Your music marketing efforts might be on track already.
But are there things you could do to expand your fan base and earn a greater income faster? Of course there are! Your music marketing could always be better.
Here are seven ways to improve your marketing as a musician.
1. Review & Iterate on Your Music Career Goals
Now, this might seem like a complete waste of time, and yet it’s the only way to tangibly improve or transform your music and marketing efforts.
Because if you’re not clear on what your goals are, how do you know whether your marketing is even effective?
You must have clearly defined, achievable goals to know whether what you’re doing is even working.
If you don’t have goals, take the time to write them down.
Remember – goals are not accomplished in the mind. They are accomplished out in the world! If you do not write them down, how do you plan to take them from imagination to vivid reality?Goals are not accomplished in the mind. They are accomplished out in the world! Click To Tweet
If you do have goals, then take the time to review them. Check to ensure you’re headed in the right direction and see if your actions are still consistent with your goals.
If not, revise!
Here’s the thing about successful people – they are always writing and rewriting their goals, reviewing them, revising them, writing down income figures they want to reach, and more. They make a big production out of the whole process!
2 Types of Goals
Now, when it comes to goal setting, I always look at two types of goals: quarterly goals and yearly goals.
And my quarterly goals are there to build up to my yearly goal.
It would be wise to recognize that, realistically, you can probably only add one thing to your career every 90 days, because everything takes time.
Recording an album every 90 days, for example, would be quite ambitious. You could certainly set a yearly goal of recording a new album mind you.
Something you could have as a quarterly goal is releasing a single or EP. Or maybe adding a new marketing channel.
But again, think in terms of what you can accomplish in 90-day increments. It will take a lot of the guesswork out of setting and achieving goals.
2. The Promotion of Music Gets Easier When You’re Clear on Your Brand
The clearer you are on your brand as an artist or band, the easier it will be to determine how to promote your music and where.The clearer you are on your brand as an artist or band, the easier it will be to determine how to promote your music and where. Click To Tweet
Let’s say you’re a new artist with some great singer-songwriter music, but you don’t know who your music is for, or why people would listen, or who you need to be for your audience.
If your music is great but you don’t have a brand, I’m sorry to say you’re going to fail as an artist.
On the other hand, if you’re a female pop singer whose message is female empowerment, and your image, lyrics, artwork, and everything else is all oriented around that, it’s going to make it so much easier to promote your music.
After all, there are major mainstream artists whose image is all oriented around the idea of female empowerment already and they are massively successful.
So, consider what your core purpose is. What is your mission? What is your reason for existing? That’s your brand.
Once you know that, you can figure out all the other details like colors and logos and fonts. That stuff doesn’t matter as much unless you know what your core purpose is.
3. Identifying Platforms for Musicians Where You Need to Create a Presence
We’ll talk more about social media and other platforms where you can post your music later in this guide.
But the most important platform is bar none your artist website. I’m not talking about a Blogger blog. I’m not talking about a LiveJournal installation. I’m not talking about anything that you can’t personally own and control.The most important platform is bar none your artist website. Click To Tweet
There are different solutions depending on what you’re looking for. You can go with a great solution like Bandzoogle or you can go in the self-hosted WordPress site direction I’ve advocated for years.
SiteGround is an awesome solution:
Either way, you need a central space where people can go to find everything about you.
You’ll want to build out your press and media kits, share videos and your music, add high quality photos, put email signup forms up and so on.
On every page, make it clear what your call to action is, it’s always good to have a focus for that. If you go too broad and try to get people to do too many things, your marketing is going to suffer.
But if you focus on getting visitors to do one thing, you can vastly improve your results and conversion rate.
Also take advantage of a tool like SimilarWeb to find where major artists are most active.
I looked up the band Korn and found that their fans engaged with them most on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
What artists were you influenced by? What artists do you sound like? You can go and look up their website on SimilarWeb to find out where they’re getting the most traffic from. And that’s going to give you a good idea where you should put your focus as well.
4. Learn How to Promote Your Music on Spotify & Improve Your Marketing
First, determine whether your audience actively listens to music on Spotify. If they’re not using Spotify, trying to send them there is a futile effort.
You’ll need to redirect your energies towards sending them to platforms where they do listen to music, whether it’s Amazon, TIDAL, Apple Music, or otherwise.
And if they prefer CDs, then make sure you press some CDs.
But if you’ve already confirmed that people do listen to your music on Spotify, here are some things you can do:
- First is to run pre-save campaigns. We hear more and more about these recently, and they are working great for a lot of artists.
- Second is to get your music playlisted. You might not be able to get into the top playlists, but you can certainly create your own, you can look for smaller playlists, you can collaborate with others in creating playlists together. Getting on playlists will pique the algorithm, so think outside the box and find ways to get on as many playlists as possible.
