Now, as you may know, music marketing is important if you want to forward your music career. Marketing is the act of raising awareness of what you do. If you don’t market your music, no one’s going to know it exists.
Marketing your music alone isn’t enough however; you also need to target the right people if you want to get the most out of your efforts. And as someone who regularly receives sales pitches from musicians, I can see that it’s not always clear who you should be targeting.
So today I’m going to show you who you should be reaching out to and why. Be sure to read to the end for all the info and a nice surprise later on.
Who You Shouldn’t Market Your Music To
Knowing who not to promote your music to is just as important as knowing who to target. Work on convincing the wrong people to listen to your music and not only will you waste a lot of time and resources, but you won’t get many results in return. With that in mind, here are two groups you should avoid marketing to:
1. The General Public (Non Targeted Music Fans)
More or less everyone loves music. That said, it doesn’t mean you should try and convince them all to listen to you. Just because someone likes music, it doesn’t mean they’ll like the music you make.
People’s taste in music is diverse. Statistically speaking, by trying to market your music to everyone you speak to, you’ll encounter more people that aren’t into your genre of music than those who are. Furthermore, it’ll only be a small portion of people who are die-hard fans of what you can offer.
Approaching everyone is a big waste of your time and energy. Instead, keep your promotions to targeted audiences who can really benefit you in some way. I’ll give examples of these audience as we go on.
2. Companies Who Are Music Related, But Can’t Help You
I run an advice website for musicians. As I mentioned earlier, I always get musicians approaching me to help them get their music out there. The thing is, that’s not my job.
Approaching me to help them physically market their music is like approaching a shoe maker to sell your new brand of shoes. Yes they’re involved in the same industry and have knowledge, but they can’t help you achieve your goal. Again, this is a waste of your time and won’t get results.
Other places you should avoid marketing your music too include:
- Musicians unions.
- Music teachers.
- Places which provide legal advice for musicians.
- Music websites and channels which only cover established musicians (unless you’re established of course).
- And the like.
Marketing to these places may get the odd person to listen to your music, but there’s no real room for scale. In other words, if that one person likes it, that’s it. They usually can’t help you past that.
As we’ll look at below, there are much better places to target instead.
Who You Should Market Your Music To
Ok, on to the good part. Now that you know where your efforts will be wasted, who should you be marketing your music to? Well, there are two main places:
Companies And People Who Cater To Your Target Audience
Instead of marketing your music to new music fans one by one, a much more powerful strategy is to target those who already provide music to your target audience. Radio stations, popular Youtube channels and the like. Aim to build up a good relationship with them, and have them play your music to the audience they’ve built up.
This strategy works regardless of genre. Let’s say for example you write and record funky house songs. You’ll want to make a list of all websites, TV channels, Youtube channels, magazines and radio stations etc that play funky and cover house music.
You’ll then want to narrow them down to those that are proven to showcase talent of your level. These are the places you need to market your music too.
The reason is simple: these places rely on outside music such as yours. They’ve built up an audience of followers which expect them to provide them with good music (in this case funky house), so if that’s what you’re offering, there’s a chance they’ll be open work collaborating with and showcasing you.
As these places already have influence and have built up trust with their audience, people are more likely to listen to them over a random person (you) saying your music’s good. As I’ve covered before, this isn’t a good way to get people listening to your music.
Now, I’ll be honest here. It can take a while to get one of these places to play your music as many have a list of favorite acts they play more than everyone else. That said, keep working at getting played. Once you get in with one or two of these places, mention this to future places you submit your music to. The more you have on your CV, the more attractive you look and the more likely others will give you a chance. No one wants to miss out on what’s hot in their field.
Your Existing Fanbase
The second group of people you should be marketing your music to is your existing fanbase. These are those who are already familiar with your music and are connected with you in some way. This could be in the form of your email newsletter, your social websites or other.
You may have heard the saying “it’s easier to keep a customer than it is to gain a new one.” This is also true in the music industry. If someone has shown they like you’re music, it’s pretty easy to keep them happy. Give them more songs, talk to them, and give them special offers.
By marketing to your existing fans, you get to build up a stronger relationship with them. This means more sales from each fan, as well as more word of mouth promotion.
That said, it’s easy to take your fans for granted. Not keep in contact with them, only communicate with them when there’s something to sell, never reach out to any of them personally … These are the things which will stop people turning from regular fans to die-hard fans. This could be the difference between someone buying one of your albums and them buying all of them over time.
Send a bit of love their way and they could turn into one of your 1,000 true fans. Ignore them though and they could become a bigger fan of your rival acts.
So be sure to continue marketing to your existing fanbase. If you’ve got them to listen to your music in the first place, don’t let all your hard work go to waste.
So after reading this guide, ask yourself: are you marketing to the right people? The above is what I’ve seen to be the most efficient way of promoting your music. No time wasting on the things that won’t get any results, whilst also building relationships with those who have more reach than you.
But what happens if you’re not sure how to market your music? Well, I can help you with that. I’ve written up a free book on marketing your music, so if you want to learn how to promote yourself effectively, you should check it out.
Now, let me ask you, are you making any of the above music marketing mistakes? Are you currently promoting yourself to the wrong audiences? Are you going to rethink where you should be focusing your efforts? I’d love to hear your views in the comments.