We’ve quoted Blerdgurl (formerly Derpygurl) before on promoting at cons, and she has a new post out called 10 Ways to Promote Your Project for Free With Bloggers, Journalists and Podcasters with the subtext of not being annoying. It’s a pretty clear step by step examination of how to get known in the social media whirlpool. There’s also sound advice for creating your website and so on. I’ll do the thing I hate, however, by quoting the one graph that I have the most issue with, although others reading this may have a different view.
Have a Press Kit – You don’t have to have a publicist to have a press kit. If you don’t have a press kit, make one. NOW. There are several types of Press Kits, but if you are an indie artist, I suggest having one about you and another one for your projects. A press kit about you should answer the following questions: Who are you? (short bio), what do you do? (3 sentences or less), how long have you been doing it? Provide links to press/interviews/podcasts that you have actually been interviewed by. Where can people find you? (Website, social media, email, DO NOT PUT PHONE NUMBERS). LARGE Downloadable images that can be used by the press/bloggers about you along with a headshot, a company logo and samples of your work (if you are an artist) A press kit about your project should answer the following: What is the name of the project?What is the project about? (3 sentences or less) What are the project website and social media sites? Who is involved in the project? (names, links to their work, NO PHONE NUMBERS). Give links to press/reviews that have been done on the project along with LARGE downloadable images that can be used by the press/bloggers about you. Again, include your company logo and samples of the work/art from the project
This is all very sound advice for a press kit, but as a blogger and veteran of many “how to get attention for your work” panels, I’ll say the ONE THING i would like to see on a website, or a tumblr or anything that presents you to the world is an ABOUT page that explains
• YOUR NAME — dear god, your name. **
• Past projects and notable achievements including awards, or links to rave reviews and so on. THINGS SOMEONE WOULD CARE ABOUT, and THINGS A LAZY JOURNALIST CAN REPEAT.
• UP TO DATE information on your projects.*** If you send me a pitch for your project and then I google you and find a website that stopped updating three years ago I know you are either a) very very busy or b) have a short attention span and move on to the new social media platform regularly or c) not as on top of things as you should be. I can forgive any of those but it’s good to UPDATE YOUR WEBPAGE when pitching people.
• PICTURES OF YOUR WORK. Or of you, but I get the privacy thing, so PICTURES OF YOUR WORK. Big easily downloable pictures. Not a Flash gallery that no one can use. Getting passed around is the currency of social media. Get used to it. Embedding your name in art where it can’t be cropped is also a good practice.
** OKAY, NAMES. I know many people have privacy issues and do not use their real names on the web. For instance, Blerdgurl herself does not make her real name easily accessible. (I did find it after a minute or two of “intense detective work” but out of respect I will not post it here.) I understand that many women especially have big worries about the web and the dangers of living on it. I respect that, honest, I do. That said, if you are attempting to make a professional name for yourself, putting your name on your work is a must do.
••• While I was typing this I realized that the Beat’s About page hasn’t been changed in five years. Egotistically I once figured everyone knows who I am but…that is foolish. So note to self: Update about and bio pages!!! See? Blerdgurls post has already yielded positive results!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.