Best Marketing Tips for Musicians in 2019
We love working with musicians! While the music industry can be a difficult place to earn a living, it can also be one of the most rewarding. Many factors play into the success of a career in music. The industry can differ widely across scenes, genres, and and geographic location. Here are my best marketing tips for musicians in 2019
- In-Person Marketing
- Start a Newsletter Sign-Up
- Choose an Online Hub
- Blog / Social Media
- Patreon / Paid Subscription
People want to work with people they know, like and trust. Your personal reputation will always be the single most crucial factor towards your long-term success as a professional of any kind. This stands true of professional musicians too. Being reliable, hard working and good at what you do are all your best assets. So be confident in those traits when putting yourself out there. This will ensure you understand your own value as a musician and will know the difference between people who also value those qualities and those who do not.
It might go without saying but the larger your network, the more possible opportunities will become available to you. I began taking ‘socializing’ as imperative to my marketing plan a few years back and it has proven to be instrumental to every dollar I make. Maintain long-term relationships, and develop new opportunities when meeting new people by attending events you are invited to and other places where people are. I don’t think it really matters what these events are. Joining a hockey club or going out to a new D&D campaign can do the trick. I like to focus my time on the events that I am likely to have the most fun at and hopefully either meet a few new people or run into a few old friends. When people see you they usually ask what you do for a living or what you have been up to. Take opportunities to let people know you’re a working musician, then you can move on to keep having fun and enjoying the evening.
Start a Newsletter Sign-Up
E-Newsletters have been referred to as the golden goose of digital marketing. I believe it now that I have seen it. Having an email list to send e-newsletters to needs to be your marketing focus if it isn’t already. Conversions are high for e-newsletters compared to other platforms. If you’re looking for a cost effective marketing strategy, this is it. Promote the band, album or new music video with an e-newsletter. This really does need to be the focus for every musician out there.
People need to knowingly & voluntarily sign up to legally be included on a mailing list aka they have to ‘opt-in’. You can collect sign ups a number of ways, either online by
adding a newsletter sign up form to your website
or directly having a sign up sheet at the front door of your gigs
These people who have added their emails to your list are more likely to support you because they have supported you before by attending one of your shows or by going to your website. So this list of loyal followers who are probably already interested in what you do and are just waiting to hear from you. So go ahead, collect as many emails as possible and get a little fan club happening that you keep informed via e-newsletter shout outs. Mailchimp is my preferred e-newsletter method https://mailchimp.com/
If you really want to shock people, go old school and send them a snail mail newsletter! Then write me and tell me how it went.
Relax. You don’t have to ‘sell out’ to brand yourself as a musician (if that’s what you were thinking?). I’ve reviewed my share of musicians press kits and even the most professional of these seem to grapple with the basics of visual presentation (at least in the digital department!). So branding may or may not be your strong point, but if you’re a touring musician you’ve probably had to think about a poster idea or two. Save time by not spending time overthinking every individual marketing piece as it comes. Instead, having a few key visual cues that consistently convey your style across various marketing platforms can save time and drastically increase your success.
- Create a logo by writing your name in a font that feels and looks good for you
- Pick a secondary font to be used for content on your marketing materials
- Choose a few colours to use consistently across your marketing
- Create a media library of photos that can be used for social media, etc (I’ll write more about DIY photography later)
Choose an Online Hub
Whether it be a website, a Facebook profile or page, or even LinkedIn, choose at least one online platform where you can get all your info up online. Having at least one online platform where you can direct people whether through posters or word of mouth can provide them with access to news & shows.
For better or worse, social media can play a big part towards your music projects success. Spend time nurturing a couple of these platforms and they will payback. People spend an incredible amount of time surfing online so it is a good place to reach people. It doesn’t replace the very awesome face to face encounters and in-person greetings by any means. Blogging and social media are not the be all and end all of marketing. I am a firm believer in direct marketing and in person introductions as the #1 path to success of marketing. But once you’ve made that connection, social media is a great way to keep folks in the loop.
Patreon / Paid Subscription
Album sales are a fraction what they used to be. Live gigs are often the one reliable source of income for musicians, forcing them into constant touring. A new way for fans to support their favourite musicians is here with paid subscription options like Patreon. Using your e-newsletter list and social media to promote the subscription, you can offer subscribers incentives like new songs released monthly, tour updates and fan promotions like merch giveaways. 10 fans subscribing $5 monthly adds up to $1100 per year. Hmm, what delicious new music gear would you spend that on? Or how about gas for your next tour?