The “Four P’s” is a term used to describe the traditional Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. I’m borrowing from that expression to talk about the Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation, Promotion, Performance, and Post-Show. This series of blog posts will cover the things that you can be doing as a live performer to maximize each show. In the final part of this series, we’ll go over what to do after your show is finished:
Here’s the final post in my 3 part series discussing some basic marketing plan elements for independent musicians. So far we’ve gotten Everything In Order (Website is up-and-running, Newsletter plan is in place and Touring and Merchandise steps have been taken) and we’ve also had a successful Album Launch.
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
- Ariel Hyatt: Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians - Part 2 of 3: Album Launch
- Tom Dennehy: How Vinyl and iPods Ganged Up to Kill the Audio CD
- Mark Knight: Can You Recover From Free Music?
- Simon Tam: How to Get Gigs on Sonicbids
A while ago, I wrote this article about How to Get Better Results From Your Sonicbids Submissions. Since then, there have been a few changes to the site (both for promoters as well as performers). All of the advice from the first article still applies so if you haven’t read it, take a look at it first.
Here’s some practical advice for those of you who would like to use Sonicbids to get gigs and what my thoughts are on it (both as an artist as well as a promoter):
I’ve lost count of the number of articles I’ve read that insist bands and artists should give their music away for free. Personally I believe, unless you have the benefit of on-going PR support or are reaching mass audiences through radio airplay, giving away your core product might just be a mistake you’ll never recover from. Here’s why…
Giving away your music might be a prudent strategy for artists like Prince that have successfully established, genuine, alternative income streams (EG tours) to sustain a living. However, for the average DIY, or unsigned musician who barely covers costs when they play live, is it really a smart strategy to remove your most obvious and immediate income stream?
NPR reported that CD sales tanked in 2010, particularly among younger buyers. The trend suggests that vinyl and iPods are sinking the audio CD into the so-called “fidelity belly,” where mediocre products go to die.
In his book Trade-Off, journalist Kevin Maney wrote that a truly successful product provides either the richest user experience (fidelity) or the greatest convenience. Less successful products fall into what he labeled the fidelity belly, “the no-man’s-land of consumer experience,” characterized by commercial apathy, insufficient fidelity, and insufficient convenience.
Apple succeeds in the consumer computer market by providing the richest pre-sales experience in its retail stores. Dell and HP succeed by providing an ultra-convenient pre-sales experience online. Who is in the belly? Everyone else.
Sinking into the fidelity belly is essentially the fast track to obsolescence. Staying out of the belly is never assured, because customer expectations for fidelity and convenience constantly evolve.
The Music Industry
Thinks Out Loud
- Ariel Hyatt: Musician’s Arsenal: Killer Apps, Tools and Sites - GigFunder
- Jamie Leger: Why Music is Less Valuable Than Expertise and Information…?
- Simon Tam: How to Book a Tour: Unconventional Advice
- Chris Hacker: Marketing Plan Tactics For Independent Musicians - Part 1 of 3: New Album Preparations
Chris Hacker here, I create Marketing Plans for artists at Cyber PR® and really enjoy working with my many clients. I’ve noticed a huge problem though. Artists call the Cyber PR® offices all the time looking for us to promote their new album, totally fine of course, but the problem lies in that many of these artists call us when their albums are coming out the next week!! It completely baffles me that an artist or band will work so hard on an album, spending hours and hours writing songs and practicing these songs and then spending large sums of money recording, mixing and mastering, to only rush the release with no plan in place! Not planning enough lead time for a press campaign isn’t the only issue, but many people we talk to try to release their album when some of the basic music promotion elements aren’t even in place, for example a website where you can sell the music!
There’s plenty of advice out there for booking a tour. In fact, I’ve written on it a few times (including this step-by-step guide). People generally talk about the same kind of stuff: how to approach a venue, where to book, promoting, etc. However, I want to cover some of the territory that people don’t talk about, the pitfalls that you’ll come across along the way.
Today had me thinking about two questions that i want to address with you… Is music less valuable than expertise and quality information? And is this why music cannot be sold for high prices?
Unfortunately, just knowing something, or having experienced something, doesn’t mean all that much. At least in terms of creating and adding value to peoples lives. Although there are many things that you can grasp and understand creatively and in the realms of your own thinking, this is NOT where the value comes from. With any content that you create, whether its an article, a book, a program, or a song… The value doesn’t come from your knowledge, the value is created by you speaking directly to an immediately recognizable issue/thought or feeling. With information products, you then of course uncover the solutions that you’ve found and explain how people can use them to improve some aspect of their lives or business.
Fan funding: it is the saving grace for the broke independent band. Where before bands couldn’t consider studio time or hiring promotional companies to support their release, with a little hard work, some social media love, and good old fashioned word of mouth spread, bands can raise the cash they need to fund their dream projects. With the big four players fairly entrenched in the field (PledgeMusic, Rockethub, KickStarter and Indie GoGo), it’s hard to imagine a new player coming into play. However, GigFunder has found a unique need to fill in the fan funding world.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)