The Fifth Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing

Yesterday I promised to give you the most over-looked key to marketing music. And I’m going to get there, but first…

I never was much of a musician myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, I’m just not very good at playing it. I’ll leave that to you. smiley But one thing I do love is to dance!

I recently went to a friend’s wedding. Her fiancé hired a buddy to be the DJ for the reception. The guy thought he was the life of the party. He talked up the crowd and then he played some great music and the dance floor filled up. Of course, I was out there leading the charge.

turntableBut as we started to get in a groove and everyone was moving to the beat he decided to become DJ Jazzy Jeff. He tried mixing. Ugh… What a train wreck! He started scratching and stutter-stepping the song. I clearly remember the song, too. Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses. I love that song! And he ruined it!

As we were dancing away (and he was scratching away) he messed up the most important thing for dancing. The beat! He couldn’t find it with both hands. We all began to dance like sporadic monkeys. Frantically looking for the consistent beat we relied on to keep the rhythm. And it wasn’t there. Being a musician, I’m sure you know how important it is to keep a consistent beat in a song. Drummers are rated on how well they can keep the beat without a metronome. Why? Because everyone craves consistency. As humans we like predictability. That’s why Step #5 To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing is…

Turn On Images To See Fun Stuff!BE CONSISTENT

There are hundreds of marketing topics I could write about for you. But I’m going to give you THE golden nugget right here. Amazingly it’s so simple it’s often overlooked. THE ONE THING most people, even highly paid professionals, miss…

Like life, 80% of marketing is just showing up!

disco ballThat’s right, consistency. If you can master this ONE simple point about marketing you will be light years ahead of your friends. Heck, you’ll even be ahead of most marketing agencies. But the sad truth is, most people flit from shiny object to shiny object. They’re constantly looking for that next social media shortcut to superstardom and fame. They abandon one strategy for the next get-rich-quick scheme. And it just doesn’t exist.

There is no easy button in marketing. Or life for that matter. You must possess a ‘don’t quit’ attitude.

When your latest song seems to be going nowhere you must find the strength to reach down and keep pushing. It’s all about tenacity.

Far too often I notice musicians market in spurts. They have a new project they’re excited about so they send out 23 emails and 79 Facebook posts. But two weeks later they’re gone. Not to be heard from for six months until their next project is ready to push. In the meantime everyone has forgotten who they are. Have you ever gotten an email and said “Who is that from?” “I don’t remember them.” And then hit the SPAM button. Sure. I’ve done it. But if you are consistently sending out updates and putting up Facebook posts no one will forget who you are.

Even if you don’t have something to promote it’s important to stay on your fans’ radar. That’s why you should make marketing a habit. Promoting your music for one hour a day is far more effective (and easier) than spending 12 hours on Monday cramming.


Get moving

TAKE ACTION

Remember the goals you set for yourself in step #2? Now it’s time to turn those goals into action! Over the next couple of days spend some time turning your goals into a timeline. What do you need to do first to accomplish your goals? Break each goal down into actions. Make sure the steps are easily digestible chunks you can finish in one hour’s time. Now map out each step on a calendar. By planning out your days you will make your marketing more consistent and effective.


 

SPECIAL SURPRISE

Now for the special surprise I mentioned at the top. I advertised The 5 Steps To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing as 5 steps. But… Tomorrow I’m going to send you a BONUS SIXTH STEP! I had so many great ideas to share with you I just couldn’t fit it all into five steps. So I’m sending you one last step tomorrow. You’re going to love the sixth step. It fits right in with being a musician. See you then!

Peace, Love, Happiness, Always

~ Jennine

JFK
You won’t find the sixth step on our website. If you’d like me to send you all five steps, plus our bonus sixth step, just fill out the form below and I’ll send you the whole enchilada!

 


The Fourth Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing

When you go to a concert, what makes it memorable for you? For me, it’s when I’m up out of my seat, dancing, clapping and singing along. Every sense is alive. Obviously, I can hear the music. But I can also smell the room around me, the popcorn, the beer…the wacky weed. I see the lights and the band. I can feel the energy of the room. But when the band shifts to the AP –Audience Participation – section of the show, that’s when I’m totally 100% ENGAGED! And that’s Step #4 To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing .. Turn On Images To See Fun Stuff!

