Publicizing Your Success
This is not just a wrap of session guys, this is not the kind of thing where we're just going to say ok here's what we talked about, we'll do a little bit of that we're going to be giving you a whole bunch of new material right here and we're just going to keep going. This topic is tremendously important and we've talked about why in the last session ok, so you have a kickstarter campaign, you release it through your social media, you put this stuff out there so that you can perhaps do you know what you need, teo? And yet if the traditional media were to pick up your campaign, think about how much larger it would blow up if you do all of the marketing that we talked about up to this point because we talked about marketing think about what happens if the traditional media and all of the radio press everybody picks it up. This is what amplifies things this is what makes things work now most people probably think that most pr is actually out of your reach and the way that today's new medi...
a world works pretty much everybody can get started on this and build it and just like we've talked about everything else here we're going to take you through this step by step so the question becomes how do you boost your success, grow your audience and make more money basically it's to get the world to talk about what you're doing and more than just your friends more than just the people on the internet how do you do this teo answer this question we really have to kind of reframe everything and talk about how has the world changed so what do we mean by that pre filters in the past where the people that decided what music would even get made let alone get distributed and heard studio time was incredibly expensive in the past selling your music meant pressing your music into the form of little discs or tapes or acid tate and then loading them on trucks and convincing stores all over the country to pick it up and to actually carry the music and then convincing but the media to actually pick it up so this is the type of thing that the only way to do that was actually to go with a major label if you think about it that was the on ly possibility and post filters or the people who have who basically report reviewed the music with a world full of media the only possible way to go through all of that and truly understand to truly find the things that you really like you go to trusted sources who will filter through all that stuff and find that one thing that you really should check out so now we live in a world without pre filters we live in a world where nobody is making the decision about who can make music and by the way, this is just one of the reasons why jason and I keep saying over and over and over again that this is the best time to be a musician and we truly believe this not just this but all these other money making opportunities but when you live in a world without pre filters, what does it mean? It means there's no more mass media there's not mass media anymore there's basically niche media everybody is paying attention to that little sliver of the world that is their exact interest and you know what? They're able to find it. This new world congregates around ideas, not places and considering that's the case there's no channels everything is available at any time because you can always find it by any search. Everybody is also a creator considering that considering the pre filters no longer decide anything it's the post filters that are more important than ever do you see what I'm trying to do even at the start of this talk about pr, its focus you in on the places where people go to find the things that they're interested in so you can put your message in front of them that's how it works it's no longer about asking permission it's about how good you are generating your own audience so what does that mean? Well, what it means for you is channels or dead what is what's a channel mean when you could listen tow anything at any time watch anything at any time it means you don't have to fight your way just to get on the radio because it's the only chance you have of getting into the ears of new fans you can follow what we talked about in the first day in the fourth session that talked about all the different ways that you can promote your music. In fact, we gave sixteen categories of different ways that you can do that and only a few of them were based on radio. Most of them weren't and as you might remember, we consider radio to be the bottom of the list not the top of the list of places to start radio you can use podcast mp three blog's streaming social media media discovery sites there's so many ways to do this it's amazing same thing for video with video on demand, youtube everything else the point is you need to get coverage in these post filters you need to get coverage in the places where people go to find what they're looking for and we love this quote from derricks from james earnest rather who was the founder of cheap s games you might remember from stories we talked about earlier than we worked with him he is as cheap ass games might sound he's really good at doing things inexpensively and he says, isn't it funny one of them cost everything it means nothing the other cost nothing it means everything and he's talking about the difference between advertising npr now the thing that he says that cost nothing it means everything is pr advertising actually cost money think about it this way you have a magazine, right? And you open up the magazine and you're reading it are you looking at the ads or are you looking at the articles the articles right now? What are you going to pay more attention to? An ad that says that this album is really cool are an article that says that the album is really cool that's where you want to be and that's what pr is talking about? So what is p r? Well public relations getting other people who have an audience to cover you and spread the word. So what is p r have to do with your income? That's a very fair question one of the most mind blowing articles I've ever read about pr is something called the submarine by paul graham it's been around for is it been around for ten years already doesn't know but you might even be more it's over ten years it's over ten years old I was looking at this when it