What’s Been The Most Successful Way To Promote Your Music?

May 9, 2017

I write a lot of articles based on my 20 years of experience in the music industry.

However, this time, I want to turn it around to YOU!

Please post on my blog and tell me what the most effective thing you’ve done to promote your music career has been!

Has it been:

1) Live shows?
2) Posting a lot on social media? (If so, what’s been the best? Facebook? Instagram? Snapchat?)

3) Buying ads on Facebook?
4) SEO?

5) Posting videos on Youtube?
6) Posting covers on YouTube?
7) Getting press?
8) Getting on the radio somehow?

9) Emailing your fans / your web site?
10) Something else?

Please post and let me know! https://truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com/

(Or, you can just hit “reply” to this email)


Need to promote your upcoming EP or tour?  Hire us!  Email ineedpr@truetalentpr.com for more information and include a copy of this email when you write!


http://www.truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com – Read my music blog for advice on making it in the music business


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  1. For me I would have to say, networking face to face with people. I don’t have a large following on the internet but all across the country I have fans that have become extended family. I have been blessed to make music with people I respect on a level past music and build a different following then mainstream artist.
    I’m sure I could build a large following online simply by reaching out to the people I know that love “me” first of all and my music second, and I more than likely will. But knowing I have fans that truly listen to what I say and understand what I mean on records and where I come from means the world to me.
    So I think the best promotion for me has been not promoting my music but more so my values and my love for people and making true friends that honestly want to see me succeed. So when I put together a serious well organized campaign I will have real support from all over.

  2. Dear Jennifer,

    In response to your request:

    It may sound really trite or redundant, but by far the most effective thing I’ve ever done to promote my music has been to focus first on creating work of the highest possible quality.

    I look around and see a world glutted with content. This is no great secret or surprise.

    Add to that the fact that we are living in the midst of the most distracted age in the history of humankind. With non-stop sensory bombardment, thanks to an ever-unfolding technological revolution, attention spans are shorter than ever.

    Consumers/listeners have splintered into infinite niches.

    So how does one work to have one’s work stand out given these facts?

    To me it all starts, and mostly ends, with quality.

    What does that mean specifically?

    At the risk of stating the obvious:

    Writing, co-writing or covering only the greatest possible songs.

    Using only the very best session musicians.

    If using a Producer or an Engineer, ditto.

    Utilizing the finest recording equipment, microphones and studio.

    Creating compelling, first-class album artwork and materials.

    I understand, it is perhaps not realistic that one is going to be able to hit all of these targets. But one has to adopt an unreasonable mindset and borrow, beg or finagle a way to hit as many of these goals as possible in order to make a musical work of exceptional quality.

    I recorded an independent album, Night Time, of mostly classic Standards with a few originals on a shoestring budget at my brother’s home studio in Nashville. Big cost savings right there, as my brother did not charge me for studio time and he instead came on to the project as a Producer and full equity partner.

    We used some excellent microphones and equipment, some of which we rented daily for very cheap, and some of which my brother had purchased at good prices over a period of years. His house was built in the 1920’s, a golden age of craftsmanship. Thus, it was a well-built home and many of the wood-floored rooms just had a naturally sweet sound.

    We then brought in the very best local players. We paid them union wages and treated them like gold. This approach really paid off, as their terrific skill saved us from needing to do take after take after take.

    We also insisted on recording the album live, just how the records that inspired this project were made in the old days. This saved time and thus money as well. Besides this fact, it was a hell of lot of fun to record live. Remember, we play music. We don’t work music.

    Our preparation was keen and comprehensive. I pored over old arrangements well ahead of time from my favorite old albums and singers to find just the right musical vibe. This effort was no doubt informed at least in part by the maxim,

    “Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.”

    Our talented, ace session musicians were able to thus feel the vibe we wanted, and then add their own secret sauce to the material as well.

    When tracking was completed, my brother and I carefully considered whom we would choose to Mix the album. To a studio referral contact in Los Angeles, where I was then living, I described my ideal Mix Engineer candidate:

    “We want to find someone like Al Schmitt to Mix the album.”

    My contact replied, “I know Al. He was my mentor when I used to work as an Engineer.”

    Serendipity is a beautiful thing. But I also believe that when one is really creating work from a place of deep caring, that the Universe has a way of playing along and rewarding those efforts.

