VIP-ticketing: The Good and the Bad

You see it everywhere, the VIP ticket options to meet your favourite artists with sometimes prices much higher than they need to be. We are here to show you the good things about VIP-ticketing and the bad sides.

The Good

It shows your fans you’re willing to meet them. The die-hard fans will obviously jump at this possibility to meet their heroes.

It’s nice if you give fans something extra. Many bands and artist put a lot of time into thinking of a way to make a full package of the VIP ticket. Try to give them more than just a hug and a picture with their favourite band or artist. Consider giving them something extra like a merchandise package. Give them the chance the chill out with you with a pizza party or something else like this.

The Bad

You see pop stars exaggerate with the prices and some people will actually pay for it. But not everyone gets the chance to buy them. Fans will feel left out and may get mad at the artist. This is never good, because you don’t want to lose fans. This is the same for concert tickets.

It eliminates the fans with a smaller budget. Of course, it all depends on the age of your fans attending your gig. If the age is, let’s say 12, you wont earn much for VIP-tickets if they are really expensive. You’d have more chance with teenagers of 16-18 year-old. Because that’s when many start earning more income of their own.

All in all, its a good idea to use VIP-ticketing. Just be careful not to do what Ozzy Osbourne did at Graspop Metal Meeting in 2016. He asked $950 for a meet & greet at the festival for 15 minutes before the show. Which is crazy and no one paid for it. Just be mindful of the price for your fans and give them that little extra that will make it the best night of their lives.

Smart Links 101

The following includes sections from a blog written by Music Fibre – an online music industry directory and blog posting tips, tutorials and useful information for anyone working in the music industry. In this blog, they have delved into the world of Smart Links. This may be something you are already familiar with, or you may never have heard of them; either way, this blog will tell you what they are, why you need them and how you can use them to drive more sales of your music.

What Are Smart Links For Music And Why Should I Use Them?

The internet has made the world a very small place. Even if you are making beats in your bedroom or recording from your mates shed, your fans can be anywhere in the world.

Smart links will help you make sure that when they find your music, they are taken to the right music download or streaming site and can shop in the right language and currency. A smart link can offer your fans a choice of store or you can automatically direct them based on their location or device (e.g you may wish to send iPhone users directly to iTunes.)

It’s not just about making sure the shopping experience is good for your customers, it’s also an opportunity to track and monitor your fans. You can find out which stores they like best, find out where in the world your fans are and keep track of your marketing. The advanced analytics that smart links offer let you see exactly how your fans are discovering your music. If you have ever wanted to know if your Facebook campaign is working or if you should stick to Twitter, this will help you find out.

How Smart Links Can Save You Time

Smart Links save a huge amount of time. To get started you simply enter one link to your music in one store. The smart link provider will scan other stores for the same release and you then decide which stores to show on your landing page. When promoting your music you simply share one link instead of having to enter details for Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, Beatport etc.

What Do Smart Links Look Like?

Help For Bands is aware of the ins and outs of Smart Links because Horus Music use them for their marketing campaigns. These are created for the artist to post and makes it easier for fans to access the artist’s music.

They also make it easier for publications to talk about the artist and their music. By having a smart link ready to go, a publication will find it easier to integrate into anything they write. Overall, it makes it much easier for anyone to listen to an artist’s music on their preferred platform. The easier the process is, the more likely someone is to listen to the music on offer.

Below, you can see an image that shows how the smart links work in the Soundplate Records website:

Smart Links


Want To Create Your Own Smart Links?

There are several providers that can help you create smart links for your music. These include SmartURL, LinkRedirector, LinkFire and Hive amongst others. The best part is, they are free to use! If you want to make it easier for fans to listen to your music, Smart Links are the way forwards!

You can see the original blog post by Music Fibre here:

Get your Own Merchandise

Merchandise usually comes as an afterthought to people embarking on the journey of their music careers, but it’s a major revenue stream for many musicians and labels. Merchandise isn’t just a means to make money. It’s how your fans connect with you as an artist and as a brand, show their support and capture memories. Having merchandise allows people to express who they show they are part of your journey

Setting up your own line of merchandise doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to do it alone. You just need the right partners to help you deliver on this aspect of your music business. Before you start, you need to know the five steps to building your line. We’ll walk you through these below.

