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Getting Your Demo Played
If you're sending
out your music (CD or demo tape), are people listening to it? While
we all like to think our music sells itself, how can we make sure
that promoter, producer, or label rep actually listens to our songs?
Here are some steps that will help increase the odds.
that almost any music industry type gets TONS of promo packs in
an average week. Some of them look good, but a large amount of them..
well... suck. Someone sent out a CD with no contact info. Or a band
sent their demo tape with a scrap of paper saying how great the
music is. The name of the game is to make your stuff stand out.
I look around
my office, and I see piles of manilla envelopes. While there is
nothing wrong, exactly, with a standard manilla envelope, it just
doesn't stand out. In fact, it looks just like the other 25 packages
I got this week. The first two I looked at (and listened to) came
in really slick or otherwise creative packaging.
Since most indie
bands don't have a lot of extra money to develop fancy full color
brochures and promotional items (which is great if you do have the
cash), the way to stand out is through being creative in your packaging.
a few weeks ago, I received a CD from a band called Liberal Dogs.
It came in one of those white CD mailers (you can buy them from
Disc Makers at http://www.discmakers.com)
that just holds a single CD. The band had hand addressed it, and
then someone took a felt tip pen and drew this little cartoon dog
on it. Simple, inexpensive,... and effective. It was the first CD
I listened to that day. All their other promo materials fit inside
the mailer. They used a postcard with all of their contact info.
It was amazing how much that CD stood out from the others I received
Scott Meldrum, had a very slick, coordinated kit. It came in a small
(6 x 9") white plastic envelope, with an address label that matched
his CD artwork. Inside, there was an excellent multi-page brochure
with pictures and lyrics, a keychain, a button, a coaster, and his
CD. Everything was coordinated, and even though this kit obviously
cost the artist some money, it was well thought out, using two color
printing to achieve a full color effect. And another thing: the
design he used on his promo items was cool on its own, independent
of the artist. A good thing to keep in mind for all your promo stuff
Even if you
can't afford anything fancy, you can stand out by using a little
creativity. Search office supply catalogs for envelopes that look
different from the norm. Try to come up with some other alternative
packaging that is fun. The whole point is to look unique and stand
out. With busy music industry people, this will quickly identify
yours as the CD they WANT to hear first. It also marks you as a
creative thinker and smart business person.
This idea can,
and should, be taken past just your external packaging. Glossy black
pocket folders are passe. Try another color folder, maybe one with
a design. What about one of those folders you color in with colored
markers? Don't worry about looking "cheap". Think out of the box,
and see what you can devise. Continually work on your presentation.
It is this "stand out" quality that will get your music played instead
of sitting around the office. Then your music can sell itself.