Hello there my fellow music makers! Today I wanted to look at how important marketing your music is or isn't, and have a look at what you all think on the matter. As always I'll also be showing you what I think you should be doing regarding this, so have a read on till the end for all the info.
This post came about after looking at the results from the quiz on how likely you are to succeed in the music industry. There were two questions related to music marketing which I want to look at today:
- Question 3: What is your view on promoting your music?
- Question 6: What is your ‘MAKING music' to ‘music MARKETING' ratio?
So here are the results for question 3 based on 489 answers:
As you can see, the majority of people (87%) went with the answer ‘Marketing is vitally important and needs to be done.' This was the top answer, and the one you should have went with for maximum points. The reason for this is simple: If you don't market your music in any way, no one will hear it. If no one hears it, you won't gain any fans or make any money.
So while the majority of people hit top marks in that area, the next question is where people were a bit more divided:
The results for question 6 were as follows:
- 34% of people spend the majority of their time making music, but also do a little marketing.
- 32% of musicians split their music making and music marketing tasks 50 / 50.
- 23% of people spend their time mostly marketing their existing music, but still put in time to make new music as well.
- 11% of people only make music and don't do any marketing at all.
So which is the right answer? How much should you market your music? Well, that depends on what the aims are for your music career. I'll explain below.
How Much You Should Market Your Music If You Want To Be A Professional Musician
Remember, the quiz people were taking when they gave those answers was called ‘How likely are you to succeed in the music industry'. With that in mind, my guess is that the majority of them take their music career relatively seriously. A lot would probably want to make money from their music, and be well known in their genre for making good music.
If that's the case (And if that's also the case with you), then there are only two answers that would be right for you depending on where your talent is:
1. Your Talent Is At A Good Level Already
If you're already talented and you've made good songs people will love, then you're at the stage of your music career where you should be marketing your music more then making it! That's right; the making of new music should now take a back seat, and the majority of your efforts should go into promotions and raising awareness of your sounds.
The reason for this is simple. From here on you can make a load more good songs if you want to, but it won't help you achieve your dreams of becoming a full time musicians if you don't get enough people hearing and buying it!
Good music without promotion won't benefit anyone's ears other then your own. So MARKET YOUR MUSIC! – Tweet This
I've seen people ‘release' a good song and video, get under 150 people viewing it on Youtube. They then think the answer is to release another song and video which will hopefully take off better then their first one. So they release another song and video a few months later, and what do you know; it gets around the same amount of views as the first video!
This is a vicious circle that musicians need to break out of. Simply putting stuff out there isn't a good idea if you want to take your music career to the next level, you need to promote it so it gets in front of new people. If you only get a few views on your first video, don't leave it to die out in the Youtube graveyard. Promote it to new people and get more people seeing it!
There's no reason you couldn't get at least 2000 – 3000 views on your first video if you really wanted to, you simply have to keep pushing it. And if you went through the effort to make a music video and want to see how well it'll do, this should be your aim. And don't you think fans of your genre deserve to be shown your good music? Yes, they do. So be sure to reach out to them and give everyone a chance of hearing your work of art!
Don't work on another song until you've given the previous song a fair chance to take off. The aim is to pick up new fans along the way, as well as giving something existing fans will love as well.
I'd go as far as to say you should spend 70% of your time marketing your music if you want to have a financially successful music career, maybe even more if you can. Making music is fun and the reason you became a musician, but if you want to make a living from your talent, you're going to have to start treating things more like a business.
2. Your Talent Isn't Quite At The Level You Need To Make It Big
If you want to make it as a earning musician, the only reason you shouldn't be dedicating more time to marketing then making music is because you still need to improve your talent or song recording skills. In fact, if you can't yet create a good enough product to match the top 20% of talented people in your genre, then you shouldn't be marketing your music at all!!
The thing is, first impressions count for a lot. It's a hard job to get people to listen to your music, even if you give it away free (Which is why you should approach free releases like this if you're going to go down that route). The last thing you want to do is get people to listen, and then not impress them with your song. If it's bad, the next time that person is given the chance to listen to your music, most likely they won't take it. Your new song could be 100 times better then your old song, but they won't know that because they simply won't listen.
It's hard to shake off a bad image, so be sure to only start fully promoting your music when your music's good enough. And when it is, after you've made a few promotional songs along with ones to sell and perform, spend the majority of time getting those songs out there as mentioned above!
So that's how much you should market your music if you want to increase your fanbase, increase the money you make from music, and generally take steps towards being a professional musician. But what if you don't want to achieve any of these things?
How Much To Market Yourself If You're NOT Aiming To Be A Pro Musician
So, you're just making music for fun and have no desire to increase the amount of fans or make money from your music. So how much should you market yourself? Simple, as much or as little as you require!
Marketing is only needed if you want to be more then a bedroom musician. If you're happy playing to you and your friends, then marketing isn't needed.
That said, if you're reading this site, my guess is you want to be more then a bedroom musician. If that's the case, the above ‘no marketing' statement doesn't apply to you. Get your music marketing game on!
How To Market Your Music Effectively
If you're at the stage where you've a good level of talent and have a few good songs under your belt, you'll probably want to start spending the majority of your time marketing that music. There's no point recording new material if most people who like your type of music haven't heard your first batch of stuff, to the majority of people your new songs will still be fresh! It doesn't matter if you recorded it four months ago, if 98% of people who like your kind of music haven't heard your song before, your next step should be a much bigger marketing campaign!
I've written a beginners guide to music marketing, so if you need help with this side of things you may want to check it out. There are also links in there to other resources for people who want to take the promotion of their music to the next level, so be sure to have a look if that's you.
I hope you've found this guide helpful, and I really hope you take what I've said on board. I know marketing can be quite a scary subject for many in the music industry but it is necessary for those that want to be a full time musician. The “play music and it'll be discovered” route really doesn't work for the average independent musician, so I urge you not to try and go down that route.
Make things happen for you, create stand out music, then market the socks off it! Good luck. And please share this guide if you've found it useful. 🙂