1. Get your Merchandise Designs Made

Kanye West managed to sell plain white Egyptian cotton T-shirts at $120 a piece, but most artist merchandise needs a little bit of decoration to entice people to buy.

You need to create artwork that captures your values, the emotions you create, your beliefs; your brand, and it needs to connect with your fans on an emotional level. Not to mention your artwork has to be visually appealing and your fans have to be proud to wear it.

Think about what you want done before approaching an artist or designer to create your artwork. The more you can tell your designer about yourself, the better equipped they will be to create merchandise that you will be proud to sell and that your fans will actually want to buy.

2. Decide Which Products you Want to Sell

Once your artwork is complete and you’re satisfied, the next step is to choose which products to sell. Bare in mind, not all products are made the same. There are standard T-shirts and there are premium T-shirts for example.

Every category of products from T-shirts, sweaters and hoodies right through to varsity jackets, backpacks and beanie hats will have various manufacturers and product ranges within them and it’s your job to decide which ones you want to use. Consider the following when deciding:

  • Quality of T-shirt; Standard or premium?
  • Is the garment easy to re-label?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Does it fit nicely? Will your fans want to wear it?
  • What does the fabric feel like and what is it made of?

These decisions will affect production costs which will impact your retail price. Don’t get me wrong, Beyoncé can sell her merchandise on a cheap Gildan Softstyle T-shirt for £35.00, but she’s Beyoncé. We have to be practical here and choose a product that looks and feels the way you need it to in order for you to feel comfortable selling it at the price you’re asking for.

3. Get your Samples or Mockups Made

Now your designs are made and your products are selected you need to be able to show people what the product will look like. There are two ways you can do this.

Get Mockups Made

This is a more cost effective way of showing people how your products will look. You can put the mockups on your website and use them to promote on social media. We can also provide you with images to produce your own mockups on. Just ask for access to our Google drive.

Get Physical Samples Made

Having a physical item that you can take photos of and promote on your social media channels and at your gigs may be a little more costly, but it’s certainly much more effective at getting people to trust and buy your products. Now they can feel the garments before making a purchase. People won’t buy a product from you if they can’t see it – unless maybe you’re Beyoncé.

4. Set Up your Sales Channels

Once you’ve created your products, you need a way for your customers to buy them.

A sales channel is simply a way of bringing products or services to market to make them available for purchase.

E-Commerce Website

Selling online is essential if you want to reach more customers than you could offline. Get an e-commerce website built so that your customers can buy your products online. Research on the range of e-commerce platforms available and choose the right one for you. See suggestions:

  • Squarespace
  • Shopify
  • Prestashop
  • Etsy
  • Big Commerce
  • Woo Commerce
  • Wix
  • BigCartel

Selling Merchandise at Gigs

If you have a gig and you have a chance to take some of your merchandise with you, then do it. This is a chance for you to connect with your customers, talk to them, sign copies of your EP, take photos with them and make it a memorable experience.

If you can’t get a table, then wear your own merchandise. Bring a duffle bag or two and sell your merchandise to people straight out of the bag. After you’ve delivered your performance, people will want to become a part of your brand and your story. Don’t deprive them of this. Not everyone will have cash, so be prepared and get a portable card reader. We recommend the iZettle.

5. Production & Fulfilment

You will need a means by which to produce and distribute your products so that your customers will receive them. There are a few ways to approach this depending on your circumstance.


You can sell your products online without having to get them made in bulk and keep inventory and still earn a profit on your sales. You sell the product first and then we print and ship it to your customer on your behalf with you lifting a finger. It’s a good way to get started on a low budget and test out which of your products are most popular. Learn more about print on demand here.

