File Under: Marketing Your Music

One of the more difficult things for many musicians is talking about their music and themselves to others. Beyond being able tell their story and concisely describe your music, what’s the best way to describe yourself as a musician?

We suggest taking stock of your music history. Create an inventory. This can form the foundation to build your story. Plus, it can provide insights about yourself that you may have forgotten.

The end of the year is a great time to do this since it’s typically the time to look back at the year before and plan ahead to what's coming next. Pull together all of the information below about yourself and your musical career to date. From these lists, you’ll be better able to weave your story and make it easier to talk about what you've accomplished. Compile the following:

  • Music timeline: Capture major dates in your music history such as when you started making music or formed your band, when you released your albums, when you published your videos, any major performances, etc.
  • Discography/list of releases: Make a discography with all album, EP, and single titles you released. Also, get a total count of the number of songs you've released.
  • Music Videos: Make a full list of music videos you've released.
  • Creative projects: Pull together a list of any creative projects that have used your music in any way such as other people’s videos, films, podcasts, plays, etc.
  • Publications/articles about you or your music: List out all the publications, articles, blogs, or other coverage you’ve gotten for you and your music (which you should be keeping track of as they come out.) Not only will you have a list of each, you'll have the total number in one place.
  • Complete show calendar: List all performances you've done (which, if you're tracking it properly, is also good for royalty purposes). Also, since one of the goals is to have a total count, we suggest listing all performances, including before your current work back to when you were young. Although you might not list all these publicly, the total count of all the performances shows off your stage experience.
  • Major venues you've played: List famous venues you've played because it's useful for the story and marketing. For example, our band played live at Second City for a series of sketch comedy shows, and mentioning this fact often gets people interested in finding out more about us.
  • Places you've traveled to: If you've played in many different cities, or have travelled far to play, these are good facts to be able to explain during a media interview. (i.e. I've played in 10 different countries…)
  • Each famous artist and person you have worked with: Make a list of any well-known people, musicians, artists, or bands that you've worked with. These are always attention-getting in interviews, and it's sometimes helpful to see all of these names in one place.
  • Interviews you've done: Compile a list of any interviews the press has done of you which can use to show that the press is interested in you which can help you get future PR.
  • Awards you've won: Write down any awards you've won through your life as a musician.
  • Every organization you belong to: List all of the music-related organizations that you belong to. If you don't belong to any, think about joining at least one. Many are cheap or free, and will provide you with a lot of great networking opportunities.
  • Every band you've been part of: Write each band you've been a part of since they are a part of your story and can go on your timeline.
  • Everywhere your music was played: Consolidate a list of places your music was played such as radio stations, podcasts, TV, streaming radio, etc. These can come in handy when you're describing your music when you write about yourself.
  • Music software you know: It can be useful to have a list of all of the software that you know for more technical or industry-facing interviews that you do.
  • Instruments that you play: Make a list of all instruments that you play if you have more than one.
  • Schools/music training programs you went to: Music schools, classes, or training programs that you attended can add to your story.

Once you have this list of information -- we call this your “Chronicle” -- use it to enhance all of your public facing info, your marketing, and enhancing your PR. You don't need to use all of it or make it all public, but certain parts will help you write and talk about yourself. Plus, the total counts for many of the lists usually comes in handy even if the details are left out: for example, the total number of songs you've released, shows you've played, awards you’ve won, interviews you’ve done, and more.

Most importantly, as you think through what you've done so far, it may give you ideas on who to contact from your past to work on future projects or inspire what you should work on next.

Challenge: Create these lists for you and your music. Then, use them to help enhance your story.


#marketing #persona #brand #challenge

Photo Credit: sunshinecity