There are many different roadmaps to musical success. If you ask every professional music how they made their name, or how they got their break; they’d no-doubt tell you something very different.
There are some solid constants these include talent, hard work, and perseverance. While they say that you need to be in the right place at the right time to get yourself seen and heard, there’s often very little way of knowing where and when that perfect place in time and space is. You need to be everywhere, all of the time.
Thankfully we live in the twenty-first century, and the internet can allow you to get everywhere you need. As long as you are resourceful and persistent, you will stand a chance.
Here’s how to create a marketing strategy that puts you in the right place at the right time.
Pick your battles
Sending out as many emails as you can to as many promoters, execs, producers, other bands, music blogs, and journalists is a great idea. You should definitely be making sure that you’re hitting a serious quota of emails going out if you want to get anywhere.
But each email that you send should at least feel like it’s been personally written by you and it should be targetted to the recipient. If you want to send out dozens or even hundreds of emails and DMs a week to those in the industry, you’re going to burn out fast with little reward.
Cut the emails that will get you nowhere. Music blogs may seem like a great place to go. You might think that because they’re not traditional media outlets that they’re probably easy pickings. But if a site gets 10,000 views a day, it probably gets around 200 emails a day. Do you want to get your email lost in there? The bigger the blog, the larger the virtual mailbag.
But getting your name featured on music blogs will do your website’s search engine optimization some good. If you want to rank on Google, you’ve got to be featured in as many places as possible.
Do some research into the places you’re approaching. Find in-roads in as many different companies as possible, but don’t waste your time where you’re less likely to make an impact.
Give it away!
Selling your music is the obvious end goal in your mission. But to get to that point, you might want to consider giving it away for free.
Of course, the decision is entirely up to you. But giving music away for free is a way that many musicians have found success.
The idea is that if you’re giving something away for free, there’s no need to sell it. People will give you a listen because they don’t need to pay for it. Free music will help get your music out there.
If you’re giving your music away, remember to sign up for a creative commons agreement. Once you’ve set up your creative commons license, you’ll be able to list your music for free on a number of different sites.
Get your music on streaming sites
Get your music on streaming sites such as Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and Rdio. You may only get less than a penny a stream, but if your music is getting heard, it means people are interested in your music.
Find a marketing company
If you’re not someone who finds that they’re naturally gifted in management, you might want to consider getting some professional support.
Using music promotion services might cost you money, but it will ultimately pay in the long-run.
Having a marketing company manage your media campaigns while promoting you will leave your hands free for doing what you’re good at, making music.
Before you sign up, read reviews from other customers. Compare the services and prices of several companies and peak with the different companies that you’re interested in going with to and get a feel for the company that is best for you.
Engage with your followers on social media
You probably already have a following on social media. You might find that the numbers are slowly growing the more gigs you get. But it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of not managing your social media profiles as you should.
You may believe that your social profiles should be for sharing updates about your music. And, of course, you should be doing that; however, your social media profile is a great way of allowing your followers a chance to learn about your life.
Use your Facebook and Twitter account for sharing updates about your life. Remember to think before you post anything. If your opinions are too coarse or controversial, you might do your image damage. You should also consider that your tweets and posts will be around for a long time. It a couple of years’ time, old comments may resurface and ruin all of your hard work.
You might think it’s a great idea to make a music video and put it on YouTube. Before you do that, make sure you have a sizable following. Use the download data of all of the music that you have given away free to work out which of your songs is the most popular. Then, create a video for that one first.
Get out and perform
The reason that you are doing all of this is to get you out there and to make money from your music. The more gigs you are performing, the more chance that you’ll be able to get more gigs.
Perform as often as you can. The more confident you can become on stage, the more natural it will feel. You can develop your performance style, your look, and work out which songs work in your setlist.
Most importantly, gigs put you in direct concert with your audience. They allow promoters to see you in action, and your next gig could land you a dozen or more gigs in the near future.
Photograph by Carol Malmeida
Originally publisher as Creating your right-place-right-time marketing strategy
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