Bulk Ordering

Ordering in bulk is higher risk due to more cash being spent upfront, but will give you a higher profit margin. If you have a growing fan base and you’re selling regularly, this may be the route for you. Paying £5.00 per T-Shirt and selling them at £20.00 will give you pretty good margins with a relatively low breakeven point. It’s a good idea to learn about the different printing methods as well, which you can do here.

You can choose to keep your products yourself and ship them to your customers manually, but may consider outsourcing to a fulfilment centre when your operation grows.

So now you have everything ready, why not get started?

It can take a while to get everything prepared to start selling your merchandise, but once you’ve reached that stage then you’ve crossed a real milestone. Having the right guidance during the process is essential, and that’s why we’re here to help and offer our expertise.

We believe you should be able to earn a living from your craft and want to help you do that, so get in touch and let us know what we can do for you.

Get in touch with us at or give us a call on 0116 350 0321.

Happy merching!

Written by Kieza Silveira De Sousa from Wear Your Heart Out

How To Build Your Mailing List

To become a successful artist, you need to work hard on building your fanbase, until you reach a point where you can sell your products to sustain and grow your career. A loyal fan is built from multiple, valuable connections with you. Therefore, it’s very important to make sure you get the contact details of those people who have invested their time in you by either watching you live, liking your fan page or browsing your website. It all starts by building your mailing list.

Firstly, get yourself signed up to Mailchimp. This is a free platform that organises your mailing list and helps you create professional looking mail outs. You can create the best looking content for your subscribers.

At Live Shows…

After your performance, make sure to have a printed mailing list sign up sheet prominently displayed at the merchandise stand, or even better, go round the audience asking people to sign up. If you’re too busy after your set to do this, (or too shy), ask an outgoing friend to help you. It usually helps to have some sort of incentive for people signing up, such as a free demo CD, digital single download code or a badge for example. You’ll then need to add in those contact details into your mailchimp list.

Text Marketer

Something that we have found has worked well for larger scale events is a text marketer. This is where you ask audiences to text a keyword (selected by you) to a short number, and they get an automatic text response. The response may contain a link to your website, a free music download or tour dates for example. Think of the old Orange Wednesday 2 for 1 deal on cinema tickets where you texted FILM to 241 and got a code in reply.

Look at which is free to set up an account. You then pay a small subscription fee for a chosen keyword and then purchase a number of credits. For every automatic response that sent is out, a credit will be used up. If you then make it so that in order to access the incentive, an email address is required then you can then collect email addresses for your mailing list too. Noisetrade is a useful site for this.

All of the numbers of people texting in are stored on your account, so when it comes to releasing your EP for example, you can send out a text marketing message with the download link to all of those people directly to their phones.



We highly recommend setting up a Sign Up box to your website. Mailchimp helps you integrate a sign up button into your website easily. Make this prominent on the home page. Add a clear call to action and make it obvious what the benefits are for subscribers.

Social Media

Use social media to get people signed up to your mailing list. With Facebook making it ever harder to reach your fans without spending money, it is well worth working on migrating as many Facebook followers to your mailing list as possible. Again, use incentives such as raffle give aways, priority on tour tickets etc. You can get creative with this!

What To Do With Your Mailing List?

  1. Make sure to put out regular, quality content to your mailing list subscribers.
  2. Send exclusive and engaging content. Anytime you have a major announcement, such as a new release, festival appearance etc – announce it to your mailing list first. They will appreciate being told before anyone else and value the subscription to your mailing list.
  3. Run competitions exclusively open to your mailing list subscribers.
  4. Don’t over do it – You’ll see large numbers of people unsubscribing if you’re bombarding them with promotion. Keep things engaging and interesting, which means you have to keep yourself busy doing fun and interesting things!

The Truth About Pay-to-Play Gigs

Pay-to-Play gigs are becoming less and less common (thankfully!) but they do still exist. Essentially they are deals made between the gig promoter and the unsigned band/artist wanting to play at the gig. The band/artist pays the promoter and also pay to sell tickets for the gig and all the money goes back to the promoter – the band/artist only gets money after they reach a certain level or once the promoter has covered a certain amount of costs. This level often doesn’t get reached, and when bands/artists are already incurring costs in order to play the gig (travel, accommodation, time out from work etc.) having to also pay to actually play there just adds to this!

