You've practiced till your fingers started bleeding, You scraped up enough funds for studio time, You poured all your creativity into your project, Everything was done to the best of your abilities, You got your songs on iTunes, Now here comes the glory, girls, concerts and endorsments..right....wrong. There's one more step, probably the most important one.... MARKETING. If you can master this skill you can see remarkable results with your music.The best part is everyone can do it. I'll cover this topic in more detail in upcoming blogs, but here's some basic advice and ideas to get you started.
1. Don't give your music away for free - If something cost nothing, it's perceived value is nothing. There needs to be some kind of value to your product or most people won't care. This isn't to say that you can't let them download it when they sign your email list, or win it in a contest. Even if everybody's a winner, That's how those sign up here and win a free trip ad campaigns works, and its been working for years.
2. If you feel you must - give only a sample away. This way the listener can see if they like the song, then must purchase the full version. Same thing applies to Facebook, Myspace, Youtube etc. If people know something is free the value gets diminished.
3. Same for local shows - Don't play too many or too few. If you play too many your fans will think they can come and see you at what ever time in the future. Which most times is never. Playing too few will have fans forgetting about you. You need to play enough where all your potential fans can see you, and still sell out the house. ( Don't know how many Kalapana and C&K reunion concerts I've been too, hawaii people know what I mean.) And it works. Look at AC/DC concerts. You got the parents that grew up with those songs and the kids that are new fans. You can credit that too 1. they are really good, but 2. they don't over saturate themselves in their market.
4. Throw Parties - Not just shows, selling them stuff, and promoting all the time. This will keep you from burning out your loyal fans and help you to keep things interesting. Plus imagine the viral social networking possibilities if 80 people tweet their at your bands party or a Facebook event : 80 people checked in a "yourbands" party
5. Network like crazy - Treat your band as a business and take yourself seriously. Get to know your audience, find the "gate keepers" and network with them. Print out business cards and pass them out to event coordinators and promoters. Get on Facebook and interact with your fans. I know of a band that spends an average of 4 hours a day networking with their fans. Thru their efforts they make about $800.00 a week on itunes downloads alone. It's not hard to be successful, but it takes time and work. Be PROACTIVE!
These are just a few of the basic ideas to get you started. Like I said earlier I will spend more time on the various marketing strategy's in future blogs. Like all things not everything works for everybody. Try out a few, see how it works, change it around, come up with own. There are no real hard rules. Be creative. You know your fans best.