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music marketing music promotion

5 reasons why people are afraid to release new music

After spending weeks sometimes months working on a new song. Its about the time to release it to your fans. But before you hit that upload button a flood of thoughts fill your mind.

Is it ready? Does the mix sound right? Will my fans like the song? How will it sound compared with other songs? and the list goes on and on.

The end result is a hard drive filled with music that nobody hears but yourself and family. That’s if you still have the courage to listen to the songs after the beating your self confidence just took.

I can relate to this. It’s crushing. Its causes anxiety when you are finished working on a song. I remember sending songs to several people before deciding to release it.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are 5 reasons why artist don’t release new music.

Reason 1. Comparing your music with commercial releases

One of the first things most artist do after recording a song is compare it with commercial releases. Some people do this before its even mixed or mastered. Having references is a good thing. It helps guide your mixing decisions and so on.

But many people get frustrated and disappointed if they think their music don’t sound as good as the commercial releases by major labels. The thing is most fans don’t care. If they like the song they will listen to it.

If you work with quality engineers your music will be good enough. You will get the commercial radio ready quality once you have finished the process. But you have to have the confidence in the people you work with. Even if you did everything by yourself.

Reason 2. Trying to create the perfect song

Another reason recording artist don’t release music is trying to create the perfect song. Here’s a clue it doesn’t exist. If you listen the stories of many artist they will tell you that if they work to create the perfect song nothing comes out.

Think about it you spend years in the studio trying to perfect the sound of your vocal, or the drums or bass part in the mix. When you done and compare it to something else you go back and fix something else. Then you go back and repeat the process.

So the question is when will you put it out? What was the point of recording the song in the first place to work on it and fix every detail? Or is it to get it good enough for the people to listen to it?

Seth Godin in his book poke the box says if it doesn’t ship it doesn’t count.

Reason 3. Waiting for other people’s approval to release your music

The third reason is waiting on people’s approval to release. This one is huge. You know why because you rely on the opinion of persons who you think are more knowledgeable than you. If they don’t like it you will feel crushed. Why give people so much power over your work?

If you think about it, you don’t know what your fans will like or what they will hate. The only way to find out is to put it out. They are many stories by recording artist that hated the song that eventually became a hit.

The right thing to do is ensure the technical details are good enough then ship it. You don’t want to release a poorly mixed song and that’s not what I’m saying. Also I’m not saying to avoid the opinion of others, the thing is don’t hang on every word they say.

Reason 4. Doubting yourself and the music you created

The fourth reason is doubting what you have. Many persons focus on being accepted and starts to doubt whether they are good enough. When it comes to there music, they find all the excuses in the world for not putting a song out.

I don’t like it anymore. I find a new song that is better. I want to continue to record some more songs before I will start releasing music. They listen back and they hate how it sounds and they complain bitterly.

I use to do this a lot and thought my music wasn’t good enough. That’s until the messages started coming in. People from different countries telling me how they use my music to reach young people and I should keep it up.

Those messages wouldn’t come in if I kept the music to myself. Gospel artiste Jermaine Edwards in an interview talks about a similar experience. How persons message him about the impact of his music.

Reason 5. You think people will not like the song

The last reason is worrying about whether people will like the song. As I mentioned earlier you will never know unless you out it out. The voices in your head doubting your new song is only preventing you from uploading the new song you have.

You will never know how people are going to react. You will spend days agonizing over something you will never know the answer to unless you put it out. The reasons may be real and valid. But you still in the dark of the reaction.

Another reason why people do this is that they want their music to be accepted. Some persons can’t deal with the thought of someone not liking the song. It’s like if you hate the song you hate them.

Your music is not for everyone. Your music is just your expression of something you like. You and your music is separate. If they don’t like the song that’s ok. Make another one.

Conclusion

Stephen Presfield in his book the war of art says you are not your work. So spend time creating music. But also spend time putting it out as well. Keep going and keep creating.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, what are some of the reasons why you use not to release new music leave a comment below.