came out highly recommend we highly recommend that you read this because he talks about how p r is at the center of most things most businesses but in particular take a look at this quote they were building their own computers to save money and yet they were paying appear from sixteen thousand dollars a month and not skimping on it instead of buying ants which readers ignore you get yourself inserted directly into the stories that's how important was to sales that's why we're bringing it up here so let's break apart exactly how to get into it how to use it and how to take advantage of it two types of media today traditional media and new media traditional media everything that you've always been familiar with newspapers, magazines, radio, television all of that kind of stuff and let's talk about how to engage them their formal because they're big they still have all the attention on them they want to keep pretty much everybody at arm's length from them so they want press releases they're overwhelmed because they're targeted by everybody still but they're also shrinking they have is a very least fewer staff doing the same kind of coverage there also are slightly less companies to target because they've consolidated a lot which means it's a lot harder toe work your way into them right? And of course we're doing the same thing we did before we started with radio we're starting with the harder stuff just to clarify it because it's, what everyone thinks of with pr with story gets a lot clear and a lot better once we start getting to new media. So here's the thing it's run by journalists that air inundated with submissions under tight deadlines, they have an audience to please and that's the only thing on their mind they don't care about you. They don't care about your music. They don't necessarily care about culture it's their job to come up with a story that pleases their chief editor and hopefully will help them sell more copies of whatever it is they're trying to d'oh. But if it's online it's to drive online traffic, which means that they're going toe be as sensational as they can and they're really going to try their best to try and grab eyeballs, you should never, ever feel bad that they don't cover you, it's just that your story didn't fit that's always the way to look at it. We actually have a part of our book that I don't think we we translated into this, which is what no means to a musician and no doesn't mean no in this case, in terms of we hate you, it doesn't mean no, I'm never going to pay attention to you. It doesn't mean anything it doesn't have anything to say about what they even think of your music or yourself. Factors should have nothing to do with your self esteem. No means this story doesn't fit us right now. That's really? All it means it means try something else, and it doesn't mean no forever. Just because you submit historian it fails doesn't mean you can't submit a story again later as long as it's a different story, they will be able to tell if you submit the same one and change a few things around. A lot of people make that mistake don't do that. So here's, how to work with traditional media? You need a full online press kit materials. They're going to look for this stuff to make sure your professional, they may tell a story about a band that's just starting up if they don't have a lot of this stuff out there, but this helps when we say press kit and materials. This is another thing that we have to point to a book and say, you want to blow that up, go into the book and look at all of it. One of the key points here is something that we call a fact sheet, I just want to give you a taste of the kind of thing she needs, a fact sheet, faa ct shed it's just a list of facts about you that they can use to write an article so that they don't have to do the research remember, before they said that they were inundated, the flipside of inundated means that they're, well, lazy is the wrong word there they don't have time for swamped there, they don't have time to look up and find out how old you are, what your hometown is any of the other deep what what you sound like, how long you've been around is an artist or a band all of these things just you throw all that stuff on a sheet and you give it to him and then they won't make any mistakes how to spell your name, they've misspelled us, I think they've had just about every problem we can think of is we've dealt in the press, there's nothing you can do about it, unfortunately, except to try and make it easy for them, and we have even put out fact sheets and then ignore it so it's like you can't even do this and it won't work out, but you make it is easy for them it's possible you send him press releases cause they expected sometimes they don't nowadays it's starting to get a little fuzzier that said, you want to give him a tease for a story that they can understand they want ok, so we've talked repeatedly about getting in the heads of the people you want to influence I'm a journalist what am I looking for? I'm looking for a story that hits my deadline that answers my audience member before we said indie band releases a new album they're not gonna be able to sell that one I'm sorry that's not going to work uh now if you're in a small town and you've just had like a major victory somewhere like a major venue that you're going to play or you're going to go into some kind of tour and you're holding up for a major band that's a story they're interested in because it's got a local angle you just have to think like I wish I could tell you how to come up with the right story but this is what publicists d'oh they try and just come up with the reds like I've got a ready made story for you on every time that we've had a story picked up it's because we've done that I guess at this point we should probably mention many of you might be thinking wait a minute I thought journalists job were to find stories and come up with ideas to write about it, so all I have to do is do great music and do great things and everyone will tell that I'm awesome and write stories about me that doesn't happen very often it happens it does happen, but once you get some initial press coverage it makes it more likely that that could occur we've had both kinds of stories where people have decided to write about us we've