Marketing your music as an independent musician might be a very daunting task on the planet, but what if you know the surer way to do it and get result. Music marketing plan is the tool the big record label uses, you can use it too. Music business generally is meant for record labels. Musicians are meant to produce the products which are the music and leave the record labels to handle the business side of things. The advent of technology had made it possible for both creative and untalented people to dive into the ocean of music production which in turns reduces the attention span of the fans and the general masses at large. With this development, a talented creative artist finds it more difficult to be discovered by record labels and this has led to the creation of millions of independent record labels around the World, all vying for the little attention of the fans. I am here to tell you that if you have recorded a very good song and you are planning to put it on the market or self-release it into the market, you are forming an independent record label, whether you are aware or not. It’s only record labels that handles the marketing side of music and going that route is venturing into the many sided water of music business handled by record labels. That being said, your musical career and destiny now lies in the power of your music promotion, how you can promote your music and get that needed attention will now determine if your new indie label will fail or succeed.
For record label to sell music they always put together a music marketing plan, this is a detailed guided steps that will see to the success of the record the label want to sell to the public. As an independent record label, you will need this piece of document and take bold action on it to see any success.
The question here now is, how do you write a music marketing plan? What are the detailed you need to put into it that will attract fans to your label and ultimately to you? This is the main reason behind this article. Before we dive in, answer this questions :
- Are you good in handling business, can you use some of the business software , do you know how to project your cost and revenue for at least 1 to 3 years ?.
- Do you have knowledge about the legal side of things, the contracts you will be having with distributors, licensing house and even marketing agencies, etc.?
- How vast are you about the music marketplace, your competitors and your geographical location
- Can you personally pinpoint your target audience? Who do you think your ideal fans are.
- Do you have the demographic and psychographic data about your fans and the chosen customers you want to serve?
- How do you want to distribute your music, are you aware of all the channels to use?
- How well do you know the media, which music magazine and publication do you subscribe to?
So let’s dive in
Music Marketing Plan For Independent Musicians and Label
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Firstly, you need to know the Market: If you want to run a successful independent label, you now need to start researching and learning more about the regional, national and even international music marketplace. Your success will depend on how much knowledge and how vast you are about the music market. You need to ask yourself some questions like :
- Who are my competitors in this region or city you live?
- What are they doing that makes them successful?
- What’s the size of the market?
- How can you evaluate the market in real terms e.g Money
- What are the things not so successful ones doing wrong?
There are so many questions you can brainstorm and ask yourself about the music marketplace. You need to be real with yourself when writing this down, your understanding about the music market, especially your own genre will take you far or drag you back.
Secondly, Give detailed analysis of the Threats and Opportunities: Ask yourself some of these questions below:
- In the music marketplace, what are the threats against you?
- Do you have a musical product that can stand the market, and brings you close to the fans?
- Which of the trend in the music industry favours you?
- Are there some competitive trends that you can make use of to ride over your competitors ?
- What about the demographics, are they for you or against you?
There are so many things you can do to put this section together. You can sign up for music publication and articles from the top media houses you trust. You can sign up for google alert for music business etc. The bottom line is you need to be aware of the threats and the opportunities that can work for or against your independent record company.
Lastly, Set Specific and Measurable Goals: Your music marketing goals which you will have to break down into objectives must be a realistic one. It must be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time bound. They call these SMART goals. You must list a narrative of everything you need in this segment. Remember; don’t just jump into the financial part of your music marketing objectives. Also, make sure you keep your objectives minimal to a number you know will not frustrate your plans. You have to set realistic goals, aim higher and have something we call Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), this will allow you to track all of your goals and give you a sign when you are going out of your initial plans. Here is some example of objectives for Dayss Ola of Shoplife Music
- Objective: Record online musical series and use the digital distribution and marketing to spread it.
- Objective: Connect to independent stores to introduce to them the musical CD of the show
- Objective: Slowly spread the first CD by Dayss Ola across Lagos and environs in the next three months.
- Objective: Start the website development for Shoplife Music, hire someone with good aesthetic knowledge on web and graphic designs. Let there be brand consistency through the Shoplife Music touch points and all our artists
- Objective: Focus on college and internet radio stations to spread the word about the first CD release. Hire someone with good connects and knowledge about these radio stations
All these are just examples of what you can achieve, remember, you must put in the work to make sure your objectives come to live. Also make sure your budget is in line with the objectives.
In conclusion, if you can understand your market, know your strength and weakness, your threats and opportunities and can decisively put together a SMART goals. You will be able to do much in the present music industry. All these might seems like a lot of work to do. As the music business pivot into new models, indie musicians and labels have a lot of opportunities, especially in the digital music arena.
What are your music marketing objectives, in your own view, what’s the state of our current music market, what are the threats and opportunities you see. You can leave them in the comment sections.