and cons of going with a label or not may be the subject of a future blog. In the meantime, more information about codes, royalty collection societies and record labels can be found on Bemuso.

If you research the advice links below, a consistent message about getting recognised is that personal engagement and networking is key to the success of promoting your work. Random/spam messaging can be annoying and counter productive. Understand your audience, research key people and influencers such as A&R managers, promoters and music journalists and target stories that will appeal to them. It’s not all about you. Engage with peer social media posts to develop networks. They can help you later.

In a blog ‘Voluntary sector marketing myths‘ Zoe Amar says, “You won’t reap the full benefits of social media unless you use it to have conversations with your stakeholders. This is particularly true of Twitter. Social media expert Kirsty Marrins advises charities to follow the “rule of thirds”, ie one third of your tweets should be used to push out your charity’s content, one third to engage in conversations, and one third to share content from other useful sources.” This is good advice for any profession using social media, including musicians.

OTHER PEOPLE’S ADVICE AND LINKS:

Music/Artist promotion 7 chapters, by Alex Pollock, in blog format giving advice, examples and practice ‘work sheets’, about:

How to get more gigs as a performing musician A podcast by Tiffany Goodman, veteran booking agent, that helps you learn about

  • The importance of video in your marketing
  • Tips for building a presence with photos, a website, and social media
  • The difference between a manager and agent
  • Tips for cold calling and using your network
  • How to develop and maintain an agent-artist relationship
  • And much more!

How to get people to share your content is a good blog on Socialbrite by John Haydon aimed at NGOs but applicable for musicians.

Getting taste makers to share your music is a a good strategy. See Tippers Network below on the `Organisations section, and their tastemakers

There is nothing like live music to create a fan base. Gigs and touring are really important. Generator have a very good information page about playing live and how to get gigs. Generator have all sorts of other good advice about training for musicians and the music industry, preparing artists to be ‘industry ready’.

If you want to tour and expand your fan base, this blog gives advice on types of emails you should never send to venue managers.

Tips on Sharing Your Success – a Youth Music blog with a download of 20 questions to ask yourself about what you are doing, and tips on how to present what you say so that you can share your successes and tell your story well. The blog is aimed at music educator professionals sharing best practice but is transferable to building any business brand.

Bemuso is an excellent resource for indie artists and has thorough and good advice about how to promote yourself as a DIY independent musician, with good tips on using social media and music websites.

Songhack helps artists “hack the music industry”. It’s a consumer guide to over 100 digital products and services targeted at musicians. Songhack features news, resources and coaching content to help musicians make money.

BBC advice for unsigned and undiscovered musicians. Starting out, Recording, Playing Live, Getting Noticed and Online Promotion, Getting the Right Deal for You, Useful Links.

BBC Introducing Masterclass video clips 2013. Dozens of 1 – 2 minute interview clips of great promotion and music industry advice from artists and professionals e.g. Gig exchanges – invite a similar band from a town some way away to play with you, and you play with them in their town.

New ways of touring Jen Long of BBC Introducing talks about new ways to tour, especially reaching young people who can’t get in to over 18s venues. (The latest BPI research shows that 13 to 19-year-olds are the second biggest recorded music market after early 20-somethings, so it’s good to find ways to let them see you live.)

Music Clout is a website with lots of advice on promotion and advancing yourself in the music industry. You can upload your artist profile and find opportunities for your music. You can find listings and submit music and info to Licensing opportunities, Record Labels, Blogs, Press, Management, Festivals, and Radio and Contests etc seeking new artists.

Getting demos heard and distributed. A goldmine of more than 40 great websites to promote your music, compiled by The Vocalist, one of the best music resources on the web.

All things Busking – tips, articles and lists of busking festivals to get yourself out there.

Berklee Music College have various free video lessons on music business, promotion and careers.

Music Promotion Lots of blogs with advice on music promotion.

JamMob has useful blogs about music marketing. It has various categories such as concert promotion, social media, radio, mobile marketing, publishing and more.

For Bands and Musicians. Get all the info you need from this series of blogs to take your music to the masses, from finding members for your band to self promoting your music, getting shows and signing a fair contract.
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Rock n Retail Advice on web marketing and options to buy marketing services. USA based.

Social Media

Short BBC video by music industry experts ‘Making the most of Online‘ – talking about the importance of an online presence as an artist and building a strategy to present yourself well.

Social Media Handbook An excellent guide written by SoundDelivery, on using Social Media to tell your story and interact with your audience.

Great advice on how to use social media to promote organisations/projects. Similar to the handbook above, also by SoundDelivery.

The importance of a good personal photo for your various social network profiles is explained here.

Top 4 Social Media Marketing Fundamentals for Indie Musicians – a blog from Think Like A Label, ‘a resource for musicians and their people’.

