It’s great news for all aspiring musicians: the American music industry is set to continue to boom with revenue increasing form 15.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 22.61 billion in 2021. During the first half of 2016, 47% of all music industry revenue in the USA came from streaming while a further 31% was derived from permanent downloads. Subscription and streaming of digital music revenue in the United States was worth in excess of 3.83 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Judging by these statistics it is no wonder that more and more individuals are trying to break into the local and international music market.
As a musician you can have an amazing talent but if no one knows about your music, how will it be of any value to you? Whether you are new to the music industry or have spent countless hours in studio recording your album, music promotion is of vital importance. There is a ton of free and very effective promotional strategies available to any musicians serious about making a mark in the music world. At some point however, this may no longer be enough and you will have to consider investing in paid-for marketing to ensure that your target market remains well-informed and engaged. A few basic guidelines will however suffice in helping you build a solid promotional strategy, creating and maintaining a positive brand awareness amongst the public.
Market yourself as a business, to other businesses
While focussing some of your attention on reaching out to your individual fans is effective in its own way, you should also aim to build good relationships with other businesses. Take the time to contact event organizers, websites, TV channels, DJs and even other musicians who are more established than you are. The aforementioned all have a substantially large audience and within these audiences there will be people who will fall into your ideal fan base. If you establish good relationships with big entities and they recommended you to their audience you will enjoy a lot more exposure from that one article/show/interview than you would from spending an entire month on Facebook trying to reach new fans. Switch your target audience and start focusing more of your efforts on other businesses always remembering that as a musician you are a business yourself.
Spend some time gigging
Every musician should be gigging as it is not only a superb way to raise brand awareness but it can also be monetized in many ways, enabling you to build a strong relationship with your audience. As far as promotion is concerned some of the best gigs you can play are those that feature other acts in your genre playing at the same event. While many artists may see this as unhealthy competition the opposite is, in fact, true as you will now have 3 types of fans in your audience namely fans of the other musicians (which can be converted into fans for you), your own fans and fans of your genre in general (which can also be converted into fans for your specifically). Gigging also allows a musician to interact with his fans in a more intimate level, breeding brand awareness and long-term loyalty. When playing live shows it is important to always sound your best. Invest in good equipment and gadgets ranging from guitar picks and chairs to comfortable stage attire that will all contribute to you giving high-quality, memorable performances.
Post good-quality content on your website and social media pages
With countless new acts coming out just about daily it can become difficult to stay relevant. You need to keep the masses entertained with no better way to do so than through a strong online presence? In order to ensure a memorable online presence you need to employ a good content marketing strategy. Songs, videos, vlogs and general blog posts can all be extremely effective if done right. Make sure that there is a cohesive theme that ties all your online profiles together. Make sure your content will attract new fans as well as keep the existing ones happy – a happy fan will comment on and share your content, enabling you to reach a whole new untapped fanbase.
The music industry is often described as ruthless with only the strongest making it out alive to enjoy a prolific career. It may take some time to get used to fiercely promoting yourself and your brand but once you get going and start seeing results it will become second nature and you might even end up enjoying it.