Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Publicist

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Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Publicist

While you’re busy with creating music and marketing in your network, a publicist has a much farther reach you can use to your advantage.

Promoting your music can sometimes be harder than creating the music itself. Working with a publicist offers you the right kind exposure necessary to expand your fan base.

Whether you have been making music for years or you are an artist just beginning your career, connecting with your audience is an essential step. Social media has made it possible to reach people across the globe, but self-promotion can only go so far. A publicist on the other hand, knows the ins and outs of the industry, and has the potential to market you to the masses. Hiring the right team could bring you out of the shadows of obscurity and into the spotlight.

What is a publicist?

Simply put, a publicist is someone who helps you maintain your public image. They also help you gain exposure faster than you could not achieve on your own. Promoting yourself and your music across social media platforms is a great first step, but a publicist can take it a step further. They are well versed in promotional campaigns through means like social and print media, and can navigate through channels you might not even know existed. 

A publicist’s main purpose is to:

  • Get your name out to the public
  • Attract positive attention for you and your work
  • Help build your fan base

How could a publicist benefit your career?

Publicists have connections in the business that you do not. Writing a short bio about yourself is one thing, but landing an interview with a reporter is something else entirely. Publicists know the right people and publications to contact to help broadcast your message. Whether it is an online blog or ink-on-paper magazine, a publicist can put you in touch with journalists eager to write a story. Likewise, publicity teams and record labels work hand-in-hand with each other. If signing a contract is something you are interested in, a good publicist might be able to get your foot in the door.

Publicists are also extremely savvy when it comes to marketing strategies. Sharing your music within your circle is a fundamental first step. A publicist has a farther reach however, and knows how to market you and your work to the world appropriately. They know all of the behind the scenes steps you need to take in order to get you noticed. Together you can create a marketing plan that reflects your brand and style, reaching out to the audience on a much larger scale.

When should you hire a publicist?

While there is no definite right or wrong time to hire a publicist, there are a couple of points you should cover to ensure your career is ready for such a step:

  • Have shareable music like an album or EP
  • Play live shows in local bars or venues
  • Cement your social media presence
  • Allocate the necessary funds

Where do you find a publicist? 

If you think you are ready to hire a publicist, it can be a daunting task, especially if you do not know where to look. Start by asking your friends or any other artists you know that have used a publicist in the past. If you cannot find a recommendation from your inner circle, a quick google search will show you plenty of PR firms to choose from. The most important thing to remember is to pick a publicist with similar tastes in the type of music you are creating and someone you feel like you can build a solid relationship with. 

Ultimately, however, the best-case scenario is having a publicist come to you. That means that your music and self-promotion are of a high enough caliber to get noticed by people in the industry. Receiving a pitch from a publicist reveals that your personal marketing strategies paid off and that they believe you have a solid foundation to work with.

What should you expect from the hiring process?

While you are looking for a publicist that shares your goals and will help promote you, a publicist is looking to build a robust clientele list. If you believe you work is strong enough and that you have attainable goals, reach out to a specific person or team. It is best to write them a short email including:

  • The genre of music you play
  • Why you think you are a good fit 
  • Any self-promotion you have already done
  • A plan of where you see yourself in the coming months to years
  • A link to any online samples of your work

If all goes well and you find a publicist who wants to work with you, you will need to work out any fees. Some people like to work on a project-by-project basis, while others prefer a monthly retainer. Depending on who you are working with and where you are located, a publicist could charge anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 per month gor $2,000-$10,000 per project.

What do publicists expect from you?

One thing to remember however is that a publicist is not a magician or a miracle worker. You still need to put in a good deal of effort into your campaign. That includes creating your music, setting attainable goals, and planning for your career in the future. A publicity team is simply one tool in your arsenal, there to help you further the development process you have already started.

It is not always easy to promote yourself and your music, regardless if you are an independent artist in the business for years or someone in the midst of beginning a career. Working with a publicity team offers you a chance to gain exposure outside of your immediate circle and market yourself to a larger group of people. If you are looking to expand your reach across print and social media platforms, hiring a publicist might be the right choice to further your career. 

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