There are some examples we have heard of where an opening act on a tour paid £2000 PER SHOW and all of this money went back to the promoter, not the act. Another band paid £50,000 to join a major band on a UK tour.

In theory, having the chance to support a major artist on tour is one that we all dream of (except being the major artist yourself, obviously!). You have the chance to perform to a huge number of people who have likely never heard of you so this gives you a chance to get some new fans. Right?

Well, how many times have you been to a gig where you haven’t really been bothered about the support act? Or thought “this act isn’t even in the same genre as the main act”? For example, I went to see Muse perform and Dizzee Rascal was the support act… weird! Bands and artists too often pay for a slot on a tour or at a gig where the audience isn’t even their target audience, so it is highly unlikely they will convert these people into fans of their own and in turn monetise these fans in order to one day make back the money they paid to perform the gig in the first place.

How Can You Get a Gig Otherwise?

There are also competitions that bands and artists pay to compete in as they give them the chance to perform in bigger venues than they may normally have the chance to perform in. For example, the Live and Unsigned Competition in the UK provides this opportunity. Often, acts pay to be in the competition but they aren’t actually ready to be performing such large venues so the opportunity is completely wasted!

No, pay-to-play gigs aren’t all bad. If no band or artist ever benefitted from them then they would’ve stopped doing it and these kinds of gigs would’ve been extinct a long time ago. The truth is, there is a reason promoters and competitions feel they can charge… because they normally provide an opportunity that unsigned acts would never normally be able to get on their own. But there are some questions you need to ask yourself before considering chasing these opportunities. If any of your answers reflect the ones given below then you need to consider whether the gig is worthwhile! :

  • How much is the promoter wanting you to pay? Probably more than we can afford or an amount that would take us a long time to make back.
  • What type of audience will be at the gig? Does this reflect your target audience? No it doesn’t, the act we are supporting/playing alongside is from a different genre.
  • Is the size of the venue reflective of the ones you already perform in/larger than normal but a manageable progression? Is it a lot bigger than you normally play e.g. you normally play to 100 but the venue is 1000? It is a lot bigger than we’re used to, we’d struggle to fill it.
  • What are you wanting to get out of the gig? Is it possible to achieve this through performing at this specific gig? I’m not sure what we want to achieve or I’m not sure we can achieve what we want to.

If your answers are the opposite to those above and you feel confident and happy about going ahead, then good for you! Grab it with both hands and milk the opportunity.

As with anything you do with your career, do your research. Whey up your options and make sure you are knowledgeable about what you are entering into before taking the leap.  Otherwise it is very easy to get scammed and taken advantage of!

Using Influencers to Increase Your Popularity

Influencers are individuals or companies in the industry that are considered tastemakers. They look out for new music and blog/tweet/post/discuss and basically talk about what they think of this music or at least give it some exposure. They are (usually) trusted names in the blogosphere or across social media and people look to them for guidance on what music to listen to. If you get picked up by an influencer, this can obviously do you some favours!

The first influencers were the fanzines of the 1980s such as The Sounds, NME and Melody Maker. Music fans found new music from printed publications such as these. Now, in the digital age, most of this has moved online in the form of blogs and social media. But, contrary to popular belief, being an influencer doesn’t necessarily mean having a large number of followers, it’s to do with having an engaged and relevant audience that interact and appreciate the opinions of influencers.

Accounts on SoundCloud

Accounts that repost songs from new artists are an example of a modern day influencer. There are many accounts that do this but the key is to find the ones that aren’t too spammy. On some accounts, all they do is repost and you can see that even though these accounts may have a large number of followers, there actually isn’t that much engagement with the reposts because people just get bored of seeing them being posted all the time. The accounts worth targeting are the ones who are more selective of what they repost and therefore have a higher engagement rate. Even if they have a lot less followers than other accounts, if the engagement is there then it is a lot more worthwhile to try to contact these accounts and negotiate a repost. This article gives you an in-depth analysis on SoundCloud reposts and their value.

