This blog is targeted towards the new artist, and also self-serving, because it’s dedicated to making my life easier as a music journalist.
1. Please include contact info on your website, Facebook page, Twitter, etc. Any site that you use, list your email and who to contact. I get so irritated when a band’s contact info says things like “Your mom.” How do you expect to get any press or shows if I can’t email you?
2. Include a link or allow me to listen to your music. With the over-saturation of bands with the internet, it’s hard enough to capture people’s attention. Make it easy for someone to listen to your music.
3. Answer your emails. If someone took the time to email you, a response is always nice—even if it’s just a simple email in reply. As Kevin Bowe says, “Kingdoms were built on this kind of thing.”
4. Post your shows and include details. I’ve often left shows out of my blogs due to my frustration at not being able to find out info. We get inundated with Facebook invites, but Facebook pages are a wonderful tool to have a simple listing of shows. Even if you don’t invite people via a Facebook invite, but they are effective for promotion. I cannot say how many times I get excited about a band’s music and when I go to check when their next show is, they have nothing listed. Obviously, websites are another perfect place for event listings.
5. Don’t barrage a writer asking for press. A band I knew tried to get into a widely distributed magazine by mailing and emailing the magazine once a week. Short of the postal system going down or your email being seized by the government, you can guarantee that publication got your package/email. It’s not a bad idea for a follow-up email, but constantly hounding someone will only give others a bad perception of your band.
6. Give me a place where I can buy your merch; be it if you have a ton of merch or just a piece of chewed up gum for sale, make it easy for me to spend my money. There are so many sites out there to list your products, so there’s no excuse. The other side of this: ship out your products in a timely manner; please don’t take two months to send me a CD.
7. Say what you mean and mean what you say. This business is self-serving, so there are a lot of egos involved. People like to talk to build themselves up to be bigger than they are. Integrity is a trait that many people lack. Don’t be that person that people run away from.
8. This is in conjunction with the last one: be nice. Nobody likes a pompous asshole. Humility will take you far in this business and also in life.