ENGAGE YOUR FANS

Thirty Seconds To Mars is one band that does an excellent job of engaging their fans. At their shows, they make all your senses come alive. I went to see them at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago a couple years ago. The theme of the night was Blood Ball. They asked their fans to dress the part, taking costume ideas from one of their music videos. Many fans did. Thirty Seconds To Mars provided fake blood in the lobby and Jared Leto even threw gallons of it on the crowd from the stage. It was QUITE intense! During the show Jared constantly engaged the crowd. He challenged us to sing along, to get closer, to be a part of the show.  And you know what? It was one of my favorite concerts ever! Because I was part of it.

That’s the challenge for you and your music marketing…Make your fans part of the experience.

You should think of marketing your music as a conversation. So many bands, and businesses for that matter, think of marketing as a one-way flow of information. But really good marketing is a two-way conversation between you and your fans, or potential fans. But even beyond that, your fans want to know you’re a real person. They are buying so much more than your music. They are buying you. And it’s hard to buy ‘you’ if they don’t know anything ABOUT you. fanHow can you make each of your fans feel special? How can you make them feel like they are your number one fan? Have you ever been to a networking event? I work for a Chamber of Commerce so I’ve been to WAY more than my fair share. The people I connect with at those events are the ones I have a real conversation with. The ones that tell me about their family. Maybe about their dreams or goals. Or just a fun story from their day. I don’t connect with the people who are constantly trying to sell me something. Have you met ‘that guy?’ “Hey, nice to see you. I improve peoples’ lives by helping them..blah…blah…blah.”

NO. ONE. CARES.

In today’s marketing world it’s important your message isn’t just about you. You can’t constantly tell everyone about all the ways they can spend money with you. Shows, CDs, tshirts. You can’t even drone on about all the radio stations playing your new song. The sad truth is they just don’t care. What they really want is to be a part of this grand vision that is YOU. So if you only take every opportunity to tell them how awesome YOU are, they will lose interest…quickly. Instead, take every opportunity to tell them how awesome THEY are. You’ll come across as a real, connectable human being. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all places you can share behind-the-scenes content. But anytime you can single out a fan and talk with them one-on-one, you are building something! That’s a conversation they will remember and tell their friends about. You can do this through @ replies on Twitter or tagging them on Facebook. Or you could put your new email database from Step 3 to use! Email is an amazing way to connect one-on-one.

MicHere are some tips to engage your fans through email:

1. Make it personal – When writing emails for your fans, remember on the other end is A person. That’s right – A person. Not 29 people, 376 people or the 3,498 people that are on your mailing list. Each email needs to be written like it’s going to your best friend.

2. Ask questions – A great way to start a conversation is to ask a question. I do this all the time at networking events. It lets me focus on the other person and get to know them. What better way to show you care? 3. Tell a story – Share something that has happened in your life. It doesn’t always need to be about music or your career. Try sharing things about your likes or dislikes. Or maybe just what you’re doing this week. Make it real.

4. Give a peek – Give your fans a glimpse into the world of music creation, or touring or the music biz in general. Remember, you’re living the life they all wish they could. Show them what it’s like to be a rockstar!

5. Ask for input – Everybody likes to be appreciated. Show your fans you love them by asking for their help with something. Maybe it’s help picking the songs for your next album or what outfit you should wear to the show on Friday. Receiving a personal email from you asking for help is something they just won’t expect!

6. Add pictures/video – Email isn’t just about text. Adding some visual punch to your note will put your fans right there with you. It doesn’t need to be fancy or slick. Just having a picture or video message from you will grab and hold their attention longer than just plain text.

7. Above all – Entertain Them! Always leave them wanting more. So your big takeaway today is to remember to make your fans feel special. Giving them personal attention will go a long way in turning them from a casual spectator to an evangelist for your musical cause!