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music career music marketing music promotion

3 Benefits of Using Outreach Projects as a Marketing Tool

1. Expose your music to a cause and to people who share the same vision.

Seeing improved cancer care or better options for care facilities is an initiative you want to be a part of. Partnering with groups that share the common interest is during cancer awareness month, is one way for you to get involved in building awareness to a mutual cause and creating an awareness of who you are.

As you align yourself with different cancer affiliated groups, eg the cancer society you volunteer your time to help them push the awareness campaign.

Posting the series of activities leading up to the event is one of the ways to of getting the word out. This is a way to invite persons to the event through your social media channels and various efforts.

Media appearances is another way of supporting the cause, the outreach initiative benefit by an increased awareness created, surrounding the cause. As the artiste associated with the cause, how you benefit, comes from performing at their live event being apart of the support team. You get an opportunity for an audience.

Outreach projects sometimes involve travelling from place to place, having a reach of hundreds or perhaps thousands of people. Your involvement with these projects provides an opportunity to present your work-music to these people.

Other opportunities to share at other projects of similar nature are created too.

You might be drafted among the support team of causes such as sickle cell awareness, a blood drive, autism awareness, as well as volunteer your time to a community drive, hospital visits and so on. These are various outreach projects that allow you an opportunity to give talks to the youths for instance.

You get to share your ideas through song as well. This opportunity of influence to reach and challenge individuals positively. These are ways to continuously expose yourself to various audiences who will like and appreciate your music.

2. Touring opportunities in other countries

Aligning yourself with various outreach projects is not limited to your community or country. In fact, you get to travel to other countries worldwide as well.

Eg. Christafari some time ago did a Scandinavian tour and other countries with the same region. they partnered with churches and other non-profit organisations and travelled to schools to share the gospel with persons through music. In addition, they go out and give talks to persons at the places that they go to. They not only interact with these persons.

3. Media Exposure for your brand through cross promotion

In order to expose your music to a wide cross-section of people and cultures, you must think creatively. How do I utilise the various mediums available to building my personal brand?

By aligning yourself to different organisations, travelling and being apart of the initiative You get media exposure for your brand

The promotion of an event is about pushing to get people out to the event as they become aware of the cause and what is being done. The media is definitely a means to facilitate the promoting of the event.

The organizers of the outreach project will share the cause and venture by way of interviews- be it print, tv, or online channels. Because you are affiliated with the supported cause, you get to share in the promotional efforts. So, for example, you might share snippets through the social media channels of interviews, what that will do is create a situation of a cross promotion. The media audience becomes aware of you and the vice versa.

As a marketing tool use various media to promote outreach. organisations non-profits projects these will help to build your brand getting exposure for your music to more people, being at these various events.

You can share your song by WhatsApp by youtube link and persons listen on repeat. Chances are when you have a concert or new release persons will want to see and hear you because they like your music. As a result of the interactions and will appreciate your brand.

let me know if this was helpful. God bless.

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music career music marketing music promotion

How to overcome the fear of sharing your work

One of my greatest fear is letting people know what I have to offer. I don’t know, it’s very crippling trying to muscle up the courage to say to someone I’m skilful enough to do what you want. Even if I do tell them, after completing the job there’s this thought about whether I did the job right and waiting to get a call asking for a refund.

Call it rejection, call it stupid but it’s an actual thing. Paralysis to tell people you are good enough. Why this happens I can’t explain it but it happens very often. Is like you don’t want your friends to know what you are up to. Its kinda private and personal, but I expect people to find me and give me money.

This is a fantasy of mine, I set up a basic social media profile. Share a post every now and again and magically my business grow leaps and bounds and I can run off into the sunset rich. I know this sounds stupid but I actually wish this happened in real life.

In the book the magic of thinking big, the author shares that you overcome fear by taking action. But this one is true somewhat but it’s still uncomfortable. I hate calling people but a large part of my job is calling people for interviews. Strange isn’t it. You have to call someone but you spend the entire day trying to convince yourself to make the call. Intentional procrastination because of fear.

This is real and I know I’m not the only person that this happens to. Fear is an actual thing and persons hoping to build a business and let other people know what they have to offer, overcoming fear is part of the journey.

