ARTIST MARKETING…Follow the Leaders

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Not Really Sure How to Market Yourself or Your Project – Ok, Let’s Discuss.

If You’re Trying to Decide Which Strategies to Use, the Answer is EASY!

ALL OF THEM! 

1. Know your brand

Before you can market your band, you need to have your brand in place.

What’s unique about your act? Which aspects of your story are the most compelling and set you apart from every other band out there? How will you present yourself consistently — from your onstage look, to your social media tone, to your logo and color schemes and photos?

Once you’ve honed your brand, the specifics of your band marketing strategies and fan communication will flow from there.

2. Use your email newsletter

Your email list is an incredibly valuable direct line to your most dedicated fans. You have no control over Facebook’s ever-changing News Feed algorithm, but you can always use your newsletter to reach the people who want to hear from you the most. Plus, email is by far the most effective way to sell your music, tickets, and merchandise.

3. Have a website

Investing in a great band website is one of the most important things you can do to maximize your marketing efforts. No matter how many newsletters you send out or how many Facebook ads you run, a poorly designed, outdated website — or no website at all — will hurt your credibility and give off the impression that you’re not serious about your music.

When done right, your band website acts as the central hub for everything. You have full control over the user experience and the data, and you can sell your music and merchandise direct-to-fan.

4. Use social media

Managing several different social media pages can quickly get overwhelming, so the key is to focus on where your fans (and potential new fans) are most active. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all great places to start, but you should also explore platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, and even Pinterest, and see if it makes sense to put the effort into building a following there.

5. Focus on streaming

While we still have a long way to go before the average artist can realistically earn a living from streaming revenue, there’s no arguing that services like Spotify and Apple Music have become the new go-to for music fans to discover bands. These days, having your song included in a curated Spotify playlist can be just as effective (if not more) than traditional press coverage.

If you don’t already have your music on all of the major streaming platforms, sign up with a digital distribution company like TuneCore, and get your releases up there. The setup process is easy, and there’s really no downside!

6. Leverage the power of YouTube

Video is a powerful medium for band marketing. By adding a visual layer to your artistry, you’re reinforcing your brand while allowing fans to connect with your music in a deeper way.

Youtube is one of the first places people search when they’re trying to find a specific song, so make sure you upload all of your original music and official music videos to your band’s channel. You might also want to consider regularly posting unique cover videos, vlogs, live performances, or interviews so that you show up more often in search results and make yourself more accessible to potential fans.

7. Perform Live….Everywhere!

Performing live is one of the best ways to get new fans and market your band. Start by focusing on your local scene, and don’t hesitate to play charity events, fundraisers, or private events in between your music venue/bar gigs. Once you’ve built up a strong local following, you can turn your attention to regional weekend tours and music festival gigs, mix it up with multiple genre festivals to gain even more exposure.

8. Build Relationships and Get Reviews.

Getting publicity for yourself or band is all about relationships, but you shouldn’t wait until you can finally afford a music publicist to start working on your strategy. Keep a running list of any local or independent music blogs that have covered bands similar to yours, and make a note of their contact info and any pitch requirements listed on the website.

Even if you only hear back from a couple of small blogs at first, you can use those initial reviews to build momentum and buzz, and eventually work your way up to getting covered by bigger publications with a wider reach. Plus, you never know where those small bloggers will end up in a couple of years, so make sure you maintain those relationships.

9. Create band merchandise

Let your diehard fans do the marketing for you by donning a T-shirt with your band logo on it!

Besides the usual suspects like clothing, stickers, and posters, there are thousands of creative items you can offer your fans — think phone cases, flasks, or even handwritten lyric sheets. Just make sure that whatever merchandise you create is aligned with your brand, and something that your fans would actually be excited to purchase.

10. Run contests

Running an occasional contest or giveaway is a great band marketing idea — you benefit from the exposure, and lucky fans of yours get something for free from a band they love.

You could do something as simple as a social media ticket giveaway for your next show, or as involved as a VIP listening party or scavenger hunt around your city. Whatever you do, try to make it fun and exciting so that people are incentivized to spread the word on your behalf.

11. Don’t forget radio

Radio might not be your first thought when you’re brainstorming band marketing strategies, but targeting independent and college radio stations can be a very effective way to promote your music.

If you manage to grab a program director’s attention, you’ll be able to tap into a new audience that trusts and enjoys their music curation.

12. Look into sponsorships and partnerships

We’re not talking about some huge, unattainable contract with a major international brand — you can partner with local businesses and work out a deal that’s simple, authentic, and mutually beneficial.

Do some research on companies that are already working with bands similar to where you are in your music career. Take note of what both parties put into and get out of the arrangement, and think through what sorts of things you could offer and would benefit from.

