The Reality of Prioritizing for Independent Musicians
By: Kenny Love
No matter what aspect of life we are involved in, priorities are a reality that we all must face, accept, and, live with. For instance, Uncle Joe is overlooked as a priority guest on the Family Reunion roster due to his tendency to embarrass the family with undesirable gestures.
Or, while away, we receive several telephone calls, then decide in which order we will return the calls, if we choose to return them at all. An even further example is the types of foods we select to eat over others.
As different as all these aspects are, they all involve prioritizing. And, as recording artists, whether we are going to reach our destinies by undertaking our own promotion, or delegate it to someone else, we should prioritize the various tasks involved in producing and achieving maximum results.
Now, I've mentioned on several occasions prior, the cart- and-horse theory. This is where, once recording artist have their product in hand, they become so overwhelmed to the point of executing secondary marketing tasks, first. To repeat a popular television commercial, "Do their brains go A.W.O.L.?
They exercise two extremes: the first is one in which they have spent every cent on production costs, but not even considered promotional costs, while holding out for the proverbial record deal (do they still make those?).
The second extreme is where the blindly blanket every radio station or press outlet with hype without giving any consideration to "timing" and what a key role it plays in obtaining results.
The second scenario, while a wee bit better, is not much more effective than the first. And, that is because there are methods to the madness of promotion. Methods such as; radio format targeting, learning the various record pools and how many night clubs they service with YOUR type of music, following up immediately with press coverage in response to radio or video airplay acquired, doing local and regional television interviews, getting national and international radio interviews and, lastly, making sure there effective distributor-to-retail coordination in support of each and every one of these avenues.
Yes, it seems like a lot-and, it is. That is why it should be carefully approached methodically. But, it is all manageable, that is, as long as each phase is prioritized. This means writing it all down+sketching it all out, then taking a look at every piece of the puzzle before embarking on it and leaving huge loopholes that you later must backtrack to repair.
This is why professional radio promoters and press publicists are, generally, worth their weight in gold-their abilities to strategize. They have perfected techniques in prioritizing.
If your recording is a commercial release, you certainly don't want to contact radio first without ensuring that record pool directors also have your product. This is because this particular crucial element is often not only where your record moves first and fastest, but creating this "street buzz" at the night club level strengthens your possibility of getting to the next phase much easier-radio and video airplay.
And, once again, while it is perfectly okay to insure that trade magazines such as Billboard and Radio & Records have your recording, you should refrain from approaching consumer press such as daily, weekly, and monthly newspapers and magazines that are localized until you receive radio or video airplay in those respective areas.
All of these phased and time-managed tactics will provide you with a much stronger presence as your recording consistently moves up the charts in popularity and sales. All said and done, when effectively marketing commercial music, promotional priorities are a must.
About Kenny Love: A man who claims to have been forced at gunpoint to listen to backmasted recordings of Yanni and John Tesh simultaneously, Kenny Love is also a National Record Promoter and Press Publicist. Promoting all genres of music, he works with "indies" on a "back-end" deal, saving them enormous up-front service fees.