Ok, I’m just going to say it. That little word that so many musicians hate.
Don’t run away. It’s not that scary or overwhelming. If you understand that little word it will make all of this a lot easier. So let’s break this down nice and easy.
Marketing is basically telling people that you exist, that you are valuable, and you are available to serve them or you have things they can buy.
There are four parts of marketing. Business people call them the 4Ps.
You are the product. You are a brand. A brand is simply the way other people see you. It doesn’t have to, nor should it, be the way your grandma sees you. Unless you want all of your fans to be grandmas. It also includes your music, merch, and live show performance - obviously.
It’s important because it makes it easy for people to recognize you. Think of every big, successful, musician and they probably have a pretty strong brand going for them. Kiss is a good example for this. They have a ridiculously strong brand. That is what you are going for. Just make sure it's authentic. People can tell when you are trying too hard.
This is how you communicate your product (you). This can be any form of press, advertising, social media, videos, etc. You promote yourself to raise awareness that you exist and to tell people how awesome you are. Notice how the P is Promotion not Pinterest? You can’t rely on just social media. It won’t work.
This is important because no matter how good you are, if you don’t promote yourself nobody will know who you are. Which is bad for your shows and bad for your wallet. Be original with your promotion techniques. This is how you will stand out.
What do musicians sell? You sell your tickets, albums, singles, and usually merch. Your pricing needs to match your value. Your value is determined by your fans. If your prices are too high people won’t buy it. If they are too low people might think you suck.
Your prices will also change while you grow. Don’t think the price you pick for your first gig should stay the same forever. You can and definitely should adjust your prices as needed.
This is basically being at the right place at the right time. Make sure the shows you are playing match your style. How are you distributing your music - digital, vinyl or CD? Are you going to stream your music? Where can people buy your music and merch? Do you have a website? You should definitely have a website.
So that is basically it in a ball shell. All of the Ps need to work together at the same time. All of them are important. And once you understand that, you will waste less time and have a better chance at succeeding. You can’t have one without the other. Love and marriage... and the 4Ps.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.