What? You don't have a music marketing plan? Oh dear!
Your music marketing plan plays an important role in your independent business. It's vital to have some kind of plan to return to when things get chaotic.
You've gone through the entire process of writing, recording, mixing, mastering, replicating and distributing your music. Now what?
You now want to create a detailed strategy for how to get your music to the people who will appreciate it and possibly support you.
Attention! Do you get it?
Attention is the name of the game when it comes to marketing music.
want to focus your own marketing plan on creating an effective
marketing strategy in order to attract, direct, engage and keep the
attention of potential tribe members (formerly known as "fans").
Read that sentence again because it sums up your mission.
only get the potential for music business success when you have the
ability to attract and keep attention on you and your aural offerings.
will therefore create an integrated marketing plan which
describes in detail what you want to achieve, how you plan to achieve
it, why you think you can achieve it, which obstacles you face and how
much it will cost.
probably know by now that the web will play a central role in your
marketing plan. Make sure you have the basic web skills needed to
do internet music marketing.
Next, you want to research guerrilla
marketing techniques in articles and books written by DIY musicians and
music marketers (Google It!). This gives you a perspective on which
music marketing is used, and what works.
Know Your Music and Yourself...
You have to describe and label yourself and your music. I know. Sounds very corporate. You can't be vague though...
what you want from marketing, needs to be attracted, engaged and
focused on something, and that something is your image.
don't want to fool yourself into thinking "image is everything" as there
is much more to marketing. That said, you must have a distinctive
edge to your image should you want success in the music business.
will go a long way by creating a good musician
press kit for both your online and offline publicity because
this helps you shape your image in the media.
The main thing you
want to have for your online exposure, apart from the obvious images
and music samples, is an interesting attention-grabbing bio and
description of your music.
You have on average 3 to 5 seconds to
catch your potential tribe members attention and no more than a
paragraph to describe yourself and your music.
"What does your music sound like?"
You will be asked the above question more often then you can imagine!
may not like to compare your music with existing music. You have to
however answer the above question clearly to even get someone to listen
to your music online.
Yes, it is "all about the music". To get people to listen to music online though is all in the description.
So, you won't say for example...
"[Your Band/Artist Name] makes unique fresh music unlike anything you know"
... you want something more along the line of...
"[Your Band/Artist Name] packs a pure polka punch, mixed with dub and ragga to make for a surreal sonic explosion."
examples, though you'd be amazed at how many DIY muso's and producers
think they can have a "my music speaks for itself bro!" attitude on the
Ain't happening. Describe yourself and your music well or be prepared to go unnoticed.
find however that when you have your online and offline musician's
press kit and marketing materials ready you can use them in many
different places and profiles online.
So, things get easier once you have your image, bio and description crystal clear. You'll then only update it as you go along.
Know Your Finances...
How much do you have set aside for marketing your music? How do you plan to finance your music marketing plan objectives?
You already know by now that not much comes for free in the world of business.
will therefore need a clear picture of your current financial situation
and marketing budget because you don't want to end up short of
marketing money when you need it most.
Know Your Potential Tribe Member...
won't get far by trying to please everyone. You have to go to the
people who are most likely to become members of your tribe.
are they? Where are they? What do they like? Where do they go? What do
they like to buy? How much do they earn and how much do they spend?
What excites them? What do they want? Keep on asking...
You will find all your music marketing plan more economical and effective when you know whose attention you want to attract.
You won't end up wasting money on marketing to everybody.
You'll focus your marketing efforts where they count and work best.
Once you know your ideal tribe member and you know you have to offer them you are ready to reach out. How?
Discover Your Options...
can find hundreds, if not thousands of marketing
companies and services you can use for independent music
You'll may also find the amount of music promotion sites, independent music
podcasts and radio, social network sites and the host of other services
you can use mind-blowing!
You will therefore want to make
the time to research and decide which companies, sites and services to
include in your marketing strategy.
Your choice will depend on
factors which include your budget, your target audience and the amount
of time you have available for marketing.
Stick to only the most
effective companies which will get done what you want done and help you
achieve your music marketing objectives.
The general rule is...
... the less you do yourself, the more you'll pay.
said, don't try and do it all yourself! You have many aspects of your
music business to attend to. So, know what to outsource (the boring
stuff of course!).
Decide On Your Strategy...
You want all marketing avenues to lead back to your own web site which you'll place at the center of your marketing strategy. You then want to choose the methods, companies and services you'll use as part of your strategy.
which combination will be most effective and how you will channel
attention (targeted web traffic) via the outside sites and services. Your strategy should resemble a funnel where all avenues and channels lead to your central focus point, your web site.
then want to make sure your own web site converts your potential tribe
members into active tribe members (passionate customers and supporters).
Sketch your strategy out on a large piece of paper to ensure you have clear how it all will work together.
Create Your DIY Music Marketing Plan...
You now have, after the above steps, enough information to commit your own music marketing plan to paper.
you're looking for investment or a deal you'll have to try stick to a
corporate lingo and structure when you write your plan. You'll be as
detailed as you can in this case.
If your plan is simply to keep
you on track and help you achieve your marketing goals then you can
write it in the style and structure which best suits you.
You can use for example the music marketing plan structure below...
* Description of You and Your Music (Product Description)
* Your Main Goals and Objectives -
* Your Marketing Budget -
* Your Tribe (Target Market) -
* Your Market Section -
* Your Competition -
* Your Opportunities -
* Your Obstacles -
* Your Strategy -
music marketing plan will act as your map to music business success.
With it you have focus and direction. Without you'll run around like a
You will always improvise as you execute your
plan, as things tend not to always go as you planned. Adjust where you
must, and then get back to your plan.
Now, do what that shoe company says and...
... Just Do It!
Should I Use a Music Marketing Company?
A good music marketing company can take care of some or all of your music marketing for you. You'll find countless services available to you. How do you choose which ones to use?
You want to be clear on what you want done (your marketing and business objectives) before you even start to look for music companies or services to best suit your time, budget and music marketing goals.
You have many areas to cover in your business as an independent music creator and performer, so you don't want to waste your time in areas where you'll be ineffective, or even worse, bored. So...
... do what excites you, and outsource the rest!
Here are some marketing activities you may want to outsource to a music marketing company...
* Get your music covered on relevant web sites and blogs.
* Get features on major music sites.
* Distribute your music through web radio stations and podcasts which cover your genre.
* Buy online ads and handle the campaign tracking and analytics for you.
* Handle local promotion and marketing when you tour.
* Create and maintain your presence on social networking sites such as Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube and Twitter.
* Create promotional campaigns or contests to keep your tribe engaged.
You may have to use more than just one music marketing company to help execute your music marketing plan and remember, as always, whatever you can do well yourself will save you money.
You want to look carefully at how the music marketing company plans to market your music as your reputation and image will be affected by the marketing company's actions.
You probably know by now that one-way and scatter-shot marketing (where you flood every possible channel you can find) are now relics of the past.
You therefore want to use the services only of a company which understands the nature of the web and how to market in a social networking environment. A lot of tact is required to not create the impression that you're spamming. People are sensitive to marketing tricks.
Music marketing companies and services must be able to demonstrate how they will reach your specific target audience (potential tribe members), so do your research and ask any company you might work with to show you the results they got for previous clients.
Your music business and career will depend on how well you can attract attention to yourself, your music and your business.
You want to therefore make sure you use effective marketing strategies and services and always know exactly how these contribute to your big-picture career objectives.
It's very easy to waste a lot of money with ineffectual or weak marketing campaigns and there are obviously many scammy services in this field. So, tread with caution!