Building Your Image: Creating Promotional Materials That Work
Promotional materials are necessary tools for musicians. These materials are used in building a performer's reputation and for booking performances, attracting audiences, selling CDs, and more. The purpose of promotional materials is to tell the story of who you are and what your music is about. What story you tell and how you tell it matters.
Promotional materials include bios, publicity photos, CDs, and other specialty items to fit the situation such as letters of recommendation, reviews, listings of performances and repertoire, sample programs, and so on. CDs and websites, also promotional tools, are covered in later chapters. Like your career itself, your promotional materials are ever in a state of change. As your career develops, as you gain experience, you will add to and edit your materials. But you do need to start with good quality, usable materials.
Musicians use “promo” materials for a variety of purposes, in seeking bookings and press coverage for performances, and in contacting artist managers, conductors, record labels, as well as in applying for teaching jobs, competitions and grants. Promotional materials are typically sent in a packet referred to as a promo kit (and when sent to the press, as press kits).
The good news is that creating your own promo materials is not rocket science. It takes time and effort but you don't have to be a graphic designer, a publicity expert or spend a fortune to end up with excellent professionalquality materials. Musicians sometimes ask, “Can't I just pay someone to do all this for me?” And my answer is, when you learn how to create and use promo materials you are in the driver's seat with your career. You want to make informed decisions about the story being told about you and your music. Later on in your career, if you work with an artist manager, publicist, or record label, you will want to be an informed and savvy partner in all the