I’ve been doing reviews here on Music Bank for about 6 months now. And while I enjoy what I do immensely, there are some things that drive me nuts. What is sad about this is that there is no reason for me to be crazy, so let me explain. I’m not sure how other reviewer/promoters work but I have a process when I review music. I start with Twitter and look for Facebook, Soundcloud and Reverbnation links. I hit Facebook for your band information, you know your band’s bio and line up. If I can’t find that information there I will hit the other two sites looking for it.
This is where knowing what your fans and even us reviewers will be looking for when you hit our radar. Now I understand not all fans, reviewers or promoters want the same thing but there are things that we will want to see. A solid band profile is one of them. I would like to break this all down from the perspective of each “user” so you can see why this info is important.
I don’t consider myself to be a super fan. For instance I’m in musical lust with Slipknot and I can name the members of the band because it matters, though I can’t give you birthdays and other such info. However when I’m lost in conversation with a friend about their music I want to be able to properly illustrate points. Like “Taylors vocals in this track rock ass” or “Shawn’s percussion here is just insane”. See what I did there? As a fan even if I don’t know your birthday I do wanna know who plays what. I gotta think I’m not the only one! And as I said before, I’m not even a super fan. You have to remember when you are setting up your web properties that these are for the fans. Give the fans what they are looking for which include the links to all the sites your listed on. That way they can check out your music on their favorite website be it Reverbnation, Soundcloud, Itunes, Spotify or Bandcamp. Plus your fans hitting these sites will raise your profile on said sites. That is always a good thing. Your fans love you, let them help promote your music!
You’ll have to pardon me if I sound like I’m soapboxing here, but this situation with some band pages has really become a thorn in my side. As a reviewer there are things I am always looking for and to make it easy here’s the list:
- Music – If you don’t have music out where it can be listened to your already on the losing end of a reviewers attention. For example, I’m rocking a solid 90+ bands waiting for reviews in my queue. Some of those bands don’t have music up on any websites. This puts me at a severe disadvantage as well as the musician. I’m going to waste a lot of time looking for something that doesn’t exist. It’s not fair to the other bands in my queue because I’m spending time looking for mystery music. I try to keep these bands in mind and check back but with as many submissions as the site gets a day it’s become all but impossible. And I’m a small potatoes website! I can’t imagine how bigger review sites deal with this time sink.
- Sharability (ok, so that’s not a word but hey!) – Post your stuff everywhere you can. I see lot of bands that have reverbnation sites but not soundcloud. Everyone has a preference of music sites. I happen to prefer Soundcloud because that’s where I started building my playlist. By not being available on that site I can’t get you on the playlist and some people may never find you. We reviewers can be fickle creatures and I’ll own that. I always get a bit cranky when I go to Soundcloud and can’t find a band. I could be alone in this thought process but do you want to risk losing a potential avenue for promotion because you didn’t want to set up another account?
- Band Profile – The best way to respect any reviewers process is make sure they have what they need. Some of us like to list your bands bio and line up. There are lots of reasons for us to do this, from general interest of the type of fans our sites get to SEO there is a method to our madness. Another thing that really grates my cheese is a lack of links. All the sites I’ve mentioned give you space to put links to all the sites you’re listed on. Why on earth would you not use that to promote all your sites? Let us reviewers know where to find your stuff and allow us to use the places we like. You are far more likely to get a kinder review if we aren’t cranky when we go to write it up.
So maybe not all reviewers feel this way but if just a handful of us do then you are on the losing end of a review before you even submit for one. This is definitely a lowest common denominator situation. Some reviewers are far more motivated then others and will do the leg work to find all your links and band info along with your music. However for your smaller up and coming reviewers they are one man bands (so to speak) and anything you can do to make their work easier is always appreciated. They will also be a lot more willing to promote you.
So to be fair, I’m not a promoter though I dabble in promo a bit. I don’t feel like I’m qualified to really get into things from a hardcore promoter point of view. What I can say is it just makes sense to give your promoter as much ammunition as you can when it comes to promotion.
The short and skinny is no matter what role we play we want you to succeed. We want to see you and your band up in lights, headlining a tour. It’s our most ardent wish that all of the bands we love/review/promote be as big as possible. And while I know some of my rant came off on the crabby side understand it comes from love. I wasn’t gifted with the ability to make music, but I can love my music so much I share with my friends or I can review these songs and work to get them in front of new eyes, or promote your band to get you into new venues or hooking you up with the right A&R people. It’s all about you, embrace that chaos and give us what we need to help you reach your goals.