had times where we've pushed the story out and convince them to do it most of the time your first one is the type where you're trying to convince them to do it because you're not known yet there's no reason for them to write about you actually a very good example is the billboard magazine where they covered our band they actually covered our band and look the online any band survival guide we didn't contact billboard magazine, but they found it because we went through the blogger sphere and we actually had a lot of people writing about us to make it more likely which is the exact technique we're about to share with you you need tio have the right stories but you also have to plan for at least a three months lead time if you for some reason think that they might be interested in covering your album release party well, you have to minus three months from whatever your releases which means that you got a lot of planning to dio and then they may even want an album at a time which means that your album might need to get sent out before it comes the story comes out before things they're ready and then ah lot of people try and conversion all this stuff to happen at the same time and you just can't do that with the press they don't work that fast at least the traditional media doesn't that's the traditional media the new media are filled with people that actually love a particular topic and they're doing it generally for the love now there are bloggers and blog's that act like traditional media and they're often run by people who are professional journalists in which case just because what I'm trying to say is just because it's a blawg doesn't mean that it's new media for say it may be run by somebody is a little more in the traditional zone you have to act more like the traditional stuff we talked about it's usually though run by people who love a topic who wanted their own radio show who love reviewing the freshest music and never had a platform until the internet it's also filled with websites that are either very local are very specific to a particular concept all of these air within your reach I can't tell you none of us can tell you exactly where you're going to find those outlets that makes sense for your stuff you have to do that research but I think that with this with this in mind I think you're going to be able to do it they actually cover stories, music or news because they enjoy it though and they're not in it for the money they might be supported by advertising but the great thing is that it's kind of more pure that said there they're a little more interesting to deal with you just reach out and sending emails nice and simple you say I got a song that you might like we did that actually at the time that this particular story comes out we had actually had a publicist we were working with a publicity for and they reached out to an office block like I got an idea where you can get coverage that's their job to find places to get covered like there's an office block and we had just come out with the album along a day's work which is like air six thousand or something like that I think and so all in a day's work was just all songs about work and it was very very tongue in cheek had a lot of songs that were very their bitter about being the workplace or things about that nature ofthis humor blawg perfect fit right? So her publicists who I wish they had done that they said hey um we're representing a band and you don't do that new media spaces should be even more genuine it's kind of the opposite whereas the traditional media is oh here's a publicist representing somebody I know they're serious there they're like we're representing somebody we thought you might like this and so they actually wrote a review about it and put it on their bog and what they said is well, I got this email from somebody saying that they were representing this band and I now ordinarily toss these things out because I don't want to deal with them but I listened to it I really like the album blah, blah, blah blah blah you never see that kind of thing in the traditional media they never say oh published this contacted me about this story and I thought, well, I can't believe they but it was really good you don't see it's invisible they wanted to be invisible. They want you to believe that everything that shows into this story are because of hard journalistic work and that's not the way things work. So there's this flip side to the whole thing and you just have to be aware of it little to no lead time coverage occurs very quickly and it can happen after an event because they may be interested in covering event that already happened because it's relevant to their interests so you've got a lot more flexibility timewise which means if you think about it that if you were to put the campaigns of both of these things together, you do a big lead for traditional media and then if you get any traditional media things that will actually help you get blog's, you do blog's a little closer to the whole thing in the new media or slightly after there's another aspect to pr that I'd like to get into your head and have you think about all of the media loves covering things that other people have already covered, for the most part, why they don't want to just say something that nobody else has broken the ground on, they want to make sure that there's actually something to it well, that mean, and they want to catch trends. They also want to catch breaking stories and there's a few that, like tio even catch rumors, and then they don't care if it's true or not, but they just want to catch this kind of thing remember, we talked in the marketing part about how some people like the newest freshest stuff, and then down the line, they get a little more traditional. That same thing happens in the scope of media, and what you want to do is start by finding the media that's the most open to getting the new stories when you're starting, and then as you get more and more proof that you're actually getting some coverage and worth covering. Then you can go down the line and get to the more traditional media and also the media, even the boggs that want to cover things that they already knows of interest. That same spectrum exists, and you have to look for it. So the question becomes, how do you break in