Let’s face it; the music industry is large and highly competitive. Needless to say, it can be very difficult to succeed in the industry.
The problem is that most musicians have the music fundamentals down pat, but haven’t mastered the marketing fundamentals. They just produce an endless list of songs and hope that their big break will come one day and they’ll be discovered. Unfortunately, this is a rare occurrence and it would be unrealistic at the least to expect that it’s going to happen. The best way to prepare is to treat your music as a business and market it. That being said, there are many different marketing strategies that you can employ.
Here are 8 of the most fundamental ways to build a marketing strategy as a musician.
1. PR Management
There are tons of ways to manage your PR. You can do news releases, interviews, guest writing, reviews of songs and products related to what you do, reviews of shows and events that are related to what you do, participation in charitable activities, and just general buzz. Don’t worry about the writing part, because you can easily get a professional assignment writing service to do it for you.
It doesn’t just end there, however. You also need to think about the distribution of your PR. Products, shows, events, and songs won’t just come to you waiting to be reviewed. You need to get out there and look for them. For example, when you’re pitching to a recipient, fit your pitch to them and what matters to them. You can also build your own personal list of local press, local and national reviewers, and so on that, you will begin to pitch to immediately. For your news releases, look online for sites that have news submission forms, such as eMusician.com, Mi2N.com, Blabbermouth, and so on. You can also consider hiring a publicist to handle your public relations. Be sure to find one that’s the right fit for you.
2. Social Media
Social media is one of the most powerful platforms you can use to power your marketing. All you have to do is put in the work, trust the process, and the results will be sure to follow.
- Start by creating a profile on the major sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. Update your posts regularly in order to be seen as active.
- Include contact info in your profile for anyone that would like to reach you.
- Interact with your fans and respond to them when they ask you questions. Your fans want to know you care about them.
- Speaking of fans, your main focus when you’re starting out you should build your fan base as large as you can and get them to invest in you emotionally.
One particularly powerful platform that you can use to your advantage is YouTube. Here are some pointers you can use to grow a large following on YouTube:
- Control your own channel
- Let the skin on your channel support your projects
- Have a link to a personal website
- Always keep your best videos at the top for easy discovery
- Use keywords in video descriptions to get them well ranked. Be sure to also include URLs to your website, or at least contact info
- Share your videos to other social media platforms (you can also embed them in your site or at least link to them)
Email lists are highly valuable for your campaign. Get an email service that starts you off for free to build a list. Just don’t abuse it by posting irrelevant content and keep your posts regular. The best way to build the list is to have a sign up field on as many pages of your website as possible. You can also use contests to get fans’ emails.
Direct advertising can also be pretty useful, including event listings, banner ads, and social media ads. Just shop around before you pay so you know you’re getting a great deal. Look for ways you can share costs to make it easier for your pocket. You can even try bartering. For example, you can ask a webmaster to put a banner on their site in exchange for you putting up a banner on yours.
Look for as much exposure as you can find on forums, blogs, online social groups, and media outlets where you can share your articles. You’re looking to share your music and other products as much as you can. You don’t need to spend much money here; just think of ways you can add value in order to get value in return.
At some point in your career, you will be big enough to consider endorsements as a marketing strategy. These will help you to show your value by endorsing companies that you support. You can even do it without them having to ask, including providing them with demos, clips, and so on. Don’t think of it in terms of free gear; think of it in terms of exposure.
Use contests as a way to build your email list and also to get your name and face associated with big companies and brands. Always share the winners of your contests with your audience as a way to get your fans to repost and also reward the winners. Here you’re building goodwill!