In the old days, you marketed the music which is why it made sense to wait until the music was done to begin the marketing process.
Today, because radio can’t force people to listen to what is unfamiliar anymore (like your debut single), the artist is what is marketed first.
You don’t listen to new stuff on the radio, you go to Deezer, Slacker, Spotify, Pandora, I HeartRadio, HD Radio, XM/Sirius Satellite Radio, and your playlist to find your “jam”.
If people like the artist, they’ll give the music a chance. Just ask Justin Bieber.
If they are unaware of the artist, the music will never be heard and they won’t know you exist.
Am I pushing your buttons?
Radio is not going to break you like it used to, so one must get creative and begin to market themselves in different ways.
The most overlooked marketing tool is contact capture.
Seriously, y’all suck at it.
You can’t afford to wait.
Sounds like a soundbite, doesn’t it?
“You can’t afford to wait”.
You probably mentally or physically rolled your eyes when you read that the first time.
Waiting to market yourself as an artist is pure ignorance.
Have you ever seen the movie Apollo 13?
There is a scene in there where a NASA executive hands the astronauts a vile of Potassium Cyanide (which causes instantaneous death aka the “suicide pill”).
In this controversial scene, the NASA administrator tells the astronauts that they thought of 1001 reasons they would need this pill. But it’s mostly for the reasons they can’t think of.
Seems like a harsh metaphor but follow me on this.
Since none of you can see a need for capturing contacts right now, you choose to ignore it.
Which is different from the “need” you see for that new guitar; it’s always on your mind. Get it?
One of the reasons you don’t see the requirement is because you’re uneducated (aka ignorant) on the value of a contact.
I’m sure most of you wouldn’t know what to do with a contact once you got it, again, this is preventable ignorance.
Since you don’t see the value, you ignore it.
If you were educated on the value, if you saw it work, or if you believed it would work, you’d all change your methods.
So, choosing not to market and/or not to educate yourself on contact capture is akin to taking a suicide pill, but for your career.
Kind of like all the people who chose to mock Noah while he built the arc. They scoffed because they couldn’t see the need. Y’all thought they were ignorant when you read that part in the bible.
Ignorance is defined as a lack of knowledge or information which makes it preventable.
See, in the old days, we used mass media and mass media worked because there were masses.
In 1979 there were 3 TV stations and 228 million people watching TV. A crappy, bottom-of-the-barrel sitcom during this time would have 30-50 million people watching it.
Today the Walking Dead is a smash HIT TV show and it has around 5 million people watching it.
Think of it like this. 73 million people saw the Beatles play the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9th, 1964. Of course, that demographic was kids, parents, grandparents, etc.
If just 1% of the views LOVED the Beatles, that would be 730,000 new fans. It was way more, I promise.
You could start a forest fire with a national TV appearance and a lot of hard work going market to market on radio.
Now, if you were to play GMA or the Today Show there might be 3 million people watching it. Maybe.
A 1% response rate is 30,000. Which sounds like a lot to an indie artist but all those people aren’t buyers.
See the first conversion rate is how many people were blown away by what they saw. These are low conversion rates. 1% is a good number.
Then you have the conversion rates of buyers from the smaller pool of interested viewers.
If that’s 1% as well. The Ed Sullivan appearance might get you sales from 1% of 1% which would be 73,000 units. Today a TV appearance gets you sales of maybe 300 units.
Additionally, before 1980 there were hardly any competitive messages for consumers to process.
Today every consumer sees 3,500 messages per day. They’re numb, man.
Since they are so numb, it takes more to get through to them.
Think of night fishing for fish that are attracted to light. When you rely on “mass” media that’s a super powerful light that shines on you in the boat and all the fish gather to look up in wonder.
When the light goes off the fish scatter and forget you.
Before 1980 that light was akin to the power of the Sun. So many fish would see the artist and you’d pick up truckloads of Superfans.
More and more appearances with a real “mass” meant you could get some serious momentum relatively quickly.
Still, the light would go off and the fish scatter.
What fish were there?
Who was watching?
What were their names?
Which of them spent money purchasing music last year?
In today’s TV markets that light is the equivalent of a gas lamp. Therefore, it attracts far less fish, but just like the old days, when the light goes out, the fish scatter.
And today after they scatter they’ll be exposed to 3,499 more messages THAT DAY to ensure they probably won’t remember you at all.
So, they won’t talk about you.
If they do talk about you, they’ll be interrupted by a friend who saw some other message. The subject will change and the artist is lost in the din of all that clutter and noise.
Capturing contacts is like putting a net in the water and bringing that small group of valuable fish into the boat.
We can now stay in touch with the fish. We can find out what they like and don’t like and create relationships with them.
We MUST create relationships with them so we can cut through the clutter and stay on top of their minds.
Do you see how this is the only way?
Now back to the NASA Apollo 13 analogy.
What about those amazing moments you can’t predict?
Maybe you get chosen for The Voice.
Maybe you get an opportunity to play a festival in front of 5,000 people.
Maybe you get a killer opening slot at your local venue playing for a packed house.
Maybe you guest on a serious podcast.
I played in an LA band called Candygram For Mongo and the singer grew up with the guitar player from Hootie and the Blowfish.
We got to open one show for them at HOB in Anaheim, CA. It was sold out and just like you, I had my head up my butt and wasn’t marketing. We could’ve easily walked away with a few hundred email addresses or telephone numbers had I been paying attention.
In all fairness to myself, the technology wasn’t as amazing as it is now, so who knows, but you get the point. (Dig the mohawk?)
Here’s another example. I met this artist name Brian Ripps through a dear friend.
Brian Ripps is the REAL DEAL.
Last September Brian filmed a question he submitted to be considered for the #AskGaryVee show. (Gary Vee is Gary Vaynerchuk and I’ve written several blog articles inspired by him.)
On this episode, GENIUS LEGENDARY Producer Wyclef Jean was the guest. When Brian filmed the question his guitar playing was in the background.
Wyclef FREAKED and told Gary he should set up a jam session between Wyclef and Brian; that happened.
They filmed it and edited a performance from Brian into the show.
Gary Vee has 400,000 subscribers to his show. 64,000 people watched the video so far and you must understand these are going to be higher quality viewers. This means the conversion rates are going to be better than mass media albeit smaller audiences.
All this attention and, just like me at the Hootie show, he captured nothing. They put his Spotify link up on the video but no contacts, no relationships, no information, no nothing.
All Brian could do was wave to the camera and comment on social media saying something like, “I hope to see you soon on tour”.
Situations will “pop” up out of nowhere and if you don’t have your marketing together, you’re going to miss out on a huge opportunity to connect with a new audience who saw you amaze them. (You’re already thinking a few that have happened to you right now.)
You’re going to blow a huge opportunity to grow your audience.
Hello, this is an instance where the marketing is “mostly for the reasons we can’t think of”.
I worked with a killer indie band called 7Horse about 3 years ago. They wrote “Meth Lab Zoso Sticker” which was the theme song for Martin Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street” with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Dumb luck, is there such a thing?
7Horse wrote and recorded an AMAZING TRACK which Scorcese happened to stumble across on YouTube.
They played this song at the Oscars and at the Golden Globes when they announced the movie.
7Horse was invited for an interview on Adam Carolla’s podcast.
We set up a squeeze page.
They played the song and mentioned the squeeze page URL twice.
We got over 800 emails in 24 hours.
Man, y’all do such a good job blowing people’s minds with your gifts, and then forget to ask them who the hell they are so you can stay in touch.
How does this make sense?
Start getting your marketing together RIGHT NOW. You can’t afford to wait.
Who knows what will happen tomorrow?
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