This is the system that we use when we evaluate every artist and decide where we can help improve the results they are getting. It is point form, to the point, and allows you to do the work yourself if you want. The key to all of this is consistency marketing is about consistency so make sure, when you establish these steps, you do this each and every day!
- Define your music.
Sound, genre, style. Make your music yours. Make sure your fans can recognize your music. Your music shouldn’t all sound the same, but it does need to be recognizable.
If you do not have music, or you still don’t know your music well yet… STOP HERE!
It starts with the music. You need to know your music and have music that establishes you in the market.
- Define your image.
Your look, your performance style, your online personality, your artistic personality all need to be defined so your fans can know who you are.
If you have not performed in public to strangers… STOP HERE!
You need to know you can perform and deliver your music to decide whether the next step is worth it!
- Establish your brand:
- Logo: You need a logo that symbolizes your image & your music.
- Fonts: Having a consistent look and feel to anything your release is important so having a font chosen helps looks professional and helps keep everything consistent.
- Recorded Music: If you do not have your music available to listen to, and it is not quality recordings how can you win over fans?
- Pictures: Your pictures are key to people recognizing you and feeling connected to you.
- EPK: A professional EPK (Electronic Press Kit) will get you gigs and radio play, so you need to build this early and continue to update it as you grow as an artist.
- Secure your domain name: Even if you are not ready to build a website just yet you need to secure your domain name!
- Website: Your website is where people can get all the info they need about you and your music. It needs to encompass everything you have built up until this point.
If you have not performed successfully in public to large crowds… STOP HERE!
You need to start ensuring you can engage large crowds and win them over. This will take some work. As you start marketing and building your fan base, you need to ensure strangers catching you for the first time will want to see you again. You know your music, you know the music crowd you are trying to win over, and you need to ensure you can with your performances. Your performances need to be engaging, and the music needs to be executed well.
- Start marketing and building your fan base.
- Start with social media including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and ReverbNation as a minimum.
- Start reaching out to the people you know and engage your supporters.
- Use value propositions like exclusive access to new music, videos, and gigs to win over new fans and engage existing fans.
- Make sure you are putting up regular posts with current content.
- Push people back to your website where they can buy your music, follow you, see where your gigs will be!
Did you remember to use your branding? Did you keep true to yourself, your music, your image and your fans? If not – STOP HERE!
- Find the best songs (not your favorite songs).
- Get help on this! Most times the band and the producer are not the most objective so find your most loyal supporters and ask their opinion.
- These songs are the driving force to your career so know them like breathing and use them to win over new fans.
Remember your best songs do not expire, they are never overplayed, and they are showcased at EVERY performance! Make sure these songs are produced flawlessly! These are the songs you are selling to make money.
IF YOU HAVE NOT WORKED WITH A PROFESSIONAL MUSIC PRODUCER YET – STOP HERE!
- Brand your best songs.
- Your best song(s) should be branded just like you. They should have a logo, imagery, set fonts, etc. to allow you to market them more effectively.
- This branding should be incorporated in the music video, gig promotions, commercials, etc
- This branding should ultimately be used to promote the sale of an album or EP.
- Music Sales: having a strategic plan to sell your music and integrating that into everything you do is crucial at this point.
Remember properly marketing one song takes 12-18 months minimum. If you are rushing to release more material without marketing what you have properly you are only making your job harder and holding yourself back from success.
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PROFESSIONAL MUSIC ADVISOR YET – STOP HERE!
- Start your radio campaign (ONGOING).
- BDS Campaigns: Are a service that tracks monitored radio, television and internet airplay of songs based on the number of spins and detections. You need plays to win over bigger stations.
- Targeted Station Campaigns: You need to know your radio stations and build relationships with them.
- Focus your attention on areas where you have a fan base and can perform to support the radio play.
- Ensure you are strategic at this point and using your branding, your story and track record to sell the song!
- Tours: Plan your tours with radio play, radio stations and radio interviews in mind.
- Performances need to build your fan base!
- You are worth the sum of the fans you have that will pay to see you. So if 50 people will pay $10 to see you, you are worth $500/ performance. Sounds cruel but it is true.
- DO NOT OVERPLAY YOUR LOCAL MARKET! Once you are established, you want to ensure you are not playing more than once every three months in your local market. It ultimately makes you worthless because no one will pay to see you because you are always playing.
- Grow your market area. Network with other bands and organizations and find ways to build new markets to play in to ensure you don’t overplay any one area.
- Find quality performance opportunities. Playing for free is bad if it does nothing for you. Playing for free at the Superbowl will make your famous and win you fans, and it is great! Know how to pick performance opportunities that build your brand, build your fanbase and move your career forwards.
- Performances need to be consistent with the recorded music!
- If you can’t perform it don’t promote it!
- If it is nothing like the recording, don’t perform it!
- Fans, radio stations, and the general public want your recordings and your performances to be consistent. They want to hear and experience what has been promoted live and then they want to relive that moment through the recordings. Anything else becomes a disappointment.
IF YOU HAVE NOT WORKED WITH A PROFESSIONAL MUSIC PRODUCER AND A PROFESSIONAL MUSIC ADVISOR ON THIS – STOP HERE!
- Revenue needs to drive your growth.
- Quality Recordings: Your music is your revenue driver so make sure the recordings are quality and radio ready.
- Online Sales: You need to ensure you have a strategic online sales program in place.
- Marketing: Ultimately you need to have a marketing plan and implement it to drive sales and revenue.
- Merch: Part of branding and a big revenue driver is merch!
- CD’s: ALWAYS have physical copies of your music for sale at performances.
- Tours: Plan your tours after you have had a minimum of 6-12 months of radio and marketing support in the area
- Support Services: By the time you are at this stage it is crucial to decide what you can do well on your own and what you need to get done by others!
- Growing your revenue requires an engaged fan base.
- Your goal is to have sell-out shows. Doing fewer shows with more revenue only makes sense. This means using marketing campaigns that will motivate fans to come to the next show and doing proper promotion and enough promotion to accomplish that.
- You need on-going music sales, and that means ensuring you are constantly getting fans to engage in your music. Videos of performances, commercials, easy share systems, etc. will all help.
- ALWAYS have merch and music sales at every performance!
- Super Fan Subscriptions: get your super fans to support you a little extra and give them a lot more for their money! This is the revenue base you can build from.
- Paid Performances: you need to get booked for paid performances to have the revenue you need to start building this business!
- Grants: it is a lot of work but applying for grants is a key way to access support revenue! Most grants require a plan to grow your fan base and engage them!
- Corporate Sponsorship: if you build an engaged fan base companies will pay you to access that exposure.
- Get professionals involved when your progress and revenue warrant it.
- Professionals play a key role in growing your fan base, your revenue, your brand and the relationships that are key to your success.
- Getting professionals involved too early is bad as you may not have developed the skills, support, and identified your goals well enough. Missing out on opportunities that sometimes only happen once is what we want you to avoid!
- Full-time careers are not built with part-time hours.
- This is a 40-60 hour/week career
- That is why you need to focus on revenue
- At some point in this journey, you will have to shift to a full-time music career to move ahead, and you can only do that if you have a revenue stream
- Success is based on implementing strategic plans.
- Your music is a business.
- Your business needs to be well thought out, planned and have the necessary support to be able to implement those plans.
- Your brand (your music) can grow into a successful revenue base if it is done properly over time. There are no short cuts!
Download PDF Here:
Road Map to Marketing the Music