Whenever I write an article about sponsorship or marketing, I always talk about finding your unique, target audience. As bands, we usually focus on the genre: people who like certain acts that resemble our music. Sometimes, we base it on the subject matter of the songs or even the band’s image image. However, have you considered just connecting fans who have a similar personality or interest as the band members? Using our passions and some concentrated effort, we can make new fans in some unexpected places.
Entries in Marketing (102)
I would love to take it as a compliment that so many bands send me email asking me to check out their music or come see them live. It should mean I’m important. Instead, I disregard most of it as spam.
Mile-long emails telling me about how so-and-so is the next hot artist blowing up all over my face. New album press releases that assume I have 40 minutes to spend learning all about how some artist “grew up in the poorest regions of such and such area before ‘rising to fame’”. It’s all hype that makes no sense given that you have only 80 fans on Facebook.
What is most annoying about these emails is that they’re not even addressed to me. They’re sent to the Earbits customer support email address, and have clearly bcc’d the rest of the world. Sometimes, they’re not even smart enough to do that, disclosing hundreds of email addresses to everybody else on the list. These untargeted, long-winded marketing pieces are lazy, in some cases costly, and completely pointless. Stop sending them.
Artists tend to be creative people. We write music, create dazzling visions of art, and express sentiments in the most unique ways. However, when it comes to promoting our art, something else happens. For one reason or the other, most artists fail to express any creativity in their business endeavors.
Here are five easy (non-internet) ways that you could promote your band. I hope that more than anything else, they get your brain going and inspire you to create ideas that work specifically for your art.
Welcome to the final segment of a 3 part series that was inspired by a mastermind program I participated in with Ali Brown who is my mentor in the world of online marketing.
Here’s the recap of what we’ve gone over thus far…
There are three ways to increase your income:
Part 1. Increase your number of clients (fans).
Part 2. Increase the frequency of purchase, how often your fans buy from you. (and you’d better have more than just music to sell).
Part 3. Increase the amount of money that you charge…
Increasing the amount of money you charge poses a problem if all you have to sell is music because music is now widely available for free, and people have proven that they are not willing to pay a premium for music.
However, fans will pay plenty of money for experiences, like a great concert or a chance to be a contribution to an artist, a special memento, or wonderful merchandise that really resonates with your fans.
Remember the good old days when you would gather your favorite pictures, articles and photos and stick them in a scrapbook? Or pin postcards and notes on your kitchen pin board? Well, the art of the keepsake has just gone digital. Pinterest is a digital scrapbook of your life. A way to tell the world who and what you are with visual snapshots. A way to follow and connect with a community of like-minded people without talking. Digital stalking has just gone artsy, and apparently 10.4 million users have jumped on the bandwagon. 140 characters is just too much. Pictures speak louder than words.
As many of you know Cyber PR® is a hybrid of Internet Marketing, Social Media and PR. I am an avid Internet Marketing student and I gather the nuggets I learn from my studies for musicians.
For many years, I’ve attended internet marketing retreats and seminars; a favorite of mine was a two-day intensive course run by the incredible marketer, Ali Brown.
The course was a whirlwind, and the core principles I learned were both basic and critically important.
If you use the internet frequently, chances are that you’ve been noticing a few things on the rise: meme images or animated .gif’s, certain types of videos, infographics, etc.
Why not use these viral trends and put your own spin on it to create fun, engaging, easy-to-share content with your fans?
- Memes: Meme images have exploded online, especially in geek culture. These images have spread to billions, each with their own take of the images, from “Y U NO” guy to the ever so lovable Nyan cat. You can create your own memes for free using generator sites like weknowmemes.com and memegenerator.net. You can make it more personal fans by talking about specific points in your band’s history, favorite songs or themes, and also inviting them to create some of their own. Most meme websites also provide multiple examples of each image in case you don’t understand the logic behind that type of meme. Read a few, then create your own. Here are some that I made for my band, The Slants, that generated some great buzz from our fans:
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 Part 3, it’s all about your performance:
Imagine a painting that you really like. Imagine that you see that painting for the first time at an opening in an art gallery (think a fancy, somewhat pretentious art gallery…). You like the image, the colors, the technique, etc. You’re impressed. You love that painting.
It would look awesome in your living room, wouldn’t it? You have a chat with the artist, where she explains the concept and the process behind creating the painting, the materials used, and what it means to her. She tells a bit of her life story, and how and why she became a painter. You have a glass of wine; you discuss the painting with a few more people. They also like it.
YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FOOD PYRAMID
With social media growing at such a rapid pace, I decided it was a good idea to revisit my social media food pyramid and update it for 2012.
Here’s Your Social Media Food Pyramid
It happens to me all of the time when I teach artists social media.The face goes blank, the frustration begins to settle in and then the artist says it:
“I just don’t have anything interesting to say.”
I’m shocked by this every time. You are an artist; you do things we mere mortals are totally enamored by: you PLAY MUSIC, you write songs, you perform them in public!
So PUHLEEASE, do not tell me you have nothing interesting to say. I ain’t buying it.
All you are missing is a System for Social Media Success.
Without doubt, the biggest challenge any new band or artist faces is getting their music heard. So it’s important you give yourself the very best chance of cutting through. Sadly, just having great music is not enough. Bands frequently spend months writing and recording new material and then rush it out before considering the importance of presentation or brand.
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(Updated April 6, 2015)