Entries from June 2010 ↓

Indie Music Marketing Series, Part 5: How to Get Media Exposure

If you missed any of the previous posts in this series, you can check them out here: Indie Music Marketing Part 1, Indie Music Marketing Part 2, Indie Music Marketing Part 3, Indie Music Marketing Part 4

In the indie music marketing series, I have discussed the 3 reasons why indie musicians are struggling to sell their music.  One of the reasons why indie musicians are struggling to sell their music is because indie musicians do not really understand the value of their music.  They don’t understand the value their music has to fans, businesses, and the media.  Today’s post will discuss how understanding the value of music to the media can help indie musicians get media exposure and get the media to promote their live show and music for free.

In order to be successful as an indie musician, you have to use your music to solve the problems of others.  You need to think like a entrepreneur.  So to get media exposure and attention, you have to first understand the needs of the media. (By media, I mean tv, radio, magazines, etc)

The Challenges & Needs of the Media

The media basically has three main challenges or needs:

1) To Build a large audience

2) To Keep their audience by serving the needs of their audience

3) To Tell Compelling Stories

Why does the media have these needs?  Let’s take a deeper look at why the media needs these three things.

1) The Media wants to attract advertisers.

2) The Media wants to gain credibility-to be a trusted news source

3) The Media exists to inform and entertain their audience

As an indie musician, you need to ask this important question: how can my music solve the needs of the media? How can I present my music to the media as the solution?

Strategies for Getting Media Exposure:

Based on the needs and challenges of the media, there are three strategies that indie musicians can use to get media exposure.  Here they are:

1) Create music that serves the media’s audience.  This strategy helps the media keep their audience through information and entertainment.  How can an indie musician execute this strategy and put it into action?  If you are a songwriter, write a song about a national tragedy or a local disaster in your city.  If you are a performer, perform a song about a tragedy.  You should find out the statistics in your city and pay attention to the news stories in your city.  What are the homelessness & poverty rates, murder rates, the number of domestic violence incidents, etc?  I’ll give you an example, if you are a singer from Chicago, IL, one of the biggest news stories going on right now is the murders and violence that are taking place in the city.  Over the last weekend,  52 people were shot between Friday evening and Monday morning.  Chicago Violence.  So this is a big news story and a big concern for Chicago residents.  If the media in Chicago does not cover this story, then they will not serve the needs of their audience, who are no doubt concerned about this.

So what does this mean for an indie musician?  You can add value by writing or performing a song that expresses the emotion of Chicago residents.  You could write a song about losing a loved one or about senseless violence.  Now, you can approach the media with music that serves the needs of their audience, that informs their audience by tying your music into a news story.  How can we take this a step further?

2) Create news:  create local events that make news

Once you create a song about a local news story, why not create a live show that centers around that news story. In my 3M Street Team Marketing Plan Audio Series, I share how indie musicians can get people who have access to their target audience to promote their music and live show for them for FREE and how to get the press to promote your live show for FREE.  One way to get the media to cover your live show is to create a live show that is newsworthy.  So, going back to the Chicago example, my indie musician in Chicago can do a “Peace in the Streets” concert.  To garner support and media attention for the event, the indie musician can find organizations and groups who also have the same passion to restore peace in Chicago.  One group who will be in support of your live concert would be the families and friends of the deceased.  How do you find the organizations who would support the show? Pay attention to the news! The media will find these people for you; pay attention to the people that the local news interviews when discussing the violence in Chicago or the local news stories in your city.  Contact them and pitch them the idea of your concert!

You can even agree to donate the proceeds of the concert to some of the local organizations in your city that support peace or to the families that have been affected by the tragedy.

Now, when you pitch the concert to the media, there is a local news-tie.  Your show will now be something of interest to their audience.  This is how you gain media exposure and attention: serve the media’s needs first!!

