Promoting Your Music: Branding
There is no “best” way to promote music anymore. There are some “best practices”, a few of which I will spell out here, but even these “best practices” are subject to frequent change. My hope here is to give you a perspective to get you started or give you some new ideas, but if you get anything, get this: Your brand is as important as your music.
According to a June 2013 survey conducted by RightChordMusic.co.uk and Farida (http://www.rightchordmusic.co.uk/faridaguitarresults) that polled 200 musicians the biggest challenge listed was “getting our music heard”, and this is what they are doing:
29% have not released anything yet
75% are unsigned
92% own their own publishing
25% use FaceBook as their main site for promotion
17% discover new music on YouTube (be sure to create video for fans!)
52% of their music revenue comes from live performance
33% of their music sales are CDs at live shows
49% rehearse twice a week
54% rehearse at home
49% record at home
76% use a laptop to record
60% use PC
87% do all their own promotion
87% have a manager
Wow. If you read that quickly I think it tells you a lot. To get your music heard you have to wear a lot of different hats. Before you know it you’re not focused on your music, but the business. You’re an artist, but you’re confused with management and marketing.
Some simple advice can help you with that work load; Brand yourself. Branding is a broad term that refers to distinguishing yourself from everything else by look or by sound or by any characteristic that you value most.
Defining your distinguishing characteristic is no small task, but doing so will make all other tasks regarding management and marketing easier. Knowing your brand will help you decide where to play, what to play, who to invite and how to invite them, etc.
Brand examples (simplified to be sure):
TOOL – It could be said that TOOL’s brand is “Privacy.” The band controls how it interacts with fans and produces a show that transcends just music into visual art in describing personal human experience. They then further control the fan experience by limiting where TOOL music is available.
MANDALA Drum – Here at Mandala we are building our brand of forward thinking technology delivered in a practical smart way that allows each customer to define their own experience. Everybody gets the Mandala they deserve.
Enjoy building your brand. Let it reflect what you are passionate about. Be your brand.