Posted tagged ‘MC Till’

How Do I Get A Journalist to Come to My Show?

October 27, 2010


THE ARTIST: MC Till (Cincinnati, OH)
THE QUESTION: So, I read your blogs about getting reviews.  Great stuff.  Instead of going for album reviews what I really want to do is get show reviews.  Have you heard of such a thing?  I want a journalist/blogger to come to a show and then write about it.  That might be a lofty goal, but I’m a lofty guy.

THE ANSWER: Yea, I’ve heard of this idea before and I think it’s a great one! I have to be honest though, I don’t think I’ve ever attempted to score one of these so I’m not sure of the “proper” procedure. But here are some thoughts on the matter.

1. Give Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse
Think about it: not only are you asking them to like your music, you’re asking them to like your music enough to donate an evening to you.  If you want them to commit, it needs to be the show. What are some ways your show can stick out?

  • Incentive: Give them 2-3 complimentary tickets to the show. Pick up their bar tab for the night.  Is this bribery? hehe…
  • Lineup: Perhaps you’re opening for a really huge name and you think its worth a write-up. Maybe it’ll turn out that 60% of the write-up is about the other guy, but you’ll be 40%.
  • A Good Cause: These are the best…especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas (hint hint).  Papers love writing about food drives, fundraisers, and charity events. Think about partnering with a local organization and build some press opps around that.

2. Your Pitch is Twice as Important
Again, you’re not just selling one idea, you’re selling two. One: like my music. Two: come to my show. So take that pitch email seriously. Be respectful, be thorough, and be brief. Yes, its possible to be thorough and brief  – giving just enough information but not too much. Check out How to Score Reviews of Your CD for examples on how to write a pitch. Note that, in this particular case, your pitch will look something like:

  • paragraph 1: introduce yourself and say why you’re writing
  • paragraph 2: give some more details about you and your music
  • paragraph 3: give facts about the who/what/when/where/why of your event

3. Build a Relationship
Get to know your local music editors. Think of it like a relationship. You’re more willing to do something for someone you care about versus someone you’ve just met.  Maybe having a reporter come out to your show could be a long-term goal.

  • initial contact: shoot an email to see what their submission process is like
  • later down the line: contact them about your new album chock full of an appropriate pitch, press info, and a hard copy of the project
  • and even further down the line: hopefully you’ve been corresponding with him/her to the point where asking for a show review isn’t far-fetched. Note that this process could be a year-long situation where you’re simply on his or her radar. The key is to build rapport

4. Just ask
It doesn’t hurt to just ask if they do reviews. Being blunt is often the best type of communication. This might work best with bloggers who, by default, have a reputation for being more informal.

p.s. I like your T-shirt. I think you’re beautiful too.
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Reader Comments & Suggestions #1

January 23, 2009

MCTill & Wonderbrown = The Kings of Tradgedy
Both use humor in emails ewsletters (and videos) to keep their readers engaged.


I thought I would put this blog up because alot of you have posted some really great comments in response to past blogs.  Some people might never see these comments so why not put them all in one post. Below are my favorite 5. Please continue to comment anytime you have something meaninful and helpful to say to the people who visit this blog! Special thanks to KleerStream Entertainment who has consistently given some great tips to aspiring singersongwriters and bands.


1.] Posted by Samual Lewis in response to Email Marketing – Making Sure People Read What You Write
“Make sure to provide value in every email, even a good laugh will work. You want to engage your audience and earn their trust. Also frequency of sends is extremely important. During this recession, many companies are turning to more cost effective means of marketing, and email should definitely be one of them.”

  • Samual makes such a great point!  Here is something my friend MC Till put in his last email.  It’s personal, its hilarious, and I’m sure  it definitely made people visit his website.  Chances are, you will too…
  • “ps- don’t check out my new website… It won’t be worth it. For real. Don’t even think about it. Okay, are you thinking about it? Stop. Well, uhm, I guess if you are still thinking about it then just copy and paste into your browser, hit enter, then get ready to ‘X’ out. Okay, if you really want to, check out the video or the quotes or blog or whatever, I’m saying, its whatever you want to do. Really, I’m not trying to promote it or anything. I mean, its just a website that promotes what I do. So, really, don’t even bother….unless of course…you really want to. Then, go ahead.

2.] Posted by KleerStream Entertainment in response toTake Advantage of the Holiday – Make Some Dough, Yo!
I totally disagree with you about CD Baby, especially for Indie Artist that want more exposure. The global exposure you get on CD Baby is well worth the $4 / CD they take for selling your CD. New artist need all the exposure they can get & CD Baby is but one way to gain more exposure. New artist are always told to go play for nothing to gain exposure, so, why are we worried about CD Baby taking $4 for each CD they sell? 

We recommend artist sell CD’s any place they can….if you are selling on 5 sites you are generating revenue & revenue is one of the main driving forces that keeps a artist / band playing & touring. As long as you get $2.50 – $3.00 / CD you are still making money & in the music business every dollar earned is a plus in our book. One of the worst things you can do in the music business is to ‘limit’ yourself. I would never recommend one of our artist to turn down global exposure for $4 a CD. Don’t assume all the sales you gain from any site will be pick up on another site, because they will not. 

    • In response to this post about CD Baby, Kleerstream has made an excellent point.  I think its great to have your music on CDBaby as well as on your own site.  You may make more money by selling the CD through paypal but CD Baby does in fact provide excellent connections that sometimes pan out.


3.] Posted by Teed Rockwell in response to Take Advantage of the Holiday – Make Some Dough, Yo!
CD Baby is worth the money. Don’t forget that if you do your own shipping, you have to pay for postage, packaging, take time to go the store to buy the packaging materials, and do the labor of packaging, labeling, and dropping packages off at the post office. CDbaby also prepares your inventory, which makes it easier at tax time. I hired somebody to do this before the internet existed, and it cost me a lot more than four dollars a CD. in fact, I had to quit using that person because it was too expensive. CDbaby does it cheaper because they have it automated. They also are heavily linked in. I got the best paying gig in my life from somebody who saw my CDbaby page.

    • Ya, its true that you have to handle shipping if your using a service like paypal. But if you don’t mind, then do it!  Handling my shipping allows me to be more personal with fans.  I usually leave notes in the package like “Hey, thanks for buying a CD!” or “Hope to see you at next week’s show!”


4.] Posted by Cling in response to Tips & Tricks for the Holiday and Any Day
Why not send an EPK?

    • Having an EPK through Sonicbids is a great idea.  EPK = Electronic Press Kit.  I talk regularly about having a press kit which basically includes a bio, press photo, demo (or CD), press release, and any other relevant information.  Sonicbids offers a way to create a press kit online. Saves paper, saves money, saves time.  Check out Sonicbids to learn more about creating one.  But also realize that some people like to have hard copies. I think its important to have hard copies on hand.  On Monday, I’ll talk more about Sonicbids…the good and the bad. 


5.] Posted by KleerStream Entertainment in response to Helping Yourself #3
We always tell artists, their networking / building a true fan base is much like someone campaigning for President of the USA. Artist are the ones that must meet, greet, shake hands, hand out business cards, etc. They must take advantage of any time they are out in public, whether it be in a grocery store, club, coffee house, etc. You never know who you might be shaking hand with….so network like your career depending on it, because, it really does.


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