As an artist, you put your all into your craft. Making music can be a very detailed and tedious process. There are so many steps to be taken in order to finally perfect your finished product, and now that you’ve finally reached the end of it, you want to sit back and reap the rewards of your hard work.
However, making the music is really just the beginning. In order to see any results with regards to popularity and maybe even album sales, you have to master another craft: the art of marketing.
6 Steps to Market Your Music
Marketing is no longer a game only marketing majors can excel at. With the ease of access on the internet, you are at an advantage to handle everything yourself in the form of DIY Marketing!
The most important thing to remember, is to try new things and not be discouraged when something doesn’t work out exactly how you planned. This is when you take a look at what didn’t work, make adjustments and fine-tune them with your own unique strategies. Let’s look at a few areas to begin marketing your music.
Social Media Marketing
Most likely everyone you know is on at least one of the social media platforms available today including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or SnapChat. One of the best ways to think about using social media for marketing, is to remember people are forming friendships and partnerships on these websites rather than wanting to be sold. Use these platforms to gain followers to your brand rather than just to promote your music.
When posting updates, keep your promotional updates to a minimum and stay conversational. About 80% of your posts should be engaging, funny or trying to entice a reaction. A good way in the music industry to sneak your work into your conversational posts is by taking short videos of your time in the studio on SnapChat or Instagram Stories, taking photos of you out at venues, a group of fellow artists at a jam session or even posting a short teaser of your newest song. A lot of times Twitter and Facebook can be best used to show off your personality, by writing funny posts about what happened to you that day.
Don’t forget about creating music videos to post on YouTube and Vimeo. Although the days of MTV Music Video are no where near the glory days of the 90’s, many people like to catch up on your new music by following your video channels.
Book Live Performances
Another way of marketing yourself as a musician is the most obvious: live performances. Try to get playing time at venues like restaurants, bars, or even clubs, depending on your genre and what’s fitting. Try to target your ideal audience based off the places they’re likely to attend.
For example, EDM music would obviously need to be kept at clubs and maybe the occasional bar. Soft rock or alternative might be fitting at a popular restaurant that hosts live bands.
Getting a set at a venue is not always easy. Go out of your way to get in contact with the booking manager of the venues your music would be appreciated at. Go in before busy hours to talk to the manager on duty, visit their website to find out the contact information for the booking manager, follow their social media pages where they will occasionally post about open time slots or last minute openings.
Don’t be afraid to travel. Book venues in other cities or do a gig swap with another band similar to your own, where they headline and you open in their city and you headline and they open in yours.
Sell Downloads Online
Never forget to promote your music on your own website. Set up an e-commerce system, where you can sell your music or merchandise directly to your customers. Capture email addresses of those that buy your products and send them an email for all updates including new products, new shows or new band information. Direct your social media ads to your website with promos and coupons as a way to optimize your opportunity to reach higher sales.
Have a photo gallery on your website that shows off your life, tour photos and images of your day to day life. Make sure to also include a music player to give your fans a taste of your sounds while browsing your website.
Collaborating with other musicians is a good idea, too. It may not be the easiest option, especially since you’d ideally want to work with someone who has more recognition than you do. Networking is something you should be doing anyway, though. It comes with the industry.
Any fellow artists interested in working with you is an opportunity you want to consider. You never know what connections you’ll make through someone else—even if you don’t gain an outpouring of new fans from working with them. Connections are invaluable resources in the music industry.
Sometimes marketing your music simply means getting the word out there, by any means necessary. Consider reaching out to other already prominent music blogs. Send them examples of your work and ask to be included as a write up on their website or in a social media post.
Having others write about your music is a good way to gain recognition. Some blog writers have loyal readers who follow their posts on a regular basis and trust their music finding ability.
It can be frustrating and overwhelming trying to get your music recognized. Just when you think you’ve done most of the hard work already, another climb awaits you.
The uphill battle is well worth it when you’ve followed your passion, so don’t give up!