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

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