Wait, hold up… You don’t have a Marketing plan?
Promotion seems to be what every independent artist struggles with the most, but at the same time it’s the most important part of any artist’s profession. Your marketing plan plays an important role in your independent music career. (Ask whoever is working your music to give you a plan which shows tentative results). It’s important to have a plan to follow and return to when things get out of control. You’ve gone through the entire process of writing, recording, mixing, mastering and distributing your music. (This is your life!)
What’s your next move?
You now need to create a detailed marketing plan on how to get your music to the fans that will admire it and potentially support you.
Music marketing is that key piece to the riddle many artists basically never put into effect.
1. MAKE YOUR MUSIC AMAZING!
You are contending with a huge amount of artists and record labels which means you must have your music mixed and mastered (big difference in the sound). It gives your music a better chance at getting played by DJs in the clubs and radio mix-shows.
Create a focus group of 12 people who don’t know each other and let them rate your songs. Depending on the results you will select your single.
2. Find your TARGET AUDIENCE
What makes you exceptional or different?
What would you like to be known for?
Who would you compare yourself to?
Who does your music speak to most? (Demographic: Age)
Where do your potential fans go to discover new music?
Where in your neighborhood do they hang out?
Write down all of your options – The park, the mall, lounges, corner stores, convenient stores, restaurants and whatever else comes to mind. Think, think, think.
By answering all of these questions you will have a much easier time and a better idea of where they are and allows you to understand your fans and how they think. It’s not about getting your music in front of an audience (let’s get that clear), it’s about getting your music in front of fans who listen to your genre of music and support.
3. You are a BRAND.
In other words, you must be the part, live the part and look the part!
You should have an official website (with an official URL) and updated regularly with professional photos, bio, current tour dates, social media info, mailing list, and blog.
Why do you need this?
1- It makes you look like the professional artist that you are (People will respect you more). There are too many “artists” out there with no website (only with a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or a YouTube account) and it doesn’t make their brand look good at all.
2- Fans need a place to filter the traffic back to you. Your fan base will grow tremendously.
4. Promote, Promote, Promote
You need on-point graphics to appear on your website and on all of your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, IG and so on).
Your brand must be consistent and be recognized across all platforms including physical flyers and promo CDs. This is called branding.
Begin with a lyric video for your single that you can promote with the link to the song. 3 weeks later give them a professional music video (artists who have a video get a better response than artists without a video.)
Make sure you have online materials, Physical flyers, posters and promotional CDs ready at your disposal.
Hire a publicist to help get you on larger platforms that have a bigger reach. They will set up interviews with magazines, newspapers, video shows, radio stations, blogs, and local news. (Make sure you get a PR plan from them as well).
5. Set GOALS with a budget.
How many organic views or downloads do you want to reach in the next 30 days and how can you achieve that?
How many fans do you want to bring to your to your next show?
Do you want to sell Merchandise?
How much will your promo materials cost? (CDs, Flyers, Posters)
How much do you have to spend on a publicist? (Usually you need them on 3 month plan)
Do some research and put together a budget sheet, it will help you in the long run. The better idea you have at what you want to accomplish the better your plan will be.
6. CREATE PRESS RELEASES. (At least once a week.)
YOU MUST KEEP YOUR FANS INFORMED.
Whatever you’re promoting must have a press release with all the intriguing details to make people interested.
Your PR team will handle this part. My advice to you is; educate yourself in this area.
7. NETWORK / Street Team
Some of the best promotion is word of mouth. The more you get people talking, the easier it is for fans to find you.
Word of mouth: conversations with friends, colleagues, family and everyone you meet.
Create a STREET TEAM – recruit your friends, family members and people in your network, utilize them for feedback and include them on almost everything you do. Make them part of your team.
Give them t-shirts with your name on it and have them spread flyers everywhere they go. They can also post your music on all their social media. This will be a huge push for you.
8. Digital Campaign
These days most people go online to find new music.
You need to plan out how, what and where you will be posting in order to promote your brand. Content is king.
You have to plan out how your music will be promoted and where people will have access to download it. It is best to direct all the traffic directly to your website and have your music available for download there.
You can use CDBaby or TuneCore to make your music available for sale on the major digital outlets such as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.
Do your job to help your other team members that are posting your music – this means re-posting and re-tweeting their posts.
9. MAILING LIST
A mailing list of your own is a powerful tool.
Collect emails of those who are interested in you and combine them with those you already have.
Your list is VIP, send them special offers for shows, let them be the first to preview your new music, this list is PRICELESS!
This is one of the most important factors in promotion. REHEARSE, REHEARSE AND REHEARSE. Put on a great memorable show and you will have fans forever. Make sure you have a band with great dancers. Give the fans what they came to see, A GREAT SHOW!
Take your show on the road and perform as much as possible. Offer FREE shows to promoters. This will build your fan base and your brand. You will win the second time around.
NOW GET TO WORK.
I trust this article was helpful. Envision what you can fulfill if you work with the right agency.
If you need a music service I recommend you reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Full Service Music marketing firm. Emphasis on real organic marketing of your music, videos and brand through major outlets.)
If you have questions visit rayroQ.com or follow me @rayroQ.