One of the skills you have to master is learning how to show people over and over that you have the skills. This can be in multiple ways. Sharing video, blog post, audio and so forth. Stepping outside the box and putting yourself in a very vulnerable position.

Knowing what to do is half the job. The next half is doing so in a very creative way that grabs people attention. But creativity cannot be taught you have to steal ideas and fuse them with other ideas to make them your own.

Creative borrowing as they call it. Fusing your influences in such a way that it works to convince enough people to trust you. Do it long enough to create a habit. And once you have the habit of fusing what you like, it will always turn out to be unique.

So how does this help in terms of marketing yourself and what you do?

Everyone has to learn how to sell other people on them. So before you even think about everything else you have to know your product. Meaning what do you bring to the table and who will want it. The next thing is knowing how to explain it in such a way that people get it.

Once you have this down, you create an offer which will be used to tell the world about what you do. Sometimes a one-shot message repeated over and over is what you need. Sometimes teaching your skill works. Other times just sharing your creative pieces and your work works as well.

The key is do something consistently and people will start to take notice. Knowing this is just the basics you’ll need in order to move forward with building a successful career at anything. The next thing is you’ll need marketing material to share that message with people.

That’s one of the things that is often not explored and I must add I never spent enough time doing this in the early parts. I knew I had something to offer but never spent the time to nail down the specifics and focused on how to explain it to people.

If you have read this far, then hopefully you start to get the picture that taking the time out to share a little piece of you will make a big difference to building your business, music career or whatever it is you are doing.

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live performance music career music marketing music promotion

5 alternative places to host live shows

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Live performance is an important part of the marketing mix for artist. the problem sometimes though, is where to host shows. In this article I’ll share 5 different venues ideal to host your shows.

School auditoriums

Many schools have small to medium sized auditoriums, that can be used to host concerts. These spaces may be booked for tours across the country. Also, these tours are perfect for targeting music fans in that age group.

The advantage is that they already have basic facilities to host the show. This include bathrooms for patrons, a stage, back entrance, and an enclosed area to suitable for ticketing and payment traffic. Additionally They have security on campus, and you would only need to supplement their security.

Most schools have a PA system, but to ensure that the music sounds good, you will need to hire a live PA system. This takes you several steps ahead with planning, as you’ll only need to confirm the rental of the school facility. Overall, the total production cost will be cheaper, compared to when using other facilities.

Drama Performance theatres

Theatres that host plays can be another venue to host shows. These venues vary in size as well but generally, the holding capacity tend to be under 1000 persons (that’s in Jamaica).

For an intimate set up, these places can work and they already have an excellent sound system, for their performances so your only cost would be renting the facility for the evening.

The only drawback is getting the date booked during a time they don’t have performances going on. They also have an area to buy food which can also be negotiated. So if you are looking for an intimate setting for a live show consider a drama performance theatre.

Churches

Churches are another venue to host shows. These also vary in size, and the same consideration for the school auditorium, will apply. They will have basic amenities such as bathroom, parking , etc. .As for a PA system, there may be need for supporting equipment

Something to keep in mind though is that when working with churches, belief system might be a problem because not everyone will be open to renting their facilities to an outsider. Meaning someone who doesn’t share the same belief system as the church.

Sports arenas and stadiums

Sporting arenas and stadiums are on the larger side of the spectrum. They will cost a lot more money to rent, but you will have more space. This can be great for hosting larger concerts which will bring in artist with a lot of pulling power.

Eg: The promoters of Unity in the city hosted the show at Jamaica’s National Stadium on the field. Not many shows are hosted there locally, but it was a good look to see someone do it.

The size of the stadium, will determine the number of persons for the venue.

Large Car Parks

Many corporate spaces have large outdoor parking areas or fields, that can be used to host events. A Lot more is required for the planning of an event, to be hosted at that venue.

You’ll be dealing with an increased production cost. For instance, you will need a stage, live sound system, instruments, power, lighting, barriers for the backstage, security and bathroom facilities and so on.

Conclusion

This list is not conclusive, but I do hope it gave you some ideas as to various places where you can host live shows.

