Merchandising is a product that advertises another product e.g. a t-shirt promoting FCUK
- Entertainment is one of the few areas where you can SELL your own advertising.
- Until you’re established make sure your merchandising has contact details on (telephone no, web address, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Promotions and Publicity
The purpose of and some methods of gaining promotions and publicity are:
- Publicise your image
- Draw attention – The Sex Pistols famously performed God Save The Queen on a river boat for the Queen’s Jubilee (and made sure that the press knew it was going to happen). The Who used to smash up all of their equipment at the end of every gig (expensive and it’s been done before so I wouldn’t recommend it). What can you do to get attention and stand out?
- Arrange beneficial partnerships – can you tie up with other products, businesses or services? – e.g. if you print the studio name or the name of the clothes shop who provided the outfits for the artwork on the back of the CD will they give you a discount? Maybe the clothes shop will even allow you to put a display in the shop and sell some CDs?
- Increase sales, recognition, satisfaction (free bonuses via the web site for purchasers?)
- Publicity – radio, retail (in-store), video, YouTube/MTV/Vivo
- Develop an angle the media will be interested in – (see here)
- Product placement – as above. But unless you already have some profile, best to think local. Coca Cola are unlikely to send you free cans of coke to drink in the cover art unless they are sure that you will sell lots. But pose outside your local coffee shop and maybe they’ll give you some free coffee vouchers. Maybe you could use those vouchers as prizes above?
- Posters – can you persuade local businesses, youth clubs, schools to display them?
- In store appearances – try local record shops and music shops. Maybe you can even persuade other shops. It can’t hurt to ask; especially if you’re a regular customer. It’s win-win if lots of people come.
Promoting Your CD
Assuming you have a physical release rather than purely digital
Make sure record shops, radio stations, A&R etc. know what kind of music it is. Spell it out at the top of your letter. Don’t get precious and say it defies description/genre/etc. If you don’t make it clear where it belongs they will probably decide it belongs in the trash.
Find a fresh idea e.g. take regular small gifts, e.g. cakes, coffee, etc. to the people you wish to interest, make a friend – borrow ideas from other industries