Some claim the age of the music blog is nearing its end, but for the time being there is still a lot blogs and online news publications can do for artists of all sizes.
It may be easier than ever to access music, but for artists trying to be discovered it is perhaps harder than ever to be noticed. Competition is at an all-time high, and the attention span of consumers seems to be bottoming out. Everyone is everywhere all the time, leaving everyone feeling a bit burnt out, but a few co-signs from the right influencers can still make all the difference.
That said, promotion from sites and people in positions of influence only help if you (the artist) knows what to do when such moments of recognition arise. When you get recognized, here’s what needs to happen next:
1. Celebrate, but don’t get too ahead of yourself
You have no idea how many artists in the world spend every day hoping someone notices their band. The number is likely in the thousands, if not tens of thousands, and right now you may be among them. This is why you should celebrate coverage you receive, especially early on. Being covered is more than most ever accomplish, and you should take pride in the recognition you receive.
That said, also recognize there is a lot of work to be done. Getting covered once is hard, but becoming a band whose every move is covered is another undertaking altogether. Don’t lose focus.
2. Tell everyone in the world about the news (and ask them to share it).
The unwritten rule of exposure on music outlets is that the up and coming artists featured will publicly share and/or promote the publication’s content once its live. Don’t just share link to stories with fans, but ask them to share it as well, and don’t be afraid to request they comment on the post if time allows. Sites that see a bump in traffic or discussions from coverage of your band are likely to cover your band again in the future because they believe there is a value to your content that other unsigned acts cannot provide.
3. Engage the comments section, but don’t antagonize them.
A lot of sites no longer allow comments on individual stories, but replies to posts on their social networks is another story altogether. Find where the site’s audience is talking and engage with them.
Do not, under any circumstances, engage with trolls. If people are posting about their dislike of your music your comment will most likely not change their mind. It could even be seen as confrontational or mean-spirited, which would only serve to drive attention away from the news you are trying to promote.
4. Say “thank you” and/or support the publication that wrote about you.
You would not believe the power the phrases “please” and “thank you” have in the music industry. Everyone in music is knows the path to success involves helping others and collaboration, but far too many people take the aide of others for granted. You could make a lasting impact on a writer or site by thanking them for coverage. In fact, the key to being covered again might exist in kindness. Support the site, blog, podcast, or whatever so they, in turn, can continue to support you.
5. Immediately tease your next announcement
You have the attention of your fans and people who may never click on a story about you again, so why not make the most of it? Promote your current news, as well as what lies on the horizon, throughout your channels. Don’t let the moment get away without people knowing what you are working on. Give them a reason to stick around.
James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also the host of Inside Music, a podcast about the music industry, as well as the Managing Editor for Substream Magazine. You should probably follow him on Twitter.