Blues Society to Offer Marketing Workshop

The Cincy Blues Society has given a lot to local and regional Blues fans with its annual festivals and other musical events. And the organization has given back to the community with its Blues in the Schools program. But what about the people who actually play the Blues? Adding to opportunities like the annual Band Challenge, this April, the Blues Society is offering a direct line of assistance to performers in the area with a workshop focused on better self-marketing and promotion.—-

The “Your Band’s Marketing Sucks” workshop is scheduled for Sunday, April 10, at 3 p.m. (with a “meet-and-greet happy hour” afterwards at 7 p.m.) at Know Theatre (1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine).

A panel of experts will be on hand for the workshop (including experienced PR and marketing people and Blues Society staff and member musicians) and topics covered include everything from putting together effective press kits and Web sites to merchandise, branding and getting the most out of social media. Participants will be given materials to take home relating to the subjects covered in the workshop, including templates for press kits and press releases.

It’s no secret that many struggle with the “business” side of being an artist. Some are overwhelmed and just not very good at it while others don’t think they need to know about things like promotion and cringe at the mere utterance of the word "marketing." But I can’t think of any band that wouldn’t like to have more people buy their music or come out and watch them perform. It’s not as if an artist needs to sacrifice creative integrity or become a cigar-chomping, super-savvy business shark with ace schmoozing skills — the tactics covered in this workshop are pretty easily executed once you have a grasp on what people in the press, club owners, festival bookers and others are looking for. As someone who has been dealing with artists from a press standpoint for almost 20 years, I’ve seen a ton of promotional missteps that don’t require much to correct. (One that continues to puzzle me is not having a good publicity photo readily available. I just can’t understand how an act looking for press coverage — especially ones that are touring — cannot have a hi-res photo on hand. It seems like a small thing, but it’s something that could affect the chances of coverage and, in turn, turnout at shows.)

Registration on April 10 begins at Know starting at 2:30 p.m. The cost is $45 or $30 for Cincy Blues Society members. (Membership is $20 per person and $25 for bands; to sign up or view other pricing options click here.) Proceeds from the event go to the aforementioned Blues in the Schools program (visit here for more info on the educational program).

For more on the workshop — including topics covered and the experts assembled — go here.

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