YouTube. Video sharing. The second biggest search engine (after Google), so a very important tool to tell your story, and easier for viewers to understand your message than text. See YouTube tips and tutorials e.g. why it’s so important. Another useful blog: The Musicians Guide To YouTube Marketing.

Vimeo Video sharing – Upload, share, connect on your TV and phone, sell your work.

Soundcloud. An online audio distribution platform which allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings. SoundCloud enables anyone to upload, record, promote and share their originally created sounds across the internet, in a simple, accessible and feature-rich way. A good way to get feedback on music you are producing/remixing. Twitter: @SoundCloud

Bandcamp is “perhaps today’s most essential web service for independent bands and musicians.” At the heart of Bandcamp is a simple, utilitarian premise: Allow fans to listen to your music for free, and enable flexible, reasonable pricing for music purchases. Bands have the option of collecting email addresses, set fees or pay-what-you-want amounts in exchange for their music. You can also sell merch. It’s the quickest way to a free band website. Bandcamp gets 15% of music revenue and 10% of merch.

Mixcloud‘s mission is to deliver great radio, for everyone. They describe themselves as “Re-thinking radio, joining the dots between traditional shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes. Still curious? Check our FAQ, Team page. Upload your own music, interview your band etc to make a small radio show.”

Audioboo allows people to record and upload audio that can then be shared via other social networks. Audio can be recorded and uploaded straight from your phone or computer, allowing you to become a “social reporter” at events – where a group of people interactively and jointly contribute to some form of reporting, in text, photos, images or video. An example of Audioboo at work is Zoe Ivory from the Big Lottery talking about the importance of blogging. Twitter: @theboobot

Facebook. Social media site to share information with friends/fans. It is an important tool to let potential customers know about what you are doing. You can create an event page and invite friends who can then invite their friends. It can be interactive and updated as news develops about your event. Facebook tools:

Twitter. Social media site for short blogs of up to 140 characters. Useful to link to your more detailed story on another site.

DeCloudr is a web app that converts your Social Media followers (i.e. Facebook, SoundCloud) into Twitter followers by means of offering a Follow for a Free Download. Build your DeCloudr profile, upload your tracks and send them to your SoundCloud or Facebook followers and watch the Twitter Followers come flooding in!

Blogging – opinion pieces, behind the scenes, what’s happening. They give more information than Facebook or Twitter. Lots of tips about blogging can be found on these links: basic blogging and blogging resources. Youth Music has written 8 Top Tips for Writing Excellent Blog Posts. A blog with 10 tips on how to become an influencer, as a ‘taste maker’ and opinion former – How to become an online ‘influencer’.

Linkedin is a network for professionals to interact, get advice and support and make connections and endorsements. Useful for musicians and the music industry. Check out the range of groups with mutual interests e.g. Music and Entertainment Professionals. The groups have lots of discussions and you can ask questions and receive advice from experienced peers.

MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. There is MailChimp for Music.

Pocket When you find something you want to view later, put it in Pocket.
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Storify users curate what people post on social media and turn them into stories. Create your own stories about what you do, your music etc.
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Addthis. Merge tag tools for sharing – allows readers to share your music/story/campaign with their friends by connecting your posts to other sites. Add ‘follow’ and ‘share’ buttons to your social media sites.

Hootsuite is a tool that allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. Control all of your accounts on the move with the mobile version. You can set up times for posts to be released, so that a social media campaign can be coordinated to ‘amplify’ your story at times most likely to be read. Twitter: @hootsuite or @HootSuite_Help

GigaTools manages your gig promotion publicity across several social media sites. Designed for artists, DJs, bands, labels and agents to manage, promote and share their upcoming gigs online. A little like Hootsuite.

ReverbNation – Similar to Hootsuite but designed just for music. It can update all of your online profiles with new information from one central location and track stats from all of your social media sites. Reverb Nation also gives you multiple ways to sell your music, from linking to your offsite shop on your Reverb Nation profile with a free membership to having your music on iTunes and Amazon in exchange for a nominal membership fee.

Digital toolkit – websites for modern musicians seeking to promote and distribute their music, or for music entrepreneurs looking to develop their businesses.

Help to make and post videos onto YouTube.

How to convert audio files to video to upload to YouTube.

Fandalism site profiling musicians. Facebook: Fandalism

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Gig Listings

Dorset Gig Guide The Dorset Music Guide aims to be the definitive destination for Music related News, Reviews and Events Information for the wonderful county from which it takes it’s name. Twitter: @DorMusicGuide

Lemon Rock. A site that automatically finds your location (it asks for your permission) and then gives a local gig guide. Register your gig.

South West Music Services This is your portal to concerts, gigs and other music related events in the South West of England. If you would like a reciprocal link please get in touch. Bands, Jazz, classical and more. Register your gig.

