Stop! You're Doing It Wrong: 5 Tips To Market Your Music

What is Marketing?

Marketing is how artists generate fans and awareness of their music. This goes beyond retweeting tweets, posting on facebook, & or just posting it online.

In this article we are going to touch on 5 creative ways to get your name out there and drive fans to your music.

The first step in effective marketing is creating a marketing plan for your music. This is a comprehensive understanding of your audience, the marketplace, and a plan to accomplish whatever goals you’ve set for yourself


Tip #1: Define Your Audience

Knowing your audience is the key to success.

With this understanding you’ll know where your fans exist and engage online. You’ll know how to communicate with them and, more importantly, how to keep them coming back for more by building value.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself when defining your audience:

  • “How old are my fans?”
  • “What gender are the majority of my fans?”
  • “Where are my fans located?”
  • “Are they intellectual?”
  • “Are they partiers?”
  • “What other things do my fans like outside of music?”
  • “What are my fans favorite social media sites?”
  • “What are my fans willing to pay for?”

This is one way  you can go more in depth about your fans and truly figure out who your ideal fan is.


Tip #2: Analyze Your Market

Once you know who your fans are you can now learn what's happening in their local community as well as what’s happening in your genre globally. Having this understanding will help you to establish where you fit in and what unique value you can offer to your fans.

To find out more about about to build your audience and to learn the remaining 3 tips subscribe to for more updates on how to achieve success in the music industry.


Tip #3: Establish goals

As I stated earlier in the article, marketing has to have a purpose. At this point you should have established why you need to be marketing your music, but now it’s time to set goals around that purpose.

For example, let’s say you’re marketing a new album. Ok, great. But what’s the goal here?

Is it to sell more albums? Sure, but how many more albums? And how long do you want to give yourself to achieve this goal?

Every goal should be actionable, measurable and timed. This way you’re not just aimlessly ‘marketing’ without a true understanding of how successful you are.

Setting these goals is certainly easier if you’ve done this before. In the example above, let’s say you released an album two years ago, you can use this as a baseline of how many albums sold last time around and how long it took, so you can set reasonable goals for this new effort.

If you’ve never done this before, that’s ok too. Everyone starts at zero. Simply refer to your market research and base your goals off of what’s been done by others similar to your experience level.


Tip #4: Develop an action plan

With your actionable, measureable, timed goals in place, it’s now time to create a plan to achieve these goals. There are several components to include in your action plan, including:

  • PR
  • Advertising
  • Content creation / curation
  • Touring
  • Social Media / Community Management
  • Networking
  • (whatever you need to achieve your goals)

Map out how you’re going to approach each of these on a monthly basis. But word to the wise, only map out a calendar one quarter at a time so you don’t spend time on a plan for 6 months from now when things can change very quickly.

Easiest way to do this is to set up a spreadsheet with the overall components listed down the left hand side and the monthly breakdown of the quarter across the top.

This will help you to see a full picture of say, all of your planned PR efforts, or how you plan to create and release content across the next few months. This clarity can help to remove some of the stress and make each aspect of this roadmap easier to conquer.

And remember, everything you do here should have some sort of a performance indicator (often Key Performance Indicators) so that the effectiveness, or lack thereof, can be measured properly.

Here are some KPIs to consider, again using the ‘album sales’ goal as the example:

  • How many album sales were generated through clicks from your mailing list this week? How does that compare to the week previous?
  • How many mailing list sign ups did your social content generate this week? How does that compare to the week previous?
  • Which sources to your website are leading to the most store clicks on your?

Again, the list can go on and on. Always consider what your goal is and focus your KPI on an action that directly reflects your goal.

At the end of each quarter (and really each week), you should review your efforts against your goals, and make changes as necessary – stop or change how you’re doing things that are not moving the needle, and do more of the things you’re doing that are.


Tip # 5: Create a budget

Taking a career seriously in music is no different than trying to set up a new business in any other industry. It takes time and money to see growth.

At this point, you should have an action plan created for the next few months. But before you set this in stone, you should go through each action item, and determine the cost both in terms of time and money.

Make sure that the action plan is realistic, otherwise you’ll quickly find yourself off the rails and unable to achieve your goals.

Posted on February 10, 2017 .