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!

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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.

Want more free music marketing tips and strategies? Get the free Music Success Toolkit featuring 6 free resources to help you sell more music, get more fans, and get more music exposure.  Toolkit contains: (1) Free report: “Top 8 Music Marketing Mistakes That’s Stopping You From Selling Your Music“, (2)  6 FREE easy ways to find the demographics of your target market with little work!, (3) 10 free street team marketing videos, and MORE! Get the free music marketing toolkit here: Music Success

Why Vision is Essential for Marketing Your Music

On Monday, I discussed why vision is the most important factor in achieving long-term success in the music industry and I gave you five reasons why  vision is important for your music career.  On Tuesday, I talked about four action steps you can take to get a vision for your music carer.  If you have not checked out these two blog posts, you can check them out here: How to Get Successful in the Music Industry Faster, A Vision for Your Music Career: A How-to Guide.

Today, I will discuss why having a vision for your music career can help you get your music into the hands of the people who will buy it.  Vision gives you direction as a music artist by providing you with the ability to imagine the type of artist you want to be and the music you want to create.  Your vision of where you want to be 5-10 years from now should include the people most responsible for your success in the music industry, your fans! Vision will help you identify the fans you need to get you where you want to go in the music industry.  Vision can help you create a marketing plan that will identify these ideal fans.

4 Reasons why vision is essential for marketing your music:

1.  Vision helps you pick your ideal music audience

Let me give you an example.  Let’s say my vision is to become a national R&B recording artist with female fans between the ages of 20-25.  This is a great vision because it is specific.  See Tuesday’s blog post for how to write a great vision statement: How to Write a Vision Statement for Your Music Career.

This vision statement identifies my target audience (female fans between the ages of 20-25).  Since my vision is to become a national R&B recording artist, my ideal music audience is female fans located in the United States.  My audience is not females between the ages of 20-25 residing in foreign countries.  My audience is also not limited to the state that I reside in.  Do you see how my vision has clarified my marketing plan? My vision has helped me decide who I am going to market to and what states I am going to market in.  Too many artists want to answer these specific marketing questions without first determining the broader vision of their music career.

2. Vision provides you with a clear marketing plan to reach your ideal music audience.

Back to my example, since I have developed a clear vision of the artist I want to be, a national R&B recording artist with female fans between the ages of 20-25, I can now develop an effective marketing plan to reach my target audience.  I can now ask these questions: where do females between the ages of 20-25 shop? What magazines, newspapers, and books do they read? What television shows do they watch? What type of music do they listen to?  What type of R&B songs do they like and enjoy?  In my example, my vision helped me pick the target audience for my music and it helped me develop a plan to get my music in front of them. Vision can help you do the same for your music career.

3.  Vision helps you increase music sales.

Ok, so we have seen how vision can help you pick the best audience for your music.  Vision also helps you figure out the path you need to take to create the music they enjoy and will want to buy. Once you have identified your ideal audience, you can now figure out what music they are currently buying.  What music artists do they listen to? What music do they like? You should know what kind of music your target audience enjoys and make that music.  Simple, right? It really is.  If you know the demographics of your target audience and you know where you can find them, then now you know exactly how to put your music in front of them. So now you have the right music in front of the right audience and this my friend is where music purchases are made.

4.  Vision helps you create long-term success in the music industry.

Let’s recap. Vision helps you pick the ideal audience for your music.  Vision provides you with a clear marketing plan to get your music in front of the right audience.  So vision gets your music in front of an audience who will buy your music and thus increases your music sales and income.  This leaves us with the final and most important reason for why vision is essential for marketing your music.  Vision helps you create long-term success in the music industry because it helps you establish a long-term relationship with your target audience.  Vision clarifies your marketing plan by establishing the type of artist you are, identifying the ideal audience for the music you make, and revealing how to get your music in front of that ideal audience.  Therefore, vision helps you deliver the type of music your ideal audience wants to hear and wants to buy.  You will develop a long-term relationship with them because you are now consistently giving your audience what they need.

Music artists who have been successful in developing a long-term career in the music industry understand that consistently meeting the needs of their fans is a key to long-term success in the industry; vision can help you achieve that!