5 ways DIY musicians can save time on tasks

DIY musicians and independent artists doing it for themselves is a great way to keep creative control, and save money you might not have on hiring in support for your releases. However, although technology has made DIY more accessible than ever it can come at a cost: your time and energy being spent on ‘admin’ rather than creativity.

Some artists don’t mind the extra tasks they need to take on when going it alone on recording, releasing and promoting but others find it leaves them feeling close to burn out. It can feel like living a double-life, albeit less glamorous than your average superhero most of the time – you’re a musician, a PR, a booker, a photographer, a graphic designer, a videographer and editor, you’re organising the production of your release and the distribution, you’re playing live and booking studio time, you’re managing social media. And you’re probably doing it all with a job to pay the bills and friends and family who want to see you sometimes too. It’s no wonder doing it yourself can leave you with a feeling of ‘done with it all’.

There are some ways DIY musicians can cut down the admin time without cutting corners and get efficient at the tasks that need doing to free you up to do the stuff you really want to do (that’s make and play the music).

Five ways DIY musicians can save time on admin tasks

1. Be incredibly focused and know your goals

The best way to save time and cut down on the amount of admin you’re doing is to be very clear on your goals, focus on them and understand what moves you closer to them – anything which doesn’t is something you’ll need to learn to say no to.

Being an independent musician means thinking like a business and that means you need to know what your long term goal is (to make a living from music and quit my Joe job), what your tactics are for getting there, and who your audience is and where they hang out. You might be groaning and thinking ‘I just want to write my songs’ but if you are serious about your success (whether that’s making a living or just making enough to fund your next release) spending time mapping this out will save you time and energy as you go.

Write down all the goals you have for your music (release on vinyl, get in the charts, play this festival, go on tour, get a sync placement – whatever it may be), and for each one write down why you want it and how it would make you feel when you achieve it. Pick the two or three of these goals which are most important to you and spend time really imagine yourself in that moment of success – how would you feel holding the first copy of your album on vinyl, dropping the needle in the groove and hearing your music come back? Or what would it be like to step out on the stage at your favourite festival and see people dancing in the sunshine (ok, let’s keep it realistic, huddled under a bin bag in the rain) as you play? How would you feel if you missed those moments?

Once you’re really feeling it write down all the things you could do to help you get to each of those goals – the big stuff, and the small stuff too. Once you’ve exhausted your thinking pick out the three things which will move you there the quickest and prioritise these tasks. This is your focus and everything else is slowing you down from getting where you want to be.

If you’re not sure where you’re going longer term or you have an idea but you’re not sure how to get there get in touch and see how we can help.

2. Learn to say no

Saying no can lead to FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – but what you turn down is just as important to thriving as a musician as the opportunities you take. If you’re spending a lot of time on crafting beautiful Instagram images but no-one is engaging with them or clicking the link in your bio this is unlikely to be the best use of your time. Know that you love playing live and always make a decent amount and have great conversations at the merch desk – put your focus on building your bookings and getting out there as much as you can.

If you’re not sure where you are spending your time and whether it reflects the results you get from it spend a week or two noting down every day everything you do for your music – whether it’s a creative task of writing and recording, or it’s posting social media, or it’s sending and replying to emails. Then look at which of these tasks made a positive difference and moved you closer to your goal. Some things you do will take longer to come to fruition (you might not get a result within the time you’re monitoring) but you’ll certainly get a feel for if you’re putting time and energy into things which are dead ends.

And if you think your time is disappearing through procrastination there are a whole load of apps to help you stop the digital time suck at least – your phone will tell you how long you’re spending on social media (it’s not research to be endlessly scrolling instagram – a note to myself as much as you all) and apps like Flipd, Offtime, Freedom and Cold Turkey will lock you out of social accounts on your phone for a set period of time to free your mind for what you really should be getting on with.

But do make sure you know the difference between saying no to the wrong things and saying no to the scary things – if you’re saying no because it’s outside of your comfort zone (a show in a new town, a partnership) then think again and say yes. The best opportunities lie just outside of your comfort zone and you should now have more time to commit to them by saying no to the wrong things.

3. Get into a rhythm and automate your email and social media

If you have just 15 minutes a day you can boss your social media once you’ve got yourself set up and have found some short-cuts to support you. That’s right – it doesn’t have to be a massive drag but can be something you can do on the bus to work, while you’re waiting for your tea to cook, or in that downtime between soundcheck and showtime. How? Like this…

Know who you’re talking to and where

Getting set up is key to cutting the time it takes to manage your social media and the first part of that is to know who your audience is and where they hang out. There’s no point spending all your time on Instagram if fans of your music are more likely to be on Facebook. How do you work this out? Well, there’s a post here on how you can work out where your audience is and if you’re already on several social networks you’ll probably know where you get the most engagement and conversation from people.

