About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Popular Columns

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The Power of Self-Promotion
Thursday, October 27, 2011

A handful of years ago I made t-shirts promoting Adam’s World that said “I’m a B-Lister” on the front, and “Are you down with Adam B?” and the web address, on the back. The vast majority of the shirts went to the artists who had been Artists Of The Week on the site (Coole High, iLLspoKinN and Conscious pictured above), but you know I have one for myself, as well. Some people might think it’s corny to wear a shirt promoting themselves, but I continually see positive results from wearing mine.

I wore my B-Lister shirt a month or so ago while running some errands. One of the spots I hit up was Trader Joe’s, where one of the cashiers noticed it and asked what it meant. I told her about the site, gave her a sticker, and we went on about our days. Ever since then every time she sees me in the store she makes a B-Lister reference. There are major advertisers that would kill to have that kind of brand recognition, and all it took was me wearing a shirt that advertised who I am, and a quick conversation when she asked what it was about.

For an artist the possible reward for wearing your own promotional t-shirt is even greater. I’m just looking for more readers (at least right now), artists have sellable items, and if they’re smart they always have at least a few albums, flyers, or stickers on them. If someone asks an artist about their shirt and the artist says “that’s actually me, I’m an musician,” the next obvious question that will be asked is “where can I hear your music?” Now, you probably won’t be able to make a sale right then and there, but unlike the vast majority of people you hand a flyer to, you now having someone who is actually asking you for some way to remember you, to look you up, to find out more about you. This is exactly what you want.

Tah Phrum Duh Bush always has a backpack full of merchandise on him and carries his giant Tah Phrum Duh Bush sign around with him, too. The point of it all? In order to have name recognition people need to first know your name, and it’s your job as an artist, especially as a DIY artist, to find as many possible avenues to get your name into people’s faces, and minds, as possible.

One distinct advantage to having your first, and possibly second, third, and fourth, contact with people involving something they see, like a t-shirt, rather than something you hand to them, like a flyer, is that it gets people thinking. A flyer usually gets tossed in the garbage if there’s no connection with the artist. You’re no different than the guy from Odd Job hanging out at the corner trying to get you to come in. If, however, someone keeps seeing your name, their natural inquisitive nature will make them want to know more. Now when you hand them a flyer it’s because they’re asking for it hoping to find out more about you.

So rock your own shirt with pride because, in the end, you are your own best advertisement.

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posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:32 AM  
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