Finding a promoter to get the word out about an event, nightclub or music group can be an overwhelming task, as there are many promoters vying for the same business in most metropolitan cities. For many independent musicians and new-business owners, the idea of giving money to a promoter who you are unsure about is a scary, risky idea. However, promoters are an essential part of business for many people, and when you know how to go about finding the right person or company for the job, the task becomes much easier.
Purchase a few books on basic promotion and read them carefully. Even if you do plan on hiring a promoter, you need to know what to expect and what is typical of the business. In most cases, a promoter will ask for upfront payment for their services, however, some are willing to work on a commission basis. Make sure you get a contract for every event, whether it is short term or long term, defining how you promoter will be paid. Otherwise, you may not get everything you deserve, or you may end up spending too much money to get less than you should.
Determine what you need from a promoter and how much you are able to spend. Are you looking for a promoter to help you with a one-time event, a recurring event, or to promote on ongoing project like a band or nightclub? You need to have a clear idea of what it is you are trying to promote before you seek an actual promoter to help you with your project.
Talk to friends or community members who are in similar businesses. If you are a band, musician or artist, this should be a fairly easy task, as many artists are willing to share some promotional tips with friends. Ask anyone you talk to how much they paid and how it helped them, and if they would be willing to work with the promoter again.
Set up a consultation with a few promoters so you can talk about your needs and how they can help you accomplish your goals. All band members or decision makers should go to the meeting in order to express their concerns. This is especially important in business situations where everyone has equal control over the funding, as is the case with many bands and nightclub owners.
Check local classified advertisements in your local newspaper and online resources if you cannot find a promoter through word-of-mouth. Though you will have to make sure anyone you meet is a legitimate, experienced promoter, this should easily be accomplished through a bit of research and a consultation.
Look for promoters who are willing to work on commission, at least for one event. Many promoters are willing to help artists on a trial basis, provided that you hire and pay them from that point on. Hiring a promoter in this manner is a great way to make sure the promoter is right for you and your project before paying them, especially if funds are tight.
- "This Business of Music Marketing and Promotion"; Tad Lathrop; 2005
- "Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution, and Retail"; Mike King; 2002
Christopher Godwin is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. He spent his formative years as a chef and bartender crafting signature dishes and cocktails as the head of an upscale catering firm. He has since ventured into sharing original creations and expertise with the public. Godwin has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in publications like "Spork Magazine," "Cold Mountain Review" and "From Abalone To Zest."