File Under: Marketing Your Music

Most musicians usually find marketing as something expensive, difficult, and out of reach. While it's true there’s a lot involved for an effective marketing campaign, there are a number of simple, easy-to-do marketing ideas that every musician can take advantage of.

There are two things you’ll want to keep in mind when marketing. First, the most important part of your artist persona is your name (which you should choose carefully). Second, the absolute shortest marketing message is your website URL.

Although not every artist creates a website, if you are going to market yourself, it's a powerful tool to have. It’s your hub: a place on the web you own and control -- with no ads and no competing messages. With a single URL, a potential fan can learn all about you. At your site, they can listen and buy your music and merch, find out when your next show is, learn about your story and what you and your music is all about, or follow you on social media. And it goes beyond fans -- journalists can find out about you or write about you, bookers may want to see if you’re a good fit for their venues, or a music supervisor for a TV show can know how to contact you about licensing your music. The best part is that you can create parts of your website to answer questions from all of these audiences in different pages, rather than trying to shoehorn all of these possible outcomes into a social profile.

One of the best-known bits of research by marketing professionals is the concept of a “marketing impression”. Each time a person sees a name, logo, or image, it helps them to remember it in the future. It takes as many as 7-10 times of seeing your name before a person will say that they've "heard of you". Because of this, it’s important to repeat your name in many places repeatedly. And, with just your name and website in hand, you’ll be able to do this easily if you follow these suggestions:

1. Add your name and website to your email signature.

Each time a person sees an email from you, they will see the email signature and your artist name and website. It's even more effective when your email address comes from your own personal domain.

2. Add your name and website to all your social presences.

Consistently use your artist name and website in all of your online profiles, descriptions, forum profiles, and social and online presences. By doing this consistently across all your presences, every post you make online will repeatedly market yourself.

3. Use ID3 tags for your MP3s.

If you make MP3s of your music and share them with others, make sure to completely fill in all of the ID3 tags. Doing this ensures they’ll see your artist name every time they play your music. ID3 tags also allow you to include your website in the “comments” field so be sure to do this. That way listeners can easily find you.

4. If you play live, add your name and website to all your equipment.

When you set up on stage, be sure to display your name and website so the audience can see at a glance who’s playing. Remember there's almost always people in the audience who won't know you, so it’s a perfect way to have your gear introduce you. The bass drum has always been a popular place for a band’s logo, but any instrument or case can include your name and website. Your instrument cases can show your name as well. Also, if you’re streaming a live concert, use the video software to include a "bug" in the corner of the screen with your name or logo, similar to how network television usually displays it’s channel logo so you know what station you’re watching.

5. Stickers and merchandise.

Naturally, merch like t-shirts and stickers, can include your name and website and help get your name out. Also, don't forget that print-on-demand services allow you to create one-off clothing. This means you can create one-of-a-kind shirts and merchandise for the sole purpose of marketing yourself.

6. Add your name and website to your vehicle.

One band we met up with at SXSW, The Locals, added their name to their van as they toured around the country. But that’s not all -- they also created branded magnets with their name, website, and QR code and left them on the side of the van for people to take home when they walked by!

By making your name a part of every communication you have, you’ll be marketing yourself “automatically”. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Challenge: Take a step back and assess everything you have with this new marketing perspective. Use at least one of these techniques to get your name and website in front of potential fans more often.


#marketing #persona

Photo Credit: Yvonne Doll