Train Your Brain For Better Music Promo


Endless ink has been spilled in the name of better music promo advice. Things like, how to promote your band on Twitter, using sites designed for musicians and hooking up with up publishing reps fill the web and give a cornucopia of food for thought. But not even the most sage advice can aid a musician who's not in the right head space when it comes to getting his or her name out there.

Before you post that tweet, before you design that flyer, make sure your brain is pointing your body—and your efforts—in the right direction:

It's ok to gloat.

Those Bible readers among us will no doubt recall its most musically-apt admonition: "pride comes before the fall." I'm not disagreeing, but good self-promotion requires a bit of a happy medium. Exuding confidence is what rock stars do best, and, if you're hoping to become one, start talking yourself into talking about yourself without the kind of self-consciousness that makes you feel smarmy like a used car salesman.

It's all about perspective.

What's interesting to you and what's interesting about you are often two different things, especially when viewed from the audience's perspective. So do yourself a favor and look at your promo through their eyes. What gets them all riled up? What piques their interest and fosters a healthy desire to click through to your website, or better yet, buy a ticket to your show?

Less really is more.

Speaking of catering to the audience, they'd appreciate it if you get to the point so they can get on with the billion other things they need to do. Save your endless lists and all-encompassing details for that encyclopedia you've been meaning to write, and get to the point. In other words, edit like a pro. Too many artists convince themselves that every detail is important in every situation. Nonsense. Information has a hierarchy, and every context demands a certain percentage of it and no more.

For instance, your social media posts will always find their way to the eyeballs of short attention span theater fans. They want the headline and they want to move on. So don't write a book. On the other hand, the captive audience that clicks through to your blog does so in search of more substance. Those are the readers asking for the gory details. Feel free to expound.

Practice makes perfect, so work daily on putting yourself into the right head space for self-promotion. See what other artists—established, as well as indie—do, and decide if they're on the right track or not. Learn from those examples and constantly refine your pitch.


KJ is a bass player and singer-songwriter (like Sting, only taller); co-founder of Sessionville; and all too fond of sushi and Doritos®.