- Put Spotify links on your website or blog. This is an obvious thing that sometimes gets missed, so be sure to link up your music on Spotify so your fans have a quick and easy way to access it directly from your website.
- Next, put the Spotify logo on your posters, business cards, and print material. Even today, there are plenty of people that don’t know that an independent artist can distribute their music everywhere for a small fee. So, you will find that your fans are surprised and amazed that you have your music on Apple and Spotify and Amazon and elsewhere. Let people know. You can put QR codes on your print materials too.
- Also use Spotify embeds to distribute your music further. You can put it on your own website or blog, you can put your embeds on social networks like BitClout where you can embed media directly on the platform. You can request your friends and fans and family to embed your music on their websites or blogs too. And the more places your music is seen the better the chance people will listen to it.
By the way, this is what a Spotify embed looks like:
5. Know Your Music Social Media Platforms
It so often happens that artists and bands get years into their music promotion efforts without giving their strategy a refresh.
If, for example, you haven’t even reviewed your plan in the last two years or so, you’ve been missing out on the TikTok craze.
Chances are you already know about YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (Twitter is especially hot right now). You might have profiles and pages set up on these networks already. And that’s great.
But these aren’t the only places for music can go. In fact, there are some social networks that have been set up specifically for musicians.
Bandcamp, for example, is an eCommerce solution, but it also has a social media component to it. And you can sell your music at whatever price you want using their platform.
Then there’s SoundCloud. A lot of reviewers like to use SoundCloud embeds on their blogs. And you may want to utilize it for press purposes as well.
And then there’s also platforms like ReverbNation. They may not be as popular as they used to be. But these sites still exist, they still offer some services, and you might be able to find some use for them.
So being aware of the various platforms available, how you can utilize them, how you can grow your fan base on them, is integral to you having better music marketing campaigns.
It’s never been more critical to refresh your plans every few months because new platforms are popping up all the time.
6. Master Social Media Marketing for Artists
This is how I would go about mastering social media marketing.
Your first step is to make your Dream 100 list, follow them, and model their posts.
What is a Dream 100 list?
Think of all the artists that you look up to. Think of the artists you’ve been influenced by. Think of the artists you sound like. These are the kinds of people that should be on your Dream 100 list because they have access to the audience you’re trying to reach.
And while you may not get any immediate traction from signing up to their email list, interacting with them on social media, and introducing yourself, over the long haul, if you continue to interact with them, if you add value, if you leave meaningful comments, if you buy their products, you’ll get their attention.
And once that happens, who knows? You might be able to get a shoutout, they might ask you to do a co-write, you might have the opportunity to appear in one of their music videos.
This is a long-term play though. You’re not going to get any results from it in the short term. But if you keep at it, you’re going to see good things happen.
The other note I’ll make about social media is to find the pathway. We recently talked about a pathway for Twitter in a video. And by pathway, I mean a steady, consistent, and reliable way to grow on specific social networks.
Right now, it’s easy to build on networks like TikTok, but that’s only because they’re new and their algorithm hasn’t been tarnished, yet. Guaranteed, it’s going to happen at some point.
So, no matter the social network, there is a way to grow, you just need to tap into it.
But understand this can take a lot of effort. It can take a lot of time to figure out what works on each platform so you can’t give up early. Expect that it’s going to take a year or more.
7. Even Unknown Music Artists Can Play to Their Strengths
As I already shared, all audiences have already been built. There’s no need to start from scratch anymore.All audiences have already been built. There's no need to start from scratch. Click To Tweet
But for some reason many artists still insist on starting at square zero and building from there.
Look at your Dream 100 list and determine how you can build a relationship with each of them. They have access to your audience.
And if you had a Dream 100 list before reading this post, take a moment to review and update it. Who have you connected with? Who haven’t you reached out to yet? What relationships are working? Which aren’t? Have you been able to work your way in or buy your way in? Have you guest posted, appeared on podcasts, or done YouTube collaborations yet? Have you run retargeting ads?
You don’t need to build the audience. You just need to get in front of the audiences that are already out there. So, start thinking on those terms, because there are many ways to get in front of the audiences and the communities that have already been built.
And it’s much easier to go about things that way than to insist on converting one fan at a time playing one dive bar at a time.
Conclusion, Improve Your Marketing as a Musician
No matter what point you’re at in your music career, if you take the time to optimize and calibrate your music, marketing, and your ongoing efforts to be heard, to grow your fan base and earn an income from your passion, you can improve your results.
And by following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can have breakthrough, transformative results you haven’t been able to get in your music career yet.
It’s all a matter of how you value the information because if you don’t act on it, or if you only apply parts of it, you’re not going to get the full results.
Improve your marketing with our Digital Marketing Essentials for Musicians course.
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