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music marketing music promotion

How to promote your music to the press

One way to promote your music is by getting press coverage. Right across the world and over the internet there are multiple publications that will be willing to write about your music. Below are a few tips as to how to go about sending your music for coverage.

Have a press release written

A press release is a news story about your new song or album. If you work with a music publicist, this is one of the ways they communicate with the press. So to get started you will have to get a press or news release written.
The aim of the news release is to tell the story behind your song and the message you are promoting. Essentially telling the public why they should care about you and your music. The key to getting the attention of an entertainment reporter, is to write the news release in such a way that it is useful to them.
What I mean is that you must send something that is relevant. Also how you write the story should look similar to the articles they publish with all the information necessary. Also the angle should be different compare to anything else that is out there now. This is important. By angle I mean how you tell your story.
Have you ever notice some artist do weird things and the media starts talking about them. It is all part of promotion. For example, Ishawna released a song called equal rights, sparking a conversation around a controversial topic in the media. Vybz Kartel did the same thing with skin bleaching promoting his music. These are all calculated events used to promote music.
So if you want to get ideas for news releases, start with an album release around a cause or a charitable event. A concert or release party. The possibilities are endless to what you can come up with.  Study what the publication covers and you will begin to find patterns.

Have high quality photos taken

The next important part of the puzzle is photos. News papers and magazines need visuals. That’s how people get to know who you are. This is how they see your face over and over.
Partner with a photographer, and get some high quality photos taken to send as part of the media package. The theme of the song should be taken into consideration when picking location. High resolution photos are a must so don’t go cheap.

Compile a media list

Once you have the press release and your photos, the next thing you need is a list of editors to send you press kit to. This is easy to compile but time consuming. All newspapers and publication publish an email of the editors in the news paper. For each publications you want to target gather the email address and the name of the editors and store them in a spread sheet. For our purposes we will need to entertainment editor. If the email address is not published you can just call the paper and ask for it.

Distribute media kit

Now that you have everything you need, its time to send it to the press. The recommended way to send the press release is not as an attachment but to paste it in the body of the email. Place the emails of the editors in the BCC section and have another email in the TO section. This will ensure each editor gets a copy of the email without knowing who else received the message. 
I have received news releases from PR people and they don’t do this. I’m not sure if it’s standard practice but from research its not recommended. Add your photos and a copy of your song, or event flyer and send your release.
A word of warning, by doing this doesn’t guarantee that you will get coverage but you can increase your chances.

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music marketing music promotion

How to use advertising to promote an album online

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Releasing music can be a liberating feeling. After spending months in the studio now is time to release what you’re working on. There are lots of ideas floating around the internet about how to promote your music and it can get overwhelming. But in this article I’ll share with you my experience with one. Advertising.

Advertising is paying a publication to drive traffic to your iTunes page. This with the hope of converting that click into a paying music fan. Using advertising can give your album or single a boost in awareness. If done successfully you can make back your initial investment. If done poorly you can loose money and become frustrated.

In July 2012 I released a compilation called “The survey riddim” a dancehall album with various artist singing on the same beat. There are a few things I did which is simple and easy for anyone to do.

Pick a medium to reach your ideal music fan

To get started you’ll need to pick a medium that will reach the fans of your music that will actually buy it. For this release I wanted to target persons in the USA. The site I made an agreement with was fusemix.com. Fusemix.com is a Christian lifestyle blog. They post news and updates about music and Christian entertainment in general. So it was a good fit to try. I knew one of the guys working with the site. This made the promotion deal happen.

The banner ad was just a smaller version of the album cover with the words buy now on iTunes with a link to the iTunes page. It cost me around $US30 for the banner ad for one month.

Have a goal for your ad

For advertising to work you must have a realistic goal in mind. At the time I didn’t have any goal. This was due to my inexperience with marketing in general. This banner ad was just an experiment. So if you plan to spend say US$500 on advertising. Keep the cost of producing the album in mind when you set your goal. IF your production cost is $1000 – $3000 then your sales goal can be $3500.

This target will help you to know whether the ad is working yes or no. Once sales reach your target, anything above that would be profit. This will make your efforts fruitful. And you have the money to make another album or at least pump more money into promoting it.

