Marketing is one of the most challenging areas for most musicians to tackle. It requires a lot of focus, hard work, and determination, even when you do not get any positive results. On top of that, you can quickly go broke by overpaying for advertisements and other marketing services. However, if you are like most musicians, you probably don’t have a marketing budget to blow in the first place. Here are four music marketing tips for those musicians that are on a tight budget.
Business cards are an easy way for managers to contact you
Business cards are the old standby of any business marketing plan. They are generally cheap, well-received, and easy for those you target to tuck away for later. You should always carry your business cards with you and look for opportunities to disperse them to your target markets. For example, music conferences, seminars, trade shows for things your fan demographic is known to love, even other bands’ live shows with similar sounds to yours, etc.
Give them a taste with an EP/Demo
EPs are shortened albums (5-7 tracks), also sometimes known as demo albums. Here you take your best songs and compile them all into a playlist and disperse them to your fans at shows and on social media networks for free as samples of your music. This works well in creating buzz about your band, and you paid nearly nothing to do this because the songs used should be previously recorded tracks or low-budget recordings at most. Labels call this white labeling; it is commonly used to create an early street buzz about an artist or group they are just starting to break.
You have the choice to sell ads on your music (on Spotify and other services), too; you should earn a small return on your investment here.
Build an Email List
Though this can be a timely process, it is well worth it. There are numerous free group and newsletter services out there for you to choose from that will host and help you manage your email lists.
Allow people to apply from Facebook Groups, Instagram other social media. One of the best ways to quickly go about growing a list on the big three above is to use other groups’ members lists and invite their members to yours. The groups you do this with, of course, need to be similar to your sound or genre, or else you are probably risking getting marked as a spammer by numerous people. Be cautious as to how many times you attempt to get members from the same groups as well. Though many will let you slip by once or twice with an invitation, invite number three may be one too many and result in you also being marked as a spammer.
Understand how social media has changed marketing, and harness its power
This can’t be said enough times. You need to be active on all social media outlets – Instagram, Spotify, YouTube, Snapchat. Even if you aren’t posting full songs or promotional content, you need to market the identity of your band. Record short snippets of your sessions as you play and post them on Snapchat. Post photos on Instagram when you get together with another artist. Go live on Facebook and Instagram and interact with your fans sometimes. Tweet about upcoming events. Don’t forget to properly use hashtags on all your social media to make it easy for your fans (or potential fans) to find you. Most importantly, have fun on social media – people need to know you’re just like them. It is an excellent way to humanize you and give your fans more appreciation of your art.