by: Shaun Letang
Hello again my Think Tank friends, and welcome to part two of my beginners guide to music marketing. If you havenâ€™t already seen part one, I suggest you check it out before going any further (Link opens in a new window). Part one looks at what music marketing is and why itâ€™s needed, the power of leveraging established platforms to get your music out there faster, and types of online and offline platforms you could use to market your music to targeted fans of your genre.
In part 2 weâ€™ll be looking at the importance of making yourself stand out from the crowd, how to make your fans happy to help promote you (And why theyâ€™ll feel like that), and why you shouldnâ€™t spread your marketing efforts too thin.
So without wasting any more time on intros, letâ€™s get into the good stuff!
Creating Your Unique Selling Point
If youâ€™ve read part one of this guide, youâ€™ll know marketing your music is vitally important if you want to be more then just a bedroom musician. That said, just because you market yourself to people, it doesnâ€™t mean that they are all of a sudden going to become your fan. Yes it will give people the opportunity to hear you and make that choice, but unless youâ€™re offering something that people really want, all the music marketing in the world wonâ€™t help your music career take off.
So what other things do you need in place before you start your promotional campaign?
Well firstly, you need talent. You should all already be aiming to make the best music you possibly can, so Iâ€™m not going to talk about that here today. Just know that if you market yourself and youâ€™re not very musically talented, this can actually do more harm then good.
Secondly, you need a unique selling point, or USP for short.
A USP is something that helps you stand out from the crowd, and makes what youâ€™re offering only obtainable by going to you over your competition. Sometimes you will already have a USP by simply being yourself, while other times you will have to consciously create a USP to add more value to yourself as a brand.
An example of a natural unique selling point is a singer with a distinctive voice. They donâ€™t have to put this on or do anything to make this happen, it just part of who they are. Yet this voice can help them stand out from the crowd, and make people buy into them over someone with a much plainer voice.
An example of a created USP on the other hand is your dress sense. If you havenâ€™t got a stand out voice, as in itâ€™s not majorly different from whatâ€™s already out there, you could always dress differently then other people in your genre do. For example, a big part of Nikki Minajâ€™s image is her colored hair (Not to say she doesnâ€™t have any other unique selling points, but thatâ€™s not the point Iâ€™m trying to make). This makes her stand out, and adds to the package that her fans buy into.
You donâ€™t have to go as extreme as colored hair though, you could always just have a set style which is different from what everyone else in your niche is doing.
A final example of a created USP is the way you deliver your songs. You could have a certain saying that fans will come to know you by, or you could deliver your lyrics faster or slower then others do in your genre.
It doesnâ€™t matter what it is and it doesnâ€™t have to be something huge, BUT you should try and offer something different to people that theyâ€™re not already getting to a high level else where. Adding a unique selling point to good music will help potential fans choose to follow you over others. Itâ€™ll also help people relate to you, and hopefully buy into your brand for the long-term.
Getting Fans Involved With Marketing Your Music
In part one of this guide I spoke about leveraging your marketing efforts and using established media outlets to get you a group of new fans fast. This strategy continues from that, and allows you to further get others to spread the word about you in their circles.
All too often I see musicians treating fans to a one way relationship. They simply put out music and post a couple of random updates on Facebook, but donâ€™t interact with fans outside of that.
Now I know some like to keep a boundary between them and their fans so they appear as something â€˜harder to reach so worth havingâ€™, and I totally understand this tactic. BUT, it makes it a whole lot harder to get new dedicated fans when your fan base is still small to medium in size.
Instead of distancing yourself from personal interaction with your fans, it might be time you think about embracing this interaction instead. After all, a happy fan is often a loyal fan. And a loyal fan will talk about how great you are to their friends. This is how word of mouth marketing works, and is as easy to implement as having a good two way relationship with your fans.
Now Iâ€™m not saying you should reply to every one of your fans individually about every little thing, when you start to get more fans this will become virtually impossible. That said, you should still make the effort to address your fans on your social site (Rather then just post messages to buy things), and thanks them in status updates and the like.
You should also get them involved by building up a â€˜street teamâ€™, whether this is an online one, or a street team in the traditional sense of things. Often fans will love the opportunity to get to work with you on a project, so not only will you be getting your music heard in places it may not have been heard before, youâ€™re also building up a stronger relationship with your street team members and turning them into long-term loyal fans.
Donâ€™t underestimate the power of getting fans involved in your music career, especially when you havenâ€™t got the budget to hire anyone else to help with promotion.
Donâ€™t Spread Your Music Marketing Efforts Too Thin
If youâ€™ve got a big marketing budget and a load of people working for you, then of course promoting your music in as many ways as possible is a good idea. That said, if youâ€™re a solo act whoâ€™s balancing making music and marketing themselves, often there will be a limit to what you can do in terms of daily promotion.
While I strongly encourage you learn to promote yourself, you donâ€™t want to dedicate so much time to it that you donâ€™t get time to make music anymore. After all, Iâ€™m guessing thatâ€™s where your real passion lies?
Not only this, but if you try to have your â€˜hands in all piesâ€™, you wonâ€™t have enough time to dedicate to making any one or two methods really work.
My advice to you is this: Initially, try out a few methods of promotion that you feel may work for you. At this stage donâ€™t be afraid of trying out more then you normally would, you wonâ€™t be doing them all long-term.
After a while, you will start seeing a few marketing strategies that work for you better then the others. At this stage, ditch all the methods that arenâ€™t working, and focus more heavily on the ones that are.
This is running with your winners, and will help you stay motivated as you will start seeing results sooner rather then later. Once youâ€™ve got these methods down and youâ€™ve rinsed them for all theyâ€™re worth, you can start to incorporate new strategies if you have the time and man power.
Music Marketing – The Ultimate Guide Part 2 Conclusion
So there you have it, three more points that will help you get your music marketing efforts off the ground. If you use these strategies with the original methods I mentioned in part one, you will have a good foundation to work with to get your music out there.
If you want a much more in-depth guide on how to market your music with new strategies and ideas, I suggest you check out The IMA Music Business Academy. This is a complete marketing course for musicians, and one that I personally put together. Not only does it greatly build on this guide, but it also teaches a lot of other useful skills that will help you in your music career.
I hope you found this guide useful. If so, please share it via Facebook, Twitter, and all your favorite social sites. Thank you.
Music Industry How To.
P.S. As well as Music Industry How To, please check out Music Marketing World for even more music marketing news. And be sure to sign up to get regular email updates.