If there is one thing that almost all producers suck at, it’s self-promotion. On the one hand, this is mostly because they are humble people who care more about doing great work than drawing attention to themselves. On the other hand, it means that a lot of really talented people who do great work don’t get the credit (and income) they deserve. With that in mind, here is a short list of things producers can do to market themselves without being annoying or in-your-face braggy (more or less in order of priority):
Update your damn discography.
How many times have you seen someone’s discography page and it hasn’t been updated since like 2010? Way too many, right?? This is probably the single most important marketing tool available to you; it’s the first place people will look when they Google you, so it is CRITICAL to keep it up to date.
Have an active social media presence.
This might seem obvious to say in 2015, but social media is something a lot of producers neglect. How many producers can you think of who work with bands that have 500,000+ Facebook likes, but their studio page has a meager 750 likes? Tons! It’s just one of the sad realities of our business that the producer doesn’t always get a lot of shine unless they make it a priority. A great tactic to use (especially on Facebook) is to ask questions. Eyal Levi is especially good at this — see the example below. It makes your social media a CONVERSATION, not just a one-sided thing where you promote your shit, and when you are the centerpiece of an inspiring conversation, it helps raise your profile.
Participate in communities (IRL and URL).
Again, this may seem obvious as well, but it’s really critical. First, make sure you are an active part of the right Facebook groups and forums. Not only will you learn some cool tricks, but you could actually make some great connections that will further your career. You might be surprised how many “name” producers are lurking them. Also, don’t neglect the real world. Hang out with other producers, artists, etc., in person at shows, conventions, etc. The internet is great, but there is no substitute for face-to-face contact when it comes to making business relationships.
Give away as much knowledge as you can.
The old-school line of thinking is that you should jealously guard your studio “secrets,” because if your competitors get ahold of them you’ll lose work. But is that really true? I don’t think it is— I think the best thing you can do for your career is to give away as many of your secrets as you can. Helping others improve their craft is a great way to become a leader and influencer in your industry, which in turn leads to bigger recording projects. Kris Crummet’s Ask.fm (screenshot above) is a great example of how you can do this without spending a lot of time setting up a forum or other platform for it. You can just answer questions whenever you have a few minutes to spare.
Hire a PR firm.
I’m putting this last because there’s no point in paying for PR until you are doing PR-worthy things. But once you get to the point where you’re working with newsworthy bands, make sure that you’re getting credit for it in the press. Don’t assume that you can piggyback off the band/label’s press efforts, because those are going to be focused on the band. The right PR firm can make all the difference in getting your name out there — we like Fresno Media or Earshot for rock and Fixt for electronic music, but do your own research and find the firm that’s right for YOU.