In my email inbox I keep a folder to stash any really good musician marketing material that I’m sent. With one of my latest finds, here is musician newsletter know-how from Bridget Kibbey.
Bridget sent this last month. It’s her season overview: with highlights of the programs and projects she’s offering. It’s concise, digestible, engaging — and piqued my interest. In a sea of ineffective marketing, any time I come across promo material that really works, I always take a moment to analyze it.
Pay attention to whatever gets you to stop, read, look, and listen. Ask yourself, “What’s working here?” What got you to stop scrolling, and gave you a sense of connection to the artist? And if the piece got you to take action—to click “play” or contact the artist, what was it that got you to do this?
What works for you in Bridget Kibbey’s newsletter below? Check your musician know-how.
I’m thankful to have chosen an instrument so diverse in its palette…it continually challenges me to explore time, culture and place.
This season’s programming traverses centuries and cultures with some of the best proponents in each genre … with the harp morphing into a massive guitar, an organ, a lute.
I would love to see you at an event!
— A new recital program you can hear around NYC and along the East Coast. Featuring my own adaptations of beloved keyboard works by Albeniz, Bach, Gershwin and Tchaikovsky.
— One of my favorite people and musicians, mandolinist Avi Avital and I join forces for an 8-city U.S. tour. Works by Bach, de Falla, Lavri, Rodrigo, Tchaikovsky.
— Four premiere performances of a new harp concerto celebrating the maracatú rhythm, found in Northeast Brazil – written by my very favorite composer muse – João Luiz Rezende – with performances starting this November with the Orlando Philharmonic and conductor Eric Jacobsen.
— Carnegie Hall presents my favorite touring project, via CityWide: Bach To Brazil, celebrating the rich cultural cross-pollination found in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Peru – and its influence on today’s Nuevo Latino culture in NYC – alongside incredible jazz percussionist/composer Samuel Torres and some surprise guests… I’m thrilled to announce we’re working with Chris Williams and Timothy Mar to book this project in coming seasons. You can check out our sounds here and here.
— The incredible Alexi Kenney and I team up for duo recitals focusing on Bach, Britten, and Dowland.
— Stunning Iranian vocalist Mahsa Vahdat and I create original songs together, exploring Persian vocal music with inspiration from Hafez, Rumi, and Mahsa’s own poetry.
See you on the road!
For general booking inquiries, please contact Pierre Ruhe: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Bach to Brazil, please contact Timothy Mar: email@example.com
And for A Celebration of Bach with the Dover Quartet: Barrie Steinberg firstname.lastname@example.org
OK, what did you notice? What newsletter know-how tips did you gain? Here’s what worked for me . . .
First off, use great photos
In your newsletters, do you have arresting photos? Note: this isn’t about looking glamorous or alluring (although of course, that can help)—it’s about communicating that you’re an engaging storyteller. An effective photo helps get us to stop, look, read, listen. Bridget’s use of photos, images of herself and her collaborators, work to pique interest and drive the eye down the page.
Are you good at spotting what makes great PR photos? Check your vision with the 3 Essentials to a Great Promo Shoot.
Second, capture our interest—grab our imagination
How does Bridget do this? Take a look at the really concise message she’s sending to her fans, presenters, and potential sponsors and collaborators.
In just 3 sentences we get a real sense of Bridget, her purpose as an artist, and an effective teaser to read about the season’s offerings. Plus a new way to imagine the sound possibilities of the instrument.
She starts in with how grateful she is to “have chosen an instrument so diverse in its palette.” This is counter-intuitive.
The majority of us probably associates harp with a narrow repertoire. What may come to mind is pretty Debussy and ballet music. So this is already a surprise—and a signal that what Bridgette offers is more than a “business as usual” harp recital.
And Bridget goes on to tell us what drives her as a musician. That the instrument challenges her “to explore time, culture and place.” It’s a refreshing glimpse into what the artist is focused on—how she experiences music.
More newsletter know-how: Surprise us — upend our assumptions
Next, in the second sentence we learn about her programming this season. That it “traverses centuries and cultures with some of the best proponents in each genre.” So immediately we think, “Oh, who’s she playing with? And wow, what genres are we talking about?”
That sets up expectations in the reader and helps us keep reading. And the newsletter delivers. In the Highlight sections she gives us concise details. We read that Bridget is collaborating with some impressive colleagues in a wide range of styles.
Play with our expectations
Bridget ties it all together. She explains that because of the harp’s diverse palette, and the season’s diverse programming, she offers listeners something rare. We get to hear the harp “morph into a massive guitar, an organ, a lute.” Busting the myth of what a harp can sound like.
Who wouldn’t want to hear that?
And her third sentence is a simple invitation: “I would love to see you at an event!” Honest and open. Nothing extra. Nothing “salesy.”
Use the KISS principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid)
Every word of this concise 3 sentence message contributes to an effective call to action.
Bridget comes across as genuine because she’s up front and specific about why she does what she does. There’s none of the usual hyperbole. She’s not hiding behind clichés or sweeping generalizations. And she isn’t trying to prove her worth by listing a lot of awards and venues.
Put this Musician Newsletter Know-How from Bridget Kibbey to Use
Bridget is direct and enthusiastic. And the tease about the programming gets me curious to read more. So I’m motivated to read the specifics (again, still super concise). And the links are well chosen to help readers find what they most likely want more info on. Those are just some of the tips you can glean from this example.
What ideas can you take from this to use in your own self-promotion?
Do you have a question about newsletters? Hit me up in our FREE Musicians Making It Facebook group.
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