“There is no shortcut to success, you have to put in the hours to reap results from your music.”
OK, so while all of the things mentioned in this book so far are important if you want to make it as an independent musician, the following is one of the most important things you are going to read:
If you're not going to market your music once you release it, you aren't going to get very far.
Marketing is the process of raising awareness of your music or release. You need to let people know it's out there, that it's available to buy, and that it's worth buying. If people don't know it even exists, what good is having it available to buy? Similarly, if they see your offer but can't tell what makes it worth checking out, how many downloads or sales do you think you'll make?
These days, anyone can sell their music online. That means you have a lot of competition, and that there's a lot of noise for the customer to get through before they hit gold. It's your job to make yourself stand out from the noise. This is done using clever marketing, and by relaying your USP effectively to potential fans.
The importance of marketing is something I really want you to take on board. If you remember just one thing from this book, it should be this. Hopefully, though, you'll remember a lot more. 🙂
If you've ever tried to release a product, be it a digital download or a physical CD, if you didn't promote it enough you will know the result of a lack of marketing: Zero or very few sales.
It's easy to think that once we've put our project together, all the hard work is done. Now we simply have to sit back and watch the sales pour in, right? Err, wrong! In reality, the opposite is true. Once the project is made, that's when all the hard work starts. You now need to work at getting it in front of your target audience, and convincing them that you're worth buying into.
Many would argue that the marketing stage is just as important as making a good song. They both go hand in hand, you can't really have one without the other. You can have the best song in the world, but if you don't go on to raise awareness of the song and let people know it exists, no one will buy it. On the other hand, you can be the best marketer in the world. But if you market a poor song, a lot of people still won't buy it once they hear what you're trying to sell. Even if you do make some sales, after they hear what you have sold to them, they're likely to never listen to your recommendations again. They may even want a refund on what you sold to them.
So, how do you go about marketing your releases? Well, that's outside the scope of this book, and is a huge subject in its own. If you want to learn how to effectively market your music, though, you should check out the IMA Music Business Academy. This is a course I put together which helps independent musicians learn how to promote themselves and their releases. For the price, you won't find a better guide anywhere else online.