Music Marketing and Promotion: What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between marketing and promotion?

Marketing and promotion are often confused.  So here is a quick and easy way to understand the difference between marketing and promotion.

Marketing

Marketing is about getting your target market to know who you are, what you have to offer,  why you are offering it, and why what you are offering is something they want.  Marketing is about getting your target market to know, like, and trust you.

Do they know me? In order to get your target market to know you, they have to know that you exist.  Your target market need to know about you and your music.  How do you do that? You show up where they are.  You should know where your target market hangs out, what they read, where they shop, and what events they attend. You or your street team need to have a presence where your target market is at.  You can do this by performing where your target market hangs out, posting flyers where they are at, having an online presence through your website and social media sites. Your target market can also get to know you through word of mouth.  This is common with music marketing.  Most people hear about music artists for the first time from others, from their friends.  Basically, find out where your target market hangs out and show up there!

Do they like me? Ok, so once you are in front of your target market, now you have to say something or play music that they will like.  Connect with them! Engage with them! Care about them! Have a message and a purpose that resonates with them. What does that mean?  On a personal level, tell your market why you do music.  What inspires your music? What’s the mission behind your music?  On an artistic level, create music that they will like.  Marketing is about engaging and connecting.

Do they trust me? Sometimes you will find that once your target market knows you and likes you, they will probably trust you, but that is not always the case.  During this phase of marketing, your target market is thinking: “Ok, I know who you are and I like you and I like your music, but can I trust that your album or your live show is going to be as good as you say it is?”  There is a level of trust that you have to build with your potential and current fans.  If you are an established artist, your fans have to trust that your next album is as good as your first album.  If  you are a fairly new artist, your fans have to trust that your live show performance of their favorite song will be just as good as the album version.  Marketing is about building trust.

Promotion: Getting them to act.

Promotion is about behavior modification.  It’s about influencing and persuading others to act.  If you have done a successful job in your marketing, your market will say: “I know who musician X is, I like his/her music, I think the album will be amazing.” But promotion is about getting them to take the next step, getting your market to say “I am going to buy the album now.” If you are marketing a live show, you want them to say “I want to buy tickets now”.  How do you get your target market to say this?  Create compelling offers! Offer limited time only discounts/special prices, special limited edition albums, music packages and bundles.

Indie Music Marketing Series, Part 6: How to get Music Exposure While Supporting a Great Cause

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, Indie Music Marketing Part 5

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 non-profit organizations can help indie musicians get more exposure while supporting a good social cause.  If you are an indie musician who wants to use your music to help make an impact in society, then you will be able to appreciate this post.

In the series, I have stated that 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 more music exposure by creating music that has value to non-profit organizations, you have to first understand the needs of non-profits.

The three Needs of Non-Profits

1.  More funds

2.  More volunteers/staffing/assistance

3.  More attention and awareness of the organization and what it does

How can music meet the needs of non-profits?

1.  Music attracts attention and therefore can help build awareness

Music and music events attracts and captures the attention of an audience.  Music has the power to engage people.  Marketers understand this and that is why they use music in commercials.  Music has a powerful way of attracting people and pulling people in to different causes. So you can use this power of music to help non-profits bring attention to their causes.  The more awareness people have about an organization and the work that it does, the more likely people will lend support to the organization, whether it takes the form of money or volunteering.  So ultimately, music can attract attention for an organization that can lead to more volunteer support and more donations.

2.  Historically, music has been used to organize people around a cause

Music has the power to unite people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities around a cause.  We have seen this with benefit concerts for Haiti and Hurricane Katrina that brought together musicians to raise money to support relief efforts.

How can you create music that is valuable to non-profits? How can your music add value to non-profits? Here are some strategies:

1.  Donate  proceeds of your single or your album to a non-profit organization

2.  Write a song

Write a song that expresses the emotion of the people the organization serves or the social cause the organization supports.  Music helps tap into human emotion and organizations want people to see and feel the need of the cause they are working for and music is a great way to do that.  Your music might be used by the non-profit in its marketing materials or at fundraising events.

3. Organize a benefit concert/live show

Approach the organization for its support.  Donate proceeds of the show to the organization.  You can help attract media attention to your show and get more people to come out to your show.  People love to support great causes.  The members and staff of the non-profit will probably want to attend and the people that the organization serves will be interested in supporting and attending your show.

4.  Become an advocate for the organization

Mention the organization and its work in your marketing and promotional materials.  Bring more awareness to the organization.  Mention the organization in press releases, on your web site, and on your social media pages.

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 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: 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.