Success comes from the flow between your different music promotion strategies. Your social media growth, live performances, YouTube videos, email list, and music sales all funnel into and loop back to one another.
With the DIY revolution in the music industry, it seems like there are an endless number of music promotion strategies that promise to help you grow your fan base, get more gigs, sell more music, sell more merch, and grow your social media following. But many musicians get really frustrated after implementing these strategies perfectly and not seeing the amount of growth and progress they expected.
In truth, most music promotion strategies you see only go halfway. Let me explain: using relevant hashtags, consistently posting, sharing great content, and following other people on Twitter and Instagram will help you grow your following. But, on Twitter and Instagram, that’s just a number that doesn’t mean much. If you’re not converting those followers into fans or email subscribers, or driving them to your website, you’re never going to be able to make a living.
Sure, the size of your following on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram is important, but you can’t eat a tweet.
Another strategy I see a lot uses Facebook to drive email subscribers. In short, you create a cover photo that says “Click here for three free songs,” or something to that effect, and link to your website, Noisetrade, or a squeeze page to collect email addresses. But, this is only the first step. Just like social media, an email list is just a number unless you follow through, send relevant emails, and drive those subscribers to take action and purchase your music, merch, or tickets.
In the same way, collaborating with other bands to book gigs in new venues and cities will definitely put you and your music in front of a new audience. But, if you don’t connect with those potential fans via email or social media, they may never hear from you again. They will remain potential fans unless they take the initiative to seek you out online themselves.
Let’s take a look at one more strategy. Posting cover songs to YouTube has become a really popular way to attract new fans to you and your music from organic search. But, even if your cover video gets a lot of views, that number isn’t worth much unless you use the video as a funnel to drive those viewers to connect with you through a subscribe, social media, or email. It’s really easy to just click off the cover video and never find you again, so make sure you post links in the description box and actually get on screen to ask the viewers to subscribe and follow.
I hope you’re starting to see how everything is connected. Your social media growth, live performances, YouTube videos, email list, and music sales all funnel into and loop back to one another.
With that in mind, try to start thinking of all the different aspects in your music career as a seamless flow rather than a lot of unconnected strategies. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking, “If I get more followers on social media I’ll be successful,” or “If I work on writing better emails I’ll be successful.”
Success is about thinking about the flow between all these different strategies. “How can I get more gigs?” funnels into “How can I grow my following on social media?” which funnels into “How can I drive more traffic to my website?” which funnels into “How can I grow my email list?” which funnels into “What can I send my email list to drive sales?” which funnels into “What products can I offer my fans?”
In short: it’s not a strategy, it’s a process.
We talk about the entire music promotion process, from growing your fan base, to engaging, to selling music in the Musician Power Tools online music promotion course, but if you’d like more strategies to promote your music now, check out these free video lessons.
Dave Kusek is the founder of New Artist Model and Berklee Online. Over the years he’s worked with tens of thousands of musicians around the world across every genre imaginable and in many different markets. New Artist Model is an online music business school designed especially for indie musicians. Learn how to turn your music into a career, understand the business, and start thinking like a musical entrepreneur.
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