What are you talking about?

The second part is to know what you are talking about – and only talking about your next release or next show isn’t the best approach. Think of the 80/20 rule (which – fact fans – is also known as the Parato Principle) and try to make 80% of what you’re doing conversation and contributing to communities, and only 20% about what you’re promoting (your next release, your next show, your merch).

People want to be connected to you as an artist, not seeing a constant stream of adverts from you. If you do only want to advertise to people – save even more time by putting your money into actual adverts.

Automate to save time

Once you know who you’re talking to, where they are, and what you’re saying then you can use a couple of tricks to make everything flow more efficiently and save you time.

If you need and extra pair of hands to get these automations set up right or to create some content or manage your social media book in for a call or get in touch with us to see how we could help.

4. Pick your distro with care

You might be throwing up your music on Bandcamp or Soundcloud directly but if you want to reach platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, or Google Play you’ll need to go through a distributor and it’s worth considering which one is right for you.

There’s a lot to consider from which platforms they send your music to, to any costs which may be involved but it’s worth also looking at the detail as some of it could save you time and give you a head start on gaining listeners. Some distros will set up a pre-save page for you (saving you the job of doing it through SmartURL or similar) which allows you to share a link to your music ahead of the release date and encourage people to have it added to their library or playlist when it’s released. Getting people to hit that button can help work the platform algorithm and boost your music around release day.

Lots of distributors also have extensive blog and help sections giving you tips and tricks on how to boss the industry – and you don’t even have to be using them to get this insight. Add them to your reading list or sign up to their emails – take a look at CD Baby and Ditto to get your started on learning more.

5. Grow your team and delegate

Of course the easiest way for DIY musicians to grow their team is to pay others to take on aspects of what you do – that might be through finding a manager, or working with a PR, marketer or booking agent.

But there are other ways – perhaps cheaper – than working with music industry professionals. If it’s the level of admin you’re struggling with (replying to emails, filling in festival applications, managing your social media) you could hire a Virtual Assistant to help with these tasks – a freelancer who is likely to work remotely on a given set of tasks.

There would be some time involved in setting the VA up with the right tasks and permissions, and you’d need to keep in touch on progress but it could be a way to manage admin particularly at busy times (such as when you’re recording).

The watch out here is if you’re asking them to contact journalists, bloggers or radio stations your assistant may not have any relationship with them and so you’ll need to set your expectations of results lower than you might with a music PR.

DIY without the burnout…

For DIY musicians there will always be weighing up to do between whether you spend time and energy on doing tasks yourself or you invest some money in hiring in others to help you with the business side of your business. There may come a time when you decide it’s time to invest to grow, or you just need more hands to help you with all the admin, but until then it’s good to find ways to save time and avoid burnout.

If you’ve got a time saving tip to share with other musicians leave a comment below or get in touch with me on Twitter – I would love to hear from you.

Need some help with your next release?

Whether you are a DIY musician or an independent artist growing a team and thinking about spending your budget on reaching your fans directly or you want to gain coverage and airplay through a PR get in touch and see how we can help you. Want to find out more about those we’ve worked with – head over here.

Should you spend your budget on a music PR or focus on what you can do yourself?

If you’ve got a release coming up you’re probably thinking about how to get it out there with reviews on your favourite blogs, radio play and playlisting – you might even have set aside money to get a music PR or plugger to help you do this or you might have decided against a cash spend but are going to put in your own time to try and get the results.

Whether it’s doing it DIY and investing your time, or finding the right person to join your team and work for you to a budget, it’s worth considering where you put your effort: into PR and plugging, into direct digital marketing, or a combination of both.

Music PR and pluggers

Paying a music PR or plugger to help you promote your release can start from a couple of hundred pounds and run into thousands depending on who you choose and who you’re targeting for coverage. The benefit of putting some money behind a music PR or plugger (who specialise in pitching your music to radio stations) is they already have the relationships in place.

