Thursday, July 13, 2017

Music Marketing Tips from an Industry Expert: Nelson Wells is interviewed by Tunecore

TIPS for ENGAGING FANSMARKETING & PROMOTING YOUR MUSIC Tunecore Interview: Nelson Wells Talks Indie College Radio Promotions
Reprinted with permission from Tunecore. For more information on music PR go to teamclermont.com or contact Nelson Wells directly. 
One thing we’ve tried to *gently* hit our TuneCore Artists over the heads with is the importance of marketing their music before and after they release it. It starts with telling your friends and family, continues with staying on top of your social media channels, and after you begin playing shows and building a network in your local scene, you can start focusing on getting your music into the hands of radio music directors and media professionals. It requires a lot of work, but hard work can pay off!

At this point you’ve likely learned that getting your music heard on commercial radio stations isn’t an easy process. Why not change your route a bit and zero in on the often undervalued college and independent radio stations?! Here to explain the values of these types of stations and other ways DIY promotion can pay off is Nelson Wells – founder and CEO of indie PR, publicity and radio promotion powerhouse Team Clermont!

When an independent artist is releasing their first album or single, what do you consider to be some of the first and foremost basic avenues of self-promotion?

Nelson Wells: Number one, get your list of contacts together, both industry and fan and begin to reach out to see who else they could add to the inner circle. Number two, use the age old industry formula that says for every dollar you spend recording and pressing an album, be prepared to spend $4 to promote it. Many a great album have been written, recorded and produced only to sit and fill a warehouse or someone’s closet simply because no one explained the need (and cost) of getting it out. Even with personal social media and digital file-sharing there is so much more that can be done on a much larger and broader scale.
Number three, get your social media (and file sharing) in line and begin the build up and smart tactful accumulation of fans and industry types. Number four, prepare and launch a well thought out funding campaign, whether it’s having family and friends fund your release, attracting a label, or executing a crowd funding campaign with any of the well-known funding sites or the newer more hands-on type sites like MusicRaiser (or Pledge Music) that focus just on musicians. Number five, research publicists and national radio promoters to partner with you on your release months before you actually release it. You can walk a copy down to your local college radio station or the weekly zine yourself, but it’s a really good idea to have a short list of 2-3 professionals who have reviewed your material and are ready to schedule you in their release calendar if you’ve raised your funds and can afford them.

What do you feel are few of the most common misconceptions from artists when it comes to getting heard on the radio?

“If we send it out they’ll play it.” The truth is radio stations still get so many releases that this myth just isn’t true; it’s physically impossible. Also, if you haven’t done your homework as to whether your style music fits the genre of each station you are sending to then you further decrease your chances of being heard and reviewed at those stations because your style simply doesn’t fit. Do your homework or hire people who do it for a living and who have relationships with the music director at each station whether that’s college MD’s or programmers from A3, or Americana, or modern rock radio.

What do you consider to be some wise DIY tactics for brand new indie artists pushing their first releases to different radio formats?

Other than what I stated above, if an indie artist does not raise funding or cannot afford an indie radio promoter then a handful of the indie promoters actually sell DIY packets that allow you to set up and manage a radio campaign on your own for a fraction of the cost of hiring the firm. You just have to remember that while you may have all the correct addresses and contacts and some solid pointers for doing your own radio promotion, the real value to a radio promotion company is their relationships. They can utilize these relationships weekly, yet you’re just getting started building these relationships most likely just by sending out your first release.

How important is college radio when it comes to influence and trendsetting?

There is a key element to this question as well as to the value of college radio in general, and that is the value of tastemakers. College radio stations are made up almost exclusively of tastemakers, or people who influence and set trends. In other words those music directors, program directors and DJ’s are the first ones whose friends listen to them when it comes to what the newest releases are that are landing a radio stations. These radio people leave campus after class and their DJ hours and go work in the local venues, the local music magazine or the record store on the corner.
So in the big picture even if your record is getting a few spins on the local college station that may or may not mean that potential fans are hearing it, but if the workers surrounding the station like it, you can be sure that others are hearing it.

Given that college stations are typically staffed with students/directors used to dealing with labels, firms & DIY pitches alike, do you have any advice for follow-up?

Some of the best follow up is simply researching email addresses of the music directors at each station ahead of time. Many are posted publicly online or on the station’s own website. Of course you may include your email, facebook and twitter accounts, but don’t assume that radio station people have the time to reach out and contact you; that’s your job. Another old school form of getting stations to contact you with information about your record at their station is by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope that is easy for them to send back after they check off √yes, we are spinning your record, or Sorry, we passed on your release…
Other ideas for that card: “Is there a venue you think we should play?___” “Would you like extra CD’s for your DJ’s or to give away on air?”

