Indie Marketing Training Series - Market Yourself!
Well, I hope you've had a chance to check out my previous 3 modules that include getting off the ground with building a fanbase for your artistry online, as well as some sales strategies and office keeping related details for releasing music publically and properly.
See the links below to catch up!
Module 1 - Market What??
Module 2 - Gaining Fans
Extraaaa - Song Release Checklist
Module 3 - Give Your Music Away For Free??
In the last module I explained how your music and digital content are really promotional tools that can be used to sell other artist merch which makes a lot more money over time.
Today I felt it's important to cover other ways to help market yourself as an artist using paid ads.
You have to ask yourself this simple yet important question, "How are people going to find me?"
If you just released music the 'old fashioned' indie way of just putting it up, who is ever going to find it unless it's some kind of amazing gem of a song that goes viral as soon as 10 people hear it.
A strategy that I have yet to test, but falls perfectly in line with the principles I've covered in the previous modules like:
- not asking for a sale on the first interaction
- fulfilling a 7 interaction rule before asking for a purchase
- gaining fans on your Facebook artist page
- letting people know what you're about
The strategy includes filming a mock interview where an interviewer asks you about yourself and your music.
This video can then be used to create a paid Facebook ad where people can watch it on their feed, get to know you a little bit and if they like you, they'll check out your music! It is ever important to offer a new person who is interacting with you for the first time SOMETHING FREE. It's completely up to you what that thing is, but a free download is usually the best bet, unless you have some other digital things to offer.
Below are some example content pieces or questions you can have your interviewer ask you in order to paint your artistry picture for potential fans.
What kind of music do you make?
Tell us about your history. Why and how did you become an artist?
What other artists influence your sound and what kinds of music do you listen to?
How has your experience been playing live and interacting with fans
Talk about upcoming gigs, releases, plans for the future
Why do you make music? What messages does your music get across and how is that important to you?
These are just some examples of content you can create in the interview video.
The importance is to let the listener know as much about you as an artist as possible so they can make a decision on the spot whether or not they will click like on your page and become a following member.
Remember you want this video to happen quickly, again with the psychology of people on the internet, our attention spans are that of a pickle so keeping the video under 1:30 will retain more viewers til the end and garner a better conversion rate.
The key with all of this marketing stuff is that you want to create lists of people who you can later interact with again later. By launching an ad that is geared toward getting page likes on your artist page, you are having people put into a place where you can target them again. Once a person has liked the page, there is a chance (depending on the FB algorithm and the content) that they will see every post you make on that page. You've taken them from the large sea of Facebook, and put them into a smaller Lake of people more likely to see your content.
To go one step further, once you have a lake built, you can offer a free song download (of your best one of course) in return for your fans email address. Once you have that email address stored in a list like MailChimp or Aweber, you have direct access to their private little cove in the lake. A person's email address is like their internet home. If they gave it to you, they allowed you to come over to their place digitally and at least talk to them. This doesn't mean it's time to hard sell them on your album, but you are a step closer to a sale. It still takes time massaging your fans with content in order to butter them up enough to make sales through email, but over time, by keeping their interest, you can get there!
A simple one page website with your logo and a small signup form is all you need to start this process. The new fan enters their email address, and is sent a download link via email for a free tune. This can all be set up in a list building service like MailChimp and a handful of others.
Tips for the interview video:
have it professionally shot which may take a little bit of money investment, but is an advertising write-off on your artist business at tax time.
be yourself, meaning people connect better with people who are being real. Its often the quirky traits of a human that people like about another person so acting naturally during the interview is key to more connections.
dress appropriately, if you're wearing pjs on Saturday morning before the interview, change into something more akin to what you'd wear on stage in front of your fans. Everything from the way you act, to what you look like should be uniform and describe you as an artist.
Take Ed Sheeran for instance, every time you see him in a media shot of any kind, the guy looks harmless. Usually in a basic t shirt and some kacky shorts and skater shoes. Hair kind of messy, very " I'm just a regular guy" type look. This says everything about who he is and you can expect a certain personality when he talks.
You are creating more than just music as an artist, you are developing an entire persona that needs to match your brand and give people the full picture of you.
If you don't believe this interview thing is a good idea to increase your brand awareness as an artist, just look at the big record labels and how they do it. They do this exact same thing by paying public figures like Ellen DeGeneres, Zach Galifanakis (between two Ferns) and others to have their artists on TV to get this personality thing across to a mass audience.
We are just taking this same approach but using an outlet where everybody already is (Facebook) and doing it ourselves. As less people watch tv and are on social media more and more, this strategy for awareness is becoming even more useful.
I hope this article has been helpful in your understanding of branding and marketing yourself as an artist!
Watch for more modules in upcoming weeks as we progress through more techniques and help you soar to new heights with your artist careers!