12 Radio Promotion Tips To Help Build Awareness For Your Band

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musicianprovides promotion tips to help build band awareness in his latest article from Hypebot!

12 Radio Promotion Tips to Help Build Awareness For Your Band

Radio promotion is the process of soliciting your music to radio stations to get airplay, to build professional relationships, and to make fans. Are you getting the most out of your radio promotion campaigns?

College radio stations, web radio stations, satellite radio stations, and commercial specialty shows (the “locals only” type shows on commercial stations at the end of the week) are all great places to promote your music—especially when the Internet is overflowing with millions of other independent artists competing for attention.

12 tips to maximize your next radio promo campaign

1. Create a target station list of all radio mediums by using Radio-Locator (www.radio-locator.com), Indie Bible (www.indiebible.com), and Live365 (www.live365.com). Write down the station name, show name, DJ, contact information, submission policy, and “call time” (the time the DJ accepts calls). This should pretty much do it.

2. Prepare the proper materials for your campaign including a broadcast quality master (CD or MP3), a “one sheet” that includes important information (such as your name, picture, brief bio, and your accomplishments), and a short note or cover letter or email indicating your objectives for sending your music.

3. Call the station one week after sending your music to see if they received it and ask for feedback. Be prepared to call-back repeatedly to reach the DJ or music director. Also be patient and be extremely nice. This is a very important step in the process.

4. If your music gets played, send the DJ a ‘Thank You’ card for adding your music and let him/her know that you really appreciate his/her support.

5. Request positive quotes from the DJ about your music to use in your promotional packets and websites.

6. Schedule live station interviews and station performances.

Click here to read the rest of the article!


Listen: Lisa S. Johnson with Mathis Media Hub Radio

Joanne Mathis chats with Lisa S. Johnson about 108 Rock Star Guitars on Mathis Media Hub Radio, a station on BlogTalkRadio!


00127925Armed with a macro lens, an incredible eye for detail, and a truly groundbreaking vision, Lisa Johnson’s guitar art is taking the world of fine art photography on a rock-and-roll ride. A compilation of Johnson’s stunningly personal and intimate portraits, 108 Rock Star Guitars features the guitars of rock-and-roll luminaries, including Les Paul, Eric Clapton, Jimmy, Page, Nancy Wilson, Bonnie, Raitt, Chrissie, Hynde, and many others.

Far from still life, Johnson’s work conjures the abstract yet also possesses a very sensual and ethereal feel that intentionally illustrates intimate wear-and-tear details. Her unique presentation personifies and captures a musician’s true spirit in these musical extensions of the artist’s body. This ultra-deluxe, coffee-table photo book reveals through Johnson’s signature macrophotography style the etchings, totems, and personal touches of each featured guitar. It is a rare perspective that few people outside of the musicians’ stage crew have seen.

Alongside these images, Johnson provides personal anecdotes describing her 17-year journey to photograph these iconic instruments, documenting her travels from the backstage hallways of some of the world’s most famous concert venues to the artists’ private homes. 108 Rock Star Guitars is a music and fine-art photograph aficionado’s private backstage pass to witness up-close these six-stringed works of art.

Now Available from Backbeat Books: AC/DC FAQ!

AC/DC FAQ spans AC/DC’s 40-year career, starting from the band’s inception in 1973. This book covers everything from their early days in Australia to their first tour of England and the United States. It also includes personal experiences, stories, conversations, and interviews by author Susan Masino, who has known the band since 1977.

Featuring 37 chapters, AC/DC FAQ chronicles the personal history of each of the band members, all their albums, tours, and various anecdotes. Rebounding from the tragic loss of their singer Bon Scott in 1980, AC/DC hired Brian Johnson and went on to record Back in Black, which is now one of the top five biggest-selling albums in music history. Taking a seven-year break after their album Stiff Upper Lip, the band came back in the fall of 2008 with a new album,Black Ice, and a tour that ran from 2008 through the summer of 2010. Once again breaking records, AC/DC saw the Black Ice Tour become the second-highest-grossing tour in history. True rockers from the very beginning, AC/DC will continue to be heralded as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.


6 Types of Music Promotion You Might Be Overlooking

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musiciandescribes types of music promotion you might be overlooking in his latest article from SonicBids!

