Playlists and streaming technology are upending just about everything in music, and the relationship between fans and musicians is no exception. A decade ago, it’d be safe to call most of an artist’s listeners true fans, but that’s no longer the case. Between the plummeting value of music and how easy it is for fans to listen to and discover new music, more people are listening to more music than ever before––but it takes much more than listening to an artist to become a loyal fan. Here’s three ways casual listeners are different than fans:
Because music is closely intertwined with emotion, musicians often approach their work with unrealistic expectations. Big, vague, and unreachable expectations can be dangerous because they lead musicians to exchange focusing on small successes for ones they’ll never be able to attain. Here’s a list of three unrealistic musical expectations to watch out for:
I’m well aware that the title of this article looks like something out of a self-help book for musicians, but I’m ok with it because it’s true. Neglect your career, stop writing songs and putting energy into music, and your musical identity evaporates. But spend all your time touring and holed up in your music studio and things like the state of your close relationships and bank account are sure to suffer. Balance is vital for musicians because it creates a big, dynamic space for their everyday lives to exist in. It makes room for an ambitious, fulfilling career along with vital non-musical aspects of a musician’s life. Can you always have it all when it comes to balancing a music career with a marriage, mortgage payment, or dayjob? No! Of course not. That’s why balance is so important.
Happy (almost) Halloween! In honor of all the spookiness that lies ahead, we’ve put together a list of fun, scarily good tactics to try out in an effort to up your marketing game. (Ok, so they’re really just fun marketing tricks to try, but we’re excited for Halloween—can you blame us?)
So if you’re sick of the same old tired techniques or simply don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered with these music marketing tips to try.
Everyone wants major placements on big name blogs —and understandably. Not only does a positive feature from them hold weight with their audience, but it’s a pretty big ego boost for the indie band that gets featured. The problem? The likelihood of a truly indie band getting featured is pretty slim.
But before you get too deflated, or angry, or go through the myriad of emotions you’re likely feeling when you accept that and let it sink in, I want to re-introduce you to something you’ve probably given very little thought, but is in fact your best shot at long term success: small blogs.
While indie hopefuls may view smaller blogs as beneath them, insisting they’re destined for great things (and they might be), they’re missing out on a crucial player in the music industry if they skip them. As both a blogger (for small and high tier sites) as well as a publicist that has placed my artists on both, I want to let you in on the secret of just why small blogs are the missing ingredient to your music career.
When I think of some of the most creative strategies I’ve seen from emerging bands, none of them include posting about their shows/music nonstop on social media, shoving their CD in my face as I walk by them at a festival, or otherwise trying to harass me into listening to their music. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.
The most effective ways to promote your band are the ones where the audience feels an honest and natural kinship with what’s happening. They don’t feel pressured or sold to, and the effects are subtle yet long lasting. That is almost always due to your promotional strategies being aligned with your brand.
So how can you do the same thing? The truth is that some of the best ideas will come through your own experiences and specific branding strategies. But if you’re feeling stuck, take a look at some of these ideas to promote your band and let us know what some of your favorites have been!
Imagine you’re a new, independent artist looking to test the waters of the business they call music. You have a soul-sucking day job, but hey, gotta pay the rent, right? Soon you’d love to quit and make music full time, but first you need to get some momentum going. You bedroom-produced a handful of songs and you’re ready to get streamed. Got $50 to drop on digital distribution for those five songs? “Ayyyyyy, I haven’t even bought a nice microphone yet!”
Do you really want to begin your career hundreds of dollars in the hole?
You can’t catch your dreams if you go broke trying. That’s why we’re dethroning The Old Way with Select Distribution, the smart, budget-friendly way to get your music on the biggest streaming platforms in the world. The Old Way requires you to spend at least $10 per song and $50 per album to get on “hundreds” of streaming sites, apps, and stores. That’s a fine offer for the more established artist with thousands of fans. That guy is confident he’ll make his money back in a few months. But the up-and-comer, well, she needs to be a bit more choosy with her money. Want to do some quick math?
You’re probably used to drafting up fan-oriented Facebook posts and newsletters, but one hurdle many artists can’t surmount is how to give individual fans the attention they crave. After all, you’re busy marketing, promoting shows, booking tours, and, oh yeah, making music. At the end of the day, there’s no time or money left over for extensive chats with single fans on a regular basis.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to make connections with individual fans that cost you nothing and take virtually no time at all. Try these five ways to build those connections and get to know each of your fans a bit better.