The Importance of a Digital Hi-Res Color Photo

Your Monthly DIY PR Tip from Mike Farley

This Article Originally Published August 2007

By Mike Farley, Michael J. Media Group

Gone are the days of glossy 8×10 black and white band photos, except to take on the road and sign autographs with, or to hang in bars they have played in for prosperity and bragging rights. But for PR purposes, it’s more important to have good quality digital photos in your arsenal. That’s what magazines, newspapers, and even online sources need to place a picture of you alongside any editorial copy.

But it goes beyond that. Here are some tips to make sure you are making it easy to have your photo get in front of as many of your fans and would-be fans as possible:

1. Make sure your photo is hi-res, meaning 300 dpi or larger. If you don’t know what that means, ask a web designer or someone versed in Photoshop to get your photos sized properly.

2. I almost always am asked for a color photo, so even though black and white shots are cool, opt for color whenever possible.

3. Make sure your photo is in jpeg format, and easy to e-mail. If it’s too large, you will have trouble sending it and they will have trouble receiving it. At the very least, have a link to your photo easy to download from your website.

4. Rotate your photos frequently. If you are a touring band, and you play the same markets every 6-8 weeks, your photo will have a shelf life of maybe two tours, three max. Give those newspapers a reason to use your photo in their calendar again and again, by changing it up.

5. Make sure your photo represents who you are. It should give anyone who sees it some kind of indication what you sound like. One of the bands I represent, Breaking Laces, does a spectacular job of this. Check out their shots at www.breakinglaces.com.

6. Remember that even if you can’t land a feature story, calendar editors of dailies and entertainment weeklies are always looking for photos to run. And having a large photo like that placed is like free advertising for your show.

7. You don’t necessarily need a professional photographer (though it wouldn’t hurt). Just a good digital camera should do the trick.

I hope this tip helps you or your band. Feel free to pass this along to your friends and fellow bandmates. And good luck out there!

Visit www.michaeljmedia.com for more tips.

Need to get your Music Career going? TAXI: helps Unsigned Bands, Artists and Songwriters get Record Deals, Publishing Deals, and Film & TV Music Placement.

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Four Ways to Attract More Music Fans Faster

This article is excerpted from Bob Baker’s Guerrilla Music Marketing, Encore Edition.
Attracting more fans. Admit it, that’s what music marketing is all about — getting more people to come to your shows and buy your CDs. And hopefully, getting a lot more people to do those things.
Why else do you work so hard to travel and play as many places as you can? For what other reason do you meticulously write and record songs? I don’t believe the reason is so you can practice and keep up your chops in obscurity. It’s not because you want to impress influential managers or A&R people. You work hard because you know you have something of value to offer … and you want to reach as many people as possible with your music.
Marketing is the thing that helps you reach that goal. But marketing is also a subject that confuses a lot of musicians. Songwriters and band members the world over know they need to promote themselves. But many don’t know where to start, much less know how to continue effectively.
Does this describe you? Do you ever feel like you’re spinning your wheels, not sure exactly what you should be doing next to market yourself? If so, this would be a good time to cover some basic marketing concepts for independent musicians.

The VFW Hall Principle
Let’s say you went to an average U.S. city (such as Kansas City or Denver) and you rounded up 1,000 people and gathered them in a giant VFW hall. These 1,000 folks would be randomly chosen and made up of people from all ages, genders and backgrounds. Next, you’d distribute information about your act to these people and play tracks from your new CD for them.
After this direct exposure, what are the chances that one person out of those thousand would be attracted to your music and identity enough to buy your CD or come to your next show? Most musicians, regardless of what style they play, should feel pretty confident about being able to win over at least one new fan from this group of 1,000. That’s a one-tenth of one percent conversion rate.
Now let’s multiply that formula by the entire U.S. population of 285 million people. One-tenth of one percent would be 285,000 people. Mind-boggling, isn’t it? That would be enough fans to make you a bonafide star.
Meanwhile, Back at the Corporate Office
Next, switch gears and consider how major labels market themselves. They select and promote acts that they feel have the potential to appeal to 10 or more of those same 1,000 people. Then the labels spend millions of dollars in what I call shotgun advertising. They spray their marketing message over a targeted chunk of the population (which often amounts to many millions of people), knowing well that only a small percentage will be interested enough to respond and become fans. Sometimes, this widespread tactic works well enough to sell lots of CDs and concert tickets — but it’s very expensive.
As an independent artist, you can’t afford that type of marketing campaign. But you know those potential fans are out there, and you know that you can be successful by connecting with far fewer people than a major label requires. It’s just that your ideal fans haven’t found out about you yet — and you’re not quite sure how to find them.
What’s a frustrated musician to do?
The answer: You must find creative, low-cost ways to go directly to those one-in-a-thousand fans. Don’t waste your time and money promoting yourself to people who will most likely never embrace your music.
Here are four steps to take to reach new fans:
1. Define Your Distinct Musical Identity
You must have a firm grasp on what your music is about. And you must be able to define it clearly and quickly. What are your strongest musical traits? What sets you apart from other acts? What attitude or social statement do you make? Being a generic rock, pop or hip-hop act won’t cut it. Dig deeper and discover your unique identity. When you do finally reach some of those rare potential fans, don’t lose them by not being clear about who you are.
2. Describe Your Ideal Fan
Once you have a handle on who you are musically, it’s time to paint a clear picture of your ideal fan. Can you articulate how your fans dress, where they work, what TV shows they watch, what they do for fun and who their favorite cultural heroes are? Observe the types of people who come to see you perform and note what they have in common? Knowing precisely who your fans are will dictate what avenues you use to reach them and how you communicate your message once you do reach them.
3. List Ways of Getting Access to Your Fans
Once you know exactly what type of music fan you’re going after, start making a list of the various resources these specific people are attracted to. What magazines and newspapers do they read? Where do they hang out? What radio stations do they listen to? What retail outlets do they frequent? What web sites do they surf to? What e-mail newsletters do they subscribe to? For example, if your fans are mostly Harley riders, go to a search engine like Google and start entering keywords related to motorcycles. Evaluate the search results and compile a list of the many good sources you uncover.
4. Network and Promote Your Music
Armed with this targeted list of contacts, get busy! Send e-mail press releases to niche media outlets. Contact the webmasters and editors of appropriate publications. Post messages in specialized forums. Visit and interact via the web sites of similar-sounding bands. Contact organizations and charities related to your musical niche.
In short, go to where your ideal fans are. And market yourself through these outlets relentlessly. Why waste time and money trying to promote to everyone … when you can save money and be far more effective by going directly to those valuable one-in-a-thousand fans?

