Two universal themes almost every band faces are not enough time and not enough money. You want to take your band to the next level, but it may seem like there's a road block at every turn. If you're a band with a limited budget who can't yet afford to hire a publicist or other members of your support team, you need cost-effective tools to help manage the business side of your business, like running a publicity campaign for your album release, managing your tour, or organizing your recording schedule.
Below are just a few of the tools we use at Green Light Go Publicity to help the campaigns run more efficiently while maximizing opportunities. All four receive our highest marks, and the best part is that they won’t cost more than $20/month – combined. So if you're feeling overwhelmed with all the management that goes into the business side of your career, check out these four tools to get you running like a well-oiled machine.
What it's for: Organization and project management for planning your recording or release schedule, publicity campaign, or tour.
Why we love it: Hands down, it's one of the best tools out there for planning a project with a lot of moving parts and various member involvement. You have the ability to create different stages and see at a glance where your project stands in the process.
What it costs: Free. $5/month if you'd like to include background images on your boards.
What it's for: Tracking news stories to determine who could specifically be interested in your music.
Why we love it: As publicists, we have to track a lot of news stories, and many music sites these days run slowly due to all the multimedia that loads on the page. With this app, we're able to scan as many as 200 stories on an iPad in a matter of 10 minutes to determine if the publication is worth reading further and potentially pitching a story.
What it costs: Free.
What it's for: CRM (customer relationship management) for managing press contacts, booking agents, bands, labels, music supervisors, etc.
Why we love it: It has a strong social media component to communicate directly with your contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn from the interface. It allows you to know what is of interest to your contacts, always have their most current information, and keep all the contact information you need in one place. In addition, you can email straight from the platform, assign tasks to the contact, and make notes for future reference.
What it costs: $15/month.
4. Google Drive
What it's for: Sharing and creating documents for collaboration.
Why we love it: It's incredibly easy to share documents through Google Drive when working on a collaborative project. We work very collaboratively with the clients on our roster and within the company, so we needed a cloud-based solution to accommodate that. Clients and team members are able to edit the documents directly to include any press releases we've written, see their reports in real time as we log updates, and know their campaign schedules at a glance.
What it costs: Free.
Have any other recommendations? Share them in the comments below!
Janelle Rogers began her 20 year music industry career working for SXSW Music and Media Conference. She then went on to work for BMG Distribution for 10 years in the alternative music department where she championed bands like Kings of Leon, Ray LaMontagne, the Strokes, Belle & Sebastian, and the White Stripes. In 2002 she launched Green Light Go Music PR as a haven of honesty, integrity and passion for underrepresented artists and labels. She has since been named Mentor of the Year by the University of Michigan, Dearborn, appeared as a panelist at NXNE, and been an official SXSW mentor.