But in a time where technology makes it possible to reach fans directly is music PR and radio plugging still important? Most certainly. By helping you get covered in music publications, played on air and playlisted it can help in ways beyond critiquing your work including:

  • it helps you reach new audiences and build credibility – not only listeners but promoters and festival bookers are all interested in what bloggers, broadcasters and journalists think of you
  • it may help you achieve more streams on platforms like Spotify – curators on the platform look at buzz from blogs and smaller playlisters to see what emerging bands might do well on their editorial playlists. At Reckless Yes getting Fightmilk included on a particular playlist boosted their initial streams and has continued to keep them rolling in and generating an income six months after release. 
  • it may connect you to new opportunities – bloggers are generally passionate music fans connected into their local or other scenes and may informally suggest you for other opportunities or intro you to those they might also be into you. LIINES, who are signed to Reckless Yes for label and management, were put onto my radar by another journalist when I was editor at Louder Than War – our coverage led to radio play and live opportunities, as well as the record deal
  • and it does give you feedback on your release – even if you go the DIY route and approach places directly without paying a PR some bloggers will send you feedback, especially if you use a system like SubmitHub. Not all bloggers will have the time or the inclination to come back to you, and their feedback may not be welcomed if they do (after all, they have just one opinion and your art is your art) but those who do may help you shape things in a way which leads to greater success.

It’s not good to only think of PR and plugging when you have a release anymore. We’re beyond the days of mass media where everyone was reliant on the weekly music press, a few radio shows, and even fewer TV stations to tell them what they should be listening to. Discovery is dispersed these days and so while music PR and plugging is still an essential part of the mix you need to also think about more direct ways to get your music heard.

Direct to Fan and digital marketing

Technology means musicians are more able than ever to do directly things they would have had to pay someone else to do, or wait for a record deal to provide, in the past. And while ‘marketing’ may feel like a dirty word to you if you’re interested in even a handful of people hearing your music it’s something you’ll need to do – as we say, discovery is dispersed and so being where your potential listeners (or fans if you prefer) are is vital.

Direct to Fan marketing is exactly what it sounds like; ways of reaching those who may like your music directly. Social media, email marketing, and playlisting all help musicians to do this digitally and just like PR it means you can choose whether to invest your budget in someone who already knows the ropes and can do this for or with you, or you can invest your time and pick up skills so you can do it yourself.

Facebook posts are the tip of the iceberg here – whether you’re trying to do it for free or you’re putting some money behind sponsored posts – and a good direct to fan or digital marketer will look at your whole online presence from a website and mailing list, to how you appear in search, to helping you really understand the places your audience hangs out to, yes, your social media channels.

But digital marketing may not feel comfortable for every artist. Not everyone wants to spend their time online and you may have well-founded reservations about being on certain platforms or promoting your music through networks you don’t ethically agree with. Social media and streaming aren’t the only way – you can still build a community around a Bandcamp or website presence, and an email list should be in your arsenal whether you are tweeting or Instagramming your band. Reaching your audience while staying true to an artist identity which doesn’t include social media is difficult but not impossible and if you’re looking for someone to work with you on this make sure they’re thinking beyond Facebook posts and video content to what works with your approach.

What if I haven’t got a budget to promote my release?

And what do you do if you haven’t got any money to spend promoting your release? Well, while it’s advisable to budget something toward this not having cash to hand shouldn’t be a barrier – there’s plenty you can do yourself without spending a penny on both PR and direct to fan marketing.

For music PR you can build your relationships with bloggers and broadcasters whether you have a release or not. Most will list their preferred method of contact on their website or details page and you should take the time to dig out those who are covering things in your genre – there’s no point contacting a blog specialising in death metal if you are an electro-pop band. Do your research; the only cost to you here is time.

If you’re not sure where to start take a look at the Unsigned Guide and SubmitHub for help in getting to the right people, but make sure you’re not an unwanted ‘cold caller’ and you’re personable in your contact.

If you want to take matters into your own hands social media has made it easier to publish your message, even if it is slightly trickier to be heard among everyone else shouting online. Again, time is your spend here. Make sure you’re not missing really important places to speak to people – if anyone has purchased your music on Bandcamp you will have an email address you may be able to use to contact them again. This is likely to get a better result for you than suddenly tweeting a couple of times after being silent for months.

And consistency is a key part of doing this yourself. It’s no good only being active when you have something to push, you need to be joining conversations and nurturing your relationship with fans all the time so they are really ready when you have a release. That takes time too but if you want to make promotion work it’s an investment you need to consider.

DIY or grow your team?

When thinking about promoting your releases you can choose between doing it yourself or growing you team, putting in the time and learning the skills yourself, or putting some budget behind an expert in the area.

There’s no universal answer or formula to guarantee your success but knowing what the options are and thinking through what’s right or what’s possible for you as an artist is a great place to start.

Need some help with your next release?

Whether you think spending your budget on reaching your fans directly or you want to gain coverage and airplay through a music PR book in for a free, no obligation, 15-minute phone call with Sarah Lay to discuss your next release. Want to find out more about those we’ve worked with – head over here.

