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.
Entries in Marketing (103)
The “Four P’s” is a term used to describe the traditional Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. Well, I’m going to borrow from that expression and 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. Part 1 was all about preparing for your show, and in now in Part 2 we focus on promotion.
Recently music industry analyst Mark Mulligan presented his plea for a serious adoption of a new music format. He claims that most new business model ideas in the music business are retail innovations, but not format innovations. In short, he argues that the new music format should be Dynamic, Interactive, Social and Curated (DISC). For the full vision, check out his speech at midem 2012, or read his full 15-page ‘manifesto for the next generation of music products’.
In my thesis about marketing music through non-linear communication, I wrote a case-study about a record label called Twisted Music and their remarkable adoption of an excellent business mentality for the digital age.
So this is it. The final installment in my series on mobile marketing for independent musicians (sob!). We’ve discussed the reality. We’ve established the importance of strategy. Now it’s time to talk tools! So exactly what tools are out there for the average, hard- working DIY musician? Are the all-singing, all-dancing mobile marketing campaigns of established artists totally out of reach?
[Originally written for the Berklee Blog created for their Intern Program way back in January of last year, when Greenberg obviously had a lot of time on his hands, somewhere before going to sleep and those dark hours after midnight.]
When I interview interns for the Ted Kurland Associates program, which I oversee here at TKA, more than a few want to know if they are going to work directly with the agents, or with management, as if the marketing side of it were tangential to their education, not only as an intern at TKA, but as a whole to their career. Of course, working with the artists is more interesting than working with the pictures of the artists; getting into the thick of the business of music is really the key to their understanding of the booking process. I know that, which is why I try and give them face time with the agents.
Hopefully Berklee-ites…As this was first written for Berklee’s intern blog, I needed to address them head on. But you know, for all those who did not get into Berklee, got into, but could not afford Berklee, go somewhere else less fanatically music-oriented, or just answer “uh…Berkeley?” when asked about the Boston Music School, you can insert the name of your own school where-ever you see that moniker; making this as close to a real one-on-one with me — as that is less and less likely to happen the busier I get in this race to the finish — instead of the usual impersonal read you get off a blog like this one.
So, let’s start this again. Hopefully (Insert Your School Name Here & add the “ites” or just add, “all the young dudes and dudettes”) reading this will have a career where they can afford to shave off a nice percentage for a manager; one who understands all this tangential business kind of stuff and can honestly oversee the marketing. For nowadays, you need the right kind of marketing crew who knows how to use all the bleeding-edge tools-of-the-minute in order to shoot your career into the stratosphere, and, even more important, keep it there. Before you do, there is one basic term you need to understand. It’s not too hard to get, though I am perplexed when starving artists don’t even have this tool tucked under their belts. Perhaps that’s why they are starving?
Everyone wants attention. You want it too, right? Of course, you do.
In fact, that’s the first crucial step in marketing: getting people (specifically, your ideal fans) to simply notice you among all the noise and chaos of their busy lives.
The “Four P’s” is a term used to describe the traditional Marketing Mix: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. Well, I’m going to borrow from that expression and 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. Part 1 is all about preparation.
The Four P’s of Playing Live Shows: Preparation
We’re going to start with the assumption that you’ve chosen a venue and confirmed a date with the venue booker. For tips about getting booked, see one of my previous posts 5 Ways to Impress Venue Bookers and Get More Gigs.
Once the gig is confirmed, here are some things you will need to prepare for the show:
Who will the opening band(s) be?
I guess the first question really is will there even be an opening band? The answer will almost always be yes, as the benefits are clear. An opening band can warm up the crowd, hopefully bring their own fans to the show, and help with the promotion of the show. So when choosing an *opening band, a few things to consider (*and if you happen to be the opening band, much of this advice can still apply):
I often like to compare business practices of other industries and to take the lessons learned to apply it towards a music career. The other day, I was thinking about the food industry and it was so much like our world in music. I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family and started helping my parents’ restaurant business when I was still in elementary school so many of these lessons came quite early in life.
