Building your Brand through Music Marketing
When it comes to Music Marketing, you have to make decisions that will help further your brand. Think of yourself as a business, not as an Independent Music Artist. With this mentality, you will be prepared to succeed or fail as a business and not take things personally when things fall through. Once you’re in a music marketing mindset, you can begin to follow the important steps to achieving your goals.
Wherever you are right now in your career, write down 4 things you’d like to accomplish in the next 4 months. This will be your Music Marketing Plan. Your time is extremely valuable and the goal here is to not burn out. As a musician you have a lot of hats to wear: Marketing, Promoting, Booking, Online Website Designer, Graphic Designer (Flyers, Logos, Cover-Art, Website, etc.) entertainer, host & somewhere in that madness you have to find time to actually create/record new content!
Unfortunately without “content” you don’t have a product to sell and without a product to sell, your business fails. This isn’t to depress you, this is to give you the real facts when it comes to pursuing a career in music and marketing your music. You have a lot to do! The reward is: You are in complete control of your music career and over-time can delegate most of the duties listed above, so you can follow your true passions.
Your first step is to decide where you want to spend your time music marketing and make sure that time is directly correlated to moving you forward. For instance, if you just finished recording a few songs and are ready to market yourself on social media, make sure you have accomplished building a website for yourself, have a Facebook Page set-up and own your domain name. I can’t tell you how many times I have talked to artists who have already skipped to music marketing on social media, when they are still missing a website, twitter account and facebook page. Don’t make these mistakes. Take your time and build your infrastructure first, before going wild with music marketing ideas and strategies.
How do you make sure you have an effective music marketing strategy? Keep your business plan simple. Try to lead all your fans to your website, not to thousands of third-party websites that promise you the world and give you nothing. Remember, you are the one that is going to work hardest at marketing your music, so your music marketing strategy depends on you and not on the millions of websites you’re on. It’s much more effective to have 50 fans who visit your website where you can offer them a free download in exchange for their email than selling your songs on a huge marketplace like iTunes where no one can find you. Don’t depend on third party sites to build your brand. It’s very simple: Your website is your brand, so make sure it looks good and converts passive fans into active listeners/buyers.
Build your website with call to action buttons, where your fans can learn more about you and buy your music. Mailchimp is a great place to start. Set yourself up with a “Signup on my Newsletter” button and offer them discounts. More on this below. Most importantly, for a great music marketing presence, make your music the face of your website. This is one of my pet peeves. It seems like such an obvious thing to do, but so many artists fail to do it! Don’t make it hard for your fans to find your music. Put it on your home-page and call it a day. Not a Tab, not a page which gives them a link to another page where they can buy your music from a third party site that could care less if you succeed or fail. TunePort provides the perfect solution to selling music from your homepage within your own personal music store and gives your fans an easy way to listen and buy. By using services like TunePort, your website is effectively marketing your music 24/7 and all you have to do is collect those purchases/emails & follow up to build your newsletter. That’s proactive with a maximum effect, minimum effort mentality. Timothy Ferriss (Author of 4 hour work week) would be extremely proud of you. I’ve made a list of a few places below to help you get started on your music marketing strategy and some key ideas to transform passive fans into active listeners/buyers.
1) Where do I go to create a website?
I highly recommend wix.com, squarespace.com or wordpress.com. If you are more familiar with working online, wordpress is a good choice for you, if you are looking for a simple/user-friendly interface wix or squarespace will do the job. With that being said, you do have the choice to build a website design from scratch. If you are already a web developer, this might be the best option for you. To learn more about what a website builder is and a few more options to choose from visit: https://www.cloudwards.net/best-website-builders
2) Where do I go to create my domain name? (www.)
You should use godaddy.com. You can search for domain names and with very little investment ($9-11 average) purchase your name and start creating your website. Keep in mind, you should do this before looking into a website platform.
3)Where do I go to sell my music?
TunePort.com – Tuneport provides a very simple-user-friendly store to upload tracks to and sell your music directly from your website. While other third-party sites might offer you the opportunity to sell your music (Aka: Cdbaby, TuneCore, Reverbnation, iTunes, BandCamp, etc.) they aren’t entirely focused on you. Remember, you have to be ruthless in business and cut out the middleman. This will save you thousands of hours and investment of time into websites that will offer you little/no reward. Your website is your way forward, not theirs.
4) How do I bring fans to my website and build a loyal following?
Create interesting blog content with keywords people will search for. In fact, this is one of those blogs. You can see that my keyword is “Marketing Music” but within that context, there’s a lot of valuable content to learn/grow from. By searching and finding valuable keywords, you can grow your music business exponentially. Example: If I’m an acoustic singer-songwriter, I might search for “Acoustic Music.” Think like your fans: What would they search for? Then write a blog with those keywords. This will help you build a very effective online presence on Google. My other suggestion is making sure your domain name is very SEO Friendly. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, visit Fiverr.com and you can easily find an expert for 5 bucks to do it for you.
Facebook (Think Community & make it happen.)
Create a Facebook Community Page interested in Live Music in your community or how about a Meetup? The goal here is to meet friends who like the type of music you create, invite them to shows, interact & build that community.
On Twitter find other Musicians that sound like you and are doing similar work. Exchange information and start building your fan-base. Mix & Match. My fans, your fans. If you are in a community setting, why not set-up your own shows and start finding people that way.
You should always have a “signup for my newsletter” or “join my fanpage” button on your website. I suggest Mailchimp.com. You can easily embed one of their forms into your website & all your new fans will be automatically added to your mailchimp account. From here, you now have the names/emails of folks interested in your music to follow up with them, invite them to shows, sell them merchandise and in “Music Marketing” terms the foundation for your business to thrive and succeed.
Meet your Fans in the Real World
Click here to see how I sold 10,000 CD’s on the streets!
Your objective when it comes to developing a music marketing agenda is to provide maximum results with minimum effort. The online world offers a variety of resources that can help you with your music strategies and can be very cost effective. At the same time, this world can offer a chaotic mess of options that will put your mind in a state of turmoil and make you want to stab your eyes out with a fork. I’ve been there. Simplify and the world is your oyster. Over-Complicate and you will be in a nightmarish circle of getting nothing done, but feeling like you are working. Try to always ask yourself: “Am I doing this right now, to make myself feel busy and therefore give the illusion to myself that I am being productive?” or “Am I making this decision because I know it will move my business forward?” Try to take your artist self out of the equation. If you need to, put on dress attire you would wear to a formal interview to get yourself in a business mindset. Think like a business and you’re on your way to becoming a Music Marketing expert.
Need help/tips to help you further your music career? Please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deron Wade is a music tech entrepreneur, marketing consultant and sales trainer. His passions lie in listening to new live music, finding a cure for the Independent Music Industry, improving his tennis game and drinking Jack & Coke.