The Power of Focus in Promoting Your Music

Liner Notes February 11, 2014

Jennine and I have been watching the Olympics this week. While watching the ski jumping competition I flashed back to my childhood and the “Agony of Defeat” guy on Worldwide Sports.

He got me thinking about what it takes to be an Olympic champion. One of the key elements is focus.

So how can you use the power of focus to launch your music career?


What is the ONE thing you are going to focus on this week in your marketing?  Leave your answers below…

Do You Have the Consistency of an Insane Weimaraner?

Be consistent in your marketingMeet Striker. He’s our crazy, ten year old Weimaraner. I’m not picking on him. If you’ve ever met a Weimaraner you know they’re all crazy. Since he had his 10th birthday, he’s almost as calm as a Labrador puppy! :)

But as distracted and hyper as he is, Striker has one of the most important elements of marketing down cold – consistency.

His world is all about a schedule. He wakes at the same time every day. He can tell you what time it is based on how close it is to his dinner time. And he goes to bed at the same time each night whether we’re ready to or not.

He lives and dies by consistency. And if you’re messing with his schedule, he’s going to let you know. There will be tons of pacing, whining and nosing of crotches until he gets back on track! Consistency.

Consistency in Music Marketing

Striker could teach most musicians I know a thing or two about consistency.  Consistency is the key to most marketing programs. Unfortunately most artists don’t give their marketing enough time to get the job done.

In today’s instant gratification society, everyone’s looking for that quick hit. Put your song on iTunes and sell 5,000 downloads by bed time. And if it doesn’t happen that way, give up and quickly move on to the next ‘big thing.’

But most sales don’t work that way.

Every marketing plan needs time to work. Not everyone is going to see your Facebook post the first time.  They’re not all going to respond to the first email you send out.

Marketing is a process – Not an event

Pause – Rewind and read that last sentence again.

Marketing is  a process – Not an event.

Too many artists get labeled an ‘overnight success.’ It sets unrealistic expectations for everyone following in their footsteps. What the 30 minute episode of Behind The Music leaves out is all the doors they knocked on or all the shows they played to four people. You’re comparing your current situation to their greatest hits reel.

At one point they had their own current situation. They spent years building a following and growing a fan base until they reached the critical mass that ignited their ‘instant success.’ Consistency.

Marketing any business, not only music, is a numbers game. By taking consistent action over time, your numbers will grow. Play a show for 30 people, get 5 of them on your email list. Get an interview in the paper and get 21 extra people to your show. It’s a compounding effect.

But it’s when you are inconsistent with your marketing and don’t follow a system that you lose your momentum. By constantly swinging for the home-run you miss all the opportunities you had for a solid base hit. (Jeez, how many metaphors can I get in one article?)

That’s why it’s best to sit down and actually formulate a marketing plan. What are you going to do at every show to generate five new fans? What are you going to do on Facebook every week to strengthen relationships with eight fans?

These are the types of simple daily interactions and plans that can consistently over time build your fan base into a self-growing machine. Once you hit that critical mass of folks, they become your ambassadors and start bringing new fans into the fold. But that doesn’t happen in the first week. It takes time.

What consistent actions are you going to add to your music marketing plan?



How to Turn a Curious Listener into a Raving Fan

If you’re using the system Jennine and I advise, you’re offering a free download of a song or two (or three) to entice people to join your email list. But contrary to popular opinion, listening to your song(s) won’t turn them into a raving fan.

You see, it’s not always about the music. (What???)

In today’s world the music is no longer the product. It’s not even the sole connecting point. The music gets people to stop and be interested in you. It gets them to pause and focus on you for a moment. But with the thousands of choices people have for new music they are looking for more than just a good riff to become a ‘fan.’

So, how do you turn a curious listener into a raving fan?

Music Fan

Answer:  Think Like a Fan!

What do you want to know about new bands/artists you discover?

Start by introducing yourself. They received your free download and maybe they’ve listened to the song, but they still have questions. They want to know :

  • What are these guys all about?
  • Do I have a connection with them?
  • Are they all vegetarians and I’m not?
  • Are they into four-wheel-drive trucks?
  • Do we share a value system?

So it’s your job in the first few emails to prove to your new potential fan ( they’re not a fan yet – they’re just dipping their toe in the water) that it’s worth their time to stick around and be a part of your community. That they belong here.

