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The power of the written word

Blog by Louise Dodgson under Creative & Branding, Media

Journalism is changing at a rapid pace and writers, editors, bloggers and journalists alike don’t have as much time as they used to do to read vast amounts of articles, biographies and press releases. Their time is very much in demand due to the bulging independent and mainstream music scenes. Don’t get me wrong, this is obviously fantastic, proving that the internet, social media and other devices and tools have made music more accessible than ever before.  But are you missing out on a slice of the action because you’re not helping yourselves? Are you missing out because you’ve overlooked the simple things that writers are seeking on a daily basis? If you’ve spent countless hours contacting lots of online and print media and barely getting a response, there’s a problem.  
 
Sometimes you won’t get a reply purely because the blog or publication isn’t a fan of the genre of music you specialise in, but there’s another area to explore as to why people don’t hit the ‘reply’ button as often as you’d like, and that’s how you’re represented online. If you’ve got a website but it’s seriously out of date, then people aren’t going to invest in finding out more about you as it appears as though the content you’ve got is antique. The last thing you want is for them to completely disregard you and never to give you or your awesome music another thought.
 
I’ve compiled 5 tips to help you ensure you turn those ‘Delete’ clicks into ‘Reply’. 
 
The importance of your story
This morning I had a Q&A request (I’m also an editor) and as I had a little listen to the artists’ music and thought it was pretty darn good, I decided I’d write up some questions for him. Guess what, his social media and website offered less than minimal information about him or his music.  Where do you start to ask questions about his music if you don’t even know what part of the world he’s from? You can’t! It’s impossible, unless they’re generic, boring questions and no one likes interviews like that.
 
So, take this tale as a warning and make sure that your ‘About Us’ section is complete and highlights everything that makes you great.  I know it’s hard to speak about yourself in such a boastful manner (although some people love it!) but it’s important to ensure you’ve got all the fantastic details about you, your music and your story outlined so people can know more about you and ask relevant and insightful questions.
 
Don’t hold back…but don’t write a novel! Around 500-750 words is ideal as an insight into everything about you/your band.
 
Utilise your freebies
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, they say.  This is true in one respect, but if you’re willing to invest some time into your band’s literature (maybe eat your lunch whilst writing up your website content) then your campaign results will improve tenfold.  Having your unique voice and message depicted efficiently throughout social media and your website (if you’ve not got a website then get on Wordpress or Tumblr right now) will make a massive difference with fan engagement, news delivery and also getting some coverage.  
 
If a blogger really digs your track and wants to find out more about you but only finds a measly sentence in your ‘About Us’ section on Facebook, a low-res image and just a list of influences, chances are they’ll jump onto the next artist/band who wants a feature.
 
If you’re not naturally a writer, find one!
We’ve all got strengths and weaknesses, and I’m all for pursuing your strengths and letting other people take the reins on the bits you might need help with. You could be an incredible producer, but writing an artist biography may not be your strong point. Don’t worry, there are absolutely tonnes of talented writers and creatives in out there that can help you with this. Some would do it as a favour, others would charge (usually rather reasonable rates too), so don’t try and take on too much. There’s no point overwhelming yourself with website literature when you could be working on your next record! If you don’t ask, you don’t get…
 
“That’ll do” doesn’t usually do!
It’s so tempting to have the “that’ll do” mentality; get the minimum done and tick that box, but more often than not this shows. If you’ve very little content on your website, or you’ve just listed bullet points on Facebook or Reverbnation, it comes across as lazy and can be portrayed that you’re not taking the impression you give out to the world very seriously. 
 
As a band that’s starting out or an artist looking for a break, then the more professional your online presence looks, the better. You’d be surprised how effective having a simple, neat layout, proper grammar and punctuation and an easy navigation can be. Think about your favourite bands and how they’re represented online. Usually their content is brilliant and yours can be too!

Quotes, links and more
If you’re getting some good reviews and features online or in print, make sure you have a space on your website and social media pages with links and quotes. Psychologically, if I come across a band with a dozen good quotes on their website I feel they’re in demand and getting a lot of love…and I want a bit too. Make this information easily available to your fans and perspective writers/bloggers to access. You’ll also get great satisfaction from seeing your “What the press has to say about us” page grow!
 
Make sure you pop in a link too, in case people want to read more. It also boosts your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which means people searching the internet will find you more easily.  
 
All the best with getting your amazing music out there, and more importantly, ensuring that you get the coverage you deserve!
 
Ffion Davies of Espressivo Creatives created the company to offer cutting edge creative solutions, specialising in content creation for music industry types.  She's also editor over at www.Altsounds.com. Find her on Twitter @ffidavies or more info here: www.espressivocreative.com

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altsounds.com, music press, music reviews, music writers, music journalists, music blogs,

 

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