Tips For Unsigned Artists

TIPS FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

Its been a while since we’ve wrote a new post here. Well theres been a reason for that. Most social networks have OVERHAULED the way they work, and we’ve had to explore what this means for us the Music Promoters.

WELL in short its not much different except most have restricted posts so they can use those annoying little BOOST POST buttons to their advantage! BAD TIMES RIGHT!

WRONG! – XRP have proven time and time again that if using social networks derivatively, you can reach all of your fans and MORE. And DIRECTIVE and not SPAMMING is the word.

Start gathering what we have dubbed ‘Network Lists’ Alike ‘Mailing Lists’ But the names of people on your social network that will want certain information. For instance our TOP 10 Posts hit 6000+ people within hours of posting them with most other posts from others hitting the MAX 400-500 mark? so how do we do it.

1- PICTURES – always use pictures, they have a larger footprint on facebook and therefor will not just take up more screen for people, but are more eye catching than the norm, videos, pics and links with images will catch more eyes than the average text based post

2- TAGGING – so those ‘NETWORK LISTS’ make sure they are relevant, people constantly checkin your sounds on soundcloud? make a list, people always liking your photos, make a list, people always on reverbnation, make a list. Then tag THESE people (and not SPAM EVERYONE) into the relevant posts with the relevant links on. So they will ALWAYS get the information they want, and their friends (usually like minded people) will ALSO see this)

3- WITH Tags – You know that ‘with’ box, pop your manager, band members, promoters and producers in there with any important post. Again reaching their audience and crowds successfully.

4- Alike Tagging – Find all the musicians you work with, and find what your link relates to, and relate to them. This sounds Like ‘abc band’ or people who like ‘abc band’ will like this ext.

HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO US TWEETERS THO?!

YES you are limited on twitter re: characters, so ensure your image contains as much relevant information in a small space as possible, charachters in an image are NOT limited so remember that one – Bit Link any addresses you need to be clickable (with a relevant description) then use the rest of the message to input as many RELEVANT TAGS as you can.

REMEMBER – DONT SPAM – BE RELEVANT and you will extend you reach, not loose fans 🙂

—Tizz

TIPS FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

Social Media right….. Share and like and click and it will all help eachother?

Wrong it seems. Through social experiments between us and our partners we have realised quite a few trends in how all this works.

1. DONT SHARE! Sharing looks kinda good but does’t hit anywhere near the same amount of fans as simply copy and pasting or re-uploading photos ext. A SMALL amount of effort for almost 10x the result. Trust us on this. Copy and paste, or even review and put into your own words. Think about your own annoyance with things like bitstrips or requests. You scroll over them rather than reading the new and possibly interesting posts.

2. LINKS – When the website or image pops up in the little box under your status, you can select the pictures ext. All of that is pants. Delete the link box or ‘remove preview’. As above, repetitive ‘spam advertisement’ is scrolled over and not looked at. PLUS we’ve noticed people with larger fans/friends/interaction on their facebook, these links tend to be omitted from facebooks notification system so you don’t get replies on said posts.

3: TAGGING! – You know i’m a massive fan of tagging, and it works in the right places, don’t piss people off with overspammy tagging of an event as such, make sure tagging people in photos or in statuses is relevant. One of our biggest successes is bringing the XRPChatbox to facebook with our Kool Kids Status. A simple way to get people talking about whats going down on XRP as its happening for all to see and get intrigued by. So 2 main points – Relevant people that wont get pissed off with notifications irrelevant to them and directive conversation that doesn’t annoy those that are tagged.

4: Engagement – The best way to get people to reach further than just ‘liking’ your page and becoming yet another facebook statistic is, engage your new fans. If you get a like, find the person who likes the page, see if they have listened to your music/engaged with your site, visited your store or whatever it may be. If not, offer them a special free track, make them feel wanted as a fan. Change facebook from the onslaught of easy clicks and laziness and encourage them to find the eastereggs on your site, or even criticise your piece of music down to the ground, Even better do this on a public strand, engage other fans into the discussion and create a community.

