The Importance of Proper Music Marketing

Marketing is one of those things where it’s easy to come up with solutions, yet when it comes to execution… not as easy. The same can be said in all branches of marketing, but in this article, we focus on the importance of proper music marketing.

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Making your music, and yourself, known is easy to plan on paper. We all read the Internet tutorials and articles: create a web page, use every social media available out there, post consistently and constantly, and so on.

Social Media and the Web

While what you read on the Internet are not entirely false, they’re not entirely accurate either. A web page should be made, if you want to have digital “home base.” It can be the place where you direct potential booking agents, potential fans, etc., so they can get a feel of who you are as an artist. A bio and some song samples will help a lot. Don’t forget your contact details too. But instead of flashing your phone number for everyone to see, an email dedicated to these inquiries and fan mail will do.

While we’re on the subject of emails, let me add by saying that your email list is the best indicator how many fans you have. Not your Facebook page, not your twitter, not your Instagram account. True fans send emails, they take time to craft it, and usually write from the heart with it. With other social media channels, many of your followers there will mostly fair weather fans.

As for social media, while having a Facebook page is great, take time to create a personal page as well. This is to turn your fans into friends. When you engage with your new friends, do so with all your heart. You’ll be surprised at how much love you’ll receive back. The same goes with your twitter and other social media accounts. Engage and stop spamming them with cold, matter-of-fact posts.

It’s also important to point out that when it comes to social media, less is more. Rather than sign up with every social media channel out there, choose two to three and focus all your energies on those.

Free Music, Not Free Shows

It sounds counter-intuitive, but bear with me here for a second.

Free music gives a chance for others to get to know your music. Not everyone is willing to buy music from someone they have no idea about. By giving your music away for free, the potential to gain more fans is outstanding. But don’t give away ALL your music. Eventually, you’ll want to sell your albums and keeping hidden gems in them will make your fans want it more.

That said, don’t give free shows. When a company invites you to perform for an event, or an organization wants you to play for a party, don’t give in to their lines of “it’ll give you more exposure.” While playing for free for a cause or charities you care about is one thing, when it comes to money making events, they are just taking advantage of you. Don’t sell yourself short. Respect your art, and eventually, they’ll respect you back.

The Allure of Blogs

Music blogs are rampant these days, with most every other failed musician writing their own blog instead. Even if they’re influential, don’t ever contact them to have you featured. The marketing potential in blogs aren’t that great anymore given the over-saturation of it. By contacting them, you will invest a lot of time getting rejected, not because you lack talent, but because of the sheer number of requests they receive everyday.

But don’t worry. Once you have a healthy enough fan base, and people start talking to you, you will get invited.

The Mystique of “Getting Signed”

Every musician’s dream is to get signed and have the chance to let the world hear their music. While it is great to be signed, don’t waste your time worrying about it. By worrying too much about getting signed, you run the risk of trying too hard, making people lose respect for you.

Also, sometimes it’s best to have complete control over your own music. If you are lucky to know someone who is great at marketing, make him a partner. Take care of him and share to him a piece of your fame or fortune (once he brings you there). Staying independent has its perks, and that’s where you should start first. By signing with a label early, you won’t have enough clout to demand your own terms, thus, you end up losing control over your music. By handling all the marketing and PR and production by yourself at first, you will get noticed by record labels and be offered a contract. When that time comes, make sure you still have complete control.

So What’s Proper Music Marketing?

If you’re lucky enough to have someone capable handling all your marketing for you, you don’t need to concern yourself too much about it. But if you are starting out on your own, don’t go headlong into the thick of it and do all the marketing “tips and tricks” you read on the Internet. Even this article. Take everything with a grain of salt and play it all “by ear.”

If you have no idea how to start, the best way is to be guided onto the right path. A music business coach, or a marketing consultant can help. By giving you advice and teaching you the proper way to approach music marketing, you won’t find yourself flooded with account you don’t use, and your time will be better managed to give you ample space to create.

To help get you started on the right path, get the free Music Business video training series from James Taylor here.