Bob Baker's The Buzz Factor
Music marketing tips and self-promotion ideas for independent songwriters, musicians and bands.
Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros
October 08, 2008
How to Thrive With Music in a Down Economy
I'm one of the more optimistic people you are likely to meet, and even I am concerned about the downturn in the world economy and financial markets.
But being aware of financial markets and consumer confidence does not equal being immobilized by them!
If you're an active musician, manager or promoter ... this is not the time to run for cover and hibernate. In fact, you should be doing just the opposite: taking proactive steps to insure your short-term and long-term cash flow and security.
Here are some steps you can take to thrive in a down economy:
If you play music full-time or part-time ...
- Step up your promotion efforts. That's right. Instead of retreating in fear, get more active. And don't use the "I don't have money to spend on marketing" excuse. There are hundreds of ways to spread the word that don't cost a dime.
- If you depend on gig revenue, make sure you stay in touch with your venue contacts. Sure, some establishments are cutting back on entertainment. But when they do book live acts, make certain you are "top of mind."
- Communicate with your fans even more. If you have a decent mailing list, use it. If you don't, why not? Your list is your most valuable asset, so start building one -- or put a higher priority on building one.
- Realize that people need music in good times and bad -- especially bad. View yourself as the provider of a valuable resource. Because that's what you are.
- Write songs about the economy. Funny songs, serious songs, upbeat songs, or reflective songs that mirror current events.
- If you live in the U.S., tap into the media frenzy surrounding the presidential election. Offer to play at a political rally or record the next "Obama Girl"-like viral video.
- Pursue media coverage of all kinds. It's free exposure. And you don't need a fancy press kit to get it. All you need is a good idea that keeps the needs of the journalist, blogger, podcaster, or radio show host in mind.
- Make smart use of the Internet. Has your web site been updated lately? Haven't published a new blog post since May? Are you making the most of MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, etc? If not, get busy.
If you just lost or are about to lose your day job ...
- My heart goes out to you. But this could be a blessing in disguise. Most people who lose jobs are happier with where they end up a year later.
- This could be an opportunity to finally pour some energy into that musical passion you've been suppressing for years. Take this time to explore your creativity and see where it takes you.
- Take all the steps above.
The bottom line here is this: Don't become a victim of the real or imagined economic woes so many people are fearing today.
Instead, embrace the philosophy behind this quote from playwright George Bernard Shaw:
"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."-Bob
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What About Bob?
Bob Baker is an author, speaker, teacher, indie musician and former music magazine editor dedicated to showing musicians of all kinds how to get exposure, connect with fans, sell more music, and increase their incomes.
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