As the radio industry has gone through conglomeration over the past couple of decades, how has the way independent firms pitch to commercial stations?

I don’t know. We mostly service non-commercial radio, but I’d guess it involves a LOT more money, and more “consultants.”

What roles do public and community radio play when it comes to promoting independent music?

To me these play the largest role for up and coming artists, new artists, and those without a mainstream sound or a major label deal. Public, community (and college) stations are Team Clermont’s bread and butter. These are the stations and the people who “get” the indie artist and the Team Clermont client.

How can indie artists be better utilizing radio promotion when it comes to embarking on their initial regional and national tours?

The most important thing in music PR is simply getting word out and making it a continual practice each day of your career, and yes, you can make a career out of your music. This means doing it yourself whether you are hiring an indie radio promotion company like ours or not. In fact I’ll tell most touring artists to save their money by not hiring us for a tour but to rather wait until a full length release is a few months away. Then use that money to just survive on the road. It’s tough out there,
And you’ll be glad you have enough money for PB&J’s and for buying fans some beers for allowing you to crash on their couches.
Learn more about Team Clermont, Nelson Wells, and their services for indie artists here! And at teamclermont.com

Reprinted with permission from Tunecore. For more information on music PR go to

teamclermont.com or contact Nelson Wells directly. 
All PR & Marketing data and Wells quotes ©2017 Team Clermont, Wells & McLean, inc 
Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day 1997, & does not permit or put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing of civil rights or the rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. © 2016-2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati, Catherine, Emily, Hill, Sarah, and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, team clermont sexism, is an illegitimate search, nelson wells sexism, is an invalid and illegitimate search, Nelson, and  Team, do not permit, sexist, attitude or behavior, the team and staff, do, provide, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, and does, PR, from, Athens, Georgia, offices, and, NYC offices, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

CMJ New Music Report: Team Clermont celebrates 20 years under the leadership of partners Nelson Wells and Bill Benson

Team Clermont celebrates 20 years under the leadership of partners Nelson Wells and Bill Benson.
Here is a fun interview done by CMJ's New Music Report as we celebrated our 15th. 
©2017 teamClermont

January 24, 2012

Team Clermont has spent the past 15 years helping both new and established artists maintain exposure in the press and at radio. 2011 was especially eventful for the company, with big showcases at CMJ and SXSW and ending off the year promoting a record that was No. 1 for six weeks in a row on the CMJ charts. 2012 brings the company’s 15-year anniversary. Team Clermont’s Shil Patel and Steve Hendriksen talk with CMJ about the past, as well as their plans for the future.

CMJ: What are some of your favorite memories of 2011 as far as things you did or worked on as a company?
Steve Hendriksen: 2011 was a great one for us! We had the chance to put on our annual showcases at CMJ and SXSW, as well as our first showcase at Raleigh, NC’s Hopscotch Music Festival (where I actually got to join John Vanderslice on stage for two songs). Also, having the chance to see M83 on Halloween night was pretty legendary.

Shil Patel: I had a great time at the festivals too—SXSW, 35 Denton, CMJ and the rest. At SXSW, one of the highlights was getting to see Telekinesis record a few songs with Jim Eno (Spoon) at his studio. At 35 Denton I saw Big Boi, Reggie Watts, and saw Michael Cera pop up everywhere. And at CMJ I had a great time at our showcase and at our party at Barcade. We promoted so many incredible albums, including M83‘s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, which ended the year at No. 1 for six weeks in a row on the CMJ Radio 200 chart.

Were there any releases that surprised you by how well they were received at college radio stations?
SH: We sent out a single from a New Zealand group called Kids Of 88 in the early part of 2011 that stations really seemed to jump all over.

SP: I go back to that M83 album. We all knew it would do well, considering that Saturdays=Youthwas M83’s first album to come in at No. 1 on the chart. But I was really blown away by all the support that kept Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming at No. 1 for so long. For a couple weeks over 70 percent of the stations that submitted charts had M83 in their Top 30. That was very impressive to me.

What are some releases you’re looking forward to hearing in 2012?
SH: Bear In Heaven! I loved their 2009 release, Beast Rest Forth Mouth, and I can’t wait to see how they’re going to follow it up.

SP: I agree with Steve: Can’t wait to hear that Bear In Heaven. I’m also really looking forward to the upcoming Magnetic Fields, Sharon Van Etten, Shearwater, Tindersticks, Nite Jewel and Andrew Bird releases, as well as getting my hands on all those Palace reissues.