Facebook & The Internet is quickly becoming a lazy place. Gone are the days of listening in to that one hour show at 1am hoping they played that awesome tune you heard last week but JUST missed the title of the music, and come have the days of asking the radio host what the songs called because its too much effort to look slightly to the ght of the chatbox to see the now playing box. There is now a ‘LIKE ALL’ feature in the ticker bar, so you don’t even have to visit the pages anymore.

Get away from being a facebook statistic and use, what is actually an amazing social tool, to find new things, meet new people and learn new information.

oh and listen to XRP Radio more

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

Avoid these promotors that give you a percentage of ticket sales. If you sell the tickets, you should keep the cash, promotors are their to bring EXTRA bodies to a venue, not just steal your fans and profit.

If your stuck in the rut of these gigs, get together with some alike artists. Most venue deposits are 100-200 refundable pending on bar takings. Even without the guarantee of bar takings, at 25-50 per band based on 4 bands playing, you need sell 5-10 tickets each to make your money back and everything on top is pure profit.

Think about the deal, you sell 30 tickets, get £30 back and hand over 150 minimum? This way you do it in reverse, hand over the £30 to the venue for the hire, and keep the £150.

EVEN get in touch with us and we’ll help along the way with some promo.

Tell me, minus an event on facebook and giving the tickets out, what do the promotors that you use do for you? – REMEMBER every venue has its regular crowd, thats the venue and NOT the promotor.

There are some FANTASTIC networks where you can do this, not just our own XRP Radio / XRP Radio – Unsigned Forum, Updates and Features BUT the awesomeStarry IDStarryID and New Music Connection.

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:
Trying to sell people meet and greet “VIP” tickets for twice the price of a standard ticket when they have to meet you to pick up the tickets is hilarious.

No merch is better than bad merch, bad quality t shirts  blank CDs etc make it look like you don’t care and is a waste of your money, better to spend a bit more once, then have to pay twice due to bad results

Self recorded albums are awesome – if you know what you’re doing, unless its just a demo, stick to the studio (and one with a good reputation, see point above)

Be nice to people who listen to your music, if you’re serious about making music, these people will be buying your music, aka paying for your food

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

if the WHOLE band are not sharing/following/promoting/advertising the act in question, you WILL either fail or break up. From experience it seems all this work is left generally to the lead/singer or drummer.

Come on band mates, pull the finger out!

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

DON’T ask for likes, just because you’ve liked our page does NOT mean we necessarily like your music/page whatever.

DO ask us to check out your music, information, gigs ext and maybe we WILL like you, and then…well we’d click that sought after like button!

Its all about real fans, active users, this week i saw a band with over 100K likes, and 2 people talking about this.

worse of it was a 5 piece band -.-

TIP TO UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

Promoters recommended by XRP Radio – Go hit them up, they all awesome!
TIP TO UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:
We get thousands of links every week, its too much, its a bit spammy and we have to ignore them. We know a lot of stations in the same situation. Less the DJ is EXPECTING the link, you’ll do better SUBMITTING AUDIO FILES to their submissions dept or the DJ themselves.Our main submissions dept is submissions@XRPRadio.co.uk Our DJs are all @XRPRadio.co.uk and start with:
Tizzy – Skunk – SMS – Ree – The Loop – Catherine – BVDBaby and more to come ;-)
TIP TO UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT RADIO STATIONS:
Dont listener steal, its low – NOW I do promote other stations, but we will not compete with shows that air at the same time. Though i constantly refer my listeners over to The Audio Burger after ive finished, as i know they start.DO NOT POST YOUR LIVE SHOW TIMES ON OUR SHOW ADVERTS, OR MENTION THEM DURING OUR LIVE SHOWS – it just makes you look like a knob ASK ME, and i WILL deport our listeners over to you. JUST THINK – would you like us to do it to you
TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT BANDS:
helpful for all promotions pages
HTP TIPS: Check your spam folder daily!
How to: Go to “Edit Page” at the top of your Admin Panel. Click “Use Activity Log” then click “Spam”
To unhide posts, click the ⌀ symbol then click “Unmark As Spam”

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT BANDS:

if you have a band email address, and you have used this to submit tracks or information to promoters  radio stations, venues or whatever. Make sure you check them regularly. Or even have them forward to your personal email address.