The best way for musicians to reach people online in 2019

Shilling your art on social media can be a frustrating and unrewarding task for musicians and bands who have to rally the motivation to self-promote and try to reach fans online only to see tumbleweeds through their profiles and a lack of return on that effort. But we’ve got some quick tips and tricks that will help you get the most as an artist and start connecting with fans.

What’s the best way to reach people online in 2019?

Whether you love, hate or merely tolerate self-promotion of your music online and on social media everyone wants to see they are getting something back for the effort they’re putting in. But it’s seemingly harder than ever to reach people without paying to promote your posts and if you’re not ready or willing to commit a budget, what can you do?

Crossing your fingers and hoping some magic happens is probably not the best plan – but making sure you’re putting the right things out to reach the right people is likely to see you right. That means a little bit of knowing who you’re trying to reach (no, not ‘everyone’) and what they like online (in terms of content types at least). It’s all about doing the right things to reach the people that count to you.

Know your audience

You may want to reach every last person on the planet with your music but chances are, right now, your audience is much smaller. You may have an idea of you think should like what you’re making, but it’s worth checking whether that’s the reality.

If you already have social media profiles you can get some information about the people who like you (not in an overly creepy way, in a general way) from the stats and it’s also worth checking your Spotify for Artists profile for this information.

You’ll get an idea of the age, location, and gender of the people who are listening for you and from this you can work out whether you’re hanging in the right places online to find more of those people. Each social media network has a core demographic so while your fave might be Insta if your audience is all on Twitter you might want to put some effort in over there.

What to put out on social media

You’ll also want to check what the best content is for each platform and audience. Again, while you might love crafting long verbose status updates if everyone is scrolling past them the time you’re spending may not be helping too much toward your success.

Across all platforms video is by far the most popular type of content right now and so making sure you have at least some of this in the mix of how you share stuff online is a good idea. More people will see it, more of those people are likely to engage with it, and that in turn helps it get shown to more people.

And music lends itself to video – you don’t need a grandiose cinematic showcase for you latest single, video can be shot on your phone and behind-the-scenes, live footage, practice room, tour van and more all make interesting and quick videos you can share online.

Work out what’s working

None of this will make it feel less icky if you’re not keen on self-promotion or pushing yourself as an artist online but if you’re going to feel that way, you may as well at least get some good results. Knowing what’s working and not makes all of this easier over time so it’s worth checking to see whether you should do more or less or something according to how people have reacted.

Most social media platforms will give you a few stats to go on without you having to work too hard for it. You can see easily how many people have liked or commented on your posts, but it’s worth also seeing what the engagement rate is. Some platforms do this for you if you look in your insights section and you should be able to get a feel for what’s normal for you. Overall it’s worth bearing in mind that engagement rates are low across the board and 1.6% is average for Instagram, while Facebook and Twitter are much lower (less than 1%).

Distilling your music to an engagement rate percentage probably isn’t what made you start a band but this stuff is important if you want to be independent and have an audience of people ready to buy your music and come to your shows.

Want some help with promotion and PR?

If you’re ready to take control of your career and find success for your music on your terms then we’re here to help.

We can help you plan for your next release through helping you find your audience, create great content and support your social media efforts, gain coverage in the music press and airplay on radio as well as link you in to a national network of independent promoters and help you record and release your music.

Book your free 15 minute discovery call with Noble and Wild founder Sarah Lay where she will find out more about you and the ways we can work together. Book now – no obligation. Or check out other ways we can work together.

Who’s your number one fan?

Whether you are just starting out or you’ve been around a while the chances are you already have someone who’s a fan of your music (and we’re not talking about your mum or your best friend) – and how you treat those who love what you’re doing can make a big difference to you as an artist.

Let’s bust a few myths to get started talking about fans…

  • you don’t need hundreds of thousands of them to be successful
  • you don’t have to be friends with them
  • you don’t need to change or compromise your creativity to gain fans (in fact you absolutely shouldn’t do this)
  • if you’re an independent musician having fans who will buy your music and merch, come to your shows and talk about you to others is key to all your do.

As an independent musician you should be making music for yourself but by finding people who love what you are doing too – so much they will part with cash, invest their time, and spread the word about you – you’re setting up a way to allow you to keep creating.

There doesn’t need to be a legion of these people (at least not to start with) but you do need them to be engaged with what you’re doing, not just passively liking but never looking at your Facebook page. As with all you do you should be thinking about reaching the people who count, not just counting the number of people you can reach.

Fan finding

Where are these people though? It’s a strange situation where it’s both easier and harder than ever to find fans for your music.

