Marketing is all the activities and processes of planning, communicating and executing a product, with a price, the promotion and the placement of an item to an end user. Your music is your product which you are then supplying to the end user - the music fan. Between you and the fan is a big space on how to bridge this gap. You may think that if you just get a record deal with some label, your prayers are answered and instant a bridge is built. This is for the most part, not how things work today.
As an aspiring indie or unsigned singer, songwriter, you can not do just a few things to promote yourself and expect success in your music career. Offline and online music promotion and marketing exposure is an ongoing process in this DIY age. Music companies are looking for artists that already have fan bases, sold CDs, and are proven ready to move up to a higher level. Here are 100 tips and ideas for you to think about and tweak as you will, to get noticed, gain fans, and get heard. You have to find a way to stand above the crowd, for talent alone is not enough.
Promo Tip #1 A music artist must start somewhere, that’s usually locally, but it’s better to not just dive in without a plan. But begin you must. Create a plan with some ideas and set goals as to what you need to accomplish weekly, monthly, and yearly. Start small and make it progressive. Reach bench marks and keep at it.
Promo Tip #2 Image is everything. Image is the complete package - artist/band name, look, performance, merchandise, and style, to how that brand is marketed. A stage name can be a descriptive statement of the image you or your band project. Be unique and interesting to look at in some way....build your own unique stage persona.
Promo Tip #3 Word of mouth has always been the best promotion – tell people what you do. Get people talking. Create your buzz by just giving enough info to get people interested, but hold some secrets close.
Promo Tip #4 Those that promote the most win.
Promo Tip #5 You may be a truly great talent, but without getting out there and consistently marketing yourself, networking, meeting the right people, maintaining your image, and being humble, your talent will only get you so far.
Promo Tip #6 Be innovative in your promotional efforts! The Internet has made it possible to hear a LOT more music, from a LOT more artists. You are now a very small fish in a very large pond - you will need to find a way to stand out, above and glow in the dark. Think beyond the box on every promo tip.
Promo Tip #7 Learn web basics to use the Net to your advantage. The Internet thrives on links, quality content, keywords and consistency. Properly use the tools of the Internet to build your online brand.
Promo Tip #8 Create a web site. Buy your own artist name or band name URL for your web site, keep it simple, easy to remember, make sure it loads quickly and is easy to navigate.
Promo Tip #9 Submit your web link to online music directories, search engines, good music resource sites, in the best possible descriptive category. Use niche sites like tour date sites, lifestyle, regional, music magazine, music ezines, music Blogs and similarly themed sites.
Promo Tip #10 Use Myspace, Tagworld, Frappr, Facebook and any of the good social networks and extend your fan base. Update on a regular schedule.
Promo Tip #11 Go beyond the social networks and sign up to the best indie and unsigned music artist sites. Add a full profile, good photos, your best music, update the info regularly and DO NOT REDIRECT them with only a little info to find out more at another site. These indie communities are built to attract music biz personnel as well, to browse for the talent needed for various projects. While you have the viewers attention and time, have the important info right there, don’t waste their time with a redirect link! Include a link to your main site, if they want to learn more they will go to it.
Promo Tip #12 Promotional material and when I say Promotional material I mean not your damn CD. Get Flyers, download card, even inserting material like a shirt or even towel to hand out at show. Real quick even us in radio do this all the time we stage our events by having our interns wearing shirts holding up signs and we know it them by the sign and we toss it to them or have them come on stage. REMEMBER IT A SHOW
Promo Tip #13 Build a relationship with your online media send press releases and reviews of your shows to anyone that will or have shown you love. You never know when and how they can help.
Promo Tip #14 Professional photos mean you take yourself seriously. All photos in your press kit should be quality photos, not just your main bio picture. The money spent on a photographer that can capture your music “image” is money well spent.
Promo Tip #15 Collect addresses and email addresses (email is free!) to keep your fans current on what you are up to. When building your lists, try to list their location – city, state and zip with a bit of personal input about that fan. This is a great way to create a more personal and targeted mailing list without bombarding people that are too far away to attend a show.
Promo Tip #16 Practice and practice and practice. Longevity in the music business means learning new things, constantly creating, and always improving. (look at LL Cool J, Aerosmith
Promo Tip #17 Zero in on your target. Know where they hang out, where they shop, what they do for fun, and hit them where they live – online and off. Your audience is a specific crowd of people so don’t waste time being where they are not.