Obviously the very first email needs to include a download of the song(s) you promised them for signing up. Nothing will kill your new relationship faster than a broken promise.

After that, use an Auto Responder to send out a short series of emails (5-10) that give some insight into you and your music. Think of it as a really extended bio. Make each email short and to the point – no more than 300 words each.

Unlike most bios found online, it must be interesting. Include some fun facts about yourself.  Here’s a list of questions you could answer to get you started:

  • What’s something you’re really good at that has nothing to do with music?
  • What’s the biggest highlight from your music career?
  • What’s the first song you can remember hearing?
  • Who is your musical idol and why?
  • When did you know you were going to pursue music?
  • What’s one embarrassing secret you’ve only shared with friends?

Use these suggestions as a guide to create your own questions to answer. Be you; show your real personality and your true fans will follow!

Musicians: Delete Your Email List – no independent artist needs one

Musician email listHopefully you didn’t just delete your email service provider account after reading the headline. Because there’s an ‘if’ statement that follows…Musicians, delete your email list. No independent artist needs one if they don’t use it properly.

Unfortunately, this statement applies to many independent artists. They’re missing a HUGE opportunity with email.

If you’ve read articles like this one or this one, then you know all the great reasons you need an email list. The problem is no one told you what to do after you got people on your list. And there’s no sense having a list if you don’t follow through.

Here are two things most independent musicians get wrong:

Send out a dang email once-in-a-while!

Can you tell this one gets me fired up?

I’m on a lot of independent artist’s email lists. But one look at my inbox and you might not know it. As many lists as I’m on, I should be getting a few emails a day. But I’m not.

In fact, I only get an average of five per week from independent artists. And it’s always the same acts. They get it. They know the power of an email list is not in it’s potential. It’s in actually using the list.

Here’s how most of the lists I’m on work…

RE: Thanks for signing up on our list

Hey potential fan! Thanks for signing up for our email list! Here’s the free download of our song Really Awesome Song. We hope you love it. Make sure you follow us on Facebook.

Five or six months later…

RE: Really Awesome Album now available on iTunes.

Hey fan. (which I’m not because I never heard from you again and I don’t know a single thing about you) We’re so proud to tell you our new album, Really Awesome Album, is finished and now available on iTunes. We hope you buy it and tell all your friends.


RE: We need your help

Hey fan. (Again, not a fan. Just a guy on your list because you’ve done nothing to make me a fan) We’re so excited to let everyone know we’re launching a Kickstarter campaign for our new tour this fall. We can’t wait to come to your town, so head on over and choose from one of our great premiums. Tell all your friends.

The only time I ever receive an email is when they need something from me. In the meantime, they’ve done nothing to make me care. Do you see how crazy that is?

I’m not saying you need to send out an epic masterpiece of an email each week, but you need to keep in touch.

The public spends money on bands they know and like. You’ve got to build a relationship with your list so they’re looking forward to your next email. Not scratching their head and wondering “Who is that? I don’t remember signing up for this.”

Which leads to…

Use the power of auto-responders

email automation for bandsAuto-responders are awesome. They let you send emails and build a fan base while you’re sleeping, or performing on stage. In fact, we use auto-responders to send out The 5 Steps To Rockin’ Your Music Marketing.

For those that aren’t aware, auto-responders are timed emails sent out by your email service provider based on a time-frame you dictate.

A great way for independent artists to use auto-responders is to send out a series of emails over the course of a week or two right after a potential fan signs up for your list. Introduce yourself and start building a relationship on auto-pilot.

Use auto-responders to give them the backstory of your band.

Where did you meet? Who are your influences? How long have you been together? Where are you based? How many albums have you released?

You can also work in the values of the band.

Give the new fan something to connect with. Are you political? Do you support a homeless shelter? Are all your songs about soccer? Do you only eat vegan?

The more people know about you the more likely they are to find something to connect with. It’s that connection that makes them a real fan.

When selecting an email service be picky. Not all ESPs offer auto-responders. It’s the downfall of free email services like MailChimp. (Though their upgraded service does) That’s why we recommend a paid service like Active Campaign.

If you aren’t going to use it – lose it.

Be cool. Don’t make your potential fans jump through hoops to get free downloads or badger them to sign up on your list at live shows, if you have no intention of ever contacting them again.

It’s a giant waste of energy for you and unfair to them.


This article was originally posted at by Neil


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


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.



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

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!