 

Get movingTAKE ACTION

Tonight try sending a personal email message to a handful of your fans. Test the waters and see how it feels. What kind of response do you get? Just shoot out a quick note to six fans. Ask what the top song on their iPod is this week. Start a conversation.


Tomorrow I’m going to share with you the most important, yet most-overlooked, key to marketing music. You don’t want to miss out on Step #5 To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing, so keep an eye on your inbox tomorrow. Talk tomorrow, Peace, Love, Happiness, Always ~ Jennine

JFK

The Third Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing

What’s the biggest crowd you’ve ever played for? 30 people? 500 people? 10,000 people? Have you ever played for more people than that? You rock!

What does it feel like to stand on stage and connect with that many people? I bet it makes you feel alive. The adrenalin is flowing and your heart is pounding.

While you’re on stage you can say anything to the audience and get instant feedback. You can tell them how much the song you wrote means to you – and why. You can tell them about your new release coming out soon. You can even tell them to buy your new t-shirts. But what happens when the show is over?

Don’t you wish you could take tonight’s crowd home with you? And the crowd tomorrow night? And the night after that? If you could you would soon amass a crowd of tens of thousands of people! And you could talk with them anytime you wanted. Instead of asking 100 people at a time to buy your album you could ask 53,752 people. That would be awesome!

That’s why the Third Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing is…

 

Turn On Images To See Fun Stuff!BUILD A FAN DATABASE

A database, or list as I like to call it, is the great equalizer. If you’re marketing your music on a limited budget – and who isn’t? – then a fan list gives you the power to reach fans far more effectively than any newspaper ad or radio spot ever could.

When you’re an independent artist you need to be conscious of every penny you spend. You need to make every dollar work for you. And having a list is one of the most cost effective ways of reaching your fans. And one of the best lists you can have is a list of your fans’ email addresses.

But, Jennine, email is so old school! Everybody’s on Facebook now.

And Twitter.

And Instagram.

And..and..and

And there is the problem with social media. In today’s world we’re flooded with options for sending and receiving messages.

FanHere are some of the options available for you to communicate with fans…

Facebook – Do you look at EVERY Facebook post? I know I don’t. Did you know Facebook doesn’t even show your posts to all of your fans? Facebook only shows your posts to about 16% of your fans! If you want your post to show up in every fan’s news feed you have to pay! And even if it showed up in their stream most people do not use Facebook on a daily basis.


Twitter – I currently “follow” 768 people on Twitter. Wow! Even with my semi-reasonable number of follows my stream is completely overwhelming. If I wanted to look at each tweet it would take HOURS out of my day. Even your most devoted fans aren’t going to spend that kind of time on you.

MySpace – What? Is anybody on MySpace anymore? I know there’s a lot of hype since JT bought into the company, but I’m not sure it’s going anywhere soon. But my real point is MySpace used to be the King of social media. If you had relied on MySpace to be your primary communication system then you were in real trouble when everyone went away.

Phone Call – Your fans would probably answer the phone if you called them. You might need to leave a message, but I’m sure they would call you back. But you just don’t have the hours in your life to call each fan individually to tell them about the show you’re playing this week. You need a system that’s one (you) to many (your fans).

Snail Mail – Who doesn’t LOVE getting real mail? By real I mean something that’s not a bill. smileyIf you have the budget, snail mail is an awesome way to reach people. But most musicians I know don’t have the marketing budget to mail a letter, or even a postcard, to all of their fans. Not only is postage constantly increasing but there’s also the cost of printing and paper.

That brings me back around to email. Email combines some of the best features from all of the other messaging systems.

Here are the biggest benefits to email:

  • It’s cheap – Most mass emailing services only cost about $20/month. If you’re on an even tighter budget there are free options like MailChimp or even Outlook (though I wouldn’t recommend using your own system).
  • People open email – If someone gives you their email address there’s a good chance they’re interested in hearing what you have to say. I know I don’t give out my email to just anybody! At the very least, every one of your email messages will be scanned. Most people look at every FROM and SUBJECT line.
  • People check email – Statistically speaking most people check there email daily. The same can’t be said for Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site.
  • People have email accounts – Not everyone is on Facebook. Even less people are on Twitter. By only having a Facebook page you’re missing out on a large part of the population.
  • You control the list – If for some reason your email service went out of business you could take your list of names to another service and never miss a beat. Not the same for Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. If Facebook goes away, you’re done.
  • One complaint won’t shut down your account – Did you know Facebook can shut down your account? Ouch! It happens every day. Accounts are shut down many times for reasons not under the user’s control. Someone can file a complaint about you and then YOU must do the defending. Not a good place to be. With email if one person complains about you then they are removed from your list but the remaining fans will still get your messages.