It looks like 2011 treated you guys pretty well, and 2012 should too with your 15-year anniversary coming up. So now for a little history: How did Team Clermont get started as a company?
SP: Bill Benson and Nelson Wells were both working for the same promotion company in 1997 that Nelson co-founded a few years earlier. They formed a new partnership and bought that previous company (Revolution Promotion Management, the company that broke Hootie And The Blowfish and helped get them signed). With the new company, they streamlined and sharpened their focus on mostly indie artists and less Triple A-leaning artists. However, Team Clermont carried on with almost all of the same great clients: Warner Bros., Geffen, Tim/Kerr Records and more, and with artists like R.E.M. and Little Red Rocket (who later became Azure Ray featuring Maria Taylor and Orenda Fink, two former Athenians).

What’s changed the most about college radio in the past 15 years?
SP: I’ve been at Team Clermont since the beginning of 2007, and in that period of time there have been several changes. Of course, technology has changed so many things. Many of the stations we work with were among the first to develop their online presence, offering video of in-studio performances, creating regular podcasts and utilizing social media in creative ways. There seems to be more options for stations to make their presence felt.

SH: It’s exciting to see how stations are utilizing new technologies and social media to further their station’s goals and raise awareness. Stations have been able to capitalize on these free services in really creative ways, and it’s exciting to see what they’ll be up to next.

Are there challenges you face in radio promotion now that didn’t exist 15 years ago?
SP: Sure, I think one of the biggest challenges at the moment is the transition to digital servicing. Many other companies and labels are dealing with it as well. It makes sense to decrease the amount of CDs that are being mailed out for many reasons. When you take into account everything that goes into mailing a CD to a station (the CD itself, packaging, postage, fuel costs, etc.), it adds up monetarily and environmentally. I know that eventually we will get to a point where we no longer send out CDs, but right now we still ask our artists and labels to mail them out because many stations don’t yet have the time or the infrastructure to shift to an all-digital system. We want to make it as easy as possible for a music director to hear the music we’re promoting. As of now, we find that sending CDs cuts down the number of steps it takes for them to review the music.

This year calls for some more celebrations than usual. Have you made any plans yet for celebrating your anniversary? 
SP: Yes! We’re working on throwing a 15th anniversary party from July 26-28. We haven’t thrown a Team Clermont Blue Ribbon Ball or Summer Festival since we did the Summer Camp in 2008, and we thought, “What better time to get all our friends in the music industry down to Athens than on our 15th anniversary?” We’re still in the planning stages, but we’ll fill everyone in on the details over the coming months.

SH: It’s going to be legendary.

Check out some of Team Clermont’s current and past projects on its website, teamclermont.com.


©2017 teamClermont
Team Clermont is an equal opportunity employer, since day one, 1997, & does not put up with sexist behavior, sexism in any format, or the diminishing in civil rights or rights of the LGBTQ community whatsoever. ©2017 team clermont, nelson wells, bill benson, pati devries and the entire pr team. #indiemusic, #tech,#music, #promotion, #PR, #musicPR, #radio, indie music, PR, indiemusic, music, promotion, marketing, sync, licensing, best, European, American, top 10, public relations, teams, in the US, Canada, radio, PR firms, indie music, pr firm, small, large, biggest, top performing, Top 5, top 7, top 12, top 20, top 30, top 40, top 50, public relations, companies, Nelson, Wells, college radio, alternative, radio, flaming lips, wilco, Asthmatic kitty, merge records, publicity, campaigns, team, clermont, and Nelson, Wells are anti-, sexism, anti-, homophobia, Team clermont, does not support, or put up with, sexism, workplace, or, at home, nor does it support, those against, civil rights, or, LGBT, community, in anyway, terrific, business, friendly, people, staff, team, southern, Chicago, St Simons, St simons island, Georgia, Athens, GA, great pyrenees, puppies, kittens, rock, bands, indie band, singer, songwriter, Americana, music, A3, radio promoters, top10, promoter, top5, publicist, worldwide, CD sales, sync, licensing, tv & films, entertainment, industry, charts, plugging, radio plugging, radio pluggers, plugger, legal, payola, radio stations, NPR, public radio, charting, commercial radio, magazines, news, zines, blogs, #indiemusic, #indierock, #singer, #songwriter, #prince, #Haggard, David Bowie, sigur ros, Prince nelson, Prince, Nelson, artist, artist formerly known as, media, chart, radio chart, top 20 radio, music, playlist, playlists, Spotify, curated, playlist, college radio, public radio, CMJ, NACC, #publicradio, #collegeradio, sounds like, RIYD, RIYL, FFO, for fans of, recommended, artists, streaming, Mp3, mp3's, download, free, indiepop, indiemusic, indie pop, tunes, songs, lists, play list, samples, ASthmatic kitty, merge records, domino records, M83, kaela sinclair, on tour, radiohead, REM, R.e.m., live show, tour dates, team claremont, team clenmont, team clearmont, team clermount, does radio, does pr, does public, relations, relationship, radio plugging, #plugging, #pluggers, radio pluggers in the US, UK radio plugging