Want action steps and coaching tips on how to put the strategies shared in this post into action? Sign up here for the free Music Success Strategies Newsletter that features a “Get Empowered!” section that gives you the action steps you need to move forward. Music Success Strategies Newsletter

Indie Music Marketing Series Part 4: How to Get Music Exposure, Sponsorships, and Publicity

If you missed any of the previous posts in this series, you can check them out here: Indie Music Marketing Part 1, Indie Music Marketing Part 2, Indie Music Marketing Part 3

Strategies Indie Musicians Can Use to Leverage the Value of Music for local businesses:

1) Build a fan base that matches the target market of local small businesses

Locate and assemble their target market for them.  Approach the local business that seeks to reach the same target market.  Negotiate an agreement where you agree to market their products/services to your fans and the local business agrees to provide free or discounted products/services.  Build a partnership relationship with the local business.  Create a win-win situation for them. You may even agree to let the local business conduct market research using a survey that you would give to your fans to complete.  Again, you should make sure to communicate how this arrangement will meet their needs.  Emphasize the expense of advertising on radio or tv.  Discuss how this arrangement will save them money by reducing advertising costs and possibly make them more money by building a long-term relationship with your fans.  Discuss how you can also save them costs on conducting market research.

2) Create music for commercials and advertising that helps local businesses sell more

If the local business wants to pay for expensive tv or radio advertising, discuss how you can create attention grabbing music that will help the local business stand out in a crowded marketplace.  Again, communicate how this arrangement will meet their needs.  Emphasize how music can help make their commercials more effective and memorable.  Remember to mention how powerful music is in creating brand awareness and distinction.

What result can these strategies have on indie musicians?

  • more exposure for your music: Opportunity to have your music played inside businesses and stores, in radio and tv commericals
  • sponsorship for live events: When you solve the problems of businesses and meet their needs, you can start building a partnership relationship with them that could lead to sponsorship for your live shows
  • greater connection with your fans: When you start providing your fans with special discounts on products and services that they use and need through your partnership with businesses, you begin to interact and connect with your fans on a deeper level than most national recording artists can
  • create news and gain publicity: You can garner attention from the media, by solving the needs of local businesses.  You will stand out from other indie musicians who are only focused on self-promotion.  I can see the headlines now: “Local musician helps local businesses make money.”  “Local musician helps residents save money during tough economy.”

What result can these strategies have on businesses?

  • Save money on advertising costs
  • Build brand, brand awareness and visibility
  • Attract the attention of prospective customers/clients
  • Attract more customers
  • Establish emotional connection with their customers/clients

What result can these strategies have on your fans?

  • Save money through discounts on products and service

What result can these strategies have for the city you live in?

  • More thriving local businesses
  • More revenue for the city

Want action steps and coaching tips on how to put the strategies shared in this post into action? Sign up here for the free Music Success Strategies Newsletter that features a “Get Empowered!” section that gives you the action steps you need to move forward. Music Success Strategies Newsletter

In the next post, I will discuss how your music as an indie musician can meet the needs of the media and can help you get more publicity and more attendance to your live shows and events.  You will discover the value your music has to the media

Please tweet and share this post! Let’s get more exposure for indie musicians who need to share their valuable music with others!


Indie Music Marketing Series Part 3: How to Get Music Exposure, Sponsorships, and Publicity

This is Part 3 of the Indie Music Marketing Series: Why Indie Musicians are Struggling to Sell Their Music.  If you missed the other two posts in this series, you can check them out here: Indie Music Marketing Series Part 1 and Indie Music Marketing Series Part 2

I have discussed that one of the reasons why indie musicians are struggling to sell their music is that they have forgotten or are not aware of, the true value and power of music.  They are not leveraging the value of their music.  Most indie musicians are not creating music to solve the problems of other people.  They are not thinking and behaving like music entrepreneurs.  It is important to understand the value of the music you make, to know how your music solves the problems of others.  So for the next few posts in the series, I will share the value of  music.  In this post and the following post, I will share how indie musicians can gain more exposure, publicity, sponsorships, and a larger fan base by just understanding how valuable their music is to local businesses.  Your music has value to businesses because it can help solve the problems that most local businesses face.