People on Twitter and Facebook

Connect with those who post about the music industry and about new music are another example. Direct message these accounts and see if you can get a dedicated post. Analyse who they talk about and see if you can figure out where they are finding these bands. If you can present yourself in a similar way to what they’re interested in, you’re more likely to get exposure.


Some are dedicated to music are another obvious influencer. Digital Music News posted the Top 20 Most Influential Music Blogs, all of which have a loyal and active following. A lot of blogs are genre specific or have a certain type of audience or feel about them. Most also focus on the particular country in which they are based so check where they are from beforehand… there’s no point approaching a blog in Australia if you’re in the UK (unless they’re posting about artists internationally).

Research into what you think is most relevant to you and target these blogs for exposure. A good way of doing this is to find out who the specific writers are behind the blogs and reach out to them individually via social media or email rather than the general blog accounts. Your message is probably more likely to be read and considered.

When reaching out to anyone in the industry, you need to be ready to take advantage of the opportunity. You could get some A&R attention if you manage to get exposure from an influencer, so if you are not ready to receive that attention then it’s a waste of all that effort and it will take a long time for you to be featured again. By then, the momentum will have passed. Check out the blog I did for Music Gateway on what you must prepare before approaching anyone in the industry.

Making Money from Music: Fan Relationships

It is obvious that building a fan base is essential when making a career for yourself in the music industry. To monetise your fan base you need a pretty established following (not a large following!) of people you interact with. For example, if you have a following of 10,000 on Facebook / Twitter but no one likes, shares or comments then these aren’t fans you can monetise. If you have a following of 1000 and you get a good amount of interaction then there is potential here. So, if you want to make money from fan relationships, you need content for them to interact with.

Once there is interaction, you can start introducing ways of earning money. Before you can ask fans to part with their hard earned cash you need products to sell:

Live Experiences 

Make some noise about any and every gig you have coming up (see part two: live performances). This can encourage your current fans to buy a ticket and help to bring in new audience members. These could later become fans who pay for more gigs and other offerings. And if it’s a free event that’s fine too. Okay, they won’t directly provide a revenue stream, but you can increase your fandom and build loyalty.


Get in the studio and make some music! Get physical CDs you could sell at your next gig. Distribute your music online to streaming sites and download sites. Set a release date and make a fuss over it to increase excitement over your new music.


T-shirts, key-rings, artwork, whatever you can think of. This is for artists with fans who’re willing to buy, so don’t go investing until you know it’ll get sold. It’s hard enough to make money as a musician without throwing away what you earn!

Now you’ve got the basic products, you need a way of selling them. Asking fans to join a mailing list will help you understand who are the most enthusiastic about what you’re doing. You can then alert these fans when you have a new gig or music and / or merch available. You will be directly selling products to your most likely of customers.

Why not also start a subscription fan club for your most loyal of fans. Charge a small amount for entry to the fan club and in return provide them with exclusives. This could be news from you, direct interaction, and gigs/releases announced before anyone else. Basically like a VIP mailing list.

You can use both or either of these to talk about extra developments with the 3 basic products. For example, send over sneak peeks of merch / artwork designs. Sell VIP live experiences where they can meet you for a chat before the gig. Set competitions where the first 5 people to buy your album get a free ticket to your next gig etc.

Making Money from Fan Relationships

These are all just examples. You need to be fully aware of your reach, your budget and the likelihood of building fan relationships. Create campaigns specific to you and never ask for too much! If you are constantly trying to sell to people, they will quickly get bored of you. Provide enough free content to get them interested and then ask for them to buy things every now and again.

Making Money from Music: Live Performances

In an age where music is basically free, the live music industry has become a bigger revenue stream for artists. As music sales has decrease, income from live performances have risen. Therefore, this means you should be striving to tap into this industry. Don’t forget to read part one of this blog!

However, your ability to make money from this depends on where you are in your career. It is all too familiar that artists rarely get paid for gigs, or even have to pay to play! When you’re incurring costs to get the gig in the first place, it can be costly to carry on gigging.

