Can you describe your band in 140 characters or less?
It’s a good exercise, because the length of a tweet is about how long it would take you to describe your music to someone in-person without having to pause for a deep breath.
If you can create a concise 140-character pitch for your band, you’ll never have to stumble when someone asks you what you sound like or what kind of music you play. Instead of “umm… ummm… it’s kinda… well….,” you can just recite your 140-character pitch from memory.
A few tips for crafting your band’s 140-character pitch
* You can’t tell the whole story. Accept this from the start. Your pitch won’t convey the full breadth and diversity of your musical output, the whole biography, the whole… anything.
* It’s like a fishing lure. The job of the pitch is to attract the fish. Hooking them and reeling them is something else entirely.
* Play with the senses. Sandpaper. Lavender. Clanking. Moonlight. Use rich description for your music to create an immediate impression.
* Consider the social component. What will they gain? Does your music offer listeners some new insight or knowledge? Does it make them feel included in a larger group? Or give them pride and solace in the fact that they DON’T fit into existing groups?
* Name drop. Did you work with a famous producer? Co-write with a Grammy winner? Go on tour with your heroes? Tell us about it.
* Boil it down to one memorable anecdote. I have no idea whether or not Bon Iver ACTUALLY recorded his first album in a log cabin in the woods in the winter, surrounded by snowdrifts, and eating nothing but venison (I’m sure I’m exaggerating his story), but that is the impression I was left with when I read all the press around that album’s release.
For millions of listeners, knowing something about the rustic, lonely recording setting magnified the sense of loneliness and heartbreak in his music. He trecked out into the wilderness with nothing but his backpack, guitar, and,… um,… full recording rig, mics, compressors, effects, and pre-amps. (Ok, so maybe there’s an element of pre-meditated marketing spin—but that’s exactly the point!)
So reach into the drama of your own story and pull out the most memorable part. Make THAT your pitch.
Can you capture our imagination in 140-characters or less?
Have fun with this exercise. Play around. If you come up with a few good ideas, you’ll have options!
And when you’re done, I’d love to read your “pitches.” Feel free to leave them in the comments section below.