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.

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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.

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!


The 7 Core Aspects of a Marketing Mix Every Band Needs

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musiciandescribes core aspects of marketing in his latest article from SonicBids!

The 7 Core Aspects of a Marketing Mix Every Band Needs

While most bands are clear about what they’d like to achieve (getting more fans to their shows, selling more records and merch, and even getting signed to a label), some have a difficult time with strategizing how to get there. While there’s not one correct way to market your band, there are certainly a few core strategies you need to succeed. These include the “4 Ps” of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion) as well as three other important building blocks (band branding, product branding, and measuring). Let’s take a closer look at each one and see how you can start using them right now.

1. Band branding

This is the process of creating a unique name, logo, and slogan for your brand, and then stamping these elements on everything you do and have (e.g., your drummer’s bass drumheads, concert backdrops, guitar cases, and more). The idea is to create a positive and powerful perception of your band in the minds of the fans that is easily recognizable and very memorable.

2. Product branding

This involves creating album and song titles, packaging and set designs, and an overall personality that fits cohesively with your band’s brand. In other words, the identity of your band and the identity of your products should all make one cohesive statement.

3. Product development

This is the process of preparing your products for the marketplace by deciding whether to produce vinyl or USB flash drives, packaging your products together in a collector’s gift box, remixing one of your songs in another style, and so much more. The idea is to satisfy your target fans while creating a number of new revenue streams for your band.

4. Price

This involves making decisions about what to charge your fans for your albums, T-shirts, live performances, patches, and buttons. Considering your costs, knowing what’s reasonable to charge, and thinking about the image you want to project are all par for the course. Make no mistake – even when giving your products away for free, you must always let people know what they’re worth so that you can create the perception of value in your brand.

Click here to view the rest of the article!


Enter to WIN a Red Special Guitar SIGNED by Brian May!!

Guitar Player magazine is hosting a contest to win a Brian May Red Special Guitar!!


Prize Details:
First Prize: A Red Special Guitar signed by Brian May. This Brian May guitar is faithful to the spirit of Brian’s original ‘Red Special’, an instrument that has achieved iconic status and a unique place in rock history, and designed by Brian May himself. Retail value $2000

Second Prize: A copy of the book, “Brian May’s Red Special” Retail value: $30

Click here to enter the contest!