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December 20, 2012
You Have Great Music, Now Lets Do Great Marketing

As far as marketing yourself as an up and coming musical artist, its best to have your social profiles and websites setup before making your big push. Keep your bios consistent across the net. Always consider the fact that your supporters or anyone interested in your music will become interested in you and your brand extensions.

There are tons of free ways to get things together like clothing lines and accessories. Companies like Cafepress and Zazzle let you to design and brand your own gear then sell it from their site without any overhead.

Fill your sanctuary with sound at American Musical

You want to be able to take advantage of the traffic you receive as you make your push. No musician should be without a blog. Blogging is essential in any business these days if they are marketing online. Can you market without a blog? Sure..but with hundreds of millions of people hitting the blogosphere to find and discover new music everyday, can you afford not to have one? Thats like saying, hey...I know that at least 1billion people use Facebook, but I don’t need it for my music. Doesn't make sense right?

Make sure you have enough free music to give to people. Not too much but enough really good quality music that they can download and put in their media players. Make it easy for them to get your music! Also, have at least one or two songs available on digital retail stores like iTunes and Google Play. There's no reason why an artist who's serious about their craft shouldn't have any commercial material available for sale. With companies like TuneCore and CDBaby here to offer distribution services, this is another no brainer for musicians. And, of course, you want to have your copyrights and publishing in place for your commercial, and original non commercial, material. 

Tip: iTunes allows you to create an embeddable playlist widget you can add to your site or blog. Try adding your song to a playlist with other major or indie acts with music like yours and stick it on your sites! Check out the widget I created in the sidebar of this blog.

Sonos Wireless Music Player

Its good to have your music available everywhere online. But whats the use if no one knows your music is out there? Broadcast TV and radio is not very friendly to us indie acts, so we need to do what we do online to build our buzz.

1.) Blog and share your music. Don't always make your blog about your music. Blog about things that interest you as a person as well as an artist. Do reviews on other musicians that are in your same genre.

2.) Seek out music bloggers. The music blogging scene is incredibly huge. Search for a list of music blogs using bing or google. With each blog you want to make sure its current and up to date. Doesn't matter if the blog doesn't have a huge following yet, because it will over time if the owner blogs consistently. Reach out to the blog owners to see if they will review your work. Find as many of them as possible. Offer to do a small write up on your blog with a link back to them and use your social networks to share their review of your music.

3.) Seek out music magazines. Just like with the blogs, you should use the search engines to find music magazines and their contact info. Find out who their editors are and reach out to them about reviewing your music. Make sure you contact them early, at least a few months before your major release of an album whether free or paid. Give them a preview version to write about. You need to hit them early because they need to get in articles in enough time before they hit the printing press.

Emails for Small Business with Constant Contact
4.) Capture Emails. As your fans flock to your blog and website you want to have a contact form setup to capture those email addresses. Then as your list builds you can send out emails frequently to your fans and keep them up to speed on what you're doing with your music. I use Foxyform to create a free form to embed in my web pages and blog sites.

5.) Engage your audience. I tell everyone that marketing is not advertising. Yet so many artists feel the need to just advertise, advertise, advertise. They don't engage with their audience. Treat your fans how you want to be treated. How would you feel if you had a friend and all he did was talk about himself or try to get you to buy something from the store he works at or the business he owns? You'd hate it and you'd barely want to be around him. Then he'll wonder why you don't talk to him or don't support him. See what I mean?

6.) Build Backlinks. As you're finding music blogs online, comment on posts they make. You're usually asked for your email and website which gives you a link back to your site or blog. Use Groups on all major social media platforms and find ways to submit your links there. Use URL and Blog Submission sites. Find ones with high Google PageRanks. Use forms and bulletin boards. Always a great way to build links. Link building makes it easy for Google and other search engines to direct traffic to your site and it increases web visibility.

7.) Seek out internet radio stations. There are hundreds of thousands of them. Many of them pay royalties for playing your music. SoundExchange has a list of online radio stations that pay royalties to them. I have the list and its incredibly long and vague as there is no real contact info, however...Google is great for finding these stations based off name alone. Seek them out and find a way to get your music on these stations.

8.) Network all the time. Social business sites like LinkedIn give artists a great opportunity to talk to movers and shakers in the music industry as well as other emerging labels, producers and musicians. I can't count on both hands how many artists I've run into that are not on LinkedIn. Truly sad to know that these artists are content with just making music and sharing on facebook or twitter. Marketing is more than that and networking is a big part of your marketing push. Get out there and BUILD RELATIONSHIPS!

There are tons of other ways to get yourself out there as an up and coming artist with marketing online but everything written here creates a great, solid foundation for your music endeavors. It may seem like alot, but really it isn't. Because once your name gets known, there will be a whole lot more for you to do as an artist that dwarfs this stuff in many ways. Then again, you might just have a good income stream coming in to pay people to handle your marketing for you. At least you'll know what to do and what works for you by the time that happens.

 Good Hunting


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