[Editors Note: This article was written by Suzanne Paulinski.]
You spent months reaching out to bloggers, podcasters, and music tastemakers to convince them to review your music and/or interview you. You sent out links to your music. You submitted your press release/bio/EPK. You got people on board. You prepped for the interviews (preferably the right way). The pieces were published. The links were shared…
All too often musicians put in so much effort to get press, only to see it move the needle very little, if at all.
It’s not because the reviews were poorly written, but because many musicians fail to leverage the press they receive in the right way.
There are so many tips and tricks out there to get the attention of coveted blogs and magazines, but what happens once you’ve gotten their attention? How to do maintain the attention of their readers?
Below are five different ways you can leverage press, whether it’s a printed interview, a podcast, a music review, a video on YouTube, or something that hasn’t yet been invented by the time this article is published, you can build off of these tips to get the most milage out of the months of effort you put into being noticed.
1. Write a newsletter to your fans about the experience.
All too often an interview comes out and fans open up an email from an artist that says “New interview in ABC Magazine CLICK HERE TO READ!” with a link to the article, and that’s it. The problem with that is that you’ve given them no context.
Give them a reason to care and click on the link.
Were you nervous? Did something funny happen during the interview? Did you open up and share something you’ve never said aloud before? Write a brief explanation about your first-hand experience and then provide the link to the article. Your fans will want to know how the story ends!
2. Create a short video introduction to the piece.
Your YouTube channel doesn’t have to only be cover songs or lyric videos. You can leave a short video message to your fans telling them about how much you love ABC Magazine and how honored you were to be featured. Then, using a link card overlay on your video, invite them to check out your latest piece of press. This will add content to your channel, bring more eyes to your other videos, and add to your subscriber list (just be sure to tell them to subscribe at the end of the video and in your caption).
Second, doing a short video on how much you love ABC Magazine and sharing it with others not only converts well (as video often does), but it shows love back to the writer and company who just covered your song/band.
It’s a unique way to say thank you, beyond simply sharing a link about yourself. Relationship building for the win.
3. Share a ‘Behind-The-Scenes’ photo with the link.
Posts that get engagement are the posts that readers are able to immediately relate to, and not everyone can relate to having their music reviewed or being a guest on an awesome podcast.
Especially if the press is audio only, adding a photo to the post that shows you (and any other band members) having fun, or even better, exhibiting some sort of feeling or message that is discussed in the piece, catches peoples attention and allows them to connect with your message on a deeper level, rather than simply seeing a link to a podcast you want them to hear and share.
Add a caption that explains a topic that was discussed and then inviting them to hear the rest by clicking the link goes a lot further than simply saying, “Listen now!”
4. Write a review of the blog/podcast that featured you.
Much like the video message, this shows other outlets that you care about shining a light on those who have shone a light on you.
Creating a list of your Top 5 favorite reviews they’ve done (while including yours on that list), whether as a newsletter or simply a longer Facebook post, opens your fans’ eyes up to other artists they may not have known and may also introduce them to a writer or podcast host they weren’t familiar with until now. Posting content that provides greater value is key.
5. Reach out to the next tier of blogs/podcasts.
Much like life in general, everything has its season. A few months ago you may not have been ready for a feature in XYZ Music News. But now, ABC Magazine has interviewed you and brought more eyes to your message and music. That may be what XYZ Music News was waiting for before they decided to jump on board.
When you have a glowing review or stellar interview with one outlet, do your homework and determine the next stepping stone. Don’t jump from a small write up in a local paper to the cover of Rolling Stone – be strategic. Look at bands you admire and start to examine how their press exposure grew and follow suit.
Reach out to outlets that may have turned you down in the past and reintroduce yourself, acknowledging that some time has passed and you have recently enjoyed some positive press that you’d like them to be aware of in consideration for a future review.
No matter what, always think about these two things:
- The bigger message. What larger message was your recent press about that others can relate to? Create multiple posts off of that one message.
- Your funnel for bringing on new fans. Be strategic in how you involve your other channels, as well as your email list, when getting the word out about your latest press. We call this your funnel – using once piece of content to drive fans to other channels to take further action.
Lastly, don’t forget to update your EPK or press page on your website with the most current coverage. Your hard work doesn’t end once you’ve landed the review. Make it worth your effort by seeing it all the way through.
Suzanne Paulinksi is an artist consultant with over 10 years in the music industry and owner of The Rock/Star Advocate