Traditionally when everyone was introduced to music through their local record shop, radio, the music press, or music TV the key to finding fans was getting the gatekeepers of those places onside. You needed to have a certain amount of success before you could really become successful, even as an independent artist.

These days the internet means you can by-pass the tastemakers and find your fans directly – but the way people discover music has become much broader alongside this so you have to be ready to go out and find them, not just expect them to find you.

This most obvious way to do this is to have social media profiles which represent you authentically and through which you are joining conversations and talking with people. In the twenty (or so) years I’ve been working online this has held true: you get out what you put in. If you blast out messages and never respond to anything or join a conversation you will be perceived in the same way as advertising and be ignored by many as a result. If you use your profiles to chat and join in, you’re likely to find you build connections which are more meaningful to your music and creative path.

Don’t want to be glued to your screen and spending more time on social media than you are on your music? There are other ways. More one-way but valuable is a mailing list. You can collect signs up at shows, or through a simple online sign up page (link to it from your Bandcamp or Spotify profile, or your social media accounts if you have them) and send out updates on what’s going on. People have opted-in to this – they’ve let you know they’re into what you’re doing – so chances are they’re more ready to act on what you’re doing than if you have thousands of likes on your page.

And you want to make sure the machines are working in your favour beyond your conversation. Getting playlisted with similar artists, being seen on line-ups with bands who are likely to have fans who’d dig what you’re into, and finding a broader reach through getting coverage in the press and on radio are all still important in finding your way in front of people who might care.

Conversation > Connection > Consistency

Wherever you are looking for fans and trying to be discovered keep in mind that conversation, leads to a connection, and it’s then down to you to be consistent to maintain it and build on it. Don’t just show up when you have something to push at people (months of silence followed by ‘new single out now – buy please!’ is not a good look) but be around consistently and people will be more ready when you do have something happening.

Fan rewards

There are lots of ways you can reward fans who are showing you extra special report – they don’t have to be expensive, and they can feel inclusive even when they’re for only a few people. A great example recently came from indie folk band Sister John and Last Night From Glasgow records who sent a heart-shaped lathe cut vinyl of single Airport to just four people on Valentine’s Day 2019.

While the track went on general release digitally the following day the vinyl was a chance for the band to say thank you to a few people who had been supporters or gone to special efforts for the band, while also creating a collectable item. Lathe cut vinyl has no minimum run order so creating short runs is an option worth looking at.

Or maybe you want to be more personable with all those who have purchased your music. While signed copies are pretty standard (and still much-loved and collectable) LIINES made sure they included a hand-written note with each copy of their debut album they shipped.

With most of the run sold in pre-order this was no small task but the short notes thanking people for their support were appreciated by those receiving the record, and was a human touch in a world where an anonymous and robot-packed Amazon parcel is becoming the norm.

That personable approach can be taken at the end of every gig by making sure you head to your merch stand and are ready to chat with people – yes, you’ll have a lot of similar conversations over time but each conversation you have is also special and memorable. Not getting out to play shows or find conversation hard? You can be as personable online by showing up on your social media profiles and having conversations, not just pushing stuff.

How we can help you find your fans

If you’re ready to take control of your career and find success for your music on your terms then we’re here to help. We can help you plan for your next release through helping you find your audience, build an engaged fan base, gain coverage in the music press and airplay on radio as well as link you in to a national network of independent promoters and help you record and release your music.

Book your free 15 minute discovery call with Noble and Wild founder Sarah Lay where she will find out more about you and the ways we can work together. Book now – no obligation. Or check out other ways we can work together.

Workshops on How To Do It All Yourself as an independent musician

Noble and Wild lead Sarah Lay has teamed up with independent label Last Night From Glasgow to offer a full day of workshops for independent musicians and unsigned artists in Glasgow this March.

Including sessions on how to make money as an independent artist, how to do your own PR and panel sessions the event will be held at Stereo in Glasgow between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 16 March 2019. Tickets will be priced at £10 and include lunch, and entry to the evenings gig – a third birthday bash for Last Night From Glasgow with performances from Cloth, Sister John, Annie Booth, and Foundlings.

Places are limited so make sure you put your name on the list here.

Sarah has worked across the music industry for the last two decades and brings experience as an independent label owner as well as music journalist, PR and artist manager. She’s worked with independent artists and helped them to earn money from their music, build their fanbase, gain coverage, and find their own way to success.

She said, “Being unsigned or independent as an artist, band or musician is a choice these days and signing to a label or getting representation isn’t a necessity in order to grow a fan base, gain coverage or make money from your music.

“These workshops will share tips of the trade and share skills, and give bands a different way of thinking about what they do which will help them to get where they want to be.”