Problems & Challenges of Businesses

1) Two biggest concerns of businesses: how to save money and make money

2) Other Needs and challenges of Businesses:

  • Increase competitiveness
  • Save Time
  • Make Work Easier
  • Build relationships, brand, image with customers and vendors
  • Expand business
  • Attract new customers
  • Retain existing customers

Value of Music to Solve these business problems and challenges:

1) Music Attracts Large Crowds & Gets People Attention

Everyone loves music.  Music has been used consistently to attract large crowds and large viewing audiences.  Just look at some of the most popular shows currently on tv: Glee and American Idol. The high school musical Glee returned for its second season with 13.7 million viewers.  Although the viewing audience for season 9 of American Idol dropped nine percent, the singing contest show brought in on average 23.9 million viewers.

So what does all of this mean? Music has the ability to get people’s attention and attract large crowds.  Radio advertisers have long understood the effect and power of music in commercials to capture people’s attention.  Research has confirmed this, showing that music activates the area of the brain involved with paying attention.  See Music Moves Brain to Pay Attention

Music also aids recall of advertising messages.  People are more likely to recall advertising messages that uses music.  Those listening to the advertisement will sing along, which increases their involvement with the advertisement and the likelihood they will remember it. How many of us still know the Oscar Mayer Weiner song or the Big Mac Jingle “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese…”? My point: People remember advertising that is paired with music.

So what does this mean for local businesses? Music helps local businesses draw attention to their brand and their products or services.  Music can help businesses capture the attention of prospective customers/clients.  Music is valuable in helping businesses become more competitive in a crowded marketplace.

2) Music influences shopping behavior

Sales: Experiments in supermarkets and restaurants show that slower music creates slower traffic flow, which means that people shop for a longer period of time in the supermarket and spend more time eating and drinking in the restaurant.  When slower music was played, the supermarkets saw a significant increase in their overall sales volume.

Desire: Research has also shown that people are more likely to desire a product that has been advertised in conjunction with music they enjoy than one that’s been paired with unappealing music or no music at all.

3) Music has a powerful effect on product branding

Music is effective in distinguishing a brand.  Music can help a product stand out in a crowded marketplace.  Oscar Mayer and McDonald’s distinguished their products with music and used music to gain product awareness.  We have seen this not only in the food industry but also in both the video game industry and the film industry.  Everyone knows the famous Super Mario Brothers music used in the popular Nintendo game.  In the film industry, we have seen this with film score.  Remember the chilling music used with the shower scene in the movie “Psycho”? The shower scene is probably one of the most memorable scenes in film history.

In the next post, I will discuss strategies that indie musicians can use to leverage the value of music for local businesses.

Tweet and share this article with others! Let’s get more exposure for indie musicians who need to share their valuable music with others!

Want action steps and coaching tips on how to put the strategies shared in this post into action? Sign up here for the free Music Success Strategies Newsletter that features a “Get Empowered!” section that gives you the action steps you need to move forward. Music Success Strategies Newsletter

Indie Music Marketing: Where the Music Industry Went Wrong Part 2: Why Indie Musicians are struggling to sell their music

This is part 2 of the Where the Music Industry Went Wrong series.  If you missed part 1, check it out here: Indie Music Marketing Part 1

Today I continue with my discussion on the three reasons why indie musicians are struggling to market and sell their music and how the music industry has contributed to the problem.  As I shared in the last post, one reason why indie musicians struggle to sell their music is because they don’t know or they have abandoned the real, true value of their music.

Are you a music entrepreneur? To be successful as a indie musician, you need to think like a music entrepreneur. You need to know the problem that your music solves for other people. You need to know the value of your music.  The reason why a lot of indie musicians struggle to sell their music is because most indie musicians don’t have this mindset.

