Your biggest mistake ever, ready?
Y’all are making it. Constantly.
You’re either not even thinking of marketing your music (so there is no budget), you’re convinced marketing is too expensive (categorically UNTRUE), you’re waiting till your project is finished to market it (huh?), or you’re completely unaware of any effective strategies you can use to influence the buying decisions of a music consumer.
Most of you are using social media for the digital equivalent of panhandling or door-to-door sales.
Every day I get 10 Tweets or DM’s saying “Check out my new single” or “Discover us on iTunes”, etc.
Why don’t you knock on my door and try selling me dictionaries or something?
Social media is really for making relationships and driving traffic. MAYBE a little selling, like the “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” strategy that Gary Vaynerchuk wrote about, but most of you naively have this all wrong.
Most of you are using non-existent or downright crappy marketing strategies.
Name one song in your music career that you PAID to discover.
Truth is you heard the song on the radio, in a movie, commercial, viral YouTube video, TV show, or you heard about it from a friend
All of these exposure avenues are free.
Why would you think that anyone would want to pay to discover your music when you certainly haven’t; not even for your favorite bands?
Yes, once again, digital distribution (iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, CD Baby, etc) is where a consumer goes to buy your music, marketing is WHY a consumer will buy it.
Marketing is the influencing of buying decisions.
How exactly and what exactly are you doing to influence people to buy your music?
These days it takes more than “good music” to influence a consumer buying decision.
They want to be excited, so you’ve got to make them get genuinely excited, you want them to feel the fireworks inside.
They’ve got to feel like they’re a part of something. A movement, a tribe, if you will.
Live shows are probably the most effective way to do this, assuming you have a good live show.
In L.A. I used to put a bill together of 5 bands to ensure a killer draw for the club. A packed house creates excitement.
Consumers will have to be “open” to receiving the information. In other words, they don’t want to feel like they’re being “sold”’.
If they feel like they’re being sold, they will shut down and ignore your requests and most of them will be polite about it.
Digital “door knocking” doesn’t work.
So what creates excitement?
Social Proof certainly helps. Pictures and videos of you playing to packed houses (even if an advantageous camera angle creates an illusion making the gig look like it’s sold out), recording in the studio, demonstrating your talent on YouTube, showing up in in an online magazine between 2 major label artists, etc., these things will never hurt your reputation.
I’ll give you an example. Most of you have downloaded my free Twitter book by now. Just posting 3 tweets a day with a 3D image of the book usually got me around 3 downloads per day. Then I took screen shot of a few people who were publically praising me on Twitter or FB for seriously expanding their Twitter following.
THAT was social proof!
You’re concept of marketing and how to effectively execute it is most certainly skewed when it comes to your music.
Don’t feel bad, the industry is just as lost as you.
It will take years for them to effectively address this mistake and statistically it won’t be corrected by a major label, rather a small company that makes a lot of noise focusing on this specific issue and gets purchased by a major label.
Here’s an assessment of the real damage though, you continue to experience marketing with techniques that are now archaic and ineffective.
As long as you keep seeing and experiencing the old ineffective marketing methodologies (especially with bands that you already know about) as a consumer, the more you are encouraged to apply these techniques to your own musical efforts.
It makes sense because it’s the only input you really receive, right?
It seems like it’s working too, right?
I’ve mentioned before, the bestselling country record 10 years ago sold 11 million copies. The bestselling country record for 2014 barely cracked 1 million. YIKES!
This change in the marketing paradigm has drastically affected the music industry’s brightest and best.
Think of it like this, if the only language input you receive is Spanish, then you will speak Spanish until such a time that you change the input to include other languages. Conversely, if you only receive English input you cannot read the script in this picture.
All the industry big wigs whose names you know will just continue to utilize the methods that have proven successful to them until the well runs dry, which will be awhile, but it’s definitely draining.
I have seen this many times during a paradigm shift in several industries.
The big players who are plugged in (and usually in the sunset of their careers) won’t change and don’t change tactics.
Why should they?
Big publicly traded corporations (like the biggest buggy whip company) can’t have visionaries that go back to the board members and tell them the business model they purchased all their shares of stock on has to change (so they should start building cars). They live by the quarter not for the long run.
Therefore they won’t change, not that drastically, because that kind of change requires a lot of forward thinking with no quarterly accountability.
It’s like the ship is sinking but they won’t go down with it, so they don’t care.
They don’t have to, they’re going to be fine.
But what about you?
Once you realize this you will embrace all that is required to LEARN how to market yourself.
Once you embrace marketing (like you embrace writing and recording your music) you will see significant changes.
The remedy to your biggest mistake ever lies within your ability to recognize that you suffer from a lack of modern data.
Time to make a serious change.
What will you do to change the input you are receiving and educate yourself on marketing your music?
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