Event: How To Do It All Yourself with Reckless Yes and Last Night From Glasgow
Date: Saturday 16 March 2019, 11am-4pm
Location: Stereo, Glasgow
Cost: £10 including lunch and gig entry
Register your interest in one of the limited places here.

How to start planning for your music career in 2019

If you’re starting to look ahead to 2019 and making plans for your music, and resolutions to build on what you did in 2018, booking in for a free discovery call with Noble and Wild founder Sarah Lay may be a good first move.

The free call – which can be by phone, Skype or Zoom – will give you time with Sarah to go over where you’re at with your music and what you’d like to achieve in the next 12 months. Maybe you want to release a single or album, get some coverage or hear your songs on the radio, or perhaps you’re already gritting your teeth about another year of Facebook posts that reach no-one but feel obligatory. Or maybe you don’t know what you want to do – you just want to make music, and reach people who like it enough to buy and support you to do more.

With years of experience running a record label, putting on shows, managing artists, and working as a music journalist and PR Sarah can help you focus on the steps you need to take for success. Whether that’s learning a trick so those Facebook posts have a purpose, or knowing what you need to put in your press pack to get journalists to take a listen, or wondering what you need to do to command a fee for your gig efforts, or maybe you’re thinking about finding a manager to help you to the next stage with your music but aren’t sure of the pros and cons – Sarah can help guide you to success through sharing her experience across the industry in all of these areas and more.

Our calls and services – and Sarah’s ethos overall – is about helping you as an independent or DIY musician to keep creative control while moving toward your success. Whether you want to be signed by a label or are keen to go it alone Sarah will share practical steps and support you to get there.

What others say

Having worked with Sarah at Reckless Yes, the label through which Chorusgirl released second album Shimmer and Spin in 2018. Sarah worked with the band (alongside label co-founder Pete Darrington) on releasing the record on vinyl, CD and digital; planning a UK tour; and working with butilikeyou PR on a print, online and radio campaign while Sarah supported on social media planning.

“Highly recommend Sarah Lay – from our own experience, she’s absolutely excellent at mentoring, advice and inspiration!” – Silvi Wersing, Chorusgirl

Many Reckless Yes artists have used Snug Recording Company, a studio in Derby, including Grawl!x, Unqualified Nurse Band, Pet Crow, and Mighty Kids. Sarah has also worked with them on podcast recording.

“Having worked with indie record label Reckless Yes on various releases, we know that Sarah who co-runs the label is a total goldmine of information on all things PR, press and DIY (mainly because they’ve supported their artists to experiment and they know what works and what didn’t).” – Snug Recording Co.

Book now

There’s no obligation to take up Noble and Wild services off the back of the call and there’ll be no hard sell – if we think we can help you we’ll let you know but the calls are offered to help you focus first and foremost. Book your call here.

Already know where your music career focus is in 2019?

We’re running some workshops to help you get set up for success. Run as small group workshops Sarah will be sharing her skills and knowledge and there’ll be plenty of time for you to ask questions and get the answers specific to what you’re trying to do. We run day and evening sessions around the UK to fit around your other commitments, discounts for more than one member of a band to attend, and all our workshops currently have 50% off – bonus!

Waiting list sign up for:

If you’d like to find out about other ways to work with Sarah – including social media marketing, PR and plugging services, or our bespoke packages tailored to you – check out our services page or book in for a free 15 minute discovery call.

Events: making money, finding fans, and DIY PR – check out our next events

If you’re looking ahead to 2019 and wondering how you can make it a successful one with your music our latest batch of events may well be for you.

Whether you’re wondering how to earn money from your music, are feeling frustrated your social media efforts aren’t connecting you to fans, or you know you’ve got to run the PR gauntlet for you next release we’ve got you covered.

About our workshops

Our workshops are small group sessions to make sure you have a chance to ask plenty of questions and get advice from Noble and Wild founder Sarah Lay.

  • Where? We hold our workshops in various locations around the UK
  • When? We’ll be announcing our next dates in early January so sign up now to the waiting list to be the first to hear
  • How much? We’re offering 50% off our workshops at the moment meaning the two hour sessions an cost as little as £20.


About Sarah Lay

Our workshops are led by Sarah Lay, founder of Noble and Wild, and co-founder and head of creative at independent record label Reckless Yes.

She’s an artist manager and live promoter as well as a music journalist for publications including Loud&Quiet, Drowned In Sound, Louder Than War magazine, and Get It Her Ears, and a PR who’s found coverage for clients with 6Music, Radio X, Amazing Radio, Louder, The Line of Best Fit, The 405, For The Rabbits and more.