Gig Guide provide information on Gigs, Live Music Venues, Wedding and Function Bands, Music Festivals and a host of other music related businesses in the UK. Register your gig.

Music Glue has event listings and offers services to support gigging artists. Register your gig.

Vocalist Gig Guide Add Your Gigs FREE to our online Gig Guide.  Amateur to Professional Solo & Duo Singers, Vocalists, Musicians, Songwriters, Venues, Pubs, Clubs, Covers & Original Acts.

Bandsintown Facebook ap that tells you when bands you like on Facebook have up and coming gigs. Good to register as an artist.

Recording/Demo Production

The Showcase music industry directory is a great resource for finding expertise and facilities to record and show your music at its best. E.g. Rehearsal Rooms, South West Recording Studios (also other regions), mobile recording studios, studio equipment hire and recording services such as producers/engineers/programmers, mastering, post production, packaging, design and printing – lots more.

Organisations

BandName Worldwide search and registration of band names. Why Register? Establishing prior usage is a key component in protecting your name and avoiding unwelcome legal challenges. The Worldwide Registry notifies artists and labels where potential territorial name conflicts exist and registers your historical claim to ‘name’ usage.
Email: information@bandname.com

Be On The Scene “An online community for talented individuals to showcase your talent – come & get involved!” They give you the tools to help you get noticed. Twitter: @BeOnTheScene

Showcase International music directory. Find contact details for a vast range of specialist suppliers to the music industry – concert services, venues, equipment, recording studios, music business services, media, musical equipment and musical equipment hire.

Federation of Festivals. Charity giving young people the opportunity to perform at amateur festivals throughout the UK with on average a million performers a year. Twitter: @Brit_Festivals

Apply to play at Festivals A blog by Sentric Music with contact links to apply to over 20 UK music festivals. Festival experience is something record labels look for before signing you, as do some grants such as The Momentum Fund from the PRS Foundation to help emerging artists get to the next level.

Music for Youth is a national music education charity providing free access to performance and audience opportunities for young musicians across the UK through its annual season of festivals and concerts.

BBC Introducing support unsigned, undiscovered & under the radar musicians | No need to Tweet links, just upload your tunes at bbc.in/Uploader. Twitter: @bbc_introducing

Tippers Network UK new music tastemakers recommending new music and artists. A public list by Generator. The contributing tastemakers are here. Check out their interests and try sending appropriate tastemakers your music and information about you as an artist. Twitter: https://twitter.com/GeneratorNE/lists/tippers-network

FAQs about the BBC uploader and how to get your music to the BBC.

The Unsigned Guide. Online music industry directory full of contacts for UK venues, producers, gig & festival promoters, record labels, music publishers, distributors & loads more! Twitter: @unsignedguide

The Youth Media Agency is the National home for UK Youth Media: raising the profile of, and supporting over 300 exciting media platforms. They deliver campaign and media training, working with 16-25 year olds.

Urban Street Online service focused in the promotion and marketing of individuals and organisations providing professional musical services.

Tribe of Noise conects musicians online with businesses around the globe in need of original, all rights included music.

Independant Record Labels These record labels are distributed by Kudos Records. There are quite a few! They may be interested in your music. Find out if they record similar styles of music to yours. Find out about their A & R managers and contact them.

NUMU describe themselves as “a safe community for young people to showcase their music; collaborate, compete and develop their talent.” FIND OUT MORE

List with links to lots of record labels, compiled by NUMU.

Play Music is a hub for emerging musicians in the UK. PlayMusic selects up-and-coming artists to showcase their music through a series of live and studio sessions. They are a part of PlayNetwork who create in store digital environments, including background music for major retail brands,

cdbaby. Independent music store, distributor, CD duplication service, advice, blogs.

Getting yourself heard. This page has a list of online music databases that are largely free of charge. Note that many of the sites provide a specialized service or focus on a particular music genre. Some of these operate as an online music store or purchase referral service in some capacity.

A list of Internet radio stations in the UK. Go to home page for the rest of Europe (over 4,000 radio stations listed by country or genre). Send tracks/blogs/press releases to stations to promote your music. Be selective and target stations that play your style of music.

Comparison of streaming media systems – Tables that compare general and technical information for a number of streaming media systems for both audio and video. Tools to show your work at its best.

Booking Agents and related searches such as Music Entertainment Agencies on ukmmf.net – adverts and web searches.

Public Relations companies – a small directory of  PR companies to help tell your story. There are many others. As well as telling your story yourself, using B Sharp’s publicity guide, PR companies may have good contacts and many social media followers and influencers worth paying for. Choose one that is well-connected to the music industry.

 

A complete B Sharp music resource menu can be found in  Links to Progress your Music Interests and Journey. If you know of other links that could be added to this list, please reply below.