Booking the next gig or finding students to teach can be a serious challenge for working musicians, and selling original music is even tougher. The music industry has changed drastically, with many tried-and-true marketing strategies becoming obsolete. To keep up with today’s music fans, you need to embrace modern promotional methods. Although the internet has saturated the market by letting anyone with a laptop make music, there are still ways to stay ahead of the curve.
Create Quality Videos
Whether you play in a cover band, teach violin, or DJ around the world, being a professional musician requires visual presentations, too. The days of huddling around the radio or record player are long gone. Today’s music fans want the full multimedia experience. Professional music videos are helpful, but they’re not always going to fit in the budget. Instead, invest in a decent HD camera and tripod, film your next performance, and upload it to YouTube. Next time someone asks about your music, simply send them to your YouTube channel. Your channel is like a virtual business card, and you may even make some extra money if you get enough views.
Join Local Online Communities
Forming a network of musicians is a great way to reach your community and grow your fan or client base. Find local online message boards and Facebook groups, and engage the people there. If there aren’t any local forums available, create them, and invite people. Seeking out complementary co-marketing partners is a timeless business strategy that also works in the music world. If there’s a local band you enjoy, book a show with them, and they may return the favor down the line. If you teach music lessons or record music, find a like-minded person to share a studio space. Being a musician can get expensive fast, and sharing overhead expenses with other people is a great way to offset those costs and stay profitable. The internet has plenty of free communities for musicians, so use them to make connections whenever possible.
Upload Your Music
Several websites let you upload your music and charge whatever you want for it. SoundCloud and Bandcamp are the most popular. These sites also have built-in audiences, letting you expose your music to people who would never hear it otherwise. You can also use hashtags to sort your music by genre and location, helping you reach your target demographic. One way to generate interest is to offer the occasional song for free on social media. Give your followers a taste of your music, and they’re more likely to purchase the rest of the album. If you work as a music teacher, there’s no excuse not to have recordings of your music online. Free recording programs such as Audacity and GarageBand are available. All you need is a computer, audio interface, and microphone to create high-quality recordings to highlight your skills to clients. If you’re passionate about your music, you’re going to make other people passionate, too. It may take time to reach an audience, but stay motivated. Music gives people joy. It’s up to you to spread that feeling, so get started today.