Posted: Oct 4, 2021
"With baseball season comes the inevitable references to “Field of Dreams” and probably the best-known line from that film, despite it now being 31 years old. (Yes, really. Look it up!) Without a doubt you’ll read or hear, “Build it and they will come.” Turn it into a little game, to see how long it takes for that dialogue to come up once the Major League Baseball season begins.
In the world that creators live in – musicians, podcasters, authors, and more – there is actually a bad spin that can be put on that, though.
Recording artists nowadays are seen prior to the release of a single, EP, or full album telling followers to “pre-save on Spotify.” Podcasters launch an episode of their show and push to get potential listeners scurrying to iTunes to subscribe and listen. Authors celebrate their work going up on Amazon and wait nervously for interested readers to make their purchase (and, like podcasters, leave a review).
The above are all logical – and expected – scenarios. But if that’s ALL you do, your scalp will bleed from scratching your head wondering why more people aren’t consuming what you’ve put out there.
Shame on me. I’ve been so busy presenting on stages around the country – and now on virtual “stages” – that I’ve shared what you’re about to read verbally but not in written form. Until now.
The good news is, this list of 20-plus ways that you can promote (your music, your podcast, your book) can overwhelmingly be done alone and with little to no cost! So, rather than sit back and say, “Okay, my new release is on Spotify or my podcast is now on iTunes or my book is on Amazon,” promote the little minnow rather than sitting back and waiting for people to find it swimming in the ocean-sized inventory of content on those platforms.
Remember that as easy as it is to hire me to be your publicist and do the promotion for you, up until then, when you’re on your own, if you don’t promote, who else will?
As you read through the following list and decide that a couple of these might seem elementary, do a self-audit. It might seem obvious, but are you doing it?
Be sure to have a hook, though. Just being a recording artist, podcaster, author, etc. and having what you think is good music, a good show, or a good book, merely puts you in line with the other creators who are contributing to that huge body of metaphoric water referenced above. Seek out TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, and online media outlets and give the host and/or producer a reason why they should interview you (and not the other recording artists, podcasters, or authors).
I devote an entire section of this website to showcase where I’ve been interviewed. By posting media coverage on your site, it shows others who are considering interviewing you that you have the experience on the guest side of the mic and that others have found you to be of interest to their audience. Posting on YouTube gets you on the second largest search engine in the world, and thus a chance to be found by folks who might otherwise not come across you and your show. Take the audio from radio and podcast interviews and set them to still photos that will create video that will keep the viewer interested: your photo, your EP/album artwork OR your podcast logo OR your book cover, plus, the interviewer’s photo, their show or station’s logo. Here’s a sample of one that I just did last week for a client where you can see how even though it was audio only, I used enough images and changed them regularly as the video went along, so as to hold people’s interest rather than stop and click away because it was just one static image throughout the entire interview.
Giving someone the business card for your day job and expecting them to remember that you do music or have a podcast or are an author – not to mention them committing to memory what your new album or weekly podcast or latest book is called – is not only asking a lot, but it’s a missed (branding) opportunity. At the least have a website address on there, but consider having your name, number, and email address as well. I have a business card specifically for my weekly “Now Hear This Entertainment” podcast that’s printed on both sides! No one in possession of one of those will wonder what the show is about or where/how to find it.
Just like you see me with my company logo on my shirt in the accompanying photo, whether it’s a hat or a shirt or both, be a walking billboard for your music or podcast or books. Initially you will find these to be more useful PR-wise than for merchandise sales, but don’t wear non-branded apparel to an event where you can market your content. I recommend putting at least your website on the back too, so that people seated behind you will be more inclined to look it up than if your shirt was blank on the back. (Tip: Sit up front so that more people will be behind you seeing that web address.)
I had someone approach me after a speaking engagement and thank me for bringing this one up because although it’s obvious, they did the self-audit and realized they hadn’t implemented such. Mine is loaded, to include all of the following: website address, text links to five social media platforms, and text links to five platforms where “Now Hear This Entertainment” can be heard. If you don’t think this is valuable real estate, consider your chances of someone looking you up further if it’s blank down there (other than, “Sincerely, John Doe”). All it takes is ONE entry there that really catches someone’s eye, and boom, off they go to check you out on Instagram, Spotify, whatever. (I invite you to email me personally so I can write you back in order for you to see the layout/design of what I just described and how simple it is to set up yourself.)
