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Top 10 Promo Tips for Vocalists

There are hundreds of pieces of advice out there about you promoting your music – but the ones we’ve selected actually work for gigging vocalists.

That’s because they come from gigging vocalists – we’ve also enlisted the help of several managing directors from Chick Singer Night.

10. Use new and innovative web tools to push your music forward.

Try NARAS at Grammy.com, Reverbnation.com, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, and CDBaby.com. Reach out to others and more interest will come back to you. The thing to remember about online networking is to invest time each week following up with any inquiries you’ve generated.

9. Make a local impact through a near-by venue.

For instance, find a bar or club you like with built-in sound and host a well-organized open mic. Negotiate a pay rate for each night you organize- great for networking, money making, CD selling and establishing credibility. We even know of singers who approached local fitness clubs about advertising live music each Friday night with their work-out sessions – now they have a gig!

8. As you interact with others, NEVER sell yourself short.

There’s a quote that says something to the effect of “…if you sell yourself short, believe me, no-one is going to raise your price.” It is absolutely critical that you think highly of your art and speak that way too.

7. Make industry contacts.

Make friends with others in the industry by going to music events and seminars. Get closer to studios so you can sing backups when needed. They will help you in ways you won’t imagine.

6. Tell others about your identity as a singer.

Put yourself out there and tell EVERYONE (even the local grocer or the postal service worker) that you are a singer/vocalist/musician. Remember, you become who you say you are. You are a vocalist; that is precious, important and something to be proud of.

5. Home-grow your on-line social networks

It’s not enough just to be “present” on-line, one needs to send emails, release information to fans, post new content – and get new subscribers. Invite everyone who buys a CD – or who asks you a question after a gig – to write down their email address on a clip-board. Enter these onto your group mailing list when you get home. Send an email and attract people to your website the next day.

4. Create your own promotion team

It’s time to harness the energies of those who love your music and want to help you get the word out. The keys for creating a team are (i) to have people work in areas that they love, (ii) to set a time limit, say 6 months, where you say you will try it out and then see how they feel about continuing and (iii) reward your team in ways that they will love – and you can afford: free entry to gigs, pre-releases of your music, house concerts. You might have one person inputting data into your website, another taking pictures, another handing out bio cards…don’t do all this work alone if you don’t have to.

3. Just talk to lots of people…

You never know who you will meet, through someone you already know or someone in a coffee shop you strike up a conversation with. Don’t give up if some don’t respond well. You will find the ones that you connect with and they are the ones that count. Asking questions and letting folks know what you are doing and want to do will inevitably lead to more folks helping you reach your goals. The Golden Rule applies, always: genuinely care about the views and wants of those with whom you are talking. There may be something you can do to help them too. The exchange will be invaluable – in more ways than you may realize.

2. Follow up.

When you send out EPKs (Electronic Press Kits) or other promotional materials, make sure you pace it realistically, so you are able to follow up with each item you send out. These folks get lots of materials from lots of artists, so the follow up calls/emails you respectfully make will make the difference between your info being buried or being moved to the top of the pile. Remember, these folks are very busy, so be patient, but persevere. Some will be interested, some will not, so focus on those that show interest.

1. Don’t let anything discourage you from your mission.

Successful people NEVER give up on what they believe. Use constructive criticism to your benefit, but trust your vision. Believe in yourself, the power of music and your mission to share your voice.

Useful Links

Promoting Your Voice Series

Chick Singer Night

Your Own Website: Ten Dollars or Two Grand?

Special thanks to all of our VoiceCouncil Readers for their comments, Lori Maier (CSN Founder), Lisa Linehan (CSN Dallas/Houston), Celeste Harrell & Marie Cinquemani (CSN Chicago), Alaria Taylor (CSN Milwaukee,) and Vykki Vox (CSN Boston)

  • Jorinda

    As vocalists We all need to read this everyday!!!!

  • Anthony

    If we did not believe in ourselves we would not be reading this and commenting.

  • pjazzi

    need a graceful way to SAY NO TO OTHER SINGERS WHO WANT TO USE MY MIC