Marketing for Singers and Musicians: How to Get Noticed in a Crowded Market
The problem: You have an amazing talent: like singing or playing an instrument, and you’ve been putting in consistent work for years. And you feel like you should be in a better place. But you’re getting little to no traction. The solution: Stick around because I’m going to reveal how you can creatively market yourself as an artist for little to no cost. <<>> You are now tuned in to Leonard Innovation, where the focus is on entrepreneurs who don’t come from wealth, but have the potential to be great. My name is Justin Leonard. Before we begin, let me give you an interesting fact: One of the oldest channels on YouTube is… my other channel: the at Workoutz channel. For those listening by audio, Workoutz is spelled with a “Z” instead of an “S.” Here, you can see that the channel was established on January 21st of 2007. Since that time, at least one video has garnered, as of today, more than 1.4 million views. Another interesting fact, Google purchased YouTube just two months earlier in November of 2006… So, again, today’s discussion is about how people with rhythmic and melodic talent can get noticed and elevate their brands… So, how do you get noticed? How do you get more eyes on your amazing talents? First, I have identified two important factors that have a profound impact on aspiring artists. Problem number one: 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, even making it to the top rarely translates into long term financial success. Now, 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. So, how do you stand out? The main reason you haven’t had that 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. So, 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 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 don’t know enough about business; about marketing. The solution is to transform yourself into a better entrepreneur. And I’m going to help you do that right now. If I were an aspiring artist, here are seven marketing strategies I would try. And most of these can be done without money. <<>> The first strategy is to try doing cover music. The goal here is to target the listeners of popular artists: anyone with a large following. And then you would need to capture a portion of their audience. One of the easiest ways to do this is with cover music. Now, technically, 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. At the same time, sites like YouTube pay royalties to the big music companies because, realistically, there might be an 8-year-old kid covering a Whitney Houston song. And also, there is usually a benefit to the copyright owner when their music is recreated because it further promotes the original song. Today, there are many cover songs on the major social platforms. And it’s pretty rare for the big guys to block these performances. If you think about it, it’s even possible for someone to be singing karaoke via audio or video; and I’m not so sure these large platforms want to block those performances. So, 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 covering songs that are in the public domain. <<>> The second thing you can do is try to connect with your audience. If you are trying to reach more people, especially new people who don’t know you, it might help to tell them who you are. When you create a video, 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’s 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. <<>> 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. And if I were an artist, I would include a reminder to share my work either before or after, pretty much every performance. The important thing to note here is that you can grow your audience by simply asking or reminding them to support you by sharing your music. <<>> 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. But specifically, you want to try to capture emails. To do this, you will need to create some sort of incentive for your listeners. What can you offer them in exchange for their email? A few ideas are to create exclusive content for subscribers, maybe behind-the-scenes or bonus footage, maybe exclusive access to you or special content, maybe they can submit song requests… It can even be something like subscribers get to hear your new music first. <<>> 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. So far, if you’ve noticed, none of these techniques require spending money. But the aim here is to gain new listeners by incorporating the names of popular individuals, groups, or songs into things like music titles. For example, suppose you have decided not to do cover music. So, 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 sing 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. And anyone following or searching for a specific hashtag on sites like YouTube has a chance of seeing your content. <<>> 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 just to test and see what happens. I think the best strategy here is to pay for ads either on a social network or a search engine. But the key is to send prospects to your website; more specifically, 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 just an abbreviated web page, accompanied by a call-to-action. I’ll include an example of a landing page in the description. So, 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 key is to put your best video forth, along with the specific action you want them to take. <<>> And number seven, the final marketing strategy, is to demonstrate your 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’re an artist. Why is this? Well, there are competitors to YouTube that also offer live streaming and other features. And there is… sort of a race to maintain market dominance. So, sites like YouTube may give you a bit of a bump if you go live. Some of you may be 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. And you can even set it up in advance so that it plays on autopilot. For those who are interested in learning more about Stream Yard, I will include my affiliate link in the description. <<>> 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. And they are… number one: through cover music. Do your research though. TWO: creating a connection with your audience. THREE: asking your listeners or viewers to share your work. NUMBER FOUR: collecting info from your audience, if you can; especially email. And for this we need to get them to your website. NUMBER FIVE: using the names of famous people in your titles. NUMBER SIX is paid ads. And finally, NUMBER SEVEN: you can probably boost your overall viewership by performing LIVE whenever possible… Lastly, if you enjoyed this presentation, the next one will be even better. And for more high value content, leonard innovation dot com is the place for free entrepreneur resources like the 90-day online launch guide, free online courses, and more. To learn how to start or grow your business, visit leonard innovation dot com today. And you can now find the audio version of leonard innovation streaming on podcast services like pandora, AMAZON music, audible, google, apple, and spotify. And if you found this information helpful, please share it with a friend. Thanks again for tuning in.