Andrew at New Music Strategies recently completed an eBook compilation of blog posts titled "20 Things You Must Know About Music Online" that’s now available for free. (I was a little surprised — I was thinking of doing a "Top Ten" series myself…but he beat me to it, and did an awesome job. Definitely read or download it.)
Des at HomeTracked interviewed Andrew about it, which was an interesting read. I enjoyed this exchange:
HomeTracked: A band tells you they have $500 to spend on promotion. How would you recommend they spend that money?
New Music Strategies: $500 is branding money. Who are they? What do they represent? What is their look, their values, their logo, their font (seriously), their story? These things make it easy for everything else to line up.
If you don’t have a story, then you have no reason for local newspapers to talk about you. If they don’t have a logo or chosen font, local promoters will always list their band name in ‘Generica Bold’. You need to stand out.
Perhaps the best thing you could do, if you live anywhere near a university or college with a media programme is to give $100 to the brightest PR students for a local PR campaign — community newspapers and the like; $100 to the best graphic design students for logos, sticker, t-shirt and sleeve design for promo CDs — as well as imaging for website use; $100 to the best television students for a half decent studio performance clip you can upload to YouTube, give away on DVDs, etc; $100 for web hosting, domain name and an enthusiastic web and new media student that knows their stuff about CSS to make the most out of a WordPress-based site.
The last $100 is for new strings, drum heads, a piano tuner or whatever you need to get your work tools sounding as good as they can. more of the interview >
Interesting. My budget happens to be about $500, and I don’t have a logo, font, CD, T-shirt, or local media contacts, and I’m on the verge of ditching my current bandname, DreamSpin. …hm… At least I have this blog.
Seriously, though, it’s all true. Bands must be able to answer the question: "What’s your STORY?" (In my case, I’m not 100% there yet, and could use the help of a web/graphic designer.)