Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

News, notes and ideas on music marketing, self-promotion, artist empowerment and more

September 04, 2008

Best Way to Promote Music on a Budget

In the last post I covered How to Learn More About the Music Biz. This is a direct follow-up to that post, so if you missed it, be sure to read it here.

As you now know, the best way to absorb and remember information is to flood your senses: Read about it, talk about it, listen to and watch others talk about it and do it. Most importantly, DO IT yourself. And, to take it to the deepest levels of permanent understanding, teach others how to do it too.

This is an awesome insight into how your brain works and how you can use it to learn the things needed to further your music career and life.

But there's another aspect of this you can use to market yourself in a big way. Here's the secret ...

Your fans and potential fans learn about music the same way.

Think about some of your favorite artists. How did you become aware of them?

Perhaps a friend talked about them. Or you read a review of their CD. Or maybe you heard them first on a radio show or podcast. Or perhaps you saw a YouTube video of one of their songs.

Something brought their music into your awareness for the first time. Once that interest was sparked, each new exposure brought a deeper recognition and understanding of the artist and his/her music.

And if you look at the percentage breakdowns of how people remember (from the previous post), the same elements apply to fans.

That's why getting a glowing written review of your music doesn't always lead to a boost in sales. Simply reading about new music doesn't make a huge impact. People quickly forget.

That's also why running ads is generally a waste of money. Seeing and reading an ad might help create some awareness, but it does little to create a lasting impression (unless done repeatedly for months and years -- which is not feasible for most indie artists).

Ideally, the best way to promote your music is to hit your ideal type of music consumer from various angles. Sure, you want them to read and hear about you. The more often, the better.

But you also want them to see and hear you at the same time (as with online video). You want them to experience you directly (at a live show). And you especially want them to share their enthusiasm with others (raving to their friends).

So, from now on, when you come up with a new music promotion plan, make sure it includes many ways that current and potential fans can:

  • Read about you (in your ezine, blog and media coverage)
  • Hear your music (and you speak about it)
  • See photos of you
  • See and hear your music in a visual format (videos, audio slide shows)
  • Experience your music live
  • Talk about you
  • Share your music with others
  • Explain something remarkable that you did

In other words, how can you bombard their senses in such a way that your ideal fans won't forget you?

It doesn't take a ton of money to accomplish that. It just takes lots of creativity and action on your part.

Have fun promoting!


P.S. Did you enjoy this blog post? Get more tips like these when you subscribe to my Buzz Factor ezine -- the longest running music career tips email newsletter on the Internet. Since 1995. Go grab your free subscription now.

Guerrilla Music Marketing HandbookCheck out Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, the classic guide to indie music promotion. Now revised and updated, with four new chapters on Internet and Web 2.0 music marketing.

posted by Bob Baker @ 10:14 AM   3 comments


At Sep 4, 2008 1:30:00 PM, Anonymous KcCafeRadio said...

Excellent point, If you are playing at a venue you know have crowds that go wild about you, that's where you want others to see you, and experience you.

Bringing your fans to a new venue is one thing, Packing a place where you're already popular creates a lasting impression.


At Sep 4, 2008 4:04:00 PM, Anonymous Toggo said...

Beautifully put Bob - again, you show us that you are dialed in right onto the bullseye of the music business.

It took me years to really GET this, but I finally realized that to be truly successful as an indie artist, you have to get web savvy, and preferably study online marketing methods. Learning Search Engine Optimization, basic copywriting skills, how to drive free traffic to your site, monetize your site, etc, may sound REALLY boring to most musicians. However, investing time into all this (all the info can generally be found for free by doing searches in google) pays off hugely in the end.

Unfortunately, most musicians aren't ready to do that. So this post if for the few of you who are truly ready to invest your time. Seriously, listen to Bob, get his ebooks and educate yourself on the points I mentioned above, and you'll be ahead of your competition by leaps and bounds. Oh, and you might actually start earning great money on your craft - what a concept!

At Sep 17, 2008 12:33:00 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

Thanks Bob! This post and your previous one is a good resource for me when I explain to the bands I work why we are doing what we are doing. For example, we have been creating podcasts explaining more about the music and teaching about what is happening in the music with the idea that (i) this information will drive interest in seeing the band live and (ii) fans who hear these podcasts will explain these things to other fans during the show. Both elements hopefully will bring people to a higher level of internalizing their experience and therefore a tighter connection to the music.



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