It’s very simple to make music.
Even if you spend a good budget on a professional music product, with amazing photos and graphics, the “making the music part” is kind of easy. And to be honest, it’s super fun!!
But the hard part comes after you make your dream recording. You’ve got this awesome representation of your music and ministry, but how in the world do you let the world know about it? How do you get the music out to the masses?
“And then….depression set in.” – Bill Murray, Stripes
This is the one place many artists fall down, and truly where artists who you see doing well are excelling. Sure, you’d think its easy for a major label artist to be seen and heard because they have a label behind them! But the real reason they succeed is that the label puts gobs of money and huge effort in the marketing of the music, not just in the making of a product.
The Marketing Campaign
“Transforming a brand into a socially responsible leader doesn’t happen overnight by simply writing new marketing and advertising strategies. It takes effort to identify a vision that your customers will find credible and aligned with their values.” – Simon Mainwaring
Long before any album is released at a major label, there is a marketing plan being put in place. They have a radio plan, a publicity plan, a touring plan, a distribution plan, and certainly a strong online/social media plan.
Now, for indies, radio and publicity are more difficult since there is less of a national audience waiting for a product, and many times the artist is completely new and unknown. But we now have the tools to make a strong distribution and marketing effort if we will sink a little time into it.
It’s important to put together a plan to market your music and build an audience, and that is actually much easier (and cheaper) than you may think.
Some of the reason why we should market our music is we have these great tools they didn’t even have in the heyday of the music business.
1. Web Site
This may seem pretty much common sense, but building a web site, a blog, then putting together Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to point to them is key to any current marketing of music. This doesn’t have to be expensive actually. You can actually use WordPress or Bandzoogle to do this, and update it yourself. Getting someone to help with this should be simple if you are not savvy at this.
2. Social Media
“For the music business, social networking is brilliant. Just when you think it’s doom and gloom and you have to spend millions of pounds on marketing and this and that, you have this amazing thing now called fan power. The whole world is linked through a laptop. It’s amazing. And it’s free. I love it. It’s absolutely brilliant.” – Simon Cowell
Facebook makes it easy and kinda fun to boost your posts to get to more people. It’s a great way to reach people you know, and find new people who may like your music. As of the writing of this post, this is a good, solid way to spend promotional dollars. Posting a song to your Facebook Page, whether it’s from a blog post, YouTube, or SoundCloud can get real traction. And boosting the posts can be more effective and certainly more interactive than old school radio used to be.
3. Online Video
I have whole posts on this here and here, but will just say that I am seeing people have more success marketing with YouTube and Facebook than almost anything else. Video versions of your songs bring viewers and create interest in your music. It also lets you have more to put on your website, post to Facebook, Twitter, etc. So it actually feeds the other marketing tools almost automatically.
“Distribution has really changed. You can make a record with a laptop in the morning and have it up on YouTube in the afternoon and be a star overnight. The talent on YouTube is incredible, and it can spread like wildfire.” – Bonnie Raitt
4. Mailing List
So this seems like a no-brainer, but this is something that may be more effective than any of the marketing tools above. People may not check Facebook, their Twitter feed, or YouTube, but they will check their email daily.
Having a strong mailing list is the number one difference between artists that are touring, having sales, and other successes, and those who are not.
Services like MailChimp offer free services up to 2000 email addresses.
We really have no excuse not to market with all the tools (many of them free) that are available to us. It’s really about putting the time in to do the work, and that is just our choice of what we want to do with our time and what is important.
But there’s one more biggie for why we need to market our music…
5. The Ministry
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15
Oh yeah, the ministry part.
One of the amazing things about doing Christian music in the first place, and why I think it’s the most rewarding type of music to work in, is that our music can have eternal results. It’s one of the things we talk a lot about around here, but we think it’s also the most important.
Marketing is our very own way to fulfill the Great Commission given to us by Jesus Himself. If ever there was a reason to market our music…it’s that we have marching orders to get out there and take it to all creation.
So we best get started eh?
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is the president and head creative at Creative Soul, a consulting, production, and marketing company for Christian artists and songwriters. If you are ready to get your music out to the world, start right here.
“The evolution of social media into a robust mechanism for social transformation is already visible. Despite many adamant critics who insist that tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are little more than faddish distractions useful only to exchange trivial information, these critics are being proven wrong time and again.” – Simon Mainwaring
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