Whilst a lot of marketing tools used by bands and musicians such as social media accounts and some mailing list services are free you should also have a budget to increase the reach and effectiveness of your marketing. But what should you actually spend that marketing money on? Here’s what I think are the five most important things DIY musicians should spend their money on
Your visual identity is important and a great band photo taken by a great photographer is essential. Photos will normally accompany every article written about you (online or print) so they are a necessity. Invest in a good set of photos and update yearly.
One of the most important aspects of your visual identity is your band logo. It helps create your brand and can actually generate revenue in the long term through sale of merchandise. Make sure you pay a graphic designer for a good band logo and also for a good poster design which you can use again and again for each of your live events.
You can certainly film music promos yourself on your smartphone (and I have, lots of times) but a professionally lit, shot and edited music promo can still be a great investment. You can spend thousands filming on a video but you can also find people who will make you one for £250. Whatever the cost what you need to do is create a video that is going to make people sit up, take notice and at the end of the video click SHARE! The concept and execution of the video is more important that the camera it is filmed on.
If a videographer just wants you film you playing your instruments in a nice location or create an oblique storyline ask yourself will this help to market the song? OK GO are the best band around for captivating and viral music videos.
Promotion on Facebook
Facebook can be the most cost effective way for a musician to reach their own fans or to tap into a new audience. Either by boosting posts or creating custom ads you can target people by location, age, gender and interests and spend as much or as little as your budget allows. Here’s an example of how to use Facebook to promote your gigs.
Like it or not traditional media (radio stations, music press etc) have an audience that can shine a light your music. For a lot of these gatekeepers your music will stand a better chance of coming to their attention if you use a PR/press firm to put it ‘front and centre’.
A PR/press firm may charge a modest amount per month as a retainer whereas pluggers are more likely to charge for a specific campaign. If you have the material, it can be worth the investment, but remember there are never any guarantees and you could pay a lot of money and see nothing in return. Check the roster of the PR or plugging company, examine their recent successes and see if you think it’s a risk worth taking.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?