Added to this experience across the music industry she’s an award-winning content and experience specialist who loves to work collaboratively to support independent musicians create success on their terms through sharing the knowledge and skills she’s gained working with artists and labels.

Chat to her on Twitter and Instagram. If you’d like a free 15 minute, no obligation, discovery call about your music you can book one in with Sarah here.

More about our next events

How To Make Money From Music

If you’re playing gigs but barely making enough to cover your petrol, if you’re releasing tracks but never covering the cost of your distribution from your streaming royalties, and you’re always emptying your change jar to pay for rehearsal time this workshop is for you. We’re not churning out millionaires or selling get rich quick schemes but we can help you start to make money from your music through understanding your royalties, sharing different options and costs to releasing your music, and being able to command a fee for your live shows.

This is a two hour workshop and we’ll make sure you’ve got an action list to take away at the end of the session. Sign up here to be the first to hear about dates and locations for this workshop, and book early to get your 50% off early bird pricing.

Finding Fans: how to build a fan base eager for your music

Everyone has to have a Facebook page these days, right? But you also have to boost those posts if you want people to see them. Social media can take a lot of your time (and money) and not show you a definite return. We’ll help you find fans who want to buy your music and come to your gigs by showing you where your effort is best placed, and sharing some tips to get the most from social media and other ways of connecting to the people who love your music (and we don’t just mean your mum).

This is a two hour workshop and we’ll make sure you have a checklist and content plan to take away at the end of the session. Sign up here to be the first to hear about dates and locations for this workshop, and book early to get your 50% off early bird pricing.

DIY PR: going it alone for coverage for you next release

You’ve sent a hundred emails to every magazine, blog, playlister, and radio station you can find but the reviews aren’t coming. If you’re not ready or able to spend money with a PR this workshop is for you. We’ll make sure you reach more people with your next release by taking you through how to get the perfect press pack together, how to plan your timelines and crucially – how to get seen in a journalist’s inbox.

This is a half day course and the price includes refreshments. We’ll make sure you have a campaign template and checklist to take away at the end of the session. Sign up here to be the first to hear about dates and locations for this workshop, and book early to get your 50% off early bird pricing.

Don’t want to wait?

If you want to start working toward success with your music right now you can book in for a free, no obligation, 15 minute discovery call with Sarah Lay now. She’ll get to know you and your music to see how we might work together. You can also find other ways to work with us here.

What a band should put in their press pack

There’s more music press around than ever before and yet it can still be hard work to get your music covered online or in print. Take some of the chance out of it by checking out our guide to creating a great press pack for your next release.

Getting your music reviewed on a website or in a magazine, or getting your band featured in some other way, can help you tracks in front of new people and help to build a reputation for promoters and others. But even though there’s more music sites around than ever before competition is high and you need to find ways to stand out in a the overflowing inbox of journalists and bloggers and once you have you need to make sure they have all the info they need. Enter the carefully crafted perfect press pack.

If you’ve researched the submission guidelines for the publication and – even better – formed a genuine relationship with a writer based on what they’re already covering you’re in the best position to get your email opened. When that happens you want all the information needed to be provided in the right way and not to miss anything – doing so might mean you get passed over or something vital is missing from any coverage.

Creating a press pack for your band

Here’s our guide to what to include in the press pass for your next music release.

Introduce the band

This might sound obvious but it’s worth making sure the name of the band and the name of the release are clear, and you’ve included where you’re from / based as well as listed out the members. When working as a journalist I see this stuff is often missed as it’s so obvious / boring to you but for a writer it’s the basic detail they need for clarity.

If there’s a bit of a story to the release or how you came together, or how you work as a band then include this too – but the golden rule here is to keep it short. You can include an additional biography sheet as an attachment if you want to provide a full history or a deeper delve into your musical psyche but it’s not a must.

You might want to include a For Fans Of (FFO) line to give a flavour of your sound – but make sure this is truly representative and not just a wish list. If you’re not sure leave it out and let the journalist decide.

Include previous coverage

If you’ve had reviews or airplay already then include two or three choice quotes – and try to keep these fresh. It’s also worth including any impressive playlisting you’ve had – for example on a Spotify curated playlist or one with a good number of followers – and mentioning any shows or festival bookings associated with the release.

Provide great band photos and artwork

If you’re approaching an online publication remember they are likely to need both a landscape and portrait orientation image of the band, as well as a copy of the artwork, and these should be web optimised (at the right resolution for use online). For print, you need to supply at a much higher resolution.