6 Types of Music Promotion You Might Be Overlooking

You’ve probably been told a million times by now that internet marketing (i.e., social networking, posting videos, getting reviews on blogs) is one of the most convenient and low-cost methods of promotion today. But it’s also a highly competitive space, filled to the brim with artists fighting for even the tiniest sliver of attention. Therefore, if you want to actually get seen and heard, it’s wise to even out your promotional campaign with a blend of both offline and online strategies. Are you overlooking these six effective methods of marketing your music?

1. Personal selling

Personal selling is the process of getting eye-to-eye with target customers and influencing them to act. It’s used when you have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with fans or business contacts to communicate the benefits of your products and ultimately make sales. Setting up “meet and greets” with your fans at local retail stores to promote your album or inviting a music supervisor out to lunch to discuss possible placements can produce tremendous results, especially if you’re charming, witty, talented, and a good salesperson.

2. Direct marketing

Direct marketing is a system by which organizations bypass intermediaries and communicate directly with end users to generate sales. It’s used when you have a well-targeted database of names and your target audience responds well to one-on-one communications. Snail mail, texting, and even telemarketing are all methods of direct marketing. On the latter note, when is the last time you went through your database of fans and personally called people to remind them about an upcoming show? You probably haven’t, and neither have many other bands – and that’s precisely why this method can potentially work well for you.

3. Radio promotion

Radio promotion is the process of soliciting your music to radio stations to get airplay, build professional relationships, and make fans. It’s used when you have master quality recordings, want to form solid relationships with DJs who are well-connected in your geographic area, and want to be broadcasted to potentially thousands of people in one spin. While regular-rotation commercial radio stations are a tough nut to crack, more viable mediums include college radio, National Public Radio (NPR), satellite radio, and commercial specialty shows (i.e., “locals only” type shows that air late night on weekends on commercial stations). Not only will the DJs play your music, but they can also arrange interviews, invite you to perform live on-air, and even announce your local gigs, contests, and news updates.

Read the rest of the article here!


Happy birthday, Neil Sedaka!

Neil Sedaka, whose long list of chart-topping hits includes “Calendar Girl,” “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen,” and “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” turns 75 today.  In his book, Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear, Rich Podolsky describes the moment Don and his partner at Alson Records, Al Nevins, first met Neil.  The rest, you could say, is music history.

The chill of being rejected by Hill and Range still stung but Neil and Howie were desperate for a chance, and so they headed right down to Aldon Music. When they opened the door, they saw a closet-size office with boxes all over the floor and two desks pushed together in the middle of the room. Shoved against the wall was an upright piano. To Neil, Aldon looked to have been in business only a couple of days, and the office wasn’t ready yet for walk-ins.

“We’d like to see the publisher,” Neil asked a young guy with his sleeves rolled up. He was sweeping the floor.

The guy leaned on his broom. “We’re in conference. Come back in an hour.”

They agreed, and as they walked down the hallway Neil muttered to Howie, “I think the conference is, ‘How are we going to pay for this office.'”

Don put the broom in a small closet and rolled down his sleeves. “They should be back soon,” he told Al, and buttoned his cuffs. A little while later there was a knock at the door.

“It’s open,” Don called, and the two kids came inside.

Words rushed from the short one’s mouth as if he were a door-to-door salesman who might get the boot any second.

“I’m Neil Sedaka and this is Howard Greenfield. I study at Juilliard. We’ve been writing together for five years and have had several songs published and recorded.”

“Like what?” Al wanted to know.

“Well, we’ve sold several R & B songs to Atlantic for Clyde McPhatter, Laverne Baker, and the Clovers,” Neil replied.

“And just recently Dinah Washington came out with our song ‘Never Again,'” Howie added.

Al shot a look at Don that said, I find that hard to believe. “Really?” he asked. Don jumped in. They’d find out in a minute whether the boys had something to offer. He pointed to the upright in the corner. “Okay, let’s hear what you’ve got.”

Neil took his place behind the piano and positioned the chair so he was half sitting, half standing. It reminded Don of how Bobby [Darin] had played the first time they were at Natalie [Twersky]’s place.

