You’re in a band with a killer album that you’re ready to show the world! You’ve even created an awesome music website to house those tunes online. But now what? We’re willing to bet our shiniest dollar that you’ve scratched your head wondering what it takes to translate your tunes into cash money.
We wanted to get to the bottom of what gets industry professionals to stop, take notice and ask you to sign on that dotted line. Luckily, we had one of those guys right at our disposal. On our recent trip to SXSW, we invited a room full of our closest friends (and Wix users who happened to be in Austin) to a Q&A session with David O’Connor, VP of Business and Artist Development at LNDNA – which is LiveNation’s new label for emerging artists.
Here are the biggest takeaways on how to promote your music like some of the world’s biggest brands.
Cross-Promotion is Something You Should Embrace
There’s nothing wrong with getting by with a little help from your friends. Brands & bands have a natural alignment – just look at your favorite music festival. You’ll be hard pressed to find an empty space on the wall that hasn’t been touched by a branding element or marketing gimmick.
But like any relationship, not every pairing is built to last; before pairing up with just any business, ask yourself: does this brand relate to me? Do they identify with what I do?’ If your proposed partner fits that bill, finding common interests shouldn’t be too difficult. Odds are you’re both looking for similar things: growing your careers, finding longevity, making money and paying your electricity bills – among others.
Streaming Services are Not a Threat
By now, most musicians have come to accept streaming services like Tidal, Apple Music and Spotify as the new normal. Heck, many have even incorporated these tools into their marketing plans by successfully listing and selling their music via online distribution packages.
Because the culture of online music consumption has changed from purchasing audio files to fans buying monthly music streaming subscriptions instead, many artists have wondered whether streaming services still have the potential to breed profit for artists in the same way that radio has in the past.
Our friend David from LNDNA that the life of a working musician will remain unscaved. He believes that profitability for artists can remain solid, after all, what the average music fan would pay for the price of 2 CDs, they now spend of their favorite music service, resulting in a mutually worthwhile investment in the long run.
Use Social Media to Get Found by New Audiences
It’s no big secret that social media is a key component is becoming the next big thing. David suggests casting a wide net and getting on every social streaming and social media network you can.
Social media is the epicenter of online communities, and just happens to be where music fans turn to find their next obsession. That’s why finding a community that resonates with your music and building a strong network there can easily translate into an army of fans singing your praises. But of course not every network is worthy of your craft and like any branding element, your social media presence should fall in line with your unique personality and reflect your music.
But don’t take our word for it, here’s David O’Connor breaking it down:
…What About Getting Fans to Your Shows?
“When fans put their phones down to just listen, you know you’ve got something good.” – David O’Connor
People are the driving force behind music – and being a great live performer can be the driving force behind that. So lets talk about how you can market to get more people out to witness it.
Targeted social media posts (especially on Facebook) can work wonders for drawing people to your next show. Sure, you’ll need to put in a little cash money to see your desired reach, but the payoff, both in tickets sold and social media feedback, could be totally worth it.
Of course social media isn’t the only way to engage with your fans. When it comes to getting fans out to your shows, email marketing is still kings.
One of David’s favorite tips for creating a splash offline? Promoting to emerging markets. Take a chance by touring outside of big markets like New York and LA – the fans there can be so much more loyal.
Meeting With a Label? Put Your Serious Face On
Aside from great music, your attitude and professionalism can be the deciding factor for getting signed with a label. As David puts it, “In music we vote with our feet.” Sure, it’s the most fun job in the world, but being serious and ready for business when the situation calls for it can make all the difference. Come to meetings early, prepared and ready to make deals if necessary. If you’re looking to sign to a label, like any business partnership, professionalism and trust can make all the difference. “I’ve signed bands because just because I trusted their manager,” said David.
If you’re taking a meeting with LiveNation, or any label, you should be ready to come to the table knowing what you want from them first. Don’t expect the label to do all the talking and have all the answers.
Of course professionalism doesn’t mean leaving your personality behind. When asked what he looks for when signing an artist, David’s answer was easy: ambition. “I look for people who have the drive to be found and truly want to get their music out.”
Ready to get your music to the masses? It all starts with a music website!
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