8 Rules: Marketing in the Music Industry
So youʼve been doing the local open-mic night circuit for a while now, youʼve just recorded your ﬁrst EP or album and are ready to start getting the word out about your brand. Hereʼs a quick music marketing check-list to help you get on your way:
1. Deﬁne your brand – Ensure you branding is clear, consistent and professional across all
your online and ofﬂine platforms. Deﬁne your identity who/where you target
audience are. Go to your fans, donʼt expect them to come to you.
2. Collect “currency” – Email addresses, mobile numbers and zip codes are the new
currency of the music industry. Email is one the most effective direct marketing
channels to fans. Make sure you are collecting fan data wherever you are both online
and ofﬂine. Two great newsletter services are mailchimp.com or fanbridge.com
3. Create a website – having your own website instantly create a professional brand. It
also acts as a uniting hub for all your other social networking sites. Remember, if
Myspace or Facebook died tomorrow, all your fan data would be lost. Having a website
ensure you are in total control of your brand and fan data. If you canʼt afford a website
yet, then just get a holding page with a newsletter sign-up on it and links to your social
4. Prioritize quality over quantity – Prioritize connecting with fans one by one over
applications that “autobot” fans onto your social networking sites. This will inspire
loyalty in your fan base and will ultimately be the most effective way in turning potential
fans into super fans.
5. Be media ready – Ensure you have both physical and digital copies of your music
available, and a biography and/or press release too. Many journalists still want to
receive physical product in order to judge the professionalism of an artist. However
make sure you also have your full album available for download via a hidden website. I
recommend Soundcloud for this.
6. Donʼt forget about ofﬂine marketing – Online marketing has made connecting with fans
on a global level so much easier. We can now communicate with people in real time all
over the world. However, donʼt forget about your ofﬂine marketing. Your live
performance, fan interaction at gigs, and face to face networking are still fundamental.
Be aggressive (but nice!) in BOTH your ofﬂine and online marketing.
7. Know your rights – Ensure you aware of the different ways of earning money online and
ofﬂine. Make sure you sign up to SoundExchange (itʼs free!) in order to collect your
digital royalties and keep up to date with issues affecting musicians by checking in with
The Future of Music Coalition.
8. Be creative, be personal – Donʼt be afraid to ask your fans for input into your creative
process. If they see you are listening to them, it will incentivize their loyalty and you will
create word-of-mouth buzz.
Jem Bahaijoub is the founder of imaginePR, a music PR and marketing company based in
Washington, DC. You can connect with her on twitter @jembahaijoub or Facebook