This post originally appeared on Power Publicity.
Technology has made it easier than ever for indie artists to market their music. With a click of a button, artists can reach millions of music fans and hope that their single goes viral. However, it takes more than posting your music links online to market your music and build a successful career.
Here are the top marketing mistakes that indie artists make.
- Not having a marketing plan– As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” You cannot just wing it when marketing your music and expect to see results. Create a marketing plan that includes goals, objectives, strategies, tactics, a market analysis, project timeline, metrics, and projections.
- Targeting the wrong audience– Your music is not for everybody. Music fans who listen to Drake are different than music fans who listen to Justin Bieber. Targeting the wrong audience is a waste of your time, effort, and money. Test your music on different people to figure out who your target audience is. Ask people outside of your circle of family and friends to listen to your music. They are more likely to give you honest feedback.
- Lack of Originality– Every artist has something that makes him or her unique. Find your own style and image instead of imitating another artist or what’s popular. The landscape of music marketing is also rapidly changing. Artists are taking risks and using unconventional methods to promote their music. Do not be afraid to try something new.
- Relying solely on social media- While many music fans discover new music online, the Internet is cluttered with music. You only reach a fraction of your audience when you exclusively promote your music on social media. Use a mix of online and offline tactics such as radio promotion, video promotion, publicity, street team promotion, events, appearances, online advertising, email marketing, contests, etc. to reach audience.
- No video promotion- Video allows you to build a personal connection with your fans by giving them a glimpse into your world. Several studies have also shown that video has a higher engagement rate than photos or text. Having your own YouTube channel can improve your SEO and add another source of income. Create single previews, album trailers, video diaries, and music videos. Use video to interact with your fans by hosting live streaming sessions such as Google Hangouts.
- Spamming your music links– No one likes spam! Sending your music links to people you do not know on social media is like abruptly interrupting a conversation of individuals you do not know at a party. Get to know people before you send them your music. Comment on their posts and have conversations with them. Along with building relationships, produce quality content on your social media pages that will make people want to listen to your music.
- No Website- Your website should be your central hub for your fans to connect with you. Invest in a quality website that includes your bio, music, tour dates, newsletter sign-up, videos, photos, and contact information. Hire a graphic designer who can design a website that fits your brand and engages your fans.
- No Email List– Contrary to what you may believe, email marketing is still the most effective online marketing tool. While you may have thousands of followers on social media, you do not own them. How will you stay in contact with those followers if social media was to go away? Email marketing allows you to talk directly to your fans and sell to them on a consistent basis. Send out e-newsletters on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis to stay connected with your fans.
- Not Promoting at Your Shows- Not promoting at your shows is a missed opportunity. The best way to connect with people and build your fan base is in person at your performances. Along with putting on a great show, interact with people. Always have your music, merchandise, and promotional materials at your shows. Have a sign-up sheet to add subscribers to your email list. Follow up with your new subscribers and thank them for supporting you at your show.
- Bad timing- Timing is a critical part of your marketing. It takes time for your marketing efforts to generate results and build a buzz. Start planning your marketing campaign from the beginning of the recording process. Give yourself at least six months to promote a single and build anticipation before releasing your new album. Avoid releasing music around the same time superstar artists are releasing music to prevent being overshadowed. Remember, timing is everything.