Montreal-based publicist Jon Asher of Asher Media Relations gives his perspective on what it takes to get noticed in the music industry in Feature Friday #2.
By: Jon Asher
December 9, 2011
First off, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Toronto Music Scene for inviting me to write one of their guest columns. Now, being part of the Canadian Music Industry for the last few years, I have experienced different aspects of the industry and I hope that my experiences can help those in search of valuable resources in spreading their music to their audiences. Today I’ll tell you the top three things every band needs to know to promote successfully.
The best way for people to understand who I am and my part in the industry is to explain what I do for artists and labels. I help in what I call “image awareness” or otherwise classified as publicity, pr, media relations, communications, media brokerage, promotions and the list can goes on. But what it truly comes down to as a publicist, is being a liaison for the artists to the media. I’m the rep to the media and I take care of everything media related from interviews to reviews, tour support and album support to supplying news in a timely fashion on the artists and labels.
What do indie artists need to know about the industry in order to build a successful career? There are many factors and there are many answers to this question. But I will start with the three that I strongly believe are key.
If the product is not good, everything around you (aka your team) can’t push it. Period. Indie artists forget this is a business and music is your product. If you want to be taken seriously you have to look at your music as a product to sell in the marketplace.
The 3 I’s
Initiative: You must be able to take initiative. This is your personal creation and if you want it to be heard you have to do the leg work from the start. You have to get out there and meet people (network), play all the time (tours are good), but still be selective. You don’t want to burn out your music everywhere. And if you want to know someone, pick up the phone! People don’t bite!
Interest – Create interest for your music. I see a lot of bands and sometimes it can be generic. Don’t be shy in doing something outside the box that can capture people attentions. Performance is all I have to say!
Infinity – What do I mean when I say infinity? I mean infinity! You never stop. You always stay active no matter what. There is never a good reason for an indie artist to stop pushing the music out there. For example, I hear this often and too many times, “we’re recording so we’re not playing shows. We’re not pushing anything out for the public. We’re going to keep low key.” Well in my opinion you know what happens? People forget the buzz you were working on. You get forgotten because when you fall off people’s radars and they move on to the next competing artist who wants the same attention as you. To come back from being inactive is sometimes like starting from scratch again (depending on your status).
Formula = team. Indie bands should never have the one member in the band doing all the work. NEVER! This is a team effort. Most bands I work with have all members working together with an option of outsourced help if they want it. (Management, Booking Agents, Radio Promoters, Publicists, Street Teams, Online Marketers, etc.). This one key thing is necessary! A team working together that is loyal and truly believes in the music can be one of the most important things to make and break a group of artists.
Jon Asher is the founder of Montreal’s Asher Media Relations. He has served as a guest lecturer at McGill University on Music Publicity for the public relations program and speaks on panels such as Toronto’s Indie Week Music Fest, Calgary’s Noctis Fest and Halifax Pop Explosion. Past and current clients include Kill Matilda, Black Tooth Entertainment, Hustle Cartel Entertainment, All Else Fails, Empire ISIS, October Sky, MAPMUSIC and many more. For more information, check out ashermediarelations.com for more info.