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.
Bo 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…
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:
1. 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.
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,