The Music industry has contributed to this problem. The industry has focused too much on the benefits to musicians in selling their music.  What do I mean? You see the lavish lifestyles of musicians and hear about the big recording deals signed by huge artists.  This is promoted by the music industry to be the value of music.  The industry touts that you can make great money and have great fame as a musician.  The hip hop industry has been one of the biggest culprits in doing this. Yes, I am calling out the hip hop industry. We have seen rappers rap and boast about their material possessions, money, and women.   These rappers became successful.  Then, you started to see other rappers who wanted to be successful in the hip hop industry rap about the same thing.  Their logic was: I want to be a successful rap artist so I am going to do what other successful rap artists do and rap about the same things.  I don’t blame these artists for thinking this way.  They saw other rappers who were where they wanted to be and decided to do what they did. What happened? They rapped about the same things, but were not enjoying the same level of success. Why? They didn’t think like music entrepreneurs.  These huge rappers were not successful because they rapped about money, women, and fame.  The content of their rhymes were just features of the songs and not benefits.  They didn’t sell millions of records because of what they rapped about.  There was a deeper reason.  Their music, those lyrics, that content, solved the problems of their fans, record labels, and big corporations.  I’ll discuss this more in tomorrow’s post.

So a trend emerged in rap music that focused on boasting and promoting self-gain.  This created a problem in the music industry and actually hurt unsigned independent rappers who needed to think like entrepreneurs.  When you start to focus on meeting your needs and your problems, when your main reason for making music is to get your financial needs met, you stop thinking like a music entrepreneur.  A music entrepreneur knows and understands that the media doesn’t care about him or her making a lot of money, club owners don’t focus on your needs.  The media, your fans, venue owners, and other industry professionals have their own needs and problems.  A music entrepreneur makes music that solves their problems.

Maybe you are saying, “But Angela I don’t make music for the money.  The content of my music doesn’t focus on promoting self-gain.  I am not a hip hop artist. I’m a singer or a songwriter in a different genre of music”.   Maybe you do believe that music has great value and power to solve problems and change people. That’s great.

Not every indie musician becomes an artist to be rich and live a lavish lifestyle.  You may record and perform music because you simply love it and music helps you express yourself.  You may be a musician simply because you love music.  That’s great.  But, the moment you decide you want to sell your music, is the moment you have to begin to think like a music entrepreneur.  You have to now think about how other people benefit from hearing or buying your music.  You have to think about how your music solves their problems.  You have to become focused on the needs of others and not your needs.

I know that for a lot of you reading this, you already have this mindset.  You know that music is powerful and you know that music is valuable because it solves problems and meets the needs of others. You make music because you love it and you want other people to be uplifted and encouraged by it.  You know this but maybe you are having a problem of getting your music out there to the people so they can benefit from hearing it.  Despite knowing the real value of music, you still have a hard time selling your music. If this is the case, then the reason why you are struggling to sell your music may not be because you don’t know the value of it.  You may be struggling to sell your music because of the two reasons  I will discuss in later posts: you are not properly communicating the value of your music and/or you are not delivering the value of your music:

Next week: What problems does music solve in the lives of others? Learn the REAL value of your music? Discover the needs and problems facing music fans, venue owners, radio stations, media, etc.

Indie Music Marketing: Where the Music Industry Went Wrong Part 1: Why Indie Musicians are struggling to sell their music

There are three reasons why local, indie musicians are not achieving the levels of success they desire in the music industry. In this post, I will give a short overview of these three reasons and the role the music industry has played. If you are an indie artist and you are struggling to sell your music, if you are struggling to get promotion and publicity, then it is probably because of at least one of these three reasons.

Three Reasons why Most Indie Musicians are struggling to sell their music:
Reason # 1. Indie Musicians have forgotten or are not aware of, the true value and power of music.

Reason # 2. Indie Musicians do not communicate the value of their music or they do so poorly. This reason aims at how musicians market and promote their music. This reason also explains why most musicians are not able to network effectively at industry events and get the attention of music executives and the press. I will discuss this reason in a later blog post.

