At one point in recent history, costs made it almost impossible for musicians to record and market their own music. Times have changed, however, and the internet has opened doors for musicians to share their music with fans and have financially lucrative careers without the help of recording companies. Lean marketing strategies can work well for independent solo musicians, bands, and DJs.
DIY Music Distribution
Millions of music fans worldwide download music online. To tap into the market, you can set up your own digital distribution deals with companies such as TuneCore, CD Baby, and ReverbNation. For an affordable annual fee, and a percentage of sales in some cases, companies like these handle digital distribution of your music to numerous online music stores such as iTunes and Spotify. Some music distribution companies also manufacture and distribute physical CDs for additional fees and can help you manage your publishing needs. Such companies issue weekly or monthly payouts from your sales. Because services and policies vary among digital music distribution companies, it’s a good idea to research several before signing a deal.
Websites With a Twist
When you’re a musician, your website serves as your own media outlet to spread the word about new releases, upcoming tours, and interviews. You can build a website yourself, but consider launching it on a platform that allows you to integrate music and video players, and to upload press kits, effortlessly. You might also consider a platform that has easy-to-use e-commerce features so you can set up a store and sell marketing merchandise to your fans such as T-shirts and CDs. To reach the highest number of fans, ensure your website is mobile responsive, since more people access music and videos on smart devices than on desktop or laptop computers.
Social Media Marketing for Musicians
Word-of-mouth advertising continues to be a highly effective way to reach new audiences. After you post music videos on video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, and new tracks on your website, your fans can spread the word about your music digitally. For the highest impact, you may wish to launch social media accounts where you have the most fans. For example, if your fans are on Facebook and YouTube, concentrate your efforts on those platforms, providing your fans with interesting and engaging posts on a regular basis to keep them coming back for more.
Marketing Through Endorsement Deals
Many of the world’s hottest musicians earn money from endorsement deals, which they get due to their power as social media influencers. Being an influencer means that, due to your online popularity, companies pay you to promote their products and services. You can get endorsement deals even as an independent musician. The best way to become an influencer is to grow your social media audience and develop win-win relationships with companies that are enthusiastic about your music.