How to get from “Who?” to U2: Publicity Tips for Bands

U2 has been a hot topic in the media these days because of the upcoming re-release of their 1991 album Achtung Baby. With 22 Grammy awards, a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the #22 spot on the Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, U2 clearly has a huge presence in the music industry.  And Bono (and his signature sunglasses) is well-known across the globe, given all his humanitarian work.

These heavy hitters have had a long and successful career, and have worked hard to get there.  Many bands just starting out dream of this kind of popularity – but how do you actually get to that level?  If you’re new to the music scene, it’s essential to get your name out there to bridge the gap between your fans and your music.

Indie Music Planet has some great tips for boosting your music career and making a name for yourself:

Promo Tip #1: A music artist must start somewhere.  Create a plan with some ideas and set goals as to what you need to accomplish weekly, monthly, and yearly. Start small and make it progressive. Reach benchmarks and keep at it.

Promo Tip #2: Image is everything. Image is the complete package – artist/band name, look, performance, merchandise, and style, to how that brand is marketed. A stage name can be a descriptive statement of the image you or your band project. Be unique and interesting to look at in some way, and build your own unique stage persona.

Promo Tip #3: Be innovative in your promotional efforts! The Internet has made it possible to hear a LOT more music, from a LOT more artists. You are now a very small fish in a very large pond – you will need to find a way to stand out, above and glow in the dark. Think beyond the box on every promo tip.

Promo Tip #4: Announce every song, every CD, decent chart position, contest win, top sales on releases, announce anything and everything to stay in the public’s eye. If you can’t write a decent article up for the press release, get someone that can. Write a review of every gig and get feedback from local VIPs, fans, whomever matters and include the best quotes. Is it news worthy? Write and promote it. Get the most mileage you can from your promotional tactics.

Promo Tip #5 Professional photos mean you take yourself seriously. All photos in your press kit should be quality photos, not just your main bio picture. The money spent on a photographer that can capture your music “image” is money well spent.

Promo Tip #6: Collect email addresses to keep your fans current on what you are up to. When building your lists, try to list their location – city, state and zip with a bit of personal input about that fan. This is a great way to create a more personal and targeted mailing list without bombarding people that are too far away to attend a show.

Promo Tip #7: Create a video and get on YouTube. Place your video on all relevant video sites. Video scrapbook your music,  progress, accomplishments, and jam sessions. This could make for good clips in other projects.

Promo Tip #8: Elevator Pitch – If you only have one shot to make an impression in 30 seconds or less, can you do it? You will need to, so practice it!

Promo Tip #9: Attend music conferences, indie showcases, and music festivals. Gain exposure and network.

Promo Tip #10: Be easy to work with and be flexible. A good reputation carries a lot of weight. Flexibility can also mean possibly adjusting areas of your work or image so as to get your foot in the door, if need be.

Promo Tip #11: Play for free if you have to, anywhere, and any time. Create an event with a cause and donate the proceeds to a charity. This can open up some interesting contacts and opportunities. Or, sponsor an event.

Promoting is an ongoing process, but the more time you spend doing it, the wider your fan base will become.  Your success relies on the effort you put forth, and with any luck, you’ll go from a “who?” to the well-known reputation of U2.

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