Marketing, What does that even mean? It’s a scary word to some people. It just sounds so “business-like.” It can generate images of someone wearing a suit and tie, sipping on a Starbucks latte’ at their corporate office and attending board meetings. But marketing is really only about putting yourself out there so people can see you. It’s about having content and sharing it where it’s visible to others. Dictionary.com defines it as “advertising (something) to a target audience.” Put in layman’s terms, it’s getting your stuff posted for the people who will like it.
It’s really very simple. Marketing is an essential part of your success as a musician in a band, or someone who plays covers in any capacity. You need to put yourself out there so people can see you and hear you. They’re not going to know about you if you don’t market yourself.
The good news about the times we live in is that it’s easy and free to market yourself on the internet. Not only that, once you start marketing yourself, other people will help market for you.
They’ll do it by simply engaging with any of your content. The way the algorithm works is—a person engages with something, and it makes it more likely that someone on their friends list will see that they engaged with that thing.
Even better…people will share your content. They’re gonna market for you! You’ll see it happening almost immediately, and then you’ll see it happen more and more as you continue. The engagement of your content and your followers will both grow exponentially.
But it needs to start with you. You need to market yourself. You need to have content that people will engage with. Getting that kind of content is easy and free. If you have a smartphone you can create content every day. Take pictures. Take video. That’s it. That’s the primary content that you need in order to market yourself.
You’re going to use pictures for flyers, for ads, for memes, or for just general posts. So you need pictures. But they don’t always have to be professional pictures. Take pictures of your band playing, of your band just hanging out, of signs of the venue, of rehearsal, of the late-night stop at Taco Bell. Take pictures and videos of everything (as long as it’s legal).
The quality of cameras on phones these days is exceptional, yet very few people are taking advantage of that. And that’s all an easy, and free, part of marketing. You need to have stuff to show people. Use the tool you are already using everyday (your phone) to create stuff to share. Simple, right?
You need to have content to market, and you need to be constantly creating new content. That’s what the successful bands do. They always have something new. Think about it. Anything that you’re interested in, whether it’s a band, or a TV show, or a comedian, or an artist, you’re always looking for new content from them. That’s what keeps you excited and interested. That’s what keeps it on your mind and talking to others about it.
You can’t wait for that next video to come out. You can’t wait for that next album. When you do finally see new content, you’re reminded of the rest of the stuff from that creator. That new content keeps the old content fresh for you. It works the same way with cover bands. With any kind of band, or any kind of entertainment that provides value to people, there needs to be new and fresh content. You need to engage with people. That is how you market yourself. That is what marketing is all about. Getting your content out there, keeping it fresh, and keeping you on other people’s minds.
Some bands are reluctant to post a lot because they think they’re going to be bothering people. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is that when your content is posted it is seen by a select amount of people. It could be a large amount of people, but it’s still a select amount of people. You could put the exact same content out soon after—even a day later—and reach new people. You’re going to reach different people each time you share your content. Let’s say you have the maximum 5000 friends on Facebook. Every post you put up is not going to be seen by those 5000 people…ever. Your posted content it’s going to go to a select amount of those people…always.
There are so many variables here that are in place. The Facebook algorithm, or algorithm of any social media are a consideration. Another factor is when people’s eyes are on the screen. That’s something that changes all of the time. Think about your own behaviors with the internet. They’re not the exact same every day. Sometimes you have a little more time to scroll through stuff, sometimes you’re busy doing other things. It changes day-to-day for you and for everybody else. So everybody else is going to see different content from you the more often you post.
You have to have content. You have to keep creating new content. You can also rehash old content often. You can chalk it up as a Throwback Thursday, or the simple awareness that it’s going to reach new people. Realize, too, that people won’t mind seeing the best content again if they enjoyed it the first time. If it was a cool video that you put out, or a great picture, they’re going to be happy to see it again and again.
Think about your own experiences with the internet and social media. There’s some videos that come up that you’ve seen before and you’re like, “Oh, this is a great video!” and you watch it again. Or a picture that pops up that you love but forgot about, then you see it again and decide this time to leave a comment or share it.
