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Hi there. It’s me again. For those that don’t know me yet, my name is Melissa Koehler and I’m a country musician from Ontario, Canada.
As a professional musician, you have to be a songwriter, a singer, an instrumentalist, a business owner, a manager, a booking agent, an accountant and a social media guru all at the same time.😬😎
There’s a lot that’s involved with being a professional musician and sometimes, it can be a little overwhelming knowing where to start.
Hopefully, I can help with that and give you a starting point. Here’s my list of 5 things that every professional musician should have in order to market themselves.
An Online Presence
As a professional musician in the digital age, you should absolutely have a Facebook page and/or Instagram account devoted to promoting your band and your music.
Having a social media set up for your band not only allows for fans to easily find you and your music, but it also allows for band managers, booking agents and show promotors to find you too.
You should police your online presence heavily. Ensure your captions and pictures are professional. Stay clear of language that might be considered inappropriate, and watch out for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Make sure the pictures you post would be okay for your grandma to see. I’m serious. It’s important to build a professional brand online because you never know who might be looking at your Facebook or your Instagram.
A Business Card
There is nothing more professional than having a business card. I keep a few of mine in my purse and in my guitar case so no matter where I go, I always have some on me.
If I’m out with friends and someone mentions needing live music for some future event they’re having, I can easily suggest myself as an option by handing them one of my business cards.
If someone comes up to me after a gig saying that they liked my music, I can hand them one of my business cards so they remember to check out my socials and music later when they get home.
I suggest contacting a graphic designer to help you create a professional looking business card. Make sure you include your band’s name, the genre of music you play, all your important social links, an email and a phone number.
Here’s what my business card looks like:
An EPK (Electronic Press Kit)
If you’re planning to play in real live venues, then you absolutely need an EPK (Electronic Press Kit). An EPK is like your band’s resume.
It gives a band that no one has ever heard of some credibility and it gives venues an idea of who you are and what you play. I go into more detail on creating an EPK and booking shows here.
Some Professional Photos
What’s that saying? Images speak louder than words? As a writer, I don’t always think that’s the case, but photos are extremely important.
I recommend hiring a professional photographer for an hour. If it’s an option, have them photograph your band at one of your shows.
After an hour, you’ll have a huge collection of photos that you can use to up your game on social media, put in your EPK and place the best one on your business card.
I had this photoshoot done in 2016. To date, it’s the only photoshoot I’ve ever had done for my music. I got so many good photos from it; I can’t use them all fast enough!
A Good Demo
Recording a full-length album, or even an EP, can be extremely expensive. And in the world of Spotify, recording a bunch of songs all at once for one project isn’t really even a thing anymore.
Invest in one good single. Trust me. The time and money are worth it. Find a good studio in your area.
When the song’s mixed and mastered, put it up on iTunes and Spotify. People online and at shows will be impressed that they can buy and/or listen to your song on popular platforms like iTunes and Spotify.
You can also impress venues and promotors with this demo by sending them the iTunes or Spotify link.
Here’s one of my songs that I really like which I always share with people!
This will automatically make them take you more seriously and gives them an opportunity to check out your sound at the same time.
Did I miss anything important? Let me know in the comments below!