Late or no reply can seem unprofessional, if your winding down your band/email address OR are on holiday/taking a break/ill put a vacation response on so your airplay/gig inquiry doesn’t go wasted. If a promoter things you’re good, they will understand as long as they know.

TIP FOR UNSIGNED MUSICIANS who forget the hand that feeds them:

People gig swap and disappear nowadays – something bought up in the Twinkle and The Sluts interview earlier. Dont forget 1 gig is worth a lot less than a lifetime of mutual promotion and support.

ELT Records on 2 occasions has saved XRP Radio for the bring of despair  with mutual promotion and technical support. We wouldn’t be around, or how we are without them and we are extremely happy to have our relationship! This has led to us having ridiculous amounts of opportunity and chance through an ELT specific show and being able to refer simon to some GREAT bands and artists in the knowledge that they will possibly be supporting a couple of our ‘destined for greatness’ bands

DONT BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YALL!

TIP FOR UNSIGNED MUSICIANS in the SPAMMY vein:

REMEMBER – the unsigned and independent world is a MASSIVE network of back scrubbers ;-) we know if you have been arsey or spammy to a fellow radio show/promoter ext. You annoy one, you have vastly ruined your chances of ever getting airplay ever. Remember promoters looking for new and great bands come to these stations and gigs to find them.

Give some information and avoid the typical ‘CHECK OUT MY BAND, WERE AWESOME’ i myself will look at a band that can be critical and can show where they want to improve – this shows progression of a band – remember 80% of bands fail within the first 2 years, and 50% of THOSE in the first 6 months…

here is a nice example of bad promotion:

https://www.facebook.com/XRPRadio/posts/483549465015012?comment_id=5003087

DONT do this….and NEVER EVER EVER lie to Oliver 😉

TIP FOR ARTISTS USING SOCIAL PROMOTIONS:

reach boosters and tag for tags WILL improve your online statistics – However if you notice an influx of likes but not listeners – you need to realise these tag for tag systems can be very ‘click like and go’ – Talk to your new fans, send them a message, give them a free track or a link to your youtube video, thank them for there help and make them feel integrated into your community.

people feel special when musicians and professionals speak to them, and are a lot more likely to come back after.

take a look at The Puzzlers page – they have a name for there fans, introduce them to the community and get them chatting – Alike you XRPeople, the confusers and confounders have proven to be a force to be recognised with voting and keeping the band in the top ten with an amazing 17% of the votes (consider 300 votes minimum and a split between 600+ bands…thats a vast margin)

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT BANDS:

Look at how all the other bands have communicated with the promoter you want attention from. See what they want and who they react to, and more importantly what they get pissed off with. Try and avoid any confrontation and put yourself across as effectively as possible without going past the ‘novel’ mark especially when using social media tools. Remember twitter, facebook and the alike are public forms, before hastily typing or C+Ping to hundreds of pages, try speaking to each one specifically and see how much further it will get you.

Moreover INTEGRATE yourselves in the scene if your taking all the promotion but not giving any in return, you will tend to fizzle of the promotions ladder.

AND REMEMBER: most of us independent and unsigned professionals do actually talk to each other  Dont think ‘theres hundreds more out there’….we work together and promote together, we all have bands in common so dont get pissed off and aggressive just because on DJ doesn’t like your music, say thanks for the critique and move on. AND If you come back with improvements that DJ will sure be impressed!

