YCAT Development Session 2nd round-up
Bex Ransom
Creative Programme Officer
11th March 2016
YCAT Development Session 2nd round-up

Hi! My name is Bex. I am the new Talent Programme Assistant at Help Musicians UK. In my third week here I attended a panel session with Kimon Daltas, editor of Classical Music Magazine, Olivia Jaguers, founder of ‘15 Second Harp’ and Annalie Schutz, publicist at Albion Media.  It was an interesting session and I am excited to share the panel’s insightful advice on how emerging musicians should promote themselves online, approach the press and build their audiences.

Social Media

  • Look at what’s out there, follow interesting people that you can get ideas from - check out Andreas Ottensamer and Ray Chen for inspiration
  • Choose something you enjoy, make your content interesting and engage your followers
  • Be disciplined, build a body of interesting posts and make this part of your daily/weekly routine
  • Don’t always talk about your own projects - promote other artists around you
  • Google yourself - make sure there is nothing online that you don’t want your audience to see

Websites

  • The first thing a promoter or critic will do will be to look at your website; make sure that it is a good reflection of you
  • Your website should be easy to navigate, contain useful things (high resolution photographs, biography, up to date information of tours and releases). Keep it simple and clear

Biographies

  • Avoid the cliché biography that says ‘you’re the leading violinist of your generation’
  • It is important to tell your story; you want your biography to stand out
  • Think about who will be reading your biography, consider having a different biography for promoters and audiences
  • Make sure you have a long biography and short biography

Photography

  • Good photographs will support any promotion
  • Think about the function of each photograph. A photograph that would look great on a CD cover might not be the best choice for a concert programme or magazine article
  • Don’t use all of your photographs at once. Keep some photos back as you never know when someone might ask for an exclusive shot

Engaging with Critics and the Press

  • Consider pitching to a specific area of a magazine or website as you will be more likely to succeed. For example a rising star’s
  • 3-4 weeks ahead of a performance is a good time to start inviting critics to your performance
  • You don’t need to invite an established reporter to your concert. Consider blogs such as Arts Desk and Thoroughly Good
  • Got a positive review? Post it on your website!

Working with PR companies

  • 6 months ahead of a performance is a good time to engage a PR company with concert information
  • Remember, part of what your pay for with PR companies is their contacts

The next Career Development Session will be legal and finance advice for freelancers 19April, 3.30-5pm. You can find out more information and book your place here.

Case Study 15 Second Harp

The session began with Olivia presenting her ’15 Second Harp’ social media project that she launched on the 1st February 2016 which has already been very successful. She has invited individuals, whether they are composers or not, to send her snippets of music for her to record and post online by 5pm the next day. Composers have a chance for Olivia to play their music and get her feedback on whether it is possible to play on the harp. She says that people want instant feedback which is a useful tool for composers. You can follow Olivia’s progress here.

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