Musicians make a LOT of excuses as to why they don’t market their music. Here are what I think are the top five excuses used along with my thoughts on the solutions to the problems:
1) I Have No Money For Marketing My Music
This is a biggie. “I don’t have any money to pay for marketing!” lots of musicians cry. In reality, there has never been a time when musicians can do so much for zero cost.
All social media apps are free at the point of use. YouTube is free. You can film a music video using nothing more than your phone. Filmmaker Michel Gondry has just made a film on his iPhone for goodness sake. All you need is time. Which is when I hear some musicians complain…
2) I Have No Time For Marketing
This is a biggie. I appreciate that most DIY musicians will other commitments: work, school, college, uni, parenting…you can probably think of others. If you find that life leaves you without the time to promote your music you probably need to undertake a life audit.
That Netflix series you planned to watch? That will have to go. That weekly night out with friends? Maybe make that every fortnight. Getting up 45 minutes earlier and later every day will give you an extra ten hours per week to devote to your marketing.
Ultimately, it’s all about life choices. You can’t complain that no one has heard your music when you prioritise other activities over the marketing of it!
3) It’s The Wrong Time
So you’ve not got much in the way of gigs at the moment and there are no musical releases planned. You can back off on the marketing, right? WRONG.
This is exactly the time to be doubling down: keeping your audience warm and engaging them ready for your ‘right hook’ with a call to action when you need it. If you’re doing your marketing right, there is no such thing as downtime.
4) I Might Get It Wrong
Take comfort in the fact if you are marketing you will get it wrong. You’ll post a video that reaches hardly anybody. You’ll Tweet and get no likes. You’ll Instagram and it will dissapear into the ether.
You have to remember, if this happens these are ‘data points’. You sometimes have to find out what doesn’t work to find out what does work. Have courage and learn from your failures.
5) It’s Selling Out
Some musicians see overt marketing activities as crass commercialism of their music. They think the discovery of their music should be organic and they don’t want to be seen ‘pushing’ it as that would be ‘selling out.
If you want your music to just be a hobby, and a hobby that precious few people know about, that’s fine. DIY musicians need to understand that music is a commercial product and you need to overtly promote it so people, discover, consume and enjoy it. It’s not selling out…it’s buying in!
Do any of these sound like you? Are you prepared to take the challenge and get marketing? Go for it.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?