It’s so important for personal growth to acknowledge our strengths – but more importantly; our weaknesses. This is so crucial, as we can nurture and inevitably overcome these weaknesses.
As a musician, it’s totally standard for creativity and artistry to be a top strength in personal character. However, business acumen, tactfulness, and strategy may be words completely foreign to your vocabulary at this point in your career. And that’s okay.
It’s important to note that throughout this article – tact is going to play an influential role.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Your Music Promotion is Failing:
1.Not Drip Feeding Content
Think of one of your favorite artists. Now go to their social media pages and check out what’s going on. It’s a guarantee that there’s loads of activity, right? The main reason why this is so important is because it creates a sense of engagement with fans.
Social media is such a powerful tool that has nearly single-handedly taken power back from labels and placed it in the hands of artists everywhere.
Use these platforms as a channel to connect with your audience and give a little insight in to your world!
Make a habit out of posting regular updates and pictures; particularly posts that encourage engagement. Asking questions is a fantastic way of getting your audience involved.
Building up to announcements by alluding to something big coming is also a great way to generate excitement.
2. Not Officially Releasing Your Stuff – Or Making a Big Deal About It!
This is a huge one. Many people actually get this one and the previous mixed up. They drip feed music track by track but overload their social media. Not the best strategy.
Having a full release put together is so much more meaningful than putting out a single track on Soundcloud once every few weeks.
Treat it like you’ve just given birth to a new baby. It’s an achievement to be celebrated! As for drip feeding music; employ this tactic strategically.
Although it’s far better to wait until you have a complete release, for example, an EP or album; drip feeding teasers or demos on Soundcloud is a fantastic idea for building buzz.
Uploading short videos of working on your tracks in the studio is also a great promotional tactic.
3. Not Knowing Your Place
If your music is in the wrong place, then it truly doesn’t matter how many people hear it – it’s going to be falling on deaf ears!
If you’ve got a jazz album – it’s simply not relevant to the metal community, right? Understand what genre and sub-genre your music fits into and connect with people who live and breathe it.
Immersing yourself in the culture of your genre will propel you forward leaps and bounds! Do you produce deep house? Go to as many live shows as possible and meet people that might add some of your tracks to their set!
Identify your niche. A basic question in marketing is: What is your Unique Selling Point (UPS)? This should be applied to your music, but also your persona as well.
Answering these questions will narrow down where your music belongs and how to best present that to your audience in partnership with your public persona. Of course, it goes without saying that your music needs to sound as best as possible. Check out my guide to the basics of mixing to make sure you’re not making any of the common mistakes.
4. Wrong Communication With The Right People
Keep a list of all the relevant industry contacts. In fact – keep an excel spreadsheet. When you reach out to press, labels, game developers or advertising agencies – it’s important to keep in mind that there’s a spectrum of responses you may receive.
Even more importantly; never take any of them personally and don’t allow anyone to discourage what you’re doing. You may hear back from someone who gives a negative reply, or doesn’t even respond at all.
Regardless – log them into your spreadsheet and don’t hesitate to reach out to them again in the future when you have something new to present. They may have said no in the past but that could turn into a yes!
When you do reach out to contacts – make sure you have a clear goal outlined. Being vague or uncertain about what you’re after through reaching out is going to discourage a response.
Do you want to score an interview or review? Maybe a licensing deal for a track? Or even a collaboration with a highly respected artist? Don’t be shy about your intentions – the clearer you make them, the better.
Finally, make sure all contact is initiated with a professional and friendly approach. Introduce yourself, provide them with relevant information about who you are and why you’re valuable, and what you can do for them before leading into what you want from them.
5. Forgetting Branding!
Let’s be real here. Although you are first a musician, you are also a product. Whether or not you understand and shape that product determines your success as a musician.
Branding starts with your own promotional package. What will you be sending out to press when you have a new release you want to be covered?
An Electronic Press Kit (EPK) is important for the right people to take you seriously. Your kit should include a color image of your band, links to your website and social media, any press coverage you’ve had so far, potentially a copy of your upcoming release along with a press release including details of your album or EP.
Additionally, one of the most important elements in this kit is your bio. This is something a lot of musicians have a problem with.
If you’re not confident writing it, it’s best to get someone else to write it for you. You need a bio that is going to talk up your act and make you sound amazing! It’s common for a close friend to be able to capture that enthusiasm surrounding you – especially if they’re a fan!
If your music promotion is at a stagnant point and you haven’t understood why; hopefully this list will enlighten you.
Marketing your music and promoting your brand is arguably more important than the actual quality of the music itself (not that you should skimp out on that).
Just take one look at some of the mainstream artists in the spotlight today and this becomes obvious.
Now get out there and start pushing your brand!
If you are a Hip-Hop producer be sure to check out my guide on the basics of hip-hop production.