As you know, there are thousands of thousands of musicians already out there. A good portion of those musicians are competing with you to gain attention of fans, and many of them are really good at what they do.
So, you need to ask yourself:
What's going to make people spend their time listening to me over others?
Not sure? I'll tell you.
If you want to get people attention, it's often a good idea to make yourself stand out from the crowd. You can do that by doing something different than everyone else is. By getting into a niche which most other people don't even think to do.
By niching down, you can both open your music up to people who wouldn't have found it before, and also not compete with as many other musicians for fan's attention.
Not sure what I mean by niching down? No problem, I'll explain that as this guide goes on. Just read to the end for all the info.
But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
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Find Your Niche By Thinking About Things Which You Already Enjoy
So first of all, what is a niche? Or more specifically, niche marketing? Well, according to the business dictionary, niche marketing is:
Concentrating all marketing efforts on a small but specific and well defined segment of the population.
So basically, you want to target your music at a specific segment of the genre you're in. For example, if you make hip hop music, you may want to target hip hop fans who only like the Chooper style. Or you can further push the boat (which I recommend), and mainly target fans of your genre based on an additional interest other than their music taste.
A great example of this is the Vegan Black Metal Chef. Yes, as the name suggests, these videos are by a guy who makes black metal music but is also a vegan chef.
Would you have put the two together? No, I wouldn't have either. Yet it's managed to get him millions of views across multiple Youtube videos, and likely making him money with all the merch he has for sale. This is a lot more specific than saying your niche will be a black female singer, which is a space already largely taken up. It'll be hard to stand out without adding an additional niche to it.
Want more examples of what you could do? No problem.
Let's say you make rap music. Simply rapping won't usually make you stand out, but what if you also represented a lifestyle that isn't usually associated with rap? This can be something as small as being a skater as well, and portraying that side of things in your music. Or being a big comic fan and having some of your raps and image related to that. Yes some people might already do these, but there's a lot less competition than fighting for your space in the rap scene without an angle.
You can literally target any lifestyle traits or interest in addition to your music. Chances are, if you're into both of those things, there will be other people who are into them as well. What's more, if there aren't many other people doing what you're doing to a high level, you'll find it a lot easier to make yourself stand out. If fans are into rapping and comic books and you're one of the few combining the two to a good level, you're going to find it easier to attract and keep your fanbase.
Apply This New Niche Style In Your Music Career
Once you've decided what niche you're going to work towards, the next step is deciding how you're going incorporate that into your music career. If you haven't built up a fanbase yet, feel free to experiment with your new niche idea as much as you want to see what works.
If you've already built up somewhat of a fanbase however, you're going to have to be careful here. You don't want to change up your style so much that you alienate and lose the majority of your existing fans, but at the same time you don't want to not try out your new style and potentially miss out on a good move for your career.
What you could do it trial this new style of yours on a small scale initially. See how both your existing fans and new people react, and see if it's something you could incorporate more into your music.
You don't have to completely change your style if you don't want to; you could simply have this as something you do occasionally rather than something you're always pushing.
In regards to how you can incorporate this new niche into your music career, there are three main ways:
- In yours songs,
- In your image,
- In your marketing.
So let's say you a rock musician who is also into affiliate marketing and wants to combine the two to make you stand out. While doing a song called ‘affiliate marketing rules' would probably be a bit cheesy (more suitable for a spoof YouTube song if you want to take that path), there are other things you could do. For example, you could drop a few lines about this side of things in your song, relating to what you do and your lifestyle thanks to affiliate marketing. You could even clue people up about what it is and why it's worth their time pursuing it. And in your marketing, you could both create your own product which fans can promote as affiliates themselves.
In this sort of example you probably won't have to change your image, but if you was a skateboarding rapper, you might want to do so without being cheesy.
Now, bare in mind, if you was to do something about affiliate marketing for example, there will be lots of related business opportunities which you could pursue. You could see if you could perform at affiliate events, do songs for big affiliate marketing blogs and the like.
Find Your New Niche Fanbase
Now that you've decided what you're going to do to make you stand out (and you know how you want to implement it into your music), the next stage is finding the fans that will appreciate this new you. Well great news: your potential fanbase has just got that bit easier to find! Providing you're offering good music and represent people's interests well of course.
Let's go back to the rapping comic example. So, you rap. Before your target audience was people who like rap music. Now you also refer to comics in some of your music, and may even wear cool non cheesy super hero / villain related t shirts when you don't. Guess what? Now your target market includes comic book fans too, even if they wouldn't have listened to you before.
Comic book fans will be more open to listening to you if you're talking about things they're interested in, or dressing in a way they can relate to and respect. And if there aren't many people doing what you are (which I'm not sure of, you can look into it if you want to pursue that angle) you're competing against less people to get their attention.
While you'll still have to properly market yourself to get new fans, this is a great way to cut through the noise.
That's how to niche down in your music career and make yourself stand out by doing so. Don't compete with the thousands upon thousands of musicians in your genre all trying to largely do the same thing, make yourself stand out by giving people more of what they don't generally see.
So, do you do anything to stand out in your genre? In what way are you niching down? Let us know in the comments.