Happy Ron’s Music Marketing Maxims (not just for musicians)

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Marketing for musicians is the same as marketing a business. In this article I share a few marketing tips that can be used in your own business.

MOST OF ALL, BE GREAT AT WHAT YOU DO

Word of mouth about a great artist is the best marketing of all, and better than everything else combined. So be great.

HAVE SOMETHING TO GIVE, AS OPPOSED TO ASKING FOR SOMETHING

So often I see musicians saying "come SUPPORT me" as if the audience's job was to support the act. It is much better to say "come have a great time, laugh, and dance" or anything showing what you have to offer.

MARKETING IS THE ART OF BEING YOURSELF IN FRONT OF AS MUCH OF THE WORLD AS POSSIBLE

People tell me that I am very good at “marketing” and “selling” my music, but most of what is called “marketing” is simply being yourself. This allows others to see who you are and what you have to offer.

FINISH IT, THEN MARKET IT

People ask “Can I get my music on the radio or TV shows or movies?” I always ask “Do you have a studio quality CD?” and they say, “uh, no, I have demos.”

People say “I want to play bigger shows,” I always ask “Do you have a polished ‘act’?” “Uh, no, I can barely play.”

What many people need to do is find coaches, producers, musicians, or whomever to help them create something that is marketable, but instead they try to market themselves first when in effect they have nothing to market yet. That can be counterproductive because if people see what you offer before it is ready, they will rightly think that you are not ready!

FINDING YOUR NICHE DOESN’T NARROW YOUR AUDIENCE, BUT EXPANDS IT.

I always balked at first when people told me I had found my “niche” because I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed or narrow my audience. But I’ve found niche doesn’t narrow your audience, but it expands it! Having a song put into the niche of being a “kids song” may seem like narrowing the audience, but lots of adults love kids songs!

REJECTION USUALLY ISN’T AN INSULT OR MEANINGFUL

If you know that you have quality music, then the most common form of rejection will be “it’s not what we are looking for.” It's common to hear that as, "your music is not very good," but it’s probably just someone saying that what you do doesn’t fit what they want. And if they are intentionally disrespectful, then they are probably not someone you want to do business with anyway.

IT’S “WHO YOU KNOW” IN THIS BUSINESS, SO MAKE SOME FRIENDS!

Bitter people often say “it’s who you know” in the business and, to a certain extent, they are right! Part of marketing is simply making friends with people in the business; even if you never do anything with them, they may know someone who knows someone who needs your music.


Happy Ron Hill