Every artist wants to be noticed, and you don’t need a label anymore to do it. That also means that musicians must learn how to market themselves. The primary way people discover music these days is through the internet and the recommendations of their friends. Therefore, if you want to be noticed, you need to know where all the fans are hanging out.
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We live in an age where fans receive hundreds of Facebook event invites, and artists see dozens of people click “going” only to perform to crowds that include very few of those people. Artists tweet links to events and send out e-flyers on Instagram, and while everything I’ve just mentioned is a free way of promoting an event or album, is it as effective as some of the tried-and-true ways of the past?
Social media has changed the music marketing landscape forever. While it’s easy to be impressed by the scale of an artist’s social media footprint, both marketeers and musicians need to continue to look behind the numbers to understand the value of social media and how it can be further enhanced.
With last week’s Social Media Week in London, and having just held MEC’s second Music Week looking at the changing role of social, data and brand partnerships, I took the opportunity to speak with three emerging bands – MALKA, The Daydream Club and The Microdance – to find out their perceptions of social media and the future role for brands.
Ever wondered why your band struggles to even get pub gigs, yet a fresh new band is packing out venues from day one? Fed up of having to resort to Pay2Play gigs because no decent promoter is willing to take a chance with you? The secret to success is in plain sight, it’s just only a few have the vision to see it. This guide covers the importance of planning ahead, how to gain attention for your band, and how to score those exciting opportunities that are otherwise unavailable to you.
This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids blog
There are things that a publicist, or someone purporting to be a PR professional, will say that are instant red flags. If these statements don’t sound quite right, that means they probably aren’t. So you better ask the person who said them to clarify. That, or reserve your right to be a bit suspect.
I’ve heard certain people who claim to be/who act like PR people say a handful of things that cause my eyebrow to raise a little. These sayings indicate that they don’t know what they are doing, that they aren’t legit, or that they might be a poser. Four of the most questionable statements I’ve heard in some variation or another are below, and are what to be on the lookout for.
If you or your band have been steadily growing a fanbase and seeing increasing engagement online while touring and releasing music, then you know all about the constant demand for content on your social media networks. If you are not sharing photos on Instagram, tweeting and direct messaging your fans, and getting comfortable using YouTube regularly then you are probably falling behind in taking full advantage of the social platforms where your fans live their daily lives.
This article originally appeared on the Sonicbids blog.
We wholly recommend promoting your band on social media (duh). It’s easily the best way to maintain and grow your following, and it’s arguably eclipsed flyering as the most reliable way to announce a show and reel in a crowd. What we can’t advocate, however, is being obnoxious about it. We’ve all had our nerves grated by someone’s promo. No matter how alluring or special the artwork, there are certain marketing moves you just shouldn’t make online.
Perhaps you don’t sell too many albums on iTunes, or have that many SoundCloud plays or YouTube views. But maybe, just maybe, your music is really popular in some far off corner of the digital universe you never even knew about, and all that “exposure” you’ve racked up over the years is paying off behind the scenes.Next Big Sound provides detailed online music analytics to measure the growth of bands on streaming services and social networks. It doesn’t cover everything, but it casts a wide enough net to shatter an artist’s dreams with cold, hard data. I know it did mine! <sniff> Cidney at NBS agreed to give me an artist credit for one month so that I could write this article, way back in April. Hopefully she’ll forget to downgrade my account.
FeaturesThe screenshot above shows a dozen “key metrics” of my choosing. It’s an easy way to focus on what’s important to me, and not get bogged down in all those numbers. So for example, I could replace Rdio plays with Vine loops, Last.fm shouts, or unique pageviews of my website.
Since releasing my first digital album back in 2002, technology has played a crucial role in the distribution of the music I create. At that time, CDs were still the way folks listened to music but sales were definitely well in decline. Napster had scared the crap out of the music industry and was shut down for good. Mp3s were all the rage and there were these things called iPods that were changing the way people consumed their favorite songs and albums.
Thanks to archive.org and Creative Commons, I was able to distribute my music free of charge to my listeners without fear of the music being used for commercial purposes. I’d release a concept album that could be downloaded and enjoyed around the world. At the time, this was a novel idea for an independent artist.
Let’s face it: when it comes to sell whatever we do, most of us feel uncomfortable. That is very true for musicians, too. Virtuoso jazz violinist Christian Hows address this problem in this interview with Jonathan Fields at 25:40 as “fear of self-promotion”.
What do we do to overcome this fear?
Do you sometimes feel that your band’s draw is languishing? Are you tired of seeing the same people at your shows and want to play to a new crowd, even in your hometown?
If you’re like most musicians, you know that you absolutely can do better, that you have more fans out there than who actually show up at at the venue, and despite always receiving positive feedback, you don’t know why more people aren’t showing up. Here are some tips on building some momentum back into your tour dates so you can increase your band’s draw:
1. Find a Different Angle for The Show: It’s easier to get more people to show up if it’s your band’s first show, when you’re releasing a new album, it’s a tour kick off, or when it’s your final gig. Obviously, it’s because your fans realize those as special occasions and want to be there.
In our current society we are constantly glued to our tech devices and continuously downloading massive amounts of data through both our personal computers and mobile devices. In fact, over 488 million people use Facebook over a one month span with numbers growing everyday. With evidence like this it is no wonder that it is so important for artists to “put themselves out there”. Gone are the days of searching the Yellow Pages for a phone number, or buying a map to plot a course for vacation. These tasks and more are easily and efficiently carried out over the internet.
I got back from Australia last week after an amazing 2 week journey on the 3 Wise Monkeys Tour with Ralph Murphy & Tom Jackson. Along my journey I re-connected with artist and social media coach Rose Wintergreen, who guest tweeted my entire 6 hour presentation with gusto. She and I got to chatting after the seminar and she gave me some great insights on her experience as an artist and coaching artists in Australia.
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(Updated January 13, 2016)