DIY musicians are adept a making a lot of mistakes in their marketing. These are ten of the most common errors I see within the DIY musician community when it comes to marketing:
1) Too ‘sales-y’. A lot of the social media channels of DIY musicians are just links to gigs and links to music releases. Selling is only a small part of marketing but a lot of musicians just don’t get it.
2) Infrequent music releases. If you just release one or two singles a year you’re going to struggle to maintain any sort of momentum.
3) Insufficient marketing budget. You’ve got to spend money to make money. You’re a business, if you don’t invest in your future income you’ll struggle to get any.
4) No mailing list. You need to own fan data and you a way to contact fans that isn’t beholden to your social networks.
5) Not having a website. Everyone needs a HQ that they control and has everything in one place, easily found. The amount of bands that don’t have one still surprises me.
6) Insufficient video content. It’s 2018, your socials and your YouTube should be chock full of video content from informal music performances to ‘journaling’ your life as a DIY musician. Most DIY artists barely scratch the surface here.
7) No branding. Branding is the art of telling people who you are: what you like, dislike, your ethos and outlook. It helps people understand why you are making the music that you are making, it helps to get your fans to know you better and get closer to you. Without branding you are just music and music is now a valueless commodity.
8) No ‘target fan demographic’. You should know who your typical fan is: age, gender, location, likes etc. If you don’t know what a typical fan looks like, how can you expect to find more of them?
9) No marketing plan. You need to define your short/medium/long-term marketing goals. If you can’t articulate and show how you expect to grow in the next 1-5 years…how is it ever going to happen?
10) No analysis/reflection. Unless you sit down and reflect on your marketing successes/failures you won’t be able to double down on the winners or change course when things go wrong.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?