As an Indie Artist, you want to make a living out of your music which means going into business for yourself. All business has to advertise or no one would know they exist and would not have any business.
The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) says on it’s website, “When you hear a song on the radio — this didn’t just happen! Labels make investments in artists by paying for both the production and the promotion of the album, and promotion is very expensive.”
The same goes for you as an indie artist. You may have the best music in the world, but unless you advertise no one will know you exist. In this case your advertising budget includes going to radio – which is still the most viable way to get heard and to be able to tour.
Any business that advertises receives leads. Unless they follow up on their leads they will not make the most of their advertising. The same goes for your music.
How does an indie artist get leads?
There are many radio promotions services that use different methods to get a track to radio stations. In the case of Musik Radio Promotion campaigns, the artist receives a “real time” link to check for radio stations that have downloaded the track for airplay. The radio stations are your “leads”.
How does an indie artist make the most of their leads?
(1) This is a process that takes 3-4 radio promotion campaigns a year. One release will not endear an artist to the stations’ PDs.
(2) Use the radio promotion reports to find the radio stations contact information. Contact the stations that are playing you and thank them.
(3) Offer the stations’ radio liners, radio interviews and most importantly, offer to send them a dozen promo give- away cds. Radio likes to offer their listening audience “give- aways”. To give your cds away, they play you more, mention who you are more and increase your exposure. Once you have done this you are that radio station’s friend.
(4) Once you make a friend, ask the stations that are playing you who their advertising venues are. Get their contact information. Call and email those venues. Tell them you are playing on xyz radio station in their town and want to come to their town to perform.
(5) Inform the radio stations know you are going to do this and they will back you because if the venue hires you the venue will hire them to advertise the performance. This will get you even more exposure on that radio station. Radio will love you because they got the venues advertising dollars because of you. You get a performance date that is well advertised and a radio station that is playing your music and supporting you. Most likely when you go to perform you will have a full house of people who came to see you.
(6) You will sell merchandise, gain fans and if you do a good performance be asked to come back again. Everyone wins
A smart artist will not be under the illusion the world will embrace them with open arms. The artist will understand that no matter how good they may be, radio is not going to play your music unless you market to them, giving them business reasons why they should play it.
This will not make you a superstar overnight, but it will build your business as you continue to promote yourself.