Mine goes out once a week – on the day that my podcast comes out. That’s it. I’m not spamming people, nor am I suggesting you need to do so. Remember, you have total control over the content, the length, and the frequency. Many services will even let you use their platform for free until you have a certain number of contacts in your database. So, you get access to professional templates so that what you send out looks good. Again, steal my ideas. Sign up for mine (see the newsletter sign-up box on this page) and study what I do (or don’t do) and what you like (or don’t like) that you want to apply for yours. Regardless of how you send yours out, just do something. In this day and age of our email inboxes being on the receiving end of newsletters from others, make sure you are active as a sender too.
I have spoken at music industry events, author conferences, put on workshops, been a speaker at a content marketing summit, talked to e-marketing groups, and, of course, been featured at podcasting events. Heck, I have an entirely separate website devoted just to all the speaking that I do. But whether you’re talking to a Rotary Club, speaking at a corporate event, or, yes, featured in front of fellow podcasters, musicians, or authors, you should master the art of weaving your new song/EP/album (or podcast or book) into your talk. Respect what the organizer has requested and stay on topic, but, find a way to reference your music/podcast/book here or there, but then also be a promoter as you’re meeting attendees before and after your talk. (Bonus: The events that allow you to sit and have dinner with attendees beforehand really provide for some great self-promotion time.)
Be specific to your subject matter, however. I give people a small container (pictured) that has earbuds in it. On the outside of the case is my podcast logo and website address. This makes sense because “Now Hear This Entertainment” is a podcast featuring interviews with guests who are having success in entertainment – primarily music. Listeners need earbuds to listen to music and podcasts! Thus, it’s a logical item for me to pass out. However, if you are a CPA and you give me a koozy, how does that make me think of your business? If you host a podcast for DIY home repair enthusiasts and you give me a small screwdriver with your podcast website URL on it, that’s clever and totally appropriate. If you gave me a drink coaster, however, I wouldn’t make the connection. (Stop giving out all the damn pens too. I get annoyed when I open my desk drawer because of all the pens that fall all over.) One of my author clients puts a feather inside a random page (think bookmark) because her book is about her seventh-great-grandmother, who was an important Native American woman in history. See the logic there?
Yes, I waited this far into the list on purpose. It goes without saying that you should be promoting on social media (maybe spending money on Facebook ads), but not just on social media. That being said, I highly encourage you to have one account dedicated solely to your podcast, author career, etc. This is what I do with Instagram. Yes, you’ll see posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn about my podcast, but I put other posts related to my company on those platforms too (i.e., every Monday the post is about the blog for that week). However, seven days a week on Instagram I am posting to an account dedicated solely to my podcast. How do I manage to find something for every day of the week? Sometimes I go to a show notes page from a past episode, pull out a great quote from that guest, create an image for it on canva.com, and voila, I have an Instagram post. Go Follow it to steal ideas from me on what else substantiates posting every day of the week.
These expose your music, your podcast, your book to not only the other nominees but to voters and readers who scan the list to see what artists, podcasts, authors/books are competing for a certain award. Before you know it, they’re checking you out to hear why your show, music, or book is a contender. AND, this speaks to #9 above because it’s something to post about on social media other than the obvious.
(Sorry musicians and authors, but this one probably just applies to podcasters.) Email the guest to let them know that the interview is out, the various links they can choose from to promote to their followers, and your social media handles that you’d like them to tag in their posts. I’ll also write, “Some guests like to say, ‘We talked about _______’.” There is a greater likelihood of them putting something up if you give them suggested text than if you just say, “Thanks again. I hope you like it.” You might even get new social media followers of your own! (Bonus: I even attach my podcast logo to the email in case they want to use it.)
Stay with me musicians and authors. There’s a spinoff of this one that I’ll get to further down the list that will help you, but for now, I think this particular entry is safer for podcasters only. One example that demonstrates this is when I had a former WWE Diva on my podcast. While I certainly did #11 above, I also contacted wrestling websites (as well as a fan site or two for that particular wrestler). Clearly they would want to hear what she had to say. Before you know it, now they are promoting your episode for you!"
Related Blog Posts:
Bruce Wawrzyniak runs Now Hear This, Inc., which for 15-plus years has managed and promoted indie artists. His online class at www.InterviewTipsCourse.com teaches you how to get more results from TV, radio, and podcast interviews AND it contains more than 15 sources for finding more interview opportunities.