When it comes to DIY Music Marketing, the name of the game is hustle. What you don’t have in dollars, you will have to make up in effort. Leave no stone unturned in your quest to let the world know about your new CD. But, before you leave home, make sure that you have the following tools for any opportunities that come your way:
Business cards are inexpensive, and can even be printed at home. If the information on your card has changed, for goodness sake, replace them. Nothing spells amateur like handwritten cards! When you receive cards from other people, make notes of what the person talked about, and follow up on your conversation at a later date.
As soon as you book your next show, make a batch of flyers and give them to everyone that you encounter before the show. Make the flyer colorful and interesting, and include a description of your music. Make larger versions of your flyer to serve as posters and hang them everywhere that is appropriate and legal.
As soon as you are ready, create a recording. With so many home studio producers available, this does not have to be expensive. It just has to be something you’re proud to share with others. Have at least two CDs with you at all times. You never know who you’ll meet. But don’t force it on anyone who’s iffy on receiving it – it’ll end up being wasted money.
Having a web site makes it easier on a global level for people to find you and listen to your music. If you do leave home empty handed, you can direct people to your site. Make it easy on yourself and pay for your domain name. Free web sites are nice, but the addresses can be long and hard to remember.
Email list: You’ll need a place to store the email addresses of people that you meet at shows and in your travels. Create a system to capture email addresses when you meet people offline. Put a “fan collector” widget on your site that gives new fans a free MP3 in exchange for their email address.
Electronic Promo Kit (EPK): If you somehow don’t have your own website yet, set up a free EPK where people can see your photos and videos, and hear your music. Okay, this item is optional to carry around 24/7, but you do have one, right? It should have your photo, bio, CD/tape, and press clippings.