How Is Your Amazing Music Absolutely Worthless?
Y’all should know by now the difference between distribution and marketing. Distribution is where consumers go to purchase your music and merchandise, the marketing is why they’re going to go there. Distribution is stocking a product people want to buy. Marketing is the art of influencing buying decisions which drives traffic to the distribution centers.
Most people are blissfully unaware of how effective marketing is, they even think they’re smart enough to be immune to it.
I got news for you, nobody’s completely immune to it and it has nothing to do with intelligence.
This is why it works so well.
Don’t believe me?
I’ll bet at least one of these examples will ring your bell.
Finish this sentence: Nationwide is ___________.
Did you sing it?
Try this one: I’d like to teach the world to sing in ____________
Do you know the melody to that one too?
How about a less musical approach to our little test?
What is the first word that pops into your mind when you read the following?
Just Do _____
I’m Loving _____
Here’s yet another exercise. Again, what is the first word that popped into your head?
If I say I need an ibuprofen you think of _______
If I say I want to copy a document you say I need a ______ copy.
If I say I want a tissue for my runny nose, you say I need a ___________
You are probably well aware of the Nationwide and old school McDonald’s jingles.
You probably thought of a Nike image with “Just Do It.”
You probably thought of McDonald’s again with “I’m Loving It”
When I asked about ibuprofen you undoubtedly thought of Advil. Would it surprise you that there are many brands of ibuprofen, but Advil was first in the marketplace?
When I asked about copying a document you probably thought of a Xerox copy. Again, companies like Canon, Fujitsu, and Ricoh all make amazing copiers, but Xerox was first in the marketplace years ago with this device and therefore, we often refer to a document copy as a Xerox copy.
Finally, when someone has a runny nose they most often ask for a Kleenex as opposed to a facial tissue. Yep, you guessed it, Kleenex was first in the marketplace with facial tissues.
In some cases we actually replace the brand name of certain products for the noun that they are. Xerox, Advil, and Kleenex are brand names of certain products.
Have you ever heard someone say I need a Canon copy?
Think about how powerful that is.
You’re not immune.
You’re exposed to an average of 2,000 advertisements per day. Some of them come in right through the front door, some are subconsciously allowed into your mind, and some infiltrate your psyche both ways. It’s almost like a melody attached to a catch phrase drops a cookie in your brain; forever.
Guess what? Good music does the same thing.
I’ll bet you can remember the exact song that was playing the first time you had sex, got drunk, or maybe had your first kiss.
It’s also worthless if it isn’t marketed.
Did you catch that?
Your music is WORTHLESS to the world if it isn’t marketed correctly or marketed at all.
That one’s going to piss some people off but I believe that’s a good thing.
Don’t you hate that situation where you’re broke down on the side of the road in your friend’s car and they say, “Darn it, I’ve got some jumper cables…”
You mind interrupts thinking, “AWESOME!”
They finish, “in the garage at home.”
Regardless of the quality of jumper cables they are as worthless to you as screen doors on a submarine.
If your music and talent can touch people, move people, make them think, and allow them to escape, these are all powerful and significant artistic qualities!
You would be what I consider to be an “important” artist.
If people never hear it…
If you just make music for yourself and have no intention of sharing it with the world you need not worry about marketing.
If you, at any time, have experience a tinge of artist frustration, if you’ve ever played a live gig, if you have ever recorded your music and paid for more than one duplication of this CD, you do, in fact, want the world to react to your music.
Your diatribes about how you only make music for yourself, and don’t care if the world hears it are a protection racket to make yourself feel better that nobody cares about it.
They don’t care about your music because they haven’t heard it.
Maybe you MAKE the music for yourself and don’t care if the world agrees or disagrees with it…but they still need to hear it to formulate an opinion, don’t they?
Until they experience your awesome artistic creations…
Do you see why marketing is so important to your dream?
If your music is truly just for you, why pay to record it? Why do you have a website?
Why do you play live gigs when you can just rehearse, after all, it’s just for you, right?
Why do you fumble about on your social media regarding your music?
You want people to hear it. You want people to love it.
You want people to love YOU for your artistry.
I have an honest question to ask you, can you think of at least 1 song and/or artist you’ve been inundated with in your lifetime that was complete and utter rubbish?
So terrible is their artistic efforts that you simply can’t believe they got their deal and it always aggravates you?
Sadly, but truthfully, marketing is more important than the music. If that statement was untrue there would be no terrible songs on the radio.
There would be no “manufactured” artists, only real talent.
Yes, art is subjective so not everybody is going to like what some consider to be “good music” but still, we all have that one artist who is the bane of our existence.
They were marketed.
I’ve stated this before but it’s worth repeating, the most hated albums and artists came into your awareness the same way as your very favorite, life changing records.
It did not happen with one show, one video, one song played one time and the rest was word of mouth because good art finds its own audience.
So c’mon man, WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU DOING TO MARKET YOUR MUSIC?
How much of your project budget are you spending on marketing and how much are you spending on recording?
If you have a project that has been recorded, mixed, mastered, and duplicated and you say you can’t afford to market it, you’re failing.
You budgeted wrong.
You would be fired if you worked for a record label and blew the entire budget on recording.
If your first duplication run was 1,000 units you will have 950 left over after you distribute and/or sell the first 50 to friends and family.
It won’t sell.
Who knows about it?
Why would anybody buy it if they don’t know it exists?
I currently have a refrigerator in a storage unit that I want to sell. Are you an idiot because you didn’t buy it? Are you stupid because it’s an awesome fridge and you should have it?
NO, YOU NEVER KNEW IT EXISTED UNTIL NOW.
I would have to place that fridge on Craigslist to make people aware, then I may have some buyers depending on whether or not it’s what they were looking for.
What’s that? You plan on selling your CD’s at live gigs?
Awesome! This is an extremely effective method but you’re missing all other facets, all other marketing opportunities.
That’s akin to going to the dentist and he only checks on 2 teeth.
What’s the point?
You strive for excellence in your writing, correct?
You strive for excellence in your live show, correct?
You strive for excellence in your musicianship, correct?
Some of you have put a little thought into your image, some of you have put a LOT of thought into your image.
Why don’t you strive for excellence in marketing?
You don’t understand it?
Well so is songwriting and playing the guitar or piano.
If it was easy everybody would be Eddie Van Halen and Liberace.
So what was the impetus that drove you to practice your instrument, to dig down and become a student of the game, to seek real accurate information, and to pay for lessons, that allow you to be the musician that you currently are?
FIND THAT DRIVE.
Apply it to marketing.
The bad news is marketing going to play a HUGE role in getting your career to the next level and you’re the only one who believes in you enough to do it for free.
You’ll need to learn how to do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you.
The good news is, it’s never been easier for an indie artist to target, connect, and create a relationship with a targeted audience before.
Your audience is out there.
They will become super fans.
They will create social media fan accounts.
They will stalk you.
They will live and breathe your art.
They will support you financially by purchasing your music, merch, and concert tickets.
They just haven’t heard your music, man.
That’s your fault.
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