Erin Kilgour, Staff Writer, 8/3/2009
Every musician starts somewhere. Normally by beginning with music lessons and possibly later forming a small band and practicing in the garage. Whether a lone signer with a guitar or a group of individuals creating a rock band, you are likely striving to be recognized for your artistic talents. If you are serious about your art, you have probably considered different paths to your road to stardom. Gaining recognition will create the exposure for success that you need. Possibly, it is time to consider what it takes to become a star.
Obviously, you must have talent before you stand up and say “promote my music” (or a lot of money to blow) or you will be ignored and/or taken advantage of through the various companies that you may seek for help with publicity.
There are literally a ton of promotion ideas through different avenues that one can engage in when beginning their journey of becoming a star. Seeking the services of an independent company is one way to go. Although this is somewhat costly, you will be put into the public’s eye, something that if good enough, could gain you overnight success. The independent companies will promote your music or your record to various radio stations. Obviously, you probably won’t be introduced to the top radio stations in the world, but generally you will be introduced to college or commercial radio promotion. This is a costly avenue however, as prices begin anywhere from $1500 for a single and $3000 for an album project on up. Remember too, that you can contact the press yourself. This may be a terrifying thought, but don’t let that block you. You may start out a little shaky, but be confident with what you are promoting, being you, your group and your music and begin to seek avenues that will help you gain exposure. Many places you contact may give you the run around; others may show a great amount of interest. Whatever the case, do not get discouraged. The press media is there and it is part of their job to listen to inspiring new artists and discover talent, or at least, give it a chance. So, push your fears aside and get on the phone and start making contacts to get your single or album playing through radio stations. Start with the college stations and move on from there. Through persistence you will find that many are willing to open their doors and listen and possibly help you achieve the recognition that you need for stardom.
Obviously, not everyone has the money needed to hire PR people for media campaigns. In this case, you will start off on the road yourself to build your fame and fortune.
Begin with knowing your goals. Research the model of larger artists and the way they promote. What their campaigns are, their promotion products, even their image will be helpful. Once you have done this, chose something from your collection of talents to promote, such as a single, a show or your website. Once you decide upon what you are going to promote, you will be able to set goals.
If you decide to promote your website, then your goal is to bring in traffic. One thing to remember when Internet media marketing, is that it is inexpensive. There are many methods that will bring results. Begin through targeting your audience, meaning know who the right audience for your product is. You will know this through performances that you have done, studying the audience of similar music of other artists, etc. You may devise or purchase a mailing list consisting of this audience and mail them your new single. That may be a little costly, but an idea. One thing that won’t be costly is publishing your music video on YouTube or MySpace. Scouts have actually found inspiring artists and made a success out of them through these channels.
Create a promo package which you use to send a demo to a label. The package should include a press release all about you and/or your band and your music, a band bio, a CD. any press coverage you have, your contact information where they can follow up and a colored photo and you and/or your band.
Find the niche that is right for you. Make yourself stand out. People will show an interest and what to learn more about you and your music.
Get your name out there. Hire a professional if possible. Through the Internet this service is affordable. Ask them to “market” you. Have your website ready to go and ask them to “promote my site”. You can reach the world through the Internet and professional services will know exactly how to get you the exposure you need.
Don’t forget the famous talent shows. Although these can be corny at times they are responsible for bringing new stars to the scene. American Idol is obviously the most famous television talent show of all. For years now, it has been in everyone’s living room week after week, with people following the performers praying for their favorites and building a connection with the performers. A simple audition for the show could end up turning into a large record label contract. If you pass the audition you become a contestant. If you hit the top through your American Idol performance the scouts will have their eye on you and you just may walk away with that record contract you have been dreaming of. This has happened many times in the past few years.
You have built your foundation of what you want to be and now it is time to lay the foundation for where you want to go. Do a little research. Whatever road you chose, get publicity. This is what will bring you into the eye of the public, which is your means to success. Without a following or an audience you will not create your dreams.