Promo Tip #18 Do live shows that mean something or have name that will look good on your resume. This tip maybe for those who been performing live for a while, it is important to do show where you can be an opening act those are the show that you need to be at make it happen. If you just getting started do every little gig that you can I mean do those show at local bar, at the lounge, even the whole in the wall clubs.
Promo Tip #19 Create your own support group of family, friends, and school mates - communicate well with them on your plans and goals to help spread the word on you, where you plan to go and how you plan on getting there. Delegate tasks to the appropriate people.
Promo Tip #20 Online send out press releases and reviews of shows via all appropriate sites.
Promo Tip #21 Get online air play. There are a lot of online radio shows, webcasts, join sites and do what you have to do to get on the playlists. But also do research on the show as well, see who they had on their show and how good and entertaining it is. If its bad then may have low numbers, if they are good and have some celebrities interview like mines (shameful plug) there number may be high.
Promo Tip #22 Create an interesting banner to drop in your forum signatures or other online locations. Many message boards will let you leave a link and/or banner in your signature, but don’t like blatant advertising.
Promo Tip #23 Brand your name across the world and be ever mindful of the image you wish to portray whenever out in public or online. When it’s in print, it’s permanent.
Promo Tip #24 There is such a thing as overkill, in that it is better to describe your band/music as "we sound similar to Backstreets" rather than "we are the biggest thing since Jay'Z" (or better than). So word your description accordingly.
Promo Tip #25 The music business is in the business to make money. If your career is in music, know when to be businesslike.
Promo Tip #26 Learn every area of the business you are in. Knowledge is power.
Promo Tip #27 You must network. Meet people, get out there, shake hands, listen to them as well and let them know about your music. Build those relationships.
Promo Tip #28 Be on friendly terms with other bands and artists in your area.
Promo Tip #29 Create a “street team”, "LOW KEY" online and/or offline…have a few flyers you need to get out have someone drop them off where every they are going oh and sometime a incentive help. "Hey you going store take these flyers there and see if you can leave them for me, i buy you something to eat later" mostly like they will forget about the food and if they don't fast food is nothing. LOL And same thing online just tell them to visit this link and tell me what you think. "Hey can you post this link on your page and tell people to see if they like my song". Be ready for the comments
Promo Tip #30 Announce every song, every CD, decent chart position, contest win, top sales on releases, announce anything and everything to stay in the public’s eye. If you can’t write a decent article up for the press release, get someone that can. Write a review of every gig and get feedback from local VIPs, fans, whomever matters and include the best quotes. Is it news worthy? Write and promote it. Get the most mileage you can from your promotional tactics.
Promo Tip #31 Never mail your CD without a purpose or a contact person's name on it and expect miracles. Far better that the contact person knows to expect your CD, his or her name is spelled correctly, and you are mailing it to a company that actually works with your style of music.
Promo Tip #32 Wear your band! Get a jacket, t-shirts (etc) and add your band name or logo on it. Wear it everywhere and be a walking advertisement. If you have a niche fan base, think of a merchandise item that they need that of course has your name on it!
Promo Tip #33 Create an interesting band logo. It can be a conversation starter or a potential contest question.
Promo Tip #34 Join that group. I love social group but so many artists is using it the wrong way. Posting link and see if people will go don't work, you need to engage the group ask for feed back, ask for ideas and tips. "Hey should this be my mixtape cover / hey this song I hate it but my team like and want it on my new album take a please and let me know what you think. Always looking to collaborate on work, learn about what's happening.
Promo Tip #35 Burn your best song as a single. On the CD and cover include ALL contact info, website, names, etc and distribute that CD wherever you go, for free.
Promo Tip #37 Cross promote online on your web sites with local bands as well. You give them a boost on your site and they give the same back to you. Ask other people to LINK TO YOUR music site from their website!
Promo Tip #38 Introducing your band whether in person or online has a lot of similarity in speech writing techniques, in that you have to grab the reader or listener or viewer in the first 30 seconds. Your opening line needs to have punch, snag the audience and reel them right in. Remember the rock group KISS and "Are you ready to Rock?!!" Find your attention getting line and use it. Don't fall victim to the less inspiring, "um, hi guys, um, we are the 'Example' band..."
Ok, so I said 100 tips I will continue this later