Tip of the Iceberg
Most of you are only scratching the surface. You are only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing your music.
All the fans you’re ever going to need are right there, literally at your fingertips on the keyboard of your computer.
You can find them and target them.
You can connect with them.
You can create relationships with them.
You can deepen relationships with them.
You can monetize those relationships.
Twitter is important but it’s not the only thing.
Instagram is important but it’s not the only thing.
YouTube is super important and most of you aren’t doing anything to really work that platform to its potential.
Almost all of you haven’t set up your web stores. If you have, I guarantee they’re being ignored and need tweaking. There is probably ZERO bundles on these few websites that actually have web stores.
If you understand the difference between digital distribution and marketing then why on earth would you send people anywhere else but your own store on purpose?
30% is a TON of money!
Of course, you have to have a presence on all the digital distribution sites, but adding products and bundles to your web store that cannot be found anywhere else and purposefully sending people to the store will result in about 45%-55% of consumers purchasing directly from you.
Here’s how much: If you sold 1,000 records ($9.99 each) only on iTunes, your take would be $6,893.10. If you set up your own web store and 55% of your fans purchased from iTunes, meaning 45% purchased directly from you (not including bundles!!) your take is $8,286.70. That’s a difference of $1,393.60.
Most of you aren’t collecting (or effectively collecting) contact data. This is akin to playing a signature lick almost correctly but with a few wrong notes. If you changed one note on The Rolling Stones “Satisfaction” lick is that ok?
CASE STUDY #1: I want to share some real world examples and real data with you, as always.
We are currently working with a 12-year old artist named Bailey James. We started our working relationship with Bailey on January 2nd, 2015.
Since then we have gone from:
- 0 – 14K targeted Twitter followers
- 0 – 16K targeted Instagram followers
- A few hundred to over 18k views on her YouTube Channel
- 0 – 600+ subscribers on her YouTube Channel
- 4 independent fan created Instagram accounts
- 1 independent fan created website
- (in less than one month) over 160 cell phone numbers (via text capture, WATCH videos)
- (1 month) over 800 email addresses
FYI, we are still in pre-production of her first EP which won’t be released at the earliest until late July early August.
Here is how important contact information is.
CASE STUDY #2: We have run a series of autographed guitar giveaways on Facebook (designed to create massive interactivity) with several multi-platinum artists. Tell me what marketing numbers you would intelligently predict on the last artist.
- Collin Raye: 118k likes 12/5/2013 – received 100k comments in 1 hour.
- Jamie O’Neal: 13K likes 10/4/2014 – received 14k comments in 1 hour
- Andy Griggs: 43K likes 10/4/2014 – received 48k comments in 1 hour
- Ty Herndon: 67K likes 10/4/2014 – received 69k comments in 1 hour
- Tracy Lawrence: 1.1 MILLION LIKES 2/4/2015
How many comments would you expect?
We expected damn close to 1 million comments but received only 50K comments in 1 hour simply because Tracy’s Facebook fan base DIDN’T SEE THE POST. They didn’t see the post because Facebook changed the rules again. We were going to have to pay dearly to reach all those fans his team worked so hard to obtain.
Do you see how dreadfully important contact/customer lists are now? We can expect all social media platforms to behave the same way once they begin monetizing or once they go public.
If we would’ve had contact information we could’ve DRASTICALLY manipulated this number.
Most of you haven’t really thought about your messaging, imaging, and content to determine if it makes sense as a whole.
If your music sounds slick and super polished (Pop ish) with more universal pop like lyrics then your look should reflect that with a super polished look. It’s confusing to see a ragged looking artist with a slick sounding record…it doesn’t make sense. For example, Celine Dion wouldn’t work with torn jeans, tattoos, and a beat up biker jacket; nobody would believe her. Rather Celine needs to look glamorous. If you do leather with glamorous she can’t look like a drug addict.
Btw, look at the early picture of Celine vs. the latter, can you see the transformation?
Conversely, a record loaded with rough edges, very personal edgy lyrics, a raw, more edgy sound, maybe even dark content, wouldn’t sell with a glamorous front-man. The image needs to fit the lyrics and the music.
I see far too many artists sending me songs where the lyrics don’t fit the music. Light music requires light lyrics and visa-versa.
This doesn’t mean you can’t cleverly switch it up but you have to be mindful of the chord changes, melody, and lyric content.
It’s ok to break the rules as long as you know WHAT rules you’re breaking, HOW exactly you’re breaking them, and WHY you’re breaking them.
For instance, let’s study 2 songs with extremely dark lyric content: Shooting heroin.
First look at Guns & Roses “Mr. Brownstone” from their debut record Appetite for Destruction. We all know and get the real gritty image of the band. Look at the lyrics and how literal and matter-of-fact they are. “I used to do a little, then a little wouldn’t do, so the little got more and more. I just keep trying to get a little better, said a little better than before”. Then at the end of the track W. Axl Rose says “Stuck it in the middle and I shot it in the middle and it, it drove me outta my mind, I wish I’d known better said I wish I never met her, said I’d leave it all behind.”
This is not a pop record. This is not slick. This is not glamorous.
Now let’s look at The La’s Lee Mavers’ pop masterpiece “There She Goes”. Despite politicking in the press, this is definitely an ode to heroin. Notice the song structure, the chords, and the melodies. Undoubtedly pure, saccharine, indie pop music. These lyrics are NOT literal but quite metaphorical. It sounds like he’s talking about a girl so much that they get tons of placements on movie soundtracks sonically supporting the girl imagery, and a Christian band Six Pence None the Richer even covered and released it.
So the lyrics WORK with the chord changes and the melodies.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down?
Side note: The La’s recorded 2 versions of this song. The first didn’t chart and the second barely broke the top 50. Six Pence None the Richer covered it and took it to #7. Look at the images. Coincidence?
Now, as I type I can actually FEEL some of you rolling your eyes at this whole post. Some of you think this happens “organically” or “naturally” or you think “Everyone should just love the music, man, peace, love, and groovy-ness.”
Don’t be naïve.
This is the music BUSINESS.
The BUSINESS part of that phrase is about commerce, which requires sales.
Makes sense right? If you want to make a living at your dream, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO SELL SOMETHING.
Sorry for the wounded artist souls on that one, but it’s a fact. Somebody, somewhere, somehow, has to pay money for something in order for you to make a living.
So making a living requires sales and sales requires marketing.
It goes deep, y’all, marketing goes REAL deep. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got!
Understand the whole iceberg and you won’t go down like the Titanic, people.
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