Neil played a few songs, which Don thought were good. When the kid was a few bars into the next one, “Stupid Cupid,” the bell went off in Don’s head. Neil banged out the notes in a rousing rendition of a song Don instantly knew teenagers would love. And he knew just the person to record it. 

Stupid Cupid you’re a real mean guy,

I’d like to clip your wings so you can’t fly . . .

Hey, hey, set me free,

Stupid Cupid stop pickin’ on me.

Don looked at Al to see his reaction, but his parter did not look happy.

“Where’d you get those songs?” Al demanded.

“What do you mean?” Neil asked. He looked shocked as he turned to face the challenge. “We wrote them, that’s where. We’ve written over five hundred songs in the last three years. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler.”

“Excuse us for a moment,” Don said. He was totally blown away. Ertegun was a founder of Atlantic Records and Wexler was one of his partners.

While Neil and Howie waited by the piano, Don pulled Al aside. “Did you hear that song, Al?” Don whispered. That song’s a hit! This is exactly the kind of talent I knew was out there. Did you ever see such talent? I can’t believe nobody’s signed them.”

“Even if they did write those songs,” Nevins said, then paused and glanced over. “Just look at them. They look like pishers.”

“I don’t care what they look like,” Don whispered urgently. “We need to sign them.”

Al’s eyes narrowed for a moment. He was silent. “Okay,” he said at last, “but this is your deal, not mine.”

“Fine. This is what I told you I’d do for you. You won’t be sorry.”

They strolled back to the boys standing beside the piano.

“We think you’ve really got something,” Don said, “and we want to sign you to write exclusively for Aldon Music. We’ll give you each fifty dollars a week against future royalties. We’ll publish your songs and help get them placed.”

Howie was about to say something, but Neil put a hand on his friend’s arm and looked around at the boxes and the dust. Don could see the kid was skeptical.

“You get us a hit and then we’ll sign.”

“I’ll get you that hit,” Don promised. “Come back here in a couple of days. I want to introduce you to an old friend of mine. Her name is Connie Francis.”


How to gig more without overexposing yourself

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musiciandescribes how to perform more without overexposing yourself in his latest article from DiscMakers!

How to gig more without overexposing yourself

You should leave your fans wanting more, so if you want to perform live more than once a month, here are four strategies to fill up your performance schedule without saturating the market

To avoid overexposing your band in a market, you should limit your performances, perhaps performing once a month in your local territory and working hard to make each gig an explosive night to remember. The rule of thumb is quality before quantity, and leave your fans wanting more. However, if you desire to perform live more than just once every month, there are plenty of ways to fill up your performance schedule without saturating a popular market. Four basic strategies you should consider include:

  1. A club residency
  2. Alternate format performances
  3. Dual territory performances
  4. A tour

1. Club residency

In a club residency, a promoter will typically give an artist the opportunity to perform once a week or twice a month in his venue with the hope that the extra exposure will generate word-of-mouth promotion and build up local demand. This is an excellent opportunity to test material, work on arrangements and set orders, and gauge your songs’ impact on an audience — and it could be a situation where a promoter is forgiving of a partially empty club. But if you fail to promote effectively and fail to grow your crowd each week and keep up your end of the bargain, the club residency can quickly be terminated and relationship with the promoter forever damaged.

2. Alternate format performance

With an alternate format strategy, you perform two or three times monthly in a market, but you do it using non-competing formats of your music. For instance, an indie artist might play one club or territory with her full electric band the first week, and then do a more intimate acoustic solo performance in the same territory on the third week. This can be a pretty cool way to get fans to keep you at the top of their minds, and an excellent way of building a fan base by targeting different types of venues and catering to the people likely to frequent one type of club over another. However, you must monitor your audience and make sure your efforts are increasing attendance rather than creating competition between your own live performances.

Click here to read the rest of the article!


Now Available: The Eagles FAQ

The Eagles FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Classic Rock’s Superstars by Andrew Vaughan is now available!

Paperback Original
6″ x 9″
352 pages
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

Check out this excerpt from the book’s introduction!