As an example, you could strike up a collaboration with a local graphic design firm. They create a unique, limited-edition merch item for your band to sell at your next show, and in return, you give them a cut of the profits and help promote them on your website and social media pages.

13. Engage your fans

As you’ve read through these strategies, you’ve probably gathered by this point that it all really boils down to this: build genuine relationships that turn your casual fans into devoted superfans, and they’ll supplement all of your efforts with the most powerful marketing of all — word of mouth. It obviously requires consistent hard work to engage and nurture your fans, but those superfans are the key to building a legitimate, long-lasting music career.

14. Build Your Team…Don’t Give Up

This is a hard business, surround yourself with positivity and people that will motivate you when you get discouraged! Trust me, it will! But Don’t Give Up!

Follow @1kimberlyjo on IG for some inspiration

Thanks Lisa Occhino for the words of wisdom!

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Top 10 Music Marketing Trends for 2012

2012 Music Marketing Trends

2012 will be a year of opportunities for the artist who isn’t afraid to embrace all aspects of the digital lifestyle. The successful artist will be the one who is not afraid to take chances and be creative in the online world.

Here are some of the Top Trends in Music Marketing for 2012

1.   MONETIZE MUSIC

  • Facebook‘s “Listen With” feature will be a great asset to artists and encourage streaming service usage and subscriptions.  This will also help artists accrue fans to whom they can publish news feed links to concert tickets, merchandise, and their websites. Driving traffic to these additional revenue streams is crucial since streaming royalties are a very small fraction of a cent per listen.
  • Sync licensing of music for uses in traditional broadcast media, film, and on YouTube will put some $$$ in the pockets of many artists.
  • Artists will continue to make money from the non-digital aspects of music such as tapes, CDs, live shows, events, appearances, collaborations, and, of course, merchandise will continue to offer musicians new ways to make money.
  • Direct-to-fan This is not easy or fast, but necessary.  Sales will coexist with “traditional” online retail outlets to offer places for consumers to find, hear, and buy music.
  • Fan Funding is a great way to generate funds. The key here….the building and maintenance of  your fan base.

2.   MUSIC SUBSCRIPTION SALES WILL CONTINUE TO BUILD

Subscription-based streaming sites (Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, MOG, Slacker) are great for music consumers but not necessarily the artists. The key here…find new and creative ways to get your fans to share your music and then focus on diversifying your revenue streams!

 

3.  GO MOBILE 

We all know that the mobile-thing is not new but it will soon become your #1 source for creating content and engaging with your fans.  Smart artists/marketers will need to have a mobile strategy moving ahead.

 

4.   LOCATION-BASED MARKETING

As location awareness becomes more prevalent and seamless in mobile technology, artists will be more in tune with where fans are. The places you love say a lot about who you are. So if fans are able and willing to share geosocial info, musicians can perform and interact with their fans at places their fans love the most.

 

5.  BEFORE WE GO ON….please make sure that you are actually marketing good music!  Need I say more? (I do, but will save it for another post!)

Ok…..

 

6.   MERGING PLATFORMS

A digital and connected life has become the norm.  With all of our gadgets, software, games, smartphones, etc. – it only makes sense to merge all of the various platforms we all use.  For example, attend an event, sign up for a mailing list and simultaneously link your Facebook account, or opt in to receive text message alerts, and so on.

 

7.  LIVE PERFORMANCES in SMALLER VENUES 

It’s crucial for artists to do live performances in order to connect with their fans on a more authentic level and to move outside of the digital clutter on the internet and other devices.  Remember to work each show with a plan and a purpose.

This will happen in a more intimate setting specifically targeting fan-based crowds and music supported by a more deeply defined audience.  Focus is more on the niche than the numbers.

 

8.  BEING OVERWHELMED

If you’re pushing a grass-roots campaign or focused on a DIY strategy…unfortunately, this is a feeling you will be all too familiar with in 2012. Without a lot of money, large staff, or an abundance of time – organization, prioritization, and creativity are your best and most reliable avenues.

There are way too many social networks,new tools and services out there that becoming overwhelmed is very easy if you aren’t in control. Don’t do like so many others… sign up for everything, forget about it, and use nothing.

Stay Positive….”The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible”!

 

9.   FOCUS ON THE BASICS 

Remember, the core fundamentals of music are still the same – meaning, the main focus will always be to build your fan base. Best tools…your website (Is it consistently updated?), your mailing list (Is it growing? Do you communicate regularly?) and your products (hopefully you’re offering more than music)!

 

10.   HUSTLE, HUSTLE, HUSTLE!

The successful artist will do what others are not willing to do. There are no quick and easy ways (no matter what anyone tells you) but in this digital world…all of the tools and resources are available and at your disposal. Use them.

Now Get To It!

We’ll be looking for you in our digital world!

Need help? Contact Us!

 

Coming up…”How To Know If You Are Promoting the “Right” Song?”

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