1) Talk to people and create a connecting point.
If you wanted to get popular in school you would find out who the cool kids are and befriend them. If you want to get popular on a social network, look up the top personal users. Contact them and introduce them to your music. Befriend them. Take an interest in them. Create reasons why they should spread your music. Use incentives when needed. Reward the people who are on your side. The same idea works for the blogosphere, the mainstream music press, the podcasting world, college radio, or any other area of the music industry. There are people who set up platforms for the same reason you picked up an instrument; for the love of music. Theyíre reachable, and the connecting point is always the music. 2) Multiply your allies.
Yes indeed. Ask your current allies if they know anyone else you can contact for airplay or press. This can go on forever, as itís recommended to ask your new contacts the same question as you get to know them. You may be surprised what comes up. Ask if you can tell this new person that you were referred by them. They will usually be delighted to give you a few names. Plus, approaching someone new saying ďJohn Smith highly recommended your radio show for our band and suggested that I get in touch with you. John recently interviewed us at his Rock Star Nation website. Would you be interested in a review or interview?Ē gives you a much better chance of getting coverage than approaching on your own. By helping you, they see themselves doing a favor or coming through for a friend. Their ego is stroked just by knowing that someone recommended them. Most people will want to come through in this type of scenario. Make your marketing plan your own social network. Multiply your allies to build your army. Pretty soon you will have enough press to rival a major label act. Itís all about image. 3) Randomly reward people.
Word-of-mouth is not always created by set-in-stone freebies and campaigns. What does this mean to you? Well, itís a very good idea to randomly reward people. Go above and beyond. If a new person signs up for your street team, mailing list, or buys your CD, why not send them a personal email letting them know youíve sent them digital copies of 2 of your albums to say thanks. Most people would be thrilled to be contacted personally by a member of the band, and on top of that be given free stuff, they would surely tell a few friends. Be generous on a person-to-person basis and youíll be surprised at the word-of-mouth this can generate about your band. 4) Use psychological appeal Ask for advice.
This may sound like a simplistic tip, but itís actually a highly effective way to create real movement in your path. Did you know that itís been scientifically proven that people are far more likely to want to help when theyíre asked for their advice? Itís even better to ask for their expertise. Why? We all love having our egoís appealed to. If weíre just asked for help point blank, we may think ďWhy should I help this person?Ē There is no relationship building. However, simply foregoing the begging part and approaching an industry professional, no matter the level, and telling them your situation, then asking for their expertise or if there is anything they can recommend, can have lucrative results. They may send you to one of their contacts. They may take you under their wing. They may advise you on something youíre doing wrong and help you with the next steps. Just be sure your request is concise and nothing close to a sob story! cool Everything at the same time If youíre an independent artist you most likely have an issue with timing, and itís directly related to finances as well as the feeling of being overwhelmed. If this is the case, save up for longer before launching your product, because in order to even hope for direct competition with other artists, you need everything to happen at the same time; your album release, your tour, your music video launch. You need to be busy all the time. This is especially effective when youíve built up a huge contact list of allies who are loyal to you. Send them your new music video and press release along with a personalized message all at the same time. Dozens of blogs posting about you at the same time can really catch the attention of outsiders, and thatís ultimately what you want. A post here and there can still have effect, but itís tough to build the momentum. 5) Donít worry about profit quite yet
The idea alone will hold you back. Youíve got to launch this thing in a big way before you focus specifically on profit. The CD orders will eventually become a positive by-product of your viral campaign. Be very generous. Create reasons for your band to have an inside circle. Does your website allow people to log in? Are there member benefits such as extra free downloads? Are you providing a good incentive for those fans who are signing up for your mailing list or E- team? When someone does buy your CD, are you giving them something else as well such as a digital copy of your previous album or a previously unreleased track? If itís digital, it doesnít cost anything. One common mistake that independent bands and musicians make in this day and age is being overly stingy and paranoid about their music. Hereís a tip: If your band records a CD, sets up a website with 30 second previews of each track and waits for the fans to come swooping in, itís simply not going to happen. Bands spend a lot of time asking ďShould we offer this track for free? Will that be too much? But we wonít make any money!Ē This is the indie bandís paranoia. Remember that a digital product is infinite. When someone downloads your song, you have a new listener. Period. Yes, they may have downloaded it for free, but you have no less stock. Now that we are beyond dealing with physical products, you donít have to worry quite as much about running out of product and potentially giving away too much stock for promotional purposes. Beyond that, you should actively be looking for potential virus carriers to send free music to! Tell them all youíd like in return is that they post it somewhere or send it to someone else. Tell them to treat your music as a virus. They will most likely get a kick out of the idea and be appreciative of your modern attitude. Itís this attitude that is going to get your music spread. Donít waste time on the old school way of thinking Ė if you do that you may as well be a record label going out of business. 6) Advertise
There are plenty of quality ways for artists to advertise, and I donít mean paying insane rates in major indie publications, something I typically donít recommend. After all, youíre paying their rent. Niche websites with more reasonable pricing, ironically, tend to be more effective than massive indie titans. If youíre a desert rock act or a dream pop group, sometimes itís best to start where your particular niche is Ė reach out to the medium level publications who cater specifically to it. Facebook is great when you keep an eye on it, test, and optimize. If you donít want to take the equivalent of an advertising course, you can always try out Reverbnationís ď Promote ItĒ app for your Facebook advertising needs. Be sure to report to us how things go! Check it out here. Another set of potential ground rules have been outlined by Gen Y Rockstars. I love their approach to the descriptions, although my personal choice tends to lean towards pay-per-click advertising. Props to them for their approach. Advertise with hyper-targeting on Google through their main option, Google Adwords, which provides pretty much every focusing option youíd ever need to reach your niche audience. They also have a free customer service line to guide you through the many options. Another avenue that Iíve used with some success is Blogads.com. They offer a very easy-to-use advertising system that enables you to advertise in music publications such as The Deli, Obscure Sound, and Short and Sweet NYC among others. Try their pay-per- tweet advertising, as thatís what was most effective for me. To cover organic Twitter growth, I recommend Andrew Muller from The Real Musician. Heís who I hire for my own Twitter promotion and the growth has been tremendous. Also, I use his services for all my artist packages and campaigns.