Physical product is not going to sell itself. This is a huge mistake I see a ton of bands making. They have this idea that just because they pressed it, it will sell. This is not the case. In fact, physical product can even be a bad investment.
So what are good investments around your release? Well most of them center around getting people to actually give a shit. This means promotion, quality assets, and of course, the most important thing of all – time! Here’s how some of those GOOD investments breakdown.
3. Investing In Promotion
This is the broadest one since it takes so many forms. Promotion can be anything from a PR campaign to Facebook and Instagram ads or even an influencer campaign. These things are all hugely important if you are trying to get your band off the ground.
Oftentimes though what you see is a band get a whole big production together but then they don’t actually do anything to promote it and the people around them have no other options. It gets pretty silly pretty fast, unfortunately. Make sure you are sending money on things like PR and ads so that people can actually find out about the album.
2. Quality Assets
Here’s another big key. If your album art is bad it doesn’t matter how good the music inside is. I know it sucks to hear but people will absolutely judge an album by its cover. If you don’t have something that looks good and appealing people won’t care.
On top of that though, you need to have good videos and promo shoots. Look at how having a great video made Nekrogoblikon into an internationally known band? Similarly – think about how having a good press shot can make you connect with a band more. And by the way – when it comes to PR campaigns, the bands that have press shots available almost invariably do better than the bands that do not.
This is the big one. Everyone seems to think that they can just pay their way out of some of this stuff. But that’s not the case. Even the biggest bands in the world spend a ton of time connecting with people. Showing their fans what’s up, finding new ways to grow, etc etc.
You can’t grow as a band if you don’t invest your personal time. People can tell when you are doing something vs an assistant or something helping. You need to make sure that you are elevating the people around you in a meaningful way. You need to make sure you are telling your story. No one will care about your project as much as you do.
So that about does it – sometimes spending five grand on LP’s is not the best move, especially when starting out. Instead, if you take the time to spend money on PR, having good assets to share, and investing your time you will have massive results!
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Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from Glam Rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post Black Metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of 14 he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
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