the break in? We like to say that it's like building a snowman, so when you build a snowman, you don't died on the ground and say, let's, build this first thing there, I've got the bottom part, right? You can't do that, you have to just grab a little bit of snow, start rolling it up little by little and it built, and then you've got something to work with. So you start with covers that's. Within your reach, you start with coverage that you can actually get, and then you shoot slightly higher, building on each success, every scrap of coverage you get from anything, save it so you start within reach, you actually grab it. Once you do get some coverage, you send the story to the other places you're trying to get coverage, see how that works. I think it works even better when you kind of pinball things what I mean by that well, you get covered in an mp three blood. Don't just jump to another mp three blogged used the mp three blogged to get covered maybe in something that's covering about your life show or your video, or maybe another type of media altogether. Ah, blogged that talks about bands in your area. Hey, this empty three blood just did a review of, you know, where a chicago band and then they do a coverage, and then with those two bits of coverage, you can go sideways again and get covered somewhere else. All of this stuff builds on itself, and it becomes easier because each of them gives more of that social proof idea that you're actually worth covering all of these become part of your press kit that's another thing that you don't want to forget now let me give you one very powerful technique to get coverage polite persistence you go until you get to know now what does that mean? Well, once I tell you these two stories that will make a heck of a lot of sense. The three been story was a some particular journalist who was very, very much at the center things they get a whole lot of submissions, and whenever they get something in the door, they dump everything in this huge bin and then they'd ignore it, and then if you call them up or you wrote them they would say, oh, yeah, I did receive it, okay, thanks for asking, and they take it from that huge bin and put it in a slightly smaller bin that was next to it. And since there's three bins, I think you can see how this is going. Another call would bring it to the next bin, and if you actually called the fourth time, it would finally make it to their desk, so they check it out, you go into a no, derek sievers we've talked about repeatedly said that polite persistence is important as a blogger entry on this, which is just absolutely, and he talked about how there was somebody in the industry that wanted to work with him. He wanted to work back with this person. He was actually excited to do it, but he was super busy and they'd send an email and he wouldn't respond, and he'd said, you know, they'd send another email and maybe he would say, oh, yeah, ok, and then he disappeared again, and he said that when he got e mails from this person, it wasn't that he was angry because, you know, he disappeared. And why do you keep bugging me about this? He was glad that they politely reminded him to actually work with them polite persistence. If he says no, I'm sorry I can't work with you well, now you have you know you go until I know and then you step back and what does no mean again no doesn't mean that it's I don't never wants to work with me no doesn't mean no forever no just means well, ok, that particular idea didn't work out I can try something new again hey, we talked with you before I know it didn't work out for that but I thought you might be interested in this it's got to be in his story it's got to be anything does this make sense? Okay, so this hopefully will change how you even do business. This is not just for pr I think you see them, let me tell you we've had a lot of success with this particular thing years have gone by and you would think that what after getting no response for years that we would give up and we don't give up and it turned out that they were just busy and we got more business later down the years later down the line after we did this. So if you I guess in this section if you take nothing else to heart take this point with you so who is the number one person that's most likely to cover your story while it's very similar to the a person who's most likely to buy more music for you are more stuff from you it's people who have already covered you this is you see a theme now every time you've got somebody you actually try and expand it from there this is why you have a one dollar entry reward so that you could expand it it's this is all stuff part of influence the psychology of this persuasion he talks about this idea too people are likely to actually expand what they do this means you have to personally thank everybody that covers you this means you have to keep the relationship warm afterwards this actually means even something more than this it means that you have to keep track of every bit of it uh every bit of coverage you've ever gotten and make a big list of all the people and that is the most likely group of people that will actually pick you up in the future a lot of people make these mistakes and it's just it's it's straightforward enough to do it's actually common courtesy to do all this to thank them and everything else so this is not this's just a learning more for p r this is not a learning more for this whole section we've got more to cover here so don't panic thirteen p r concept she shouldn't used to promote your music is very useful in the indie band survival guide we break it down how to run a publicity campaign how do use pr newswires? You might think I was that within my reach, the answer is yes, there's free newswires, we've always find this free stuff out there, so you I actually have plenty that you can do with p r if you want to expand. It is the concept it's in the indie band survival guide, as I think it's just get publicized it's the chapter title, that whole chapter will help you any questions about pr from the audience or anywhere else before we move on to some of the other concepts who want to cover, I think we might have some in a bit, but we're ok, ok? That sounds good. Any questions were good. Okay, well, like you said earlier, maybe what