TIP FOR UNSIGNED MUSICIANS:

Beware of people approaching you for information and music. These can quite often be ‘like jackers’ (a group trying to muscle in on others promotions), Copyright Frauds, Music thief’s or what we like to call promotions whores (jumping on your band wagon to increase their own reach). We even get these as a radio station! so this should probably extend to anyone who has a promotional backing.

An active promoter or band even, should reciprocate shares and reach boosting.

No offence bands but promoters have their fair share of unsigned and independent music sent in, they wouldn’t need do source your music unless a friend or college specifically pointed them towards said musician. It’s good on the ego, but take a long look at yourselves and think ‘are we really famous enough for this’.

Harsh…but true

IF SOMEONE ASKS YOU FOR YOUR MUSIC AND YOU WERE NOT EXPECTING IT – I WOULD ADVISE IGNORE IT – if it seems an unmissable offer to good to miss, its probably a load of tosh!

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ID3 – DO THIS!!!!!!!!

Tip for unsigned and independent musicians:

Always go the extra mile!

A lot of promoters have podcasts stations or magazines. Like their pages, integrate yourself into the community. Maybe XRP Radio isn’t the one for you but we can guarantee there will be one. Get involved, get in the chatterboxes, comment on the podcasts and favourite the streams.

I can guarantee a more active band will get better coverage, and it may not be for any other reason than that they are remembered. Remember all promoters are subject to thousand of band names and track titles

TIP FOR PROMOTERS WORKING TOGETHER:

Set up email filters with your popular words – for instance Hear This! Promotions fwd there HTP on XRP mails to XRP Radio, and we have them filtered into a specific folder. not only does that allow us to know where the music initially relate to, BUT also builds great relationships between us!.

ALSO

Us stations like the personal touch, mass sent out press packs [for myself at least] tend to skip the inbox. All that fancy information can come after we’ve had our chat :-)

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

Invite promoters to your events and gigs. I know my personal profile events tab is looked upon by various fans AND professionals looking for unsigned and independent events to go to regularly. Some will feature these in a gig guide! If you know a station had the demographic for your country and they have a live show on the night of your gig, give them a nudge. I know me for one would rather the listeners be out at a live event than sitting glaring at the screen.

I myself will join all events so can keep everyone else up to date on progress

MOST OF ALL – MAKE SURE YOU CONTACT ALL THE PROMOTERS YOU USE IF A GIG IS CANCELLED AND PUT UP PUBLIC NOTIFICATIONS! – some promoters will advertise your gigs for you even if you havent asked ;-) dont make them look like dicks!

Leave your events page up after your gig and people can post feedback, maybe even make a group for ‘the followers of ==band name==’ so they can post notes an reviews of the gigs they follow. im ever awaiting to see ‘the confusers unite’ from The Puzzlers or Jake‘s Cobras ;-)

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

Being played on many stations is fantastic but can confuse your closer fans. If you know a station suits you more and has the best and most up-to-date info about you, direct fans there. Dont stop promoting the other stations, but a unified place for your fans is always best! there are TENS OF THOUSANDS of shows and programmes out there so do your research first and see which stations and promoters get on with each other!

RECOMMENDED PAGES:

Hear This! Promotions – Metal and mostly heavy stuff – US

B’s R.S.M. Promotions – Indie, Rock, Metal – UK

Manilla PR Ltd – Indie, Rock, Pop + RNB – UK

SKE Records – Hip Hop Production co – US

Q The Question – Hip Hop + Urban – US

ELT Records – Mainly rock and heavy metal – UK

Stormblaze Entertainment (United Kingdom) Limited – Rock and heavy UK

The Audio Burger – programmers and reviews in many genres – UK

XRP Radio – Full 24/7 programmed and live radio station with MANY DJs and Reviewers to deal with your music, incoumpases most things, based in the UK but working globally with DJs all over the world – Find the right show for you!

