Posted tagged ‘press release’

Your Second Most Important Marketing Tool: Thank You Cards

February 19, 2010

If you have been reading this blog the last month or so you have probably started to notice a theme. RELATIONSHIPS.

Why do I focus on relationships so much? Or wait, let me pose another question.

Remember when you first started playing music? Who were the only people who would come see you?

Yep, YOUR FRIENDS. And maybe a couple friends of your friends.

As our fanbases grow, why do we get away from this? Why are we drawn to this concept of blindly blasting our music to as many ears as possible?

Why do we “Pray and Spray” with our press releases HOPING that the local mag will pick up on it?

Enough questions Dave.

Yea, well I’m in a philosophical mood.

Ok, I’ll work towards my point.

I’m kind of a Bob Baker groupie from back in the day. Bob is a publisher himself and used to run a local mag in St. Louis. One of the most important things I learned from him was to send people thank you notes.

This is even more important now than it was 3 years ago, when I started doing it.  Why?

Because everything is so digital now that it makes it too easy just to send an email, tweet, or a facebook message.

Wanna stand out from the crowd and show you really care?  How about a hand written note? Yes, HAND WRITTEN.

Here do this:

1. Visit a site like JakPrints.com or iPrint.com and order postcards (Not affiliate links)

2. Put your band’s logo/web address/etc. on it as the design

3. Leave one side blank

4. Order a TON of them

5. You can use them as a “thank you.” You can use them as a follow up note. You can use them as another great way to touch somebody (get your mind out of the gutter, yea mine went there for a sec.).

It’s all about the touches, man.  “The 10 Touches” to be exact.  If you want to set aside all this relationship mumbo-jumbo and go at it from a  strict marketing perspective – factor these postcards as a “touch tools”.

I’m sounding all pervy now, but you get the point.

Local or out of town radio station book you to come on air?  Send them a thank you note. Alternative mag review your record?  Send the journalist a thank you note with a certificate for a burrito.

Time to stop acting like these people owe you something.

If thank you cards are the second most important marketing tool, then what is the first?  YOUR MUSIC.  Obvious right?  Then why do so many still insist on spending less time writing and more time looking for that magic answer to new fans?

The magic answer is a great song.  Then a genuine “thank you” to the people who choose to stop and listen.

A few weeks ago I wrote a little about this in a blog about sending press releases.

STOP THE MASS PRESS RELEASE: Build RELATIONSHIPS with the Local Press

January 14, 2010

PHOTO CREDIT: SiliconValleyWatcher.com

Disclaimer:  I haven’t sent a press release in almost three years.  I don’t believe in them.  So I may be biased.  However, when I DID send one…this is how I did it.

Let’s just get this one out on the table:  NO ONE GIVES TWO SH*TS ABOUT YOUR PRESS RELEASE.

Honestly – put yourself in the shoes of a journalist or a blogger.  Now picture this shouting email headline in your inbox from this person you never hear from…do you open it?  Of course not.

Have you ever thought that maybe that when you send that press release, there is an actual human being on the other end?

Hell – if you’ve built a tribe/community/village of people interested in your ventures, DO YOU REALLY NEED TO SEND A PRESS RELEASE?

That’s another post.

Instead of mass emailing every journalist/blogger in town, follow these steps:

1.  Identify local journalist and bloggers that you would like to build relationships with.

2.  Reach out to them to introduce yourself.  DO NOT ASK FOR ANYTHING.

3.  Reach out to them from time to time with story ideas and leads that have nothing to do with you.      Make sure they are GOOD STORIES.

4.  READ THEIR WORK.  Shoot them an email letting them know if you enjoyed it, but don’t be a bugger.

Now guess what happens?  You’ve not only started to build a relationship with this person, you have also turned yourself into a trusted street source for local stories.

Now send your press release.

But send it to the individual.  With a personal note.

And do not send it as an attachment.  Copy and paste it into the body of the email.

If they run it or post it in their blog – send a handwritten thank you note.  Maybe slip in a $5 gift card to Chipotle or something.

Bob Baker and Seth Godin, among others, have been preaching this for awhile, this isn’t my idea – I’ve just used it with great success.

But basically the idea boils down to this:  You have to GIVE to GET.

Again though – think about spending more time building your community of like-minded followers and you’ll never be beholden to press or radio.

I write a little bit about building your community in The Roots of New Music Marketing:  Throw Out the “Marketing.” But it really does deserve it’s own series of posts.  Enough rambling…sorry.

Link to source of photo:  http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/Die-Press-Release.jpg

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Let’s twiggidy twizneet:  @davemhuffman