It’s just like music. You don’t listen to a song that you love just once and then never listen to it again. You welcome listening to it again. You seek to listen to it again. That’s the point of view of the consumer that you want to consider. When you’re marketing yourself, you have to think from the perspective of the people who you are reaching, or the people who you are trying to reach. That’s what’s important here about your marketing mindset. You have to think like the people who you’re talking to.
Think about their behaviors, their likes, their dislikes, etc. Take feedback from people. Think, consider it, and change things up. You’ll find that you have to continually change things up when you’re marketing. But it’s the people that persevere here that succeed and make a lot of money. The people who engage with their audience, understand who their audience is, and provide consistent content are the one’s who thrive. That’s all that marketing is about for anyone, including you.
Study other bands. Check out other artists that are doing really well. Search musicians that have a big following on Instagram or Facebook. Check out what they do—how they market themselves. What is the type of content they’re putting out that’s working well and gets them engagement? (When I say engagement I mean likes, shares, comments. Those are the only types of engagement that you get with content on social media.) Check out what is working for those bands. There’s a lot of bands out there that are killing it on social media. Check out what they’re doing and copy the ideas, but still make it your own. Understand the strategy and replicate it for yourself with your own uniqueness.
If you don’t market yourself, you’re not going to be seen by people. People will not even know about you. How could they? They’re not just going to somehow stumble upon your band randomly. That happens, but it doesn’t happen often. That’s not the way this works. You need to put yourself out there. Unless somebody knows about you already, they’re not going to search for you. You need to give them a reason to want to know more about you.You need to market yourself with your content…whatever it is.
Your stuff is unique. It’s not exactly the same as anything else that’s out there. Nobody is like that. You need to get that stuff out there so people can see it. And you need to create content consistently. It has to be consistent. That is the key here. Keep you on people’s minds. By creating consistent content and sharing it. marketing yourself will exponentially increase your value to people who are willing to pay you.
When you market yourself well, you look professional to other people…especially to the people who have money and will hire you. When you have consistent content it looks impressive. That alone will definitely help you make more money.
If you feel like you’re not good at marketing, then delegate somebody else to do it or to help you. If you’re in a band, generally there’s somebody that’s good with internet, with social media, or with marketing itself. If not, you can always hire a friend, or you can hire somebody to do it for you relatively inexpensively.
You may be wondering, “Where do I market my stuff?” The answer is…anywhere that makes sense. You want to reach your target audience. First off, you can market your stuff at home…meaning on your Facebook Page, in your Facebook Group (if you have one, and you SHOULD by all means have one), on all of your socials, and on your website. But where else?
The best bet is to find places that are relevant to what you are and what you do. For instance, find Facebook Groups that are the same genre as your music and post there. Find Groups that are in your general geographic area and are music related and post there. Reach out to Pages through messenger that have a big following and ask them to post stuff for you. There are a wealth of options if you have the motivation and determination.
I market constantly. How? By posting content on the internet. Whether you realize it or not, anytime you post something on the internet, even if it’s just you, personally, and has nothing to do with your band or music, you are still marketing yourself. You’re looking for feedback. You’ll showing something and hoping for something in return. You’re selling yourself as a funny person, as a friend, as somebody who cares, as someone who needs help, as somebody who is talented, as somebody who is generous, etc. You’re always trying to sell something. You’re always marketing.
You have to market yourself. It’s a must. There isn’t any other option if you want to make great money. It’s part of the deal.
There is a lot of trial-and-error involved. Not everything is going to land. Find out what works and what doesn’t work and adjust accordingly. The only way you’re going to figure this out is by doing it. Create and share content and measure the results. You don’t have to get super into it by creating spread sheets and doing in-depth analysis. You’ll easily be able to tell what works. Expect this as part of the process and you won’t be surprised or discouraged when something doesn’t click with your audience. Enjoy the experience. You have to do this. There’s no way around it. Remember to embrace the perceived failures as teaching tools, and then forge ahead.
With your band and your music, you just need to be proactive. You need to realize how marketing fits into the big picture and embrace it. Understand what it is and don’t be afraid of anything. Know and accept that you won’t be perfect at any point. The key is in the doing. The mistakes will come. They have to happen. They are just as important as the successes. Create content constantly and share it. Sell yourself. Be confident in yourself. Show the world how amazing you are and you will see results.
Wanna take it to the next level? Learn how to master the art of promoting your gigs on Facebook. Get yourself a copy of the new ebook below.
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