These are just some of the reasons Neil & I think building an email database is the best thing you can do for your music career.

Email is essential to building a grass-roots movement around your music. It’s really the cornerstone of the new music marketing economy.


 

Get movingTAKE ACTION

If you don’t have an email list already, spend some time today looking at the different email service options. Here is a review Neil wrote about some email services to help you get started.

Tomorrow I’ll share with you some things you can do with your fans once you have an email database.

Until then,

Peace, Love, Happiness, Always

~ Jennine

JFK

The Second Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing

Yesterday I shared with you the importance of knowing your fan. I’m sure you spent some time over the last 24 hours thinking about your biggest fans and what they have in common. What did you learn about them? Do you have a solid picture in mind of your ideal fan?


One of your greatest assets as a musician is your ability to improvise. Whether it’s riffing on a major scale or pulling lyrics out of the air, music is all about creativity. The greatest musicians in history have been those who could break the rules of music and start their own thing.

DrumingBo Diddley created the beat. Led Zeppelin discovered American blues and added that crunch and some beastly drums. Bob Dylan took poetry and rhymes to a whole new level. Each of them was able to create something new by improvising.

But like so many things in life, your greatest asset in one area is your Achilles’ heel in another. When it comes to marketing it’s great to be creative and think outside the box, but it’s even more important to…

Turn On Images To See Fun Stuff!HAVE A PLAN

And that’s Step #2 To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing.

I know, I know. Having a plan is boring. It’s much more fun to flit through life and ‘go where the spirit moves.’ But without a plan, there is no organized action.

That’s why I’m going to shy away from the term “marketing plan” and instead use the term MARKETING ACTION PLAN.

Just like an action movie involves numerous fight scenes and car chases, a marketing action plan also sparks visions of movement. Nothing grows without movement. And nothing moves without you first taking organized action.

No matter what your immediate goal, a marketing action plan is an important step. Whether you’re looking to release a new CD, start a Midwest Tour or increase the number of followers on Twitter, the Marketing Action Plan is the place to start. Your plan should rally and motivate, AND MOVE, your fans into taking their own action.

You can’t start you musical revolution by accident. And your Marketing Action Plan gives you the roadmap.

Here are 5 Useful Tips for creating a Marketing Action Plan:

cat1. Define your goal – Alice: Which road do I take?  –   Cheshire Cat: Where do you want to go?  –  Alice: I don’t know.  –  Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t matter.  This immortal exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat could summarize many a musical career. The purpose of a Marketing Action Plan is to put a goal into motion. It’s impossible to create a plan if there is no goal.

2. Educate yourself – Just like there are very few new chord progressions, there are very few new marketing techniques. Spend some time online to educate yourself about marketing. Follow your favorite bands online. What are they doing to find new fans? Marketing is all around you everyday. Keep your eyes open and learn.

3. Set a budget – How much money you have to work with will greatly affect your Marketing Action Plan. Generally the less money you have to spend, the more time it will take you to accomplish your goal. But having a limited budget will help you to be creative. You’ll look at marketing from a different perspective than a major label with mega-dollars to burn.

4. Set deadlines! – Nothing happens without deadlines. And even with them life can get in the way. It’s a good idea to plot out your Marketing Action Plan on a calendar so you can track your progress and hold yourself accountable.

5. Stick to it – I’ll get into this more in Step 5, but for now remember marketing is all about repetition. Few people will remember you the first time they hear your music. It might take a few times hearing your song before you create a hard-core fan. The first time I heard Consequence by Incubus I didn’t like it. In fact it took a few turns on the CD player before I didn’t skip it completely. But by the end of that summer it was one of my favorite songs.