The Eagles are the most popular American band in rock-and-roll history. No band before them had sold over ten million copies of two different albums, as the Eagles did with Hotel California and The Eagles—Their Greatest Hits 1971–1975. Indeed, the latter album is now certified twenty-nine-times platinum by the RIAA, which means twenty-nine million copies sold in the United States, a figure equaled only by Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

The Eagles have scored twenty-one Billboard Hot 100 hits between 1972, when their debut cut “Take It Easy” climbed to #12, and 2003, when “Hole in the World” made the chart. Ten Eagles singles have made the Top 10, with five of those becoming #1 hits. On top of that, when it comes to their individual careers, the members of the Eagles have chalked up an impressive forty solo hits between them. Don Henley, not surprisingly, leads the pack with fifteen. The statistics go on and on. The Eagles have had seven #1 albums, and since their 1994 comeback, they have topped touring gross lists every year they’ve been on the road.

In 2008, they grossed over seventy million dollars in the U.S. alone, beaten only by Madonna and Celine Dion. Their most recent album, Long Road Out of Eden, sold exclusively through Walmart and went straight to #1 on its release in 2007. Looking at the Eagles’ album sales in total, the band are in the Top 5 of the best-selling artists of all time in the U.S., right behind the Beatles, Elvis, Garth Brooks, and Led Zeppelin.

The Eagles surfaced from the folkie, hippie scene of the late ’60s in L.A. and turned their mellow, country-rock sound into a worldwide brand, culminating in the international epic “Hotel California.”

Don’t be fooled by the outlaw/cowboy image. The Eagles, especially Don Henley and Glenn Frey, were part of a savvy new breed of rock-and-roller who understood the business side of music and demanded a fair share of the financial action. Teaming up with David Geffen, one of the toughest of all the ’70s music execs, gave the band a degree of power and leverage unknown in popular music.

The story of the Eagles is also the story of most artists of their time. The drugs, the music, the excesses, the piles of cash—it affected them all. But the Eagles took it to the limit. And in Henley and Frey, they had two songwriters who intuitively understood and accurately portrayed the changing America they were living in. They perfected the California sound, shifted the power from record company to artist, and pioneered the FM sound. Eagles songs of the period are incredibly memorable, while their most popular album, Hotel California, is a timeless record of the decadence of the ’70s. 

So popular were the Eagles in the ’70s—and on their own terms, too—that many in the American music press and media gave them short shrift. Critics at the time failed to acknowledge Henley and Frey’s social commentary, and they refused to give the band their due. Eventually, the sheer power of the music won out, and the Eagles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Not that success didn’t bring problems of its own. Eagles tours were outrageous fiestas of sex, drugs, and rock and matched only by the Who and Led Zeppelin for outrage and expense. Money and drugs, lawyers and accountants got in the way of the music, and some couldn’t cope. Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner called it quits early on, leaving Henley and Frey in charge of the beast. Things got so bad that individual Eagles stayed in separate hotels on tour. The Eagles became poster boys for bands that hated each other. Frey and Henley famously didn’t speak near the end, and things got so bad that a longtime band member, guitarist Don Felder, was booted from the organization. As with all good rock-and-roll fables, an outside source—in this case a country-music tribute album—brought some harmony back to our divided band of brothers, and the Eagles had what Frey always refers to as a “resumption” (rather than a comeback) in their sometimes rocky career.

The country-music tribute album, Common Thread, catalyzed the reunion that produced the 1994 LP Hell Freezes Over, which sold more than ten million copies in a few months. But the old animosities resurfaced, and in 2001 Felder was fired, never to return.

The remaining members carried on, and in 2007 the Eagles released their first proper new album in almost thirty years, Long Road Out of Eden, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard chart and set the stage for more sellout world tours.

With their lasting success, the Eagles proved themselves to be one of the few early-’70s bands still current and relevant. Honoring the band’s legacy, over forty years after the release of their first album, was the documentary movie History of the Eagles, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 and was screened by Showtime in two parts, and featured more than three cool hours of footage and interviews. The documentary has brought renewed interest in the group’s incredible story. 

Eagles albums still sell in platinum numbers, and Eagles tours out-gross those of most of their contemporaries. Their story is one of individuals, and of an era—an era that still fascinates and shapes the present day. This book looks at the whole career of the Eagles—their achievements and successes as well as their low points and disasters—and draws on interviews with fellow artists and contemporaries who watched the crazy tale unfold.