The Three Biggest Music Marketing Mistakes Made by Indie Musicians

The three biggest music marketing mistakes made by indie musicians:

1.  Not thinking like music entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs solve problems.  Entrepreneurs find problems and create products or services that solve those problems.  A music entrepreneur must do the same thing.  A music entrepreneur finds problems and creates music that solve those problems.

A lot of indie musicians do not take this approach to marketing their music.  They create music without first understanding the type of music their target audience is searching for and their audience’s struggle in finding that music.  So, your music should fill a need.  It should solve a problem of your target audience.

Indie musicians should also create music that not only solves a problem for their fans but solves the problems of the media and other professionals.  I am currently discussing this in my “Indie Music Marketing Series” here on the Music Success Blog.  The gist of this concept is to use your music to solve a problem.  For example, one problem that a small business faces is getting new customers.  As an indie musician, you should build a targeted fan base that matches the same demographic that a local small business in your area is targeting.  Now, you can approach the small business and negotiate a deal.  You agree that the small business can market its product or service to your fans if they agree to offer some discount to your fans.  This way you are forming a relationship with a business that could potentially later on agree to sponsor one of your live shows and you are providing value to your fans. Solve a problem! Be a music entrepreneur!
2.  Not Creating music for their fans

Too many indie musicians create music that they like and that they want to perform without finding out the type of music their fans want.  Indie musicians want to make music that they enjoy.  There is nothing wrong with that.  The problem is if you want people to pay for your music, you have understand the type of music they want. Indie musicians should do the market research first to understand the need in the marketplace.  What music do the people want but  are not getting?  Use the answer to that question to help you create your music.

3.  Not using marketing strategies that have worked in other industries

Too often, indie musicians only look to other musicians and music professionals to help them market their music.  There are other professionals in other industries who have successfully marketed their products and services.  Indie musicians should look to these professionals for new marketing strategies that can be applied to the music industry.  For example, information marketers and other internet marketers have learned how to get people to take action and buy products by creating compelling offers.  They use complimentary bonus products and services to get people to buy their main product.  Info marketers learn this from infomercials.  You’ve seen those late night infomercials where you get 10 bonuses for buying one product.  This marketing method works if you use it correctly.

How can musicians use this method? By offering bonus products or services when people buy your music.  Some musicians already do this by offering more free music or a t-shirt when fans buy their album.  Indie musicians can take this a step further and offer more complimentary bonuses.  With the ease and low cost of digital downloads, indie musicians can offer e-books or mini video games or mini movies that center around the theme of their album.  Think about what bonuses you can offer now that can raise the level of interaction of your fans with your music.  How can you make your music come to life with additional bonuses? Create a compelling offer that will have your fans running to purchase your music.  Observe and learn from other professionals who have been successful in getting people to buy.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree that these are the biggest marketing mistakes made by indie musicians? Let me know your thoughts!

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#1 Mani on 03.12.11 at 8:29 pm

Well stated. This is parallel to a lot of the ops being missed by indie game devs and other indie talents.

#2 Jeremy Gilbert on 07.15.11 at 5:15 am

there are millions of people out there each day searching for information about their favorite music act. It’s your jobs to provide them with that info and then try and transfer them to be your fan as well.

#3 Michelle Galas on 09.15.11 at 5:32 pm

One of the mistake of artists nowadays is also to dream too much and want to earn money quickly, they think about the fame the money but they do want to learn about the business and how to make business with their music and think long career not only about a short term career.
The other mistake their do is to not be creative enough and think out of the box (work their artist profile, music, image,lyrics, style of music, and their concept).
Artists must be creative and have an impact on their society to have their mark in the history.
Map your music career strategically and creativily.

#4 ADONIS on 01.19.12 at 4:04 am

You are an amazing woman!! i am in AWE!!!!!!!!

#5 Music Success Coach on 12.03.12 at 3:09 pm

Thanks Adonis for your support

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