Second Time's a Charm
The Magic of Follow-Up
by Bob Baker
So ... Do you follow through on your marketing efforts?
Before you give me a knee-jerk "Yes" answer, really think
about it. Honestly.
SPREAD IT AROUND
When you send a press kit, leave a voice mail message or
send an e-mail to a media person, do you contact that
person again if you don't get a response within a few days?
What about a booking agent, club owner or program director?
Do you equate the silence you get after a single attempt to
reach someone as a big, fat "No" -- and then curse the world
because no one seems to give a rat's buttocks about you?
Don't stress, just pick up the phone or fire off an e-mail
... again. You may be surprised by the progress you make.
Case in point: Last week I let you in on my experiment to
get some press exposure for independent music by taking
advantage of the popularity of "American Idol." If you
missed that issue and want to see the PR angle I'm pursuing,
take a look at http://www.bob-baker.com/amidolnat.html
Over the last couple of weeks I started sending e-mails
on this topic to a few local St. Louis media people. The
immediate response to my well-thought-out pitches: zilch.
Not one replied.
Sure, I was hoping the idea was so clever and timely that
people would flock to interview me ... but it didn't happen.
I could have sulked and given up. Instead, I sent follow-up
e-mails to all of them.
Within a few hours, the first reply came from a radio talk
show host. "Sorry, but I'm gonna pass for now."
Disappointing, but at least I got a response :)
Later that day, a second reply came from a radio news show
producer. "Sorry I didn't reply sooner. I like this idea a
lot. Can you do a five-minute phone interview next Sunday?"
Now we were getting somewhere.
The next day, I really hit the follow-up jackpot. After this
TV reporter for the CBS affiliate read my second e-mail more
closely, he loved the idea. I'm booked to appear on his
weekend news show ... and next week I'll also be a guest on
his new morning radio show to talk about "American Idol."
All this because I took the time to follow up. And this is
only the beginning of my little media campaign.
The thing is, most indie music promoters don't connect a
second or third time with people they try to reach. To
self-defeating promoters, a lack of response must mean a
lack of interest -- that the artist or story idea isn't
worthy. But that isn't always the case.
People are busy. They may be interested in your proposal but
get sidetracked and forget about you. Not to worry. A
friendly reminder note can be just the thing to reawaken
their intentions to get back to you. Or it can be the trigger
that inspires them to more seriously consider your idea and
make a decision on it.
The difference between success and failure can often be
measured in mere inches. Following up is just one way you
can set yourself apart and make people wonder how you got
so lucky to enjoy all the exposure that seems to naturally
come your way.
Until next time ... Get out there and promote yourself!
(Then follow up and do it again!)
Forward this issue to your friends and fellow musicians.
Encourage them to subscribe. It's easy ... and it's fr-ee!
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