But, the algorithm is simple. Gigs mean new fans; new fans means bigger audiences at gigs; bigger audiences means more interest from venues. The more interest there is the bigger the pay check you could potentially receive. You do have to milk every opportunity you get though. If you do gigs months apart then the interest will fade and you may have to start this again.

Be ballsy as well… don’t always assume that you are playing for free. Don’t be afraid to ask “how much will I get paid for the gig”. If nothing then ask “could I at least get paid for my expenses or get a guarantee that if you’re impressed you’ll pay me to come back”. You could even try and negotiate getting a percentage of the bar sales in the venue! The venue needs to make money and if they pay you and no one turns up that’s a problem. Deals like this mean they can ensure they cover their costs before paying you. At the end of the day, sell yourself!

Making Money from Live Performances

As in the last part of this series, you can earn copyright royalties for your performances. If you are signed up to PRS and perform a song you’ve written, PRS will pay you for this performance. Every venue has a PRS license to cover the costs of paying out these royalties, so take advantage of this. Do your research on PRS to make sure you do what you need to get paid and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re unsure, ask the venue as they should know how it works. They aren’t paying you this royalty themselves so shouldn’t have a problem telling you how to get what is owed. Even if the venue is paying you to perform, you can still get money from PRS too!

As with most things discussed in the industry, promote, promote, promote! You should have active social media accounts and content to show what your music is like. This way venues will feel more comfortable putting that investment into you. If they are unaware of how good you are as an artist then it’s a huge risk to pay you.

Admittedly, when you are just starting out your main source of income will probably come from your intellectual property. However, it is still worth looking into other revenue streams such as live performance.

How To Approach A PR Company

When you run a PR company you get a lot of bands asking to check out their music and work with them. We can’t listen to them all so here is how to approach a PR company and get attention.

Methods to Approach a PR Company

If you’re going to get in touch then email is probably the simplest and most accepted way. Up until a few years ago I would have said sending a CD was a good option, but many computers don’t come with CD drives anymore. So any CDs that turn up to our office get put in a box and are left to gather dust. Email also allows you to politely follow up if you’ve not had a response with-in a week or two.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with chasing someone up once or even twice. Any more I’d just take it as a sign that they aren’t interested. Personally I’ll try and reply when I can if someone has taken the time to send a follow up email. So don’t be afraid to do it.

When you do send that email, make sure it’s actually tailored and personalised to the individual you are contacting. It’s worrying how many bands will send out a blanket email and bcc or even cc a ton of different PR companies in saying that they are wanting to work with them.

Randomly messaging someone on Facebook or tweeting a link out of the blue is probably the most irritating. There’s nothing worse than seeing a band tweet 100 different people at once asking them to ‘check out’ their track. Please don’t do it I beg of you. It doesn’t work and everyone will hate you.


Make sure you do your research before you get in touch with a PR company. Discover which other artists and the sort of music they cover first of all. If you’re an indie rock band then contacting a PR company that specialises in heavy metal is a waste of time. The person who gets your email will know you’ve not bothered to do your research. When you do find the PR that you think might be right, then make sure you reference some of the artists they’ve worked with. This is especially important if your band has some things in common with them. We always like to engage with people who are fans of the artists we work with so this will usually get our attention. It also shows you’ve put some thought into things before reaching out.


There’s a minimum period of time we usually work from on an album campaign. For example there’s normally a 2 to 3 month lead-in for a print campaign and around 6 to 8 weeks for online. So if you get in touch and say your album is out next week then your’e already way too late . In some cases we’ve had people get in touch saying their album is already out. Again theres nothing that can be done for you here.

When it comes to getting in touch try and keep these timeframes in mind. Try to outline a rough plan of when you think your potential single/EP/album is coming out, when you might tour and also any other assets you could have for the campaign and when they’ll be ready, such as a music video. The more of this you can put together the more interesting you become to the person you are approaching.


