When a marketplace gets crowded, like the music industry undoubtedly is, bands have to offer something unique to stand out. In addition to your music, it is your story that will help you to do this.
A good story is not hype and excitement all the time. Your story must create contrast, build tension, rise and fall and, sometimes, have silent moments.
A narrative for an artist creates a foundation on which to create momentum. Each song or stop on tour becomes a chapter in a growing book about your career. If fans feel that they are becoming a part of that book, they are more likely to pass along your stories.
Storytelling as a method for building a band's career is nothing new. It is merely an artistic approach to marketing. Think of your story--your pitch to the press or to potential fans--as a creative endeavour. It blends the art of your music with the finesse of marketing. Here are some tips to get you started on thinking of your music, career and life in terms of intriguing stories.
Start by casting a net wide enough to collect good elements to integrate into the story.
How? Put together a timeline of your musical development. Take the songs on your album (or set list) and describe each one. Reflect on each of your band members. Write a bio for each instrument you play. Review your discography to put your current project in context. List your top 5-10 performances and why they stand out. Don't limit yourself to these activities if other ideas come to mind. These are simply methods to get the flow of ideas coming.
The next step is to flag all the items identified as most intriguing. Look for profound personal moments. Focus on specific stories not generalities. Don't be afraid to make political statements. Just make sure you really mean them. Look for unexpected juxtapositions or hybrids in your story. They create intrigue. If your lyrics are compelling, let them help tell your story.
Once you have identified the top three to five angles, polish the gems and you've got your pitch.
To find out more about how to polish your pitch, pitfalls to avoid in writing your pitch, and for a list of press release cliches to dodge, download the free book Amplify Your Story: Getting More Press through the Art of the Pitch at storyamp.com
This article and the book were written by fourteen-year music publicity veteran Dmitri Vietze, whose new company StoryAmp will launch in a few weeks. StoryAmp is a groundbreaking platform for connecting musicians and the press. When you sign up for the book, you'll also be among the first to be invited to use the new service for free when it launches.