Here in Portland, OR, most people are starting their food business in the form of a food cart. It’s less expensive, there’s less risk, and you’re often grouped together in a “pod” of other food carts so often times you’ll just get crowds of hungry people who would like some food but are unsure of what they’d like yet (or you can be exposed to the customers of other carts). Picture yourself as a chef who wants to make a living doing what they love for a living: cooking. Not much unlike the music industry isn’t it?
You can’t read an article in the music press without tripping over somebody complaining about Spotify royalties. You’ve heard the chorus: Spotify is destroying what’s left of the CD market. It is cannibalizing iTunes. It is ripping off indie artists. And so on.
So, you think. Spotify must be pretty bad.
But is it?
Your email list is one of the most powerful marketing tools that an artist or band (or a business or brand) can have. Recently some data courtesy of Dan Zarrella and Pure360 has shown that there is a definite science behind the timing of sending your emails, just as there is for posting on Facebook and Twitter. Here are some tips and tricks for getting your email timing just right.
I’d like to believe that the two recent controversial bills, SOPA and PIPA, were stopped because they were poorly written but the real reason had to do with the power of messaging and branding.
Let’s face it: bad laws are passed everyday. In 2009-2010, Congress passed 8,970 bills alone. Most of the time, things go by unnoticed. SOPA and PIPA had great intentions (even praised by their strongest opponents) to deter piracy but their problem had to do with messaging. Both bills had been making steady progress for months with bi-partisan support and hardly any opposition. However, during the last several weeks, things exploded online when major Internet companies such as Google, Wikipedia, and Facebook got involved. A lot of things were said about the bill that weren’t true…but by then, it didn’t matter. People were buying the new story: SOPA and PIPA would “break the Internet.”
This is what they did wrong from a marketing perspective:
Take down your Christmas tree! Walk away from that last mouthful of turkey! Stop putting cranberry on everything! It’s 2012 folks. Time to get back to business. 2011 was the year of absorbing, observing and conversing about mobile marketing. 2012 is all about getting amongst it. But hold your horses! Before you jump in at the digital deep end, let’s start with the basics. What exactly is mobile marketing?
As you look to the future you may be getting in the mode to set goals for your career.
I am always surprised when musicians I work for at Cyber PR®, are frantically trying to reach more and more potential fans without really focusing on the fans that they already have. These fans don’t need to be found, because they are already your fans.
Studies have proven that it is much harder to make a new client and get them to purchase something than it is to get a client that already knows you and trusts you to purchase from you over and over.
I always suggest that, in measuring fans, the best place to look is at your social networks and at your mailing list.
Your newsletter list is the only place where you can directly engage with your fans on your own terms and ask for money.
Here are 12 fail-safe ways to increase / engage with your fanbase by pulling from fans that you already know and have who trust and like you for 2012.
This is an adapted piece from something that I wrote on my marketing blog.
Permission Marketing Vs. Self-Entitled Marketing
The concept of “Permission Marketing” has been around for some time. Popularized by marketing guru and author Seth Godin, it essentially boils down to marketers asking for “permission” before advancing to higher levels of engagement or a purchasing process with customers. It’s often contrasted with what Godin likes to call “interruption marketing,” the practice where advertisers try and “interrupt” a person’s normal pattern through an advertising blitz (such as a billboard, tv commercial, magazine ad, etc.).
I believe that a better descriptor for interruption marketing and stronger contrast to permission marketing is the idea of “self-entitled” marketing. Self-Entitlement generally refers to the idea that one feels they deserve access, privileges, or rights without regard to others and (whether it is deserved or not). It’s narcissistic. And it’s also the approach that many brands take to spread their message.
Godin’s describes permission marketing by writing, ”Permission is like dating. You don’t start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit.” Self-entitled marketing is like asking for a long-term commitment with the first impression.
Let’s apply these concepts to the world of musicians…
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(Updated July 8, 2015)