Bob Baker is the author of “Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook,” “Unleash the Artist Within” and “Branding Yourself Online.” He also publishes TheBuzzFactor.com, a web site and e-zine that deliver marketing tips, self-promotion ideas and other empowering messages to music people of all kinds. Get your FREE subscription to Bob’s e-zine by visiting http://TheBuzzFactor.com today.

What to Sell At Your Show


After playing so many shows and talking to so many people after a shows, it gets easier to know what kind of fan will buy a specific item from your merchandise table. We thought we’d write a post based on our own observations. Let us know what you think and definitely add your input.
YOUR MOST RECENT ALBUMThis is what people want more than anything else.  They want it simply because it’s newer. They also want it because, on stage, you are most likely playing more songs from this album than any of your past albums. In most cases, the average fan who buys merchandise will leave your table with just this one item.
YOUR OTHER ALBUM(S)This could be your first release, your EP, your “Live” album, or all of the above. This is the album people buy when they already have your most recent album. Fans gravitate to these albums when they’ve worn out the new project but still want more. A real fan has more than one of your CDs and will often return to re-buy albums for friends and family.
These albums sell especially well when you sell bundles. 1 CD for $12 // 2 for $20 // 3 for $25.  The better the deal, the more albums you sell. Having an older release has been one of the biggest advantages for me at live shows.  I currently run a 1 for $10 or 2 for $15 special. Nine times out of ten, people get both albums.
THE T-SHIRTT-shirts are a touring band’s best friend. They cost more to make (per unit), so they’re definitely a huge expense that you should think twice about. So why should you have T-shirts? Because this is the item a fan purchases after they’ve worn your CD(s) out. Die-hard fans buy t-shirts.  Based on observation, “first-time” show attendees and “new listeners” rarely buy T-shirts; they want the music. After they’ve come to 3, 4, or 5 of your shows, follow you on Facebook, and feel invested in who you are and what you do, then they get the T-shirt.  They love you/your music enough to wear you.
THE BUSINESS CARD: The Very Important ReminderOften people will come up to my merchandise table and ask if they can get my music on iTunes. I say “Of Course”, reach for a business card, point to the iTunes address on the card and give it to them.  Your business card is a visual reminder. Even if someone truly wants to buy your album off iTunes, they can/will easily forget when they get home. The card won’t let them.  Even if they temporarily forget, the card will remind them when they’re cleaning out their pockets before doing laundry. The card is also the best visual reminder for getting people to add you on Facebook and Twitter when they get home. Never take that card for granted.
THE MAILING LISTAsk people to sign up, plain and simple. This list is SO important. We’ve referenced the important of a newsletter in over 20 posts in the last three years of this blog. But this one will break it down: MAILING LISTS & SOCIAL NETWORKING.
Often “perusers” will come to the table and ask “Can I order this stuff online?”  That most likely means they don’t plan to buy your album(s) or T-shirt.  No big deal!  Hold a conversation with them. They are just as important. Don’t use your fans – don’t “get to know them” just so they will buy your stuff. That’s so LAME! Just talk with them, thank them for coming to the show, and tell them you hope to see them again.
Let us know what you think about these observations. And let us know what you’ve observed at your shows. 

grassrootsy   |  Making MoneyMerchYour CD   |  03 12th, 2012    | 

SOURCE: http://www.grassrootsy.com/2012/03/12/the-anatomy-of-a-merch-table-what-sells-why/


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