 

Get movingTAKE ACTION

I certainly covered a lot of material today. So what do you say we keep this simple?

Let’s start with goal setting.

Spend the next day thinking about your music business goals. Here are some possible questions you might answer. Be specific with your answers.

How many albums do you want to sell this year?

How many live performances do you want to give?

How many new fans do you want on Facebook?

How much money do you want to make?

What day do you want to leave your 9-5 and make music your full-time career?

It all begins with goals!

To make them even more powerful, attach the ‘why’ to each goal.

I find it helps me to achieve a goal if I know why I want it. Do you want to make more money? Do you want more people to hear your music? Do you want to be famous? Whatever it is, write down three goals and WHY you want to achieve each of them.


Tomorrow I’m going to tell you about the system at the heart of any marketing program. It’s Step #3 To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing.

Most small businesses would kill to have this system in place. You won’t want to miss it.

See you tomorrow,

Peace, Love, Happiness, Always

~ Jennine

JFK

The First Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing

Have you ever lost something and tried to find it? Maybe a notebook or a shirt? Have you enlisted a friend to help you find it?

I’m sure it’s something you can relate to. We’ve all been there. I recently lost a notebook in the house and asked Neil to help me find it. What’s the first thing he asked me?

What does it look like? Of course. *slaps head

So I went on to describe the notebook. It’s black. It’s about five by seven inches. It has a spiral binding. It’s about half an inch thick. After about twenty minutes of searching we were able to find the missing notebook. But if I hadn’t given Neil a complete description of my notebook he wouldn’t have been any use to me in looking. Because he wouldn’t know what he was looking for.

That’s why the First Step To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing is –

Turn On Images To See Fun Stuff!KNOW YOUR FAN

In order to find new fans you must know what you’re looking for. And the best place to start is with your existing fans. More than likely they have something in common. There is a reason they are YOUR fans. Because the honest truth is, not everyone can be your fan.

Many musicians tell me “My music is for everyone.”  This couldn’t be further from the truth. Not even Michael Jackson had 7 billion fans (the population of the world). He didn’t even have 300 million fans (population of the United States). So I’m fairly certain that your music won’t appeal to everyone.

Most musicians make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone.  In the process they appeal to no one.

It’s only natural. You’re a performer because you like to be in the spotlight. You thrive on people telling you how much they love your music. How much they love YOU. It’s hard to hear that some people just don’t like you. And never will.

But if you want to connect with new fans, I mean REALLY connect, you have to give them something to connect with. Chances are your existing fans have already found something about you they connect with. The trick is to identify what that thing is. And then find more people that identify with that same thing.

 

Turn On Images To See Fun Stuff!

The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones both came up at the same time in the English music scene. They were all young kids from hard-working towns in England. They both emulated American music. In fact, The Beatles named themselves after Buddy Holly and the Crickets while The Stones named themselves after a Muddy Waters song.

On the surface you might think they would have the same fans. But no. I’ve never met someone that said they LOVED The Beatles AND The Stones.

Now me, I LIKE The Rolling Stones, but I LOVE The Beatles. Why? Because I identify with The Beatles’ message of peace and love far more than I identify with The Rolling Stones’ message of self-satisfaction.

So if you were The Beatles and you were trying to find new fans you would look for someone like me. You see, the key to finding new fans is to know what your fans have in common.

Some things your fans might have in common:

    • Gen X or Gen Y
    • Cowboy boots or high heels
    • High & tight or Emo
    • Treehugger or headbanger
    • Ford Fiesta or Jaguar X-type
    • Photographer or wind-surfer
    • Plumber or stock broker
    • PC or Mac

Get moving

TAKE ACTION

Over the next 24 hours I’d like you to write down all the things you can think of that your fans have in common.  The more specific the better. Do they all wear TOMS shoes? Do they drink Absinth? Do they work as bankers? Do they drive a GMC 4×4?

I’ll get back to you tomorrow with some ideas of how you can use the description of your ideal fan to reach even more people!

Until then,
Peace, Love, Happiness, Always
~ Jennine

JFK