Are you looking to gain new followers and grow your brand? A common problem is that musical artists are great at performing, but not so great when it comes to entrepreneurship. Aspiring singers and musicians struggle to gain traction because they do not understand various aspects of running a business; such as how to market themselves. The solution to the problem is to transform from artists into real entrepreneurs. This article offers practical marketing advice for singers and musicians.
You will learn the following:
- 7 Marketing Strategies for Singers and Musicians
- How to Market Your Brand Using Advanced Methods
- How to Gain New Followers Without Spending Money
- Social Media Marketing for Singers and Musicians
- How to Get Noticed as a Singer in a Crowded Market
- Best Marketing for Music Artists
As an artist, how do you get noticed? How do you get more eyes on your amazing talents? First, let's explore two factors that have a profound impact on aspiring artists. The first problem is just about anything art-related can be tricky because, often, it takes too long to get to the point of profitability. Also, like sports, only a handful will actually go on to make a living from their talents. In fact, art is one of the few industries where making it to the top rarely translates into long-term financial success. It should be noted that this is not a suggestion to give up on your true passion. But if it is money you are after, there are much more lucrative paths to financial freedom.
Problem number two... There is no shortage of good musicians and singers. How do you stand out? The main reason you have not had the breakthrough you were hoping for is because nobody knows who you are. Your hit song is only a hit song to you. No one else has heard it. How do you solve these problems? If you want to solve these problems, you have to transform from an artist into a real entrepreneur.
Right now, you are a highly talented individual that can sing a good song or play a good beat. Performing is your main focus. But you are also somewhat of an entrepreneur, even though you may not realize it. The problem is you do not know enough about business (especially marketing). The solution is to transform yourself into a better entrepreneur. I am going to help you do this right now. If I were an aspiring artist, here are seven marketing strategies I would try. Most of these can be done without money.
1. Cover Music
The first strategy is to try doing cover music. The goal is to target the listeners of popular artists (anyone with a large following). Then, you would need to capture a portion of their audience. One of the easiest ways to do this is with cover music. The reason you should incorporate cover music into your marketing plan is because it allows new listeners to make quick decisions about your level of talent. If you can perform as good or better than the original song, it will immediately confirm that you have talent worth following.
I should note that the copyright owner of the music you are covering has exclusive rights to any derivative works. So, you would not be able to monetize a cover song unless you obtained permission from the copyright owner. But sites like YouTube pay royalties to the big music companies to, presumably, account for cover songs by its users.
Also, there is usually a benefit to the copyright owner when their music is recreated because it further promotes the original song. If you check any social platform, you will find many cover performances. It is pretty rare for the platforms to block these performances. If I were an aspiring artist, I would definitely take my chances with cover music. But do your research on the best practices for recreating existing works. And to be safe, you might also consider songs that are in the public domain (free for anyone to use).
2. Make the Connection
The second thing you can do is try to connect with your audience. If you are trying to reach more people, especially new people, it might help to tell them who you are. Whenever you create music, give them your backstory. Explain what you were feeling when you wrote the song. Why did you write the song? What inspired you? Maybe talk about how you became an artist and what music does for you. Another way to connect with your audience is to dedicate the song to a specific group of people or those experiencing a specific problem. For example, “This song is for anyone who ever experienced, this…” Or, “We wrote this to be uplifting.” You just need a way to make that connection with your audience. It is probably best to insert this type of content at the beginning of your music. But it can also go at the end or even in between performances.
3. Ask for Promotion
The third thing you can do is ask the viewing or listening audience to share your music. Do not assume they already know to do this. If possible, show them how to share your music. Be specific. For example, do you want them to tell their friends about you? Do you want them to press a share button? Which other platforms can your music be found on and shared? Do you want them to download the music or just share the link to the music? Be specific.
If I were an artist, I would include a reminder to share my work either before or after every performance. The important thing to note is that you can grow your audience by simply asking or reminding them to support you by sharing your music.
4. Collect Emails
Strategy number four is to try to collect audience info. This works best if you have a website. You can’t really do this on any of the major platforms because they do not give you access to this level of information. But specifically, you want to try to capture emails.
To do this, you will need to incentivize your listeners. What can you offer them in exchange for their email address? Here are a few ideas:
- Create exclusive content for subscribers
- Offer behind-the-scenes or bonus footage
- Provide exclusive access to you or special content
- Allow fans to submit song requests
- Subscribers get to hear your new music first
5. Incorporate Famous People In Titles
Another way to get noticed is to use the name of a famous person, or anyone trending, in your song. This is marketing strategy number five. The aim is to gain new listeners by incorporating the names of popular individuals, groups, or songs into things like music titles and descriptions.
For example, suppose you have decided not to do cover music. Instead, you want to try and promote your own original music. One way you might be able to capture a ton of new listeners is to manipulate your headlines and messaging a bit. If your original song is entitled, “Happiness in the Sun,” you are going to use a different name in the title, and instead, mention that you are performing a special song for someone with a large audience. For example, “This is the song I would perform for Taylor Swift.” So, we are cleverly incorporating someone or something with a high level of interest in hopes of capturing new listeners.
Another thing you want to be sure to do is address the artist or brand directly by using their official channel and relevant hashtags within the description and title [if it fits]. When you address a channel using the @ symbol, they will see each instance of their name being mentioned. Anyone following or searching for a specific hashtag on sites like YouTube has a chance of seeing your content.
6. Strategic Advertising
The sixth marketing strategy you can try is to spend money on ads that highlight your music. You can start with a small dollar amount: maybe a budget of $300 per month. I think the best strategy is to pay for ads either on a social network or a search engine.
For best results, send prospects to your website. More specifically, send them to a landing page. You can also send them directly to your artist profile page, or even a specific video or audio stream on social sites. A landing page is an abbreviated web page, accompanied by a call-to-action.
When a user clicks on a paid ad, they arrive at the landing page. But once they arrive at the landing page, they should be able to quickly digest the info and perform a specific action. The specific action is based on the outcome you desire. For example, do you want more views? If so, you might have them watch a video and then subscribe. Do you want to make more money? If so, you might have them buy your merchandise or a ticket to your next virtual concert. But the strategy is to put your best performing video forth, along with the specific action you want them to take.
7. Live Performances
Number seven, the final marketing strategy, is to demonstrate your musical talents live on sites like YouTube and elsewhere. Live video tends to be favored in search recommendations, which might result in greater exposure if you are an artist. The reason is because there are competitors to YouTube that also offer live streaming and other features. There is a race to maintain market dominance. Accordingly, websites like YouTube may give you a bit of a bump if you go live.
If you are nervous or concerned about mistakes and technical issues that can occasionally happen during live performances, don’t panic because there are a handful of services out there, like Stream Yard, that allow you to create the appearance of going live, even though you are not actually live. Translation: It is possible to upload a pre-recorded video, but have it stream on sites like YouTube as if were live. In fact, you can even set it up in advance so that it plays on autopilot.
We have made it to the end. Let’s do a quick summary of the main points. I highlighted seven ways that an artist can market themselves for little to no cost. Here they are again:
- Cover music
- Creating a connection with your audience
- Asking your listeners or viewers to share your work
- Collecting info from your audience (especially email)
- Incorporating the names of famous people in your titles
- Strategic advertising
- Performing live whenever possible
Disclosure: Leonard Innovation is an affiliate of StreamYard
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