    For those of you who don’t know– and all of us should know– Al Schmitt is a legendary audio Engineer and Producer who has recorded and/or mixed many classic albums from some of the great artists in musical history. At last count, he has Engineered 160 Platinum and Gold records. He has won 22 Grammys, more than any other Engineer. He has Produced several iconic records. He even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I think you get the picture.

    I believed in Night Time, but importantly, the people I had previewed it to were very enthusiastic about it. These were all people I respected, with sharp musical taste if not experience. Thus, I didn’t hesitate to immediately beg my contact if he would please send a CD with the raw tracks of our album to Al Schmitt, with a view that Al might consider mixing the album for us? My contact agreed to do so and, long story short, Al Schmitt loved our tracks and said YES, he would Mix our album! Suffice to say, I was on cloud 11– to borrow from Spinal Tap.

    Al even knew our project was guerrilla-style record-making, on a slim budget, but he was turned on by the music. He charged us what I would consider an utter pittance to work his magic and he made the tracks truly shine.

    After that point, a very fashionable L.A. friend of mine who worked in film and TV design helped pick really attractive clothes for me to wear for the album photo shoot. Another close friend of hers, who was an excellent photographer, took the iconic shots that ended up on the album. All of this work was done as favors, or barters, in other words at zero dollars’ cost.

    I myself then picked and laid out the photography, art and the graphic look of the album, which I believe completed the package as far as its presentation in a manner that reflected the urbane, timeless vibe of the project.

    Khalil Gibran once wrote that, “Work is love made visible.”

    I cannot emphasize these words enough. This is the Truth to me. People like Al Schmitt embody this fact, and it is thus no great stretch to see how it is that he has had the hall of fame career he has enjoyed. His heart is one hundred percent in the right place, one hundred percent of the time. His technical talent is only surpassed by just how great of a person he is. He remains a warm friend of mine to this day. He just loves the music and he loves the relationships. He is in it for the right reasons.

    For my part, I can readily say that Night Time was a complete labor of love. I simply would not make music any other way.

    If you don’t love what you are doing with your music, it is time to stop and rethink your direction.

    If you do love what you are doing with your music, then you really don’t need another God-damned thing.

    If you happen to get paid for your music or/and have a great career along the way, that is wonderful.

    But is that why I do it? Not by a long shot. See, I do not even have a big music career. But have I really pursued a big music career? No.

    Figure out what it is that you actually want. Not only that, then get to the root of what it is you really think you deserve, which you may not even be aware of– because that is what may come to you before you ever get anything you simply ‘want.’

    Have I been able to support myself full-time as a Musician at various times over my life and my creative journey? Yes, absolutely.

    Think about what kind of lifestyle you want, or more importantly need, to live. I have frequently tried to keep my overhead costs as low as possible, without ever skimping on the final product, to aid my financial chances as much as possible.

    Have I had success and accolades along the way? Yes. I enjoyed terrific support of Night Time from some top DJ’s at fine stations like KCRW. I received some nice write-ups in the press. I had a number of notable music industry heavyweights who loved the album and just wanted to help push Night Time along. I made some money, which was greatly helped by the low amount of capital outlaid.

    Remember, there are many definitions of success. Find the one that speaks to you.

    For instance, why am I so happy then with my music if I don’t have a big career? Because I only focus on making what I deem to be great work. That is really about the only thing I care about. That is what turns me on and keeps me going and makes me fulfilled. Of course, I also savor the relationships: the creative collaborations and the friends I have made along the way. I am finishing a new album as I write and I am very excited about it for these reasons.

    I live in Chicago now, and have been working with a Producer who I have been friends with since kindergarten. He also happens to have been nominated for two Grammys and has enjoyed a successful 20 year full-time music career. I recorded some of my forthcoming album at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio, which you may have seen featured on the HBO series Sonic Highways with the Foo Fighters.

    I am probably a bit like the old ‘Paul Masson’ Vineyards brand wine commercials that Orson Welles used to star in. Orson would stare earnestly into the TV camera and with his distinctive baritone voice intone,

    “Paul Masson. We will sell no wine before it’s time.”

    I am probably the musical equivalent of that spirit and I can live with that just fine. However, I might just lay off the wine part as that seemed to not really help Orson out. But I digress…

    Whenever I hear Night Time, the music still sounds excellent.

    To paraphrase some other important philosophers more commonly known as Lennon-McCartney, in the end, that is all that matters.

    With kind wishes,

    Mark Bransfield

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