So you are working hard to book your tour, and the dates are falling into place smoothly. Now the biggest challenge ahead of you is to create some audience excitement and media interest. I believe that any project, tour or product you create needs to have the marketing plan in place while you are planning the project, tour or product. You see this working all the time with national products, movies, major label record releases. The concept produces successful results when applied to independent label releases and individual artist tours.
Now can you get a jump on marketing your upcoming tour by incorporating this marketing template and timeline into your touring strategies every time you tour. Marketing your tour is simply employing systematic strategies to make fans and the media aware of your activities. As the following template becomes more familiar to you, the tasks will become automatic, and the final result will be more fans at your gigs and greater CD and merchandise sales.
Research: Planning ahead takes a bit of research to be aware of what resources are available to you, many of them FREE.
Gather names of national or international magazines and newsletters that are appropriately suited to your style or genre of music.
Then, check out major trade magazines such as Pollstar, Billboard, Performance Magazine, Northeast and Southeast Performer. Many of these magazines have sections where artists or agents may submit tour itineraries, press releases about newsy items regarding the act. There are potential feature interviews, CD reviews or articles about the act when the act begins to make their mark in their market. Many of these magazines also have online versions with additional opportunities for submitting information about your act. Often, advertising rates are lower than in the printed version of the magazine and may offer you an affordable advertising outlet if you are interested in that route.
Mark their deadlines for submission: Each magazine has their deadline to submit information to the various departments or sections. Make note of the appropriate deadlines and place them on a large calendar near your desk, on your computer desktop calendar, or directly on your touring calendar where you will be constantly aware of the deadlines as they approach.
Be consistent: Find out the format they require for the various submissions. Create a template in your word processor so that you only need to update the details each time before sending in your new submission. This makes the task easier to complete.
Gather local media sources in upcoming tour cities: The first place to begin your research is with the local club, venue or promoter who booked you. Ask them if they would send you their local media list. Most promoters are happy to help you promote your gig especially when you are doing most of the work. I always send a General Information sheet along with my contract. I ask the promoter to provide the names of three appropriate local radio stations and their contacts and three local newspapers. I ask for any television stations that might do entertainment spots on the local news or public television programs that might feature the act. The form also asks for other important information pertaining to the upcoming date, but most importantly, the media contacts allow me to begin direct contact with the local media. If you are interested in this form and other contracts, riders and helpful booking forms, visit my website www.nmtinc.com and go to the order form. For other media directories, you can find resources online or in your local library. Some directories are very expensive, and the library keeps these in their reference section.
There are many other directory resources for print and broadcast media. I always feel the best resource is to work closely with the promoter who knows the market and the appropriate media outlets for your act.
Newsletters: This resource can be very valuable when you consider that a newsletter targets a specific audience. Newsletters are usually produced by an organization to promote and inform its members about news and events of particular interest to its members. If your act has identified various organizations or is being sponsored by a specific organization, make sure you take full advantage of the organization’s newsletter. Get the deadlines for submission. Find out if they would do a review of your CD or a feature interview with the act. Ask about their advertising rates. Most newsletter ad rates are very affordable. Most of all make sure that you submit a Press Release informing them of the upcoming performance so they may include the information and perhaps a photo if they are not inclined to print the entire press release. The newsletter gives you access to a very, targeted audience. If you are performing in one specific city and the organization happens to be a national organization with the newsletter generated from the national office, there may be the potential for advertising, a feature article or a review reaching a nationwide audience.
Online Fanzines and E-zines: There are more and more targeted outlets online that may suit your specific genre of music. The Musician’s Atlas and the Indie Bible have listings of online sources that may be helpful to expand your Internet presence.
Once you have gathered all the appropriate media outlets and have created templates to make your submissions run smoothly each time, we need to establish a timeline to follow for each tour to ensure that your efforts are noticed and rewarded by the media and fans. In Part 2, we will create the marketing timeline. Once you have practiced this on a few tours, it will become second nature. With this template in place, you may also have one of the band members take on these promotional tasks or you might even decide to hire someone for a few hours for a few days a week to accomplish these marketing publicity tasks. Now, gather your resources. Until next time- Jeri
And, I invite you to learn more about this and other topics important to your career development and to sign up for free weekly audio Biz Booster Hot Tip! Every Monday you’ll get another valuable strategy and technique that you can put to use immediately. You’ll find helpful books, career development seminars, Booking & Touring Success Strategies & Secrets online course and information on booking tours, the music business and performing arts. It’s all waiting for you at http://www.performingbiz.com. Jeri Goldstein is the author of, How To Be Your Own Booking Agent The Musician’s & Performing Artist’s Guide To Successful Touring, 3rd Edition.
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