Rather than attaching to the email or embedding them all in your one-sheet consider uploading a selection of clearly named images to Dropbox or similar and providing a link. Always – ALWAYS – include the photo credit in the name or metadata, and in the body of your email and one-sheet too.

Streams, downloads or physical copy?

The way you provide your music may need to differ by publication. For example, if you’re looking for a review in a print publication which specialises in vinyl releases you’re going to need to send them a copy of the record.

If you’re approaching online publications they may give guidance on formats on their submission page, may prefer to be approached through services like SubmitHub, or individual writers may prefer certain formats. I know writers who won’t review from anything but a physical copy and others who want everything as a stream in the first instance – it’s another reason it’s worth getting to know writers and what they want.

As a good rule of thumb it’s worth including a link to a Dropbox folder where MP3 or WAV files can be found, offering a download code for Bandcamp (where your tracks should be private until release day) and a link to a private Soundcloud (again, this should be private until release day – but make sure you supply the embed code in the email too). Got a video? Make it unlisted on YouTube and supply the link and the embed code in the email.

Remember your links

Finally it’s worth including additional information publications may want as standard – don’t make them work to find you online but include links to your social media profiles – Bandcamp, Spotify, Facebook etc – within the email. And make sure each of the places you’re providing a link to are up to date and show your complete information, and vitally – are obviously being used to share with people and don’t have a last post from six months ago and tumbleweeds ever since.

If you have live dates around the release then make sure they’re included too – date, venue, city, support bands / supporting information, and ticket links. The more you provide to a publication in a ready-to-go format the more likely it is to be included.

And that’s it – you’re all set.

Ready to get your music in front of music journalists and bloggers?

If you’re ready to take control of your career and find success for your music on your terms then we’re here to help. We can help you plan for your next release through helping you find your audience, build engaged fans, gain coverage in the music press and airplay on radio as well as link you in to a national network of DIY promoters and help you record and release your music.

Book your free 15 minute discovery call with Noble and Wild founder Sarah Lay where she will find out more about you and the ways we can work together. Book now – no obligation. Or check out other ways we can work together.

The Hudson Super 6 – Ride The Tiger EP coverage

The Hudson Super 6 Ride The Tiger EP artworkThe Hudson Super 6 EP Ride The Tiger is due for digital release on 9 June 2017 via Ingue Records.

This campaign covered online and radio and coverage will be updated as it is available.

  • “They describe themselves as ‘dark ‘n’ dirty porno blues rock’ and there is a certain muckiness to this new one, which might just be the best thing they’ve done so far” – Hidden Herd
  • “they mercilessly bludgeon your eardrums with some mean and moody rocking it out” – Ralph’s Life blog
  • “a record of punchy and raucous rock music. No drama, no fluff and no filler” – Storge
  • Vents Magazine – EP announcement
  • Circuit Sweet – EP announcement
  • Storge – video announcement
  • Morphettes online radio
  • Ralph’s Life, Radio KC


For all press enquiries: sarah@wearenobleandwild.com

You Want Fox – Liar Liar coverage round-up

You Want Fox Liar Liar artworkYou Want Fox single Liar Liar was released digitally via Reckless Yes on 10 March.

This campaign covered online and radio.

  • John Kennedy – X-Posure on Radio X
  • Charlie Ashcroft – Audition on Amazing Radio
  • “bold and heavy rock riffs paired with catchy pop choruses” – Louder Than War online feature
  • “The vocals are sweet, the guitars are menacing and the drums back everything expertly. It’s Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ for rock fans. It’s the perfect pop song.” Grrrls With Guitars
  • “‘Oozing sex appeal, but possessing bigger balls than their male counterparts”Hidden Herd
  • “Equal parts lipstick pouts and knife fights, they’re most aptly summed up as Be Your Own Pet meets Melvins”LeftLion feature
  • “a glorious blend of power and sweetness, softness and steel.”Listen with Monger
  • “they effortlessly fuse girly pop sensibilities with the rifferama ding dong of say Royal Blood or The White Stripes. It works so well, as the polar opposites of their pretty harmonies collide with the feeling your arse is being savaged by a snarling rottweiler.”NeonFiller
  • “loud, raucous, but also a whole lot of fun”Even The Stars
  • LOUD WOMEN ezine (March edition) – featured video
  • Girls On The Rock Show, NGDigital
  • Punky Radio
  • Interview with Dean Jackson – BBC Introducing East Midlands
  • Andy Wilbury radio show
  • Pop That Goes Crunch (LA) radio show
  • Radio Lantau (Hong Kong)
  • Nusic (Nottingham) radio show and podcast.

For all press enquiries: sarah@wearenobleandwild.com