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
February 16, 2012
3 Ways to Crush It With Your Music Marketing!
If you truly embrace the following three ideas and make them a part of your marketing DNA, I guarantee you’ll crush it with your music marketing!
1) Do Something Every Day
For a moment, let’s talk about your physical health. Let’s say that you decide you’d be better off if you lost 20 pounds and tightened up your stomach muscles and other areas of your body. The first week, you work out three times and feel the burn. Then two weeks pass by before you exercise again. A month later, you find time to work out one more time.
Then you look at yourself in the mirror and think, “I don’t look or feel much different. Why isn’t this stuff working?”
You know the reason. You can’t lose 20 pounds and get in shape by exercising sporadically. In the same way, you can’t promote your music effectively by doing it every once in a while, when you happen to find time to squeeze it in.
Too many musicians think about self-promotion in terms of the big media blitz. They use terms like “push” and “hype” and believe that one big wave of promotion will launch a music buzz that will somehow continue without any further effort from them. Sorry, but that isn't the way a successful music career works.
From now on, stop thinking about the Big Push and start getting in tune with the idea of small self-promotion activities engaged in on a daily basis.
The thing is, with this approach, progress is tough to measure. Just like one exercise session won’t produce noticeable results, every day or week you promote your music may not appear to bear fruit. But over the course of weeks, months and years, the continuous effort generates a tremendous payoff.
Every day, do something to promote your music. Reply to an email from a fan. Send a review copy of your CD to a new media source. Call a venue or talent buyer to set up a gig. Talk to another artist about a cross-promotion idea. Post something interesting to your social media profiles.
The activity doesn’t have to be earth shaking. As long as the actions you take are focused on connecting with more fans, doing something simple every day will reap huge rewards just three to six months from now. I guarantee it.
2) Be Consistent with Your Message
Once you start reaching out to fans via highly targeted avenues, it’s important to send a rock-solid message. Your goal is to get a growing number of fans to make a mental connection between your name, your musical style, and the unique way that you approach your music. You can’t accomplish that goal by being inconsistent.
Keep in mind that people are bombarded every day with thousands of messages. Your self-promotion efforts are in competition not only with other musical acts of all types, but with all forms of media – radio, TV, Internet, print magazines, video games, smartphone apps, and more. People will need to hear your message repeatedly before it’ll even begin to sink in.
That’s why consistency is crucial. If you use one photo or motto one month and an altered, unrelated photo or motto the next month, people will become confused and indifferent to who you are as an artist. Your identity will become vague, causing fans to turn their attention to matters they can more easily get a handle on.
Make good use of a Brand Identity Statement (BIS), which is a short sentence or motto that clearly describes who you are, what you play, and why people should care. Creating a BIS forces you to define your musical image. Once you’re locked into that identity, every time you create an email, web page, album cover, poster, press release, or prepare for an interview, you should ask yourself, “Is this communicating and reinforcing my core identity?”
If your answer is no, redo the thing until it’s tightly focused on the message you need to be sending.
3) Be Bold, Exciting and Different
The best self-promoters aren’t afraid to take calculated risks. They also aren’t squeamish about pursuing marketing avenues that are fun, fresh and innovative. Too many songwriters and musicians play it safe and stick to traditional promotion tools that won’t rock the boat. I encourage you to stretch yourself and be willing to take some chances – when appropriate.
One band from Chicago delivered its new CD to radio disc jockeys and record store managers along with a fresh, hot pizza. You can believe that tactic made the band stand out from the crowd. Another artist persuaded the mayor of her small town to proclaim a special day in her honor. What exciting angle might you use to gain exposure?
Brace yourself. Trying something new and different will push your panic button through the roof. The fear of the unknown is the single greatest factor that maintains the status quo. But if you are to become an effective music promoter, you must push through your apprehension and be willing to go for it.
Warning: I’m not suggestion that you engage in crazy gimmicks for the sake of being different. Carelessly parading yourself before fans and the media without a purpose could easily backfire, and that wouldn’t help your cause one bit.
However, if an out-of-the-box promotion idea reinforces your musical identity, has the potential to connect with your ideal fans, and seems like it might have media exposure possibilities … don’t be shy about it.
Quite often, greater success lies just outside of your comfort zone. So don’t be afraid to be bold, exciting and different!
What are your thoughts on these three ways to crush it with your music career?
I welcome your comments.
-Bob Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my free Buzz Factor ezine — the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the planet. Since 1995. Learn more about the free subscription here.
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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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