Marketing is not a job. Marketing is not something you need to put on your daily to-do list. Marketing is acclimating your audience with the whole vision of your brand.
This means anything that can be used to give your fans or, potential fans, a better idea of what your music is all about and who you are as an artist. Marketing is any time you spread the word about your music; Every time you engage with your fans you are giving them another piece of you, and in essence, you are further developing a clearer understanding of your brand.
Why is this so important?
Because a well-developed brand will lead to stronger loyalty and long-term sales.
Here are 10 important components of marketing that will help you further establish your brand:
1. Emails & Phone Calls
Every single email sent out and phone call taken is a direct interaction with your brand. It is an opportunity for your brand to make a lasting impression. Here are a few ways to make that happen:
– Word choices (copywriting)
– Your Demeanor
– Font & colors
2. Social Sharing
Literally, everything you share through social networks is a reflection of you, and you are your brand. How you represent yourself is the basis for how your brand will develop over time. This means you have to plan well and think about themes. A few things to keep in mind:
– Liking pages
– Status updates
– Location-based check-ins
3. Lifestyle Choices
How you live your life has quite a strong impact on the decisions you make which will ultimately affect the direction of your brand as it continues to grow. Lifestyle is one thing that many people feel very strongly about and it is a great opportunity for you to create a stronger connection with fans who live in a similar manner.
4. Social Media Commenting
How you comment on blogs and interact in a discussion will give others an honest look at how you approach music, your fans, and the industry. However you comment on blog posts, make sure it accurately reflects how you want others to perceive your brand:
5. Gigs: Before, During & After
For performing musicians, gigs are where the brand comes to life. You can do all you want through social media, blogging, videos, etc. but if people show up and your performance sucks, or you were just a complete jerk, you can kiss those fans goodbye. Especially now that albums are not selling as they used to, make sure you perfect how your brand is perceived in person:
– Networking w/ fans before and after the performance
– Crowd interaction during the performance
– Enjoyment during performance… no one wants to see a sponge play the guitar
– Merch booth is stocked and ready to go
Image is and has always been an extremely important part of branding. What you wear is a reflection of your brand image and is something that you would be foolish to overlook. People are visual in nature, so what you wear may even unintentionally be the one thing that people remember about you. Don’t underestimate how important this is to your overall brand:
7. Every Single Fan Interaction
This is essentially customer service. When a customer or follower interacts with a brand, they want to be treated properly or they are left with a sour taste in their mouth about the whole experience. Make sure you go about this properly so that your efforts as an artist are not undone by poor interactions with fans:
– Timely response
– Insightful and/ or honest
8. How You React To Criticism
Every worthwhile brand will run into criticism. Haters gotta hate this is sadly part of life online. This means maintaining strong public relationships. The worst thing you can do for your brand is to come off as defensive or inappropriate. Rather you should be thankful for the honest input. If this is too hard (believe me we know) you can try to turn a negative interaction into a positive experience or you can also choose to ignore!
– Positive or negative
– Defensive or thankful
9. Adding Value
A crucial element in the success or failure of any brand is how valuable it is perceived to be. Keeping this in mind, and adding value at all times is a great way to increase the loyalty of your brand:
– Give away free music (occasionally)
– Free UStream performance
– Exclusive music for newsletter subscribers
– Blog post focusing on something other than news or updates
As you can see marketing is truly everywhere. It’s omnipresence is what helps us to establish a brand and a culture for our fans to grab a hold of, and for potential fans to recognize. It’s not so much a “necessary evil,” but more so a way to achieve your goals in the most time efficient manner. Get creative and stay positive – happy marketing!