Welcome to the first of many in my new training series on marketing your music as an indie artist without a record label.
I feel it is my duty now that I know this information to spread it to the masses and allow every artist to have an equal chance at success in the new music industry.
Why the "new music industry"? Back before the internet was capable of providing an avenue to personally market music, the only option was to play concerts or get on the radio to build fanbase. Well, the big record labels had (and still do have) a monopoly on the radio play industry using their giant investment dollars to buy plays on major radio networks. This essentially locks small artists out of bidding on radio placement on major networks.
Well, there's a new way for indie artists to get people to notice them apart from playing live which is still a strong way to grow a fanbase, but why not take advantage of the internet and all it offers to propel your career forward right?
Let's dig into the first lesson.
You need something worth marketing. A Song. Not only do you need something worth the marketing, but you also need that song already recorded and finished in order to design an ad that you can market with.
The first step to marketing your music is to record your freakin music! Or at least the first song and make it your best so you can use it to entice people into the rest of them!
Here's a little glimpse of what I'm talking about...
For instance, you have an EP or album ready to go. Its recorded, perfected, ready for pressing or uploading for streaming.
What next? Most inexperienced artists just throw it out into the world and tell people "buy this it's awesome".
Woah Woah Woah, let's back up a second and analyze how big brands get their products out to so many people successfully.
There's scientifically proven stats that say you need to engage a prospective buyer up to seven...yes 7 times before they will actually pull the trigger to buy your product, in this case your music.
So how do we go about contacting them or "warming them" up to the idea of purchasing?
By promoting yourself and saying "hey check me out, I make ____ music".
The best way to do this is to have music made already for them to hear!
See how that went? You have to already have music recorded.
Once you have that, it opens you to the option of posting sample bits or if you're brave enough, a full promotional song that is not part of the album about to be for sale. They need to hear what you're all about first and foremost before they'll ever become a fan or buy your music.
I always put myself in the position of who we are trying to reach. So, say I'm just a random guy browsing my feed and I see a new artist online whether it's via a shared post or an ad or anything really. First I need to connect with what that artist is even doing. If they say "check me out, I make punk rock like blink 182", then I need to like blink 182 to even be interested. If so, I'd probably go see if they sound like blink 182 right?
The key here is, they didn't just say "hey here's my song buy it".
Now you can have a single song recorded when you begin getting fans much before your album or EP release. I suggest starting this process for the first time about 6 months ahead of the release to gain maximum exposure.
Traditionally, artists put out albums at full length all at once. 12 songs on a cd or similar.
There's a much more effective way to manage and maximize how many people will become your fans during the lead up to your official release date.
For a full length album, select 2-3 singles that you will release ahead of time before the album is released including those singles.
For an EP, 1 single will work.
The idea is to tickle your fanbase with a little bit of content before giving them the anchelada. Like an appetizer before the main course. Humans are programmed to accept the main course easier if they've already had something to entice them.
Now, in order to make that post "hey check me out I make _____ music" you need to use a clip of your single in an ad or social post. I like targeted ads because you can select who will see them. We will dig a bit into how to do that in another lesson.
For now, create a 30 second clip of the best part of your song to use in a video post saying "hey check me out I make______music"
It is said that if you post just text online, 95 % of people will not even stop scrolling or pay attention to your content.
Add an image, and that rate goes up to about 40%
Add a Video and that rate goes up to about 75% which is really decent.
The Golden bullet of course right now is Iive feeds. This method is more than just video and garners almost a 95% attention grab from people who see it. That doesn't guarantee they'll watch, but at least you have maximum eyes on you.
So, you make an ad or post to get people to look at you.
This will start to build fanbase.
It always starts with people closer to you, but with a little sales technique can reach much further.
Most people who try to get someone to do something miss the most important part of getting them to do it. ASKING them to do it!
In your post saying "check me out...." Put the words "if you like what you hear, please share this post!"
You'd be amazed, people actually share it when you tell them to!
There's a lot of psychology to marketing music.
Did you know when a person sees an artist page on Facebook, the first place they look on that ad is to see how many other people are already following that artist? This number causes them to decide whether or not to even engage with that ad.
The same goes for any kind of talent booking agents at venue or pretty much any other place that you are trying to make happen for you as an artist.
Its called social proof. The vast majority of people in the world are "followers" in a sense that they will only do something that lots of other people are already doing. The mentality that "if nobody else is interested, it's probably not that good".
We need to boost our artist Facebook page likes before we even try to market anything because when people see your posts or ads, they are going to look to see if other people are doing it too before they will.
There's a quick and cheap hack using Facebook ads to build likes. Now, these likes you can purchase using ads are not your targeted people who will buy your music, they are just helping fulfil a numeric value on your page to provide that social proof so people who may actually buy your stuff feel they can engage.
Create a Facebook ad from your artist page, select a targeted audience by first defining who you sound like as an artist, don't worry we all sound like some other big artist it's okay! Now, the key to making these likes cheap is to exclude economies which advertising is expensive. Exclude Canada, united states, Europe and Australia.
This will cause your ad to be displayed in any other country that is literally less than a penny per like.
Later we can make a targeted ad using profits to gain new fans who are local but that costs a pretty penny!
So to recap on lesson 1,
- you need recorded music
- your first song should be your single and also the best song (2nd best at the very least)
- you need to warm up your potential customers without asking them to just buy your music (remember 7 times)
- you need social proof to even have those people become fans
This series is about marketing your music, but I think I should next make a post that lays the groundwork for even having an online presence as an artist. Which pages to create, logos, pictures, which accounts you'll need etc.
Look for that coming soon!
PS PLEASE SHARE THIS POST TO HELP MORE ARTISTS!