Reason # 3. Indie Musicians do not deliver the value of their music to their fans. This is all about distribution, how your music is delivered, received, and experienced by your fans. This is about how your fans experience your brand. I’ll discuss this reason later in another post.

In this post, I will discuss reason #1. Most indie musicians consider themselves entrepreneurs. They take great pride in marketing and selling their own music. They see themselves as business owners, as they should. However, most indie musicians have not made the mindshift change that is needed to begin thinking and behaving like an entrepreneur, as a business owner. That is, most musicians fail to ask themselves the question that every entrepreneur must ask to be successful: What is the value of the work that I do or the product I make? In other words, what problem does my music solve for my target audience? If you can answer that question, then you have the mind of a music entrepreneur.

So what is the real reason why the music industry is in the state that it is in today? The music industry has cheapened the value of music and reduced the value of music to entertainment, to a catchy beat or hook, to packaging. These are all features and not benefits. All marketers know that in order to effectively market your product, you have to focus on the benefits that your product delivers to the consumer. You shouldn’t focus on the features. The value of your product is not in the features but in the benefits. The value of your music is not in your hook or your beat but it’s in how people receive your hook. It’s in how your hook/beat/lyrics solves the problems of others. I will talk about this more in my next post.

The music industry and musicians themselves have also reduced the value of music by denying the powerful impact and influence, both good and bad, that music has on its listeners. We have heard musicians refute the influence of music and their ability to influence their fans. How many times have you heard an artist, especially a hip hop artist say that he/she is not a role model? I argue that in doing so, musicians are ignoring the power of the music that they make and therefore, the value of the product they are selling. They are also turning down an opportunity to connect with their fans in a powerful, influential way. Mike Masnick, founder of Floor64 and TechDirt.com says that the business model musicians need to adopt can be best represented by the formula, cwf+rtb = $$. Cwf= connect with fans and rtb= reason to buy. I agree. Musicians need to connect with their fans and give them a reason to buy in order to have success now in the music industry. In order for musicians to connect with their fans and give them a reason to buy, musicians first need to understand the value that music has in the lives of their fans and in society.

Music is more than entertainment for fans. Music has more value and more power. When musicians begin to realize this and focus on the real value and power of their music, they will build a successful business model that allows them to connect with their fans and give their fans a reason to buy.

People do not just want to be entertained. It is true that people buy music to be entertained, but real music entrepreneurs dig deeper to find out the real motivation behind why people buy music. A real music entrepreneur asks these questions: Why do people want to be entertained? Why do people want to be entertained with music? When a music entrepreneur can answer those questions, then he or she will know the value of music and can give people a reason to buy it.

So why do people listen to music? Why do people want to be entertained? There are many reasons. One reason, people use entertainment as escapism. People turn to music to get their minds off of the struggles they face everyday. People also listen to music because it helps them deal with their struggles and problems. People listen to music when they are happy, they listen to music when they are sad. Listening to music is an emotional experience for so many people. People love the way music makes them feel. Music helps people express and deal with their emotions. Music helps people to relax and deal with stress. People also use music to change an atmosphere, to create an environment, a mood. Music has the power to change our moods. Music inspires, motivates. Music is so much more than entertainment and a catchy hook.

If you don’t understand the value that your music has in the lives of fans, media, press, and venue owners, then you will have a hard time marketing, promoting and selling your music. If you don’t know the problems and challenges that these people have, then you are not a music entrepreneur. If you don’t know the problem that your music solves for these people, then you are not a music entrepreneur.  If you have not created music that solves their problems, then you are not a music entrepreneur.

Over the next few weeks, I will continue the “where the music industry went wrong” series.  I will continue to discuss the value of music and how this can help musicians market and promote their music. I will give you action steps that you can apply right now to discover the value of the music you create. I will also talk about how indie musicians need to communicate the value of their music.

Let me know your comments so far. Do you agree with me? disagree? Leave me a comment.

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