Tag Archives: music business

Get LOUD! How Do I Promote My Music?

bonnaroo_2008_crowdDIY Music Marketing
The #1 question we hear from artists today is “How can I promote my music to reach more fans?”. Maybe you’re a performing musician looking to get more fans to your gig, or you’ve got some great music up on your webpage but are having trouble directing traffic and gaining unique visitors. This post is for YOU!

The truth is there is no one universal trick to increasing your audience. You have to think like a marketer who is selling a product, and determine exactly who your buyer will be and what their particular needs are. Yes, it can be deflating to think about words like “sell” and “product” when you just want to be creative, lay down epic tracks and party, but if you’re looking to grow your audience yourself, something that is essentially a requirement at this juncture in the music business, you will have to learn to think from the point of view of the music fan and develop a plan to speak directly to your unique audience.

Below are some tips on just how to get started learning and speaking to your audience.

Get Informed!
Know your audience, all the way down to their age, gender, location, where they shop, what websites they visit, what they do for fun, and of course, what they listen to. Check out some more established artists that are similar in sound and lyrical style to your own. Research their fans, take note of fan comments on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets, focus on what drives them to stay locked in to this particular artist, and what the artist does to keep them coming back for more.

Find out where your audience hangs out, shops, discovers music and culture, and where they attend concerts. Work your tail off to get your music in these places, whether you’re booking 30 minutes as a supporting act, working with a local business to get your music on their website, or working out a consignment deal to get your music in their stores. Putting in the work necessary to learn who your audience is, and then focusing efforts on these areas will greatly enhance your chances of developing your fan base.

Get Creative!
Facebook event notification? Yay… Venue flyer? Hooray… These methods are old and tired. Most folks click close or ignore before they even see the event description, especially if you’re a developing artist. Take a stab at some more creative promotional ideas. We’re not saying you have to pull a “Kanye” and project your face up on buildings in 60+ cities, but do something to draw attention and get folks talking about you and your music. Below are some ideas we came up with on the fly:

  • Recruit some friends to post concert promo flyers (or share a social media post) with their names on them around town, directing fans to bring flyers to the show for free entry, a CD, t-shirt, or poster. Reward the friend with the most flyers (or most retweets/likes) turned in with an awesome prize, maybe a hug or high five? Perfect!
  • Partner with a local business to exchange promotional efforts. Mention their name in your flyer or at your show in exchange for music play or product placement in their store.
  • Organize a fundraiser to support your favorite charity, invite other local musicians to perform and combine marketing efforts to reach a wider audience, increasing participation in the fundraiser and ultimately growing your fan base.
  • Infiltrate your local radio station and force them to play your record all Airheads style. Just kidding, don’t do that. (if you haven’t seen this movie we can’t be friends)

Get to work on some ideas of your own! What do you have to lose? You’re an independent artist with no commitment to anyone, start acting like it and take some chances!

Be Yourself!
We know this sounds cliche, but it’s important to connect with fans on a personal level. Give your fans something to relate to, publish content (video, blog, twitter, etc.) about what influences you to write or perform, where you find creative inspiration, what interests you outside of music. When a fan reaches out, respond promptly and professionally, and thank them literally thousands of times. This is the seed that grows your music tree. (haha silly)

A typical misconception made by musicians, and brands for that matter, is you can’t be successful unless you are liked by anyone and everyone. This is untrue, many professionals make a great living marketing to those who love them for who they are and what they do. Focus on what makes you great, speak directly to your audience, and realize the benefits of fan loyalty. Erika Napoletano, rockstar author, has a great book on this concept called The Power of Unpopular. Check it out!

Most importantly, make music everyday, and keep it funky. Unless your music style isn’t funk, then you would keep it bluesy, or jazzy, or rocky, or hippity hoppity?

Peace out,

All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman
Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution, and Retail by Mike King
The Power of Unpopular by Erika Napoletano

Where Do You See Your Music?

How important is associating your music with video, products, experiences?  Music associated with a film, television episode, commercial product, or experience can induce an emotional attachment, dramatically extending the life of a song, an album, or a career.  We’re willing to bet you have a list of songs that you can associate with movies, TV shows, products you’ve purchased, places you’ve visited.  This is why music placement, licensing and the role of music supervisors are so important in the development of commercial music.

What music has impacted your life?  What are you reminded of when you listen to your favorite jams?  Below are a few examples of music that we associate with video, products and past experiences:

Song:  Lookin’ Out My Back Door by Creedance Clearwater Revival

Connection:  This diddy is featured in the Coen Brothers’ movie The Big Lebowski, where The Dude crashes his car into a dumpster, and discovers Larry’s homework.  For some of us this scene was our first exposure to CCR.  Now we’re mega fans.  Duh.

Song: Sal Pa Fuera by Puya

Connection:  Bet you’ve never heard this jam before.  It’s a high energy rock track, with salsa/metal/punk? style vocals, and entirely in Spanish.  We don’t understand a single word, even after several years of college spanish, but there is an exciting emotional attachment, since this song was placed in the motocross film Fox Terrafirma 5, which our founder was into at the time.  Released in the late 90’s, this song never fails to get the blood pumping, and holds a permanent spot on our hard rock playlist.

Song:  Phenomena by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Connection:  Featured in the 2013 Cadillac ATS TV Spot below, the song reminded us of why we dig the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and why Cadillac’s marketing team rocks.

Check out the articles below to learn more about music placement, and the role of the music supervisor:

Risky Business, ‘Pulp Fiction’ would be nothing without music supervisors By Patrick Donohue – pdonohue@beaufortgazette.com

Alexandra Patsavas brings ’80s music back By Glenn Gamboa – glenn.gamboa@newsday.com

Discussing Film/TV with Michelle Crispin By Tom Kidd

Looking to build a connection with your audience?  Link up with our friends at Mighty Generation Music to get your music licensed and placed in TV and Film. They rock!



Keep it funky,