By Bobby Borg
There's a right time and a wrong time to get a video made. For many artists, the right time is after they're signed, getting some "love" at radio, and have a hit.

However, with advances in technology today, there are a number of opportunities to record a decent-looking video for next to nothing.

Furthermore, there are a variety of new Web sites and cable shows starting up nearly every week to provide new outlets for promotion.

While it probably shouldn't be the highest priority in your marketing plan, outline your video goals using the following points as your guideline.

Get it produced. Film schools are a great outlet for getting your video produced. As a requirement for graduation, students often need to turn in final projects of their choice—and this is where you and your band comes in. Conduct a search on the Internet using something like "Your City + Film School," jot down the results of your search, and pay each school's film department a visit. Speak with students or department heads and let them know that you're available for filming. You can also get your video produced by asking your local club booker if they offer professional video services to bands performing live in its venue. Some clubs will film your entire live performance for as little as $150, complete with special effects. Finally, you might find an "artistic" and "capable" friend, with his own digital camera like the Sony Handy Cam (www.sony.com) and editing tools like Apple iMovie (www.apple.com), who will produce your video free of charge.

Decide on the concept. Decide whether the concept of your video is going to be a live performance, one that is scripted with someone acting out the lyric subject matter, or an extended documentary style video that has interviews and commentary. Shooting a live performance video is probably your best bet because playing live is what you do best—and it's also what club bookers prefer to see when considering you for their events.

Use it as a perk to sell CDs. Use your video as a sales perk by asking a manufacturer like Disc Makers (www.discmakers.com) to "enhance" (add video data) to your CDs. This way your fans will feel like they're getting "that much more" for their money. Another "value added" perk might be to ask Disc Makers to package your video and CD in "double jewel cases" or "double Digi-Paks." By doing this, you might even be able to charge a few more bucks per unit.

Stream it from your Web site. Stream your video from your personal Web site or some other home destination like your Myspace (www.myspace.com) page to further connect with your fans, club bookers, and other visitors. Fans appreciate every little bit you can offer to make your site more exciting and help them become part of your "world." And bookers can get a better sense of what you can do live when considering you for gigs. You benefit any way you look at it!

Get in touch with local cable shows. Get in touch with local and national cable shows featuring independent artists by conducting a key word search on the Internet for "music video shows" or "cable music shows." You'll be surprised at the number of programs that come up, how easy the submission policy is, and how feasible it is to get your video played.

Upload to various video sites. Upload your video to sites such as MSS Vision (www.mssvision.com) where TV programmers looking for content can find you. CD Art (www.cdart.com) allows fans to discover the personalized page you create and to rate your video. Google Video (www.video.google.com) allows users to preview, play, and purchase your video. Video Egg (www.videoegg.com) allows members/fans to watch and share your videos with their friends. YouTube (www.youtube.com) and Dabble (www.dabble.com) are like online communities where fans can discover your band, preview your video, and create a personal collection of favorite videos on their own homepage to share with friends. Check them all out.

Submit to online "video podcast shows." Submit to online video podcast shows (shows that can be watched by your fans on their computers and downloaded to their video iPod) for new and exciting ways to get your video played. Check out sites like Blip TV (www.bliptv.com) and Imusicflow (www.getyourflow.com). Conduct a search online for other sites using keywords like "video podcast shows." There are tons of podcasts out there. You just have to put in the time and find them.

Videos can be a useful tool to the Indie artist, but just one part of the many things you should be doing to get your band seen and heard. Keep the production of your video simple and keep your costs down. And always remember, all the graphics, special effects, dancers, sexy clothing, and make-up might initially capture people's attention, but it can't make a bad song better or a bad singer great.



Get Bobby's new book How to Market Your CD and Create a Buzz by going to his Web site www.bobbyborg.com.

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