Got a new CD? Here are some thoughts from the CMN e-list on how to promote it.
From Dylan Glanzer:
- Email local newspapers and tell them about your new album. What makes your music unique – share your personal story, struggle, or triumph! Then follow up with an email about a week later. Look for local papers, family magazines, online local e-zines (Do you have “Patch” in your neighborhood? Or Macaroni Kids?)
- Release one free download of one of the songs on your site and then offer it on Facebook. There is a way to have people sign up for your mailing list in order to download the song. This way you build your mailing list. Then tell them how to get the rest of the album.
From Laurie McIntosh:
- While we’re on free downloads & generating a mailing list: you might consider noisetrade.com. It’s super-easy, giving you emails & zip codes in spreadsheet format. I got radio airplay as a result, and was picked up by a daddy blog company of Noisetrade, which subsequently led to a pretty nice review.
- Troll the mommy & daddy blogs in your region & beyond. Twitter is an easy way to find many of these blogs. Look at who CMN follows on Twitter and you’ll find a bunch of them.
- At this year’s Kindiefest, a conference on family music in Brooklyn, NY, panelists talked up the importance of video. Get your songs out on YouTube, then use Facebook, Twitter and your email list to spread the word.
- Kindiefest panelists also talked about the potential of mutual promotion and collaborating with other musicians. Let’s say you cover a song recorded by a family-music artist who’s better known than you are, or who lives in another part of the country. That artist just might love your version of the song and send it out to their fan base. Or let’s say you co-write a song with that artist! You might gain lots of new fans.
- And never undervalue your regional fan base. My CD is already in its 2nd pressing with primarily regional sales (CDBaby’s been pretty good, too, thanks to a library catalog picking it up). Distant sales have been 99.9% friends or family of friends.
Several months out now, I’ve also got plenty of experience with what NOT to do… one of my major faux pas: being in a rush to release it (I was broke and it was holiday shopping season – I needed to sell a lot, fast). I wish I had thought about the fact that I could distribute it to stores in my region and build excitement with my Facebook friends and fans, without having had the official release yet. I’ve noticed quite a few musicians doing all the PR months ahead of the release date, generating excitement and getting reviews, so that when it hit, it hit hard & well.
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