we were saying was so clear, there's no questions a moment when you are talking about the three been theory that I was just like, ah ha it's when I heard that story myself, which is in an audience somewhere, someone was telling it to me, I had that kind of moment myself. Where was o on and from then on, I've always been politely persistent. I don't give up on dh, then I understand when I get to know that it doesn't end everything. And silence is not necessarily I know that's a key point and if they were to say it another way silence doesn't equal it just means they didn't get a hold of you you can not demand but you can request that it's like hey, I don't want to make sure didn't caught in your spam filter you know and I'll usually call out it's ok to say no I'm all right with that I just want to make sure that we're actually able toe get ahold of you did you get that thing that we sent you? We actually just had a question come in from mad trends once know how would you pitch a larger pub when those who've covered you aren't large enough for them to care those who have covered you know like you maybe you've been covered by some a very small media outlet and you want to pitch to a much bigger outlet probably doesn't even know about the smaller goes back to the pinball great talking about when is it too far of a leap from one to the other well they can cover you any you know I think part of the answer I think jason has a thought that I just wanted you to know that I just wanted to attack attack something onto them which is that if the stories on target and it's a story that meets their needs is a journalist they might cover it it's not about size they won't say well there too there these other journalists outlets or too small they're saying is this story something I could use yeah, but I think what I think what he's getting that is uh like it's the snowball concept that we were talking about and we realized that maybe he's not from any place like chicago where we're from we're very familiar with snow but like you have to work to build this it does take some time and effort and what happens is you start adding adding up right adding up the publicity and then eventually you can get to bigger and bigger um uh you know, magazines or outlets or whatever yes, exactly and it does take some patients and stuff everyone so although you can get something that strikes you uh like lightning I got of the blue that's what happened with us that's what happened in different times, different outlets that you wouldn't believe just I got interested and then when they dio there's there's something that's, not the slides and I don't know why it's not here, but we do talk about it in the book if they get interested in you, they're on a deadline you can't wait get right to them get them exactly what you need if they want to interview you cancel stuff interview right away because it's the best chance you'll get covered the press is one of the things that you you make time for, whatever you go to their schedule, not the other way around, it's just the way it works, that is, unless you get really huge, in which case you could say, I'm busy, thank you might not care, you know, but this kind of thing actually tends to work out such that if they want a story, they usually want to turn it around very fast, and that goes for I think everything if opportunity knocks, go for it and be responsive and nichols with licensing deals, yes, just signals happened very stuff if we didn't respond quickly, little lost him, and we've had other times where you know, when they've coming. The other interesting thing is, though, they'll do all of this and they'll come in, and then they won't tell you when it releases. So we talked earlier about having google alerts and mentioned that net and things like tools like that to look for your name. You want that out there because once you do get and and you'll get covered without even being contacted that's always fun, you know, which is it's cool that they do that they decide to write about you on their own. But then you'd like to know that and you might want to talk to him afterwards. We will reach out and say thanks even to somebody who didn't talk to us first and say, hey, thanks for covering us and you know, this is great and if it's related to the book would say, hey, we can send you a copy of the book if you're interested from our publisher that's something we could dio you want the music it's like you want to give the press this kind of stuff and it's not payment it's it's not a bribe building the relation children, the relationship follow up question from james one, two, three and he says, would you ever turn down any media? Would doing certain press make others less likely to cover you? Maybe if they only want breaking news, for instance and you don't have a new album that's just releasing that or you're not relevant that time. That's interesting because there's like that's the same like even bad press is good press that's the day less thing about teo like there's no such thing as bad press right now. Um yeah. So what would say say that you would you ever turn down any media? For instance, would doing certain press make others less likely to cover you? Generally, they all sit side by side and it's just a crazy world. Well, what any publication, for instance, maybe say like, oh, well, that outlet has already touched this, so we're not going to do a story on you. Does that ever happen? There are places that will on lee, for example, be interested something before it's released after it's released like your music? They're like, well, it's already out way. Don't review things that have been out for x amount of power. They may want some sort of exclusive scoop. Yes, yeah, there are exclusive scoop type of situations. I just don't know if there's any media that's like, if you if they cut like the hatfields and the mccoys they covered the than I'm not touching, the only thing I could think of is like there's some like political thing or you never did you do an interview for some magazine that's associated with things that sure go against your your fan base is politics or beliefs that could get touchy, but for the most part, I think you're all right. You're not to say anything negative about any outlets don't get on there. I was very good point.