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT FANS:

when using reach boosters, DONT just click like on everything then unlike later cause your annoyed with a blocked up feed. Why not take a look at the musicians/businesses and like what you would actually like! this way you dont get annoyed with pages that haven’t actually dont anything wrong, and you get relevant music!

it is the LIKE button after all…….not the ‘I’m pretending to like for the promotion’ button

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

THIS!: http://bit.ly/UrBrvd before you bloody ask me! -.-

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

When creating an event page be it on reverbnation/facebook/myspace or any other social platform. Create a common event with all the other bands rather than one each. It alienates both you from the other bands and your fans from the night. PLUS it sure looks better having 1000 guests invited to one event rather than 200 invited to 4/5 events.

Get chatting to the other bands on the event pages wall, get a buzz about the night, see how many people you can get to wear red noses or something innovative which will make that crowd remember that night and all the bands involved, This is specifically important for tours and festivals too!

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

Try out some of these widget promos available for free out there – some include getting free track downloads for likes or EP discount codes ext. Try combining this whilst strategically using promotional REACH BOOSTERS like you find on Hear This! Promotions, Listen, Like, Share, Fielthy Promotions, Fuck! promotionsext ext.

This way instead of just getting random likes, your giving those people a chance to listen to some of you stuff, why not even follow it up with a message saying hello and seeing what they thought of your music?

SOCIAL NETWORKING not RSI like clicking

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

Quite often we get approached by a band, who seem by all rights awesome, have sent use nice information, video links ext and have done all that right….

BUT i then ask them for tracks…and unfortunately ’all the tracks are on the guitarists / drummers / vocalists computer’ or someone who isn’t the person contacting. There is then the usual weeks up on end of the band mashing around which means some of that lovely info i had been sent is either irrelevant (gig wise) OR forgotten.

basicly this tip boils down to:

1. MAKE SURE YOU’RE PREPARED WHEN YOU CONTACT PROMOTERS OR RADIO

2. ENSURE ALL THE BAND HAVE ALL THE FILES AND INFO THEY MAY NEED

3. KEEP INFORMATION FRESH AND RELEVANT, AND DONT SENT TOO EARLY!

a tip from Ree.

use appropriate language when attempting to source endorsements/promotions etc especially when its used in regards to their products.

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT BANDS:

Look at how all the other bands have communicated with the promoter you want attention from. See what they want and who they react to, and more importantly what they get pissed off with. Try and avoid any confrontation and put yourself across as effectively as possible without going past the ‘novel’ mark especially when using social media tools. Remember twitter, facebook and the alike are public forms, before hastily typing or C+Ping to hundreds of pages, try speaking to each one specifically and see how much further it will get you.

Moreover INTEGRATE yourselves in the scene if your taking all the promotion but not giving any in return, you will tend to fizzle of the promotions ladder.

AND REMEMBER: most of us independent and unsigned professionals do actually talk to each other  Dont think ‘there’s hundreds more out there’….we work together and promote together, we all have bands in common so dont get pissed off and aggressive just because on DJ doesn’t like your music, say thanks for the critique and move on. AND If you come back with improvements that DJ will sure be impressed!

TIP FOR UNSIGNED AND INDEPENDENT BANDS:

if you have a band email address, and you have used this to submit tracks or information to promoters  radio stations, venues or whatever. Make sure you check them regularly. Or even have them forward to your personal email address.

Late or no reply can seem unprofessional, if your winding down your band/email address OR are on holiday/taking a break/ill put a vacation response on so your airplay/gig inquiry doesn’t go wasted. If a promoter things you’re good, they will understand as long as they know.

TIP FOR UNSIGNED & INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS:

All social promotions and radio stations have a community and you will benefit MUCH better if you integrate yourselves into them. We all have hundreds of submissions and bands come to our doors every week, talking to us, being in the chat boxes ext will keep you fresh in our minds and show us you’re still an active band!

I know I’m not talking for myself when I say we can’t remember everyone no matter how good you are! i still find myself finding AWESOME bands every day whilst the database is on shuffle I had forgot about for a while.

Keep us fresh – Keep yourselves Fresh

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