As obvious as this may sound, often bands will get in touch and not include a link to their music. Please include a link to your music and make sure it’s a good quality recording. If you’ve done the hard work and convinced someone to take a listen then you want to impress them. A low quality demo or poor quality video won’t have the same sort of impact as a decent recorded track. It’s our job to send your music to other people so if it doesn’t sound good we’re really not going to want to share it. Try and show us the final version or as close to it as you can.


If the answer is a no then it’s always worth asking for feedback from the PR company you just approached. You won’t necessarily always get it but if you’ve caught them on a good day or maybe you were just really polite over email then they could offer some of their thoughts which you may want to take onboard. It also potentially leaves the door for you to contact them again in the near future.

I’ve had a couple of bands in the past where I suggested that hiring a PR company at this current time wasn’t right as their profile was too small and that they should try and create some initial coverage themselves. A while later the band did just that and came back showing some of the great coverage they’d secured so we’re now working with them on their next single.

Written by Simon Glacken who is the Director at I Like Press.

Since founding in 2009 as enthusiastic champions of the emergent British left-field rock scene, Leeds-based publicists I Like Press have evolved upon their ability to birth new artists into the public consciousness, to create fresh impetus for established musicians worldwide.

International Marketing Advice

Here at Help For Bands, we are always trying to write blogs that musicians of all styles and abilities can relate to. We are also always trying to find international marketing opportunities for our Help For Bands subscribers in our monthly opportunities newsletter.

With this in mind, we thought we would catch up with one of the companies who gave us an international opportunity for our newsletter, and ask his opinion on the importance of building relationships worldwide in the music industry.

Jonas Olsen works in communications, PR and marketing for No Angel Records in Denmark. This means he promotes music daily and scouts for new music for the label. He also works with creative media producers such as directors, editors and ad agencies. Here, he gives his insight into the making international relationships in the industry, and the international marketing advice advice he would give to artists.

Have you ever worked with musicians outside of Denmark?

“We work with musicians from all over the world. Estonia, Canada and the U.S. are just a few examples. This goes not only for musicians but other publishers as well. We don’t believe in borders when it comes to musicians and music.”

How did this relationship come about? i.e. did they approach you or vice versa, how did you find each other?

“Well, both actually. We’ve reached out to some bands and others have reached out to us. Lately a lot more have reached out to us and we’ve made it very easy for artists to submit their music to us via our website. A lot of them have found out about us via our digital campaigns and we’ve found a lot of bands via independent music blogs and international music / media events such as SXSW and Tallinn Music Week.”

Do you believe there are benefits to creating relationships with people in the industry internationally?

“There are many benefits. I think musicians underestimate the power of an ‘international audience segment’ approach which an international network can give you. What doesn’t work in Denmark might work in Russia and vice versa. One of our Danish artists is quite popular in Poland, a country with a population of approx. 40 million people – 8 times more than Denmark. This was only possible due to our international network.”

From your experience in promoting music, what advice would you give to artists about making themselves and their music marketable in such a competitive industry?

“Consumers yearn for substance and meaning right now, and underground musicians aren’t good enough at delivering. To me, one of the most frustrating things is a musician that doesn’t know what they’re really good at or lacks a clear idea of what he / she wants to convey with his / her music. ‘I can play all genres and sing about everything’ just doesn’t cut it. Identity and individuality is key. That doesn’t mean that your music can’t evolve. It can. But you have to have a clear message and an identifiable style every time you promote your work. The artist’s message and personal identity is just as important as the music itself. Identifying popular and topical subjects is also an option if you want your songs to be more relevant and relatable to a broad audience.”

So, there you have it. Assessing yourself and the music you want to create could be the key to identifying whether you have a marketable product. Do you have an individual identity in your music? How would you describe yourself?

Knowing this could help you find international marketing opportunities as well. Just because the country your from isn’t taking much notice of your music doesn’t mean that another one won’t either. Find the right market for your music.

For the chance to find some international opportunities with labels, managers and publishers from around the world, sign up to our monthly opportunities newsletter where you can get the contact details of these companies.

No Angel Records make it easier for great upcoming bands and artists to get noticed via media placements while the media industry gets an easier time finding great affordable bands for their commercials, TV productions and films.