Whether you’re a brand new musician establishing yourself online for the first time, or an already established band with a dedicated fan base, there is one thing that love it or hate it, all musicians will have to do.
That is marketing your music.
Marketing is a way of generating fans and awareness of your music. This can be done through a variety of different tactics such as content creation / curation, offering unique experiences, developing a sense of community, and yes even paying to reach fans (new and old).
The first step in effective marketing is creating a marketing plan for your music. This is a comprehensive understanding of your audience, the marketplace, and a plan to accomplish whatever goals you’ve set for yourself.
Knowing your fans is the key to success.
With this understanding, you’ll be able to identify where your fans exist and engage online (note: everyone is on Facebook, but not everyone uses Facebook to engage as a fan). You’ll also know how to effectively communicate with your fans, and most importantly, you’ll know how to offer value to your fans to keep them happy and coming back for more.
You should ask yourself some questions to develop a clear picture of your ‘ideal fan’. The fan who is engaging, who can become a word-of-mouth-spreading super fan, who will buy your albums, merch, and tickets.
Once you understand who your fans are, you also need to understand the market. You need to understand what’s happening in your local community as well as within your genre globally. Having this understanding will help you to establish where you fit in and what unique value you can offer to your fans.
With your actionable, measurable, timed goals in place, it’s now time to create a plan to achieve these goals.
There are several components to include in your action plan, including PR, Advertising, Content Creation/Curation, Touring, Social Media / Community Management and Networking.
Taking a career seriously in music is no different than trying to set up a new business in any other industry. It takes time and money to see growth.
But before you set this in stone, you should go through each action item, and determine the cost both in terms of time and money.
Make sure that the action plan is realistic, otherwise you’ll quickly find yourself off the rails and unable to achieve your goals.
The efforts you put upfront to creating a realistic, actionable and measurable marketing plan for your music will save you huge amounts of time, money, and stress later on.