Results from my ad

Looking back at it now proved that the ad worked. I never knew back when I ran it because I didn’t know much about marketing. I was just trying random stuff and it wasn’t consistent. Running the ad on a Christian entertainment blog was the perfect fit for my compilation. The result  was close to $US100 for a ad that cost $30 that ran for 1 month. The investment was worth it and I should do more of it. So I missed the opportunity to push the release even further and get the most out of it.

Lessons

For a marketing campaign to work you need to give it more time. I would run the campaign for at least 3 – 6 months to give the ads more time to produce the results I want. As well as expand the amount of sites I use. The issues with reggae gospel is that their is no dedicated music blog for our genre so going broad in terms of entertainment, lifestyle, urban gospel publications are the perfect fit to find out audience.

In addition to blogs using social media sites to advertise can be added to the mix as well. Just try them out and see what works for you to reach your goals.

If you have ever used advertising to promote your music let me know how it goes in the comments below.

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music marketing music promotion

How to create a music marketing plan

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Marketing is one of those mysteries that seems hard to crack if you don’t know anything. We know it’s something that is necessary. Because without it, our art remains unknown to the right people. According to former Coca Cola marketing head Sergio Zyman, marketing is selling. So when you set out to promote your new song or album what you’re doing is selling it to the right persons.

So, in order for your marketing to be sustainable, you have to be deliberate about how you promote your work. Ryan Holiday says in the new book perennial marketing that everything is marketing. Every activity you do is marketing your work. But before you do anything you need a plan and that plan will help you reach your goals.

Know what you want

The first thing you need to do to get started is to establish the outcomes you want. This will help you know if you are achieving your goals. Here a few you can consider to start off with:
  1. Sell 1000 album downloads
  2. Grow email list to 5000
  3. Book  10 new gigs at new venues
  4. Sell $5000 worth of merchandise
These are only a few but there are countless other goals you might want to achieve. Get very clear on this at the beginning. If you aim at nothing; you’ll hit it every time.

Figure out who want what you are offering

The next key part of the plan is to know who you’re targeting. Who will come out to your live shows? Who is going to buy your music? Who is going to buy your merchandise? These are the questions you need to answer. It will help you narrow your focus and make your marketing effective.
So what does this look like? If you do reggae music, fans of Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Chronnix, will like your music. If you do rock music,  fans of Linkin Park and other similar groups will be into your stuff. When you target fans of these artists it’s because they will be most likely to listen to your stuff.
Another thing you can consider is the behaviour of your fans. Do they like sports, fashion, or other interest. This information can help you create unique marketing campaigns. This will give you many options when you’re ready to run your marketing campaign to grow your fan base.

Find where your people are hanging out and go there

The next thing you want to do is find where they are hanging out. This will aid in your planning and what you do to market your music.
Direct Marketing guru Dan Kennedy says anything can spread your message. For example, radio, TV, flyers, magazines, ezines, blogs, newsletters and billboards. You name it, it can carry  your marketing message. The aim is to find where all the people whom your music appeals to, get their attention and convert them to fans.
With that in mind find all the places that persons find out about your type of music or where your fans hang out. Make a list of places where you can possible perform that these people hang out. List all radio stations that play your music that you can do an interview. Newspapers, blogs and magazines that your fans read.
This list will help your marketing as you have a starting point to get the word out. Because what you will be doing is reaching out and sharing your music with them.

Execute Execute Execute

Now that you have a solid plan in place and know who you are targeting and where to find them. Get out there and start to spread the word because no one will find you if you don’t have a plan on paper and not use it. It is a lot of work and will take time but in the long run you will grow your fan base.
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music marketing music promotion

How use cover songs to promote yourself as an artiste

A cover song is when an artist sings over another artist’s original song. In the early days of music, in particular, reggae music, a number of the artists sang covers. One such person is Sanchez. He transformed popular songs from  R&B, Souls, and did those songs on reggae beats, and he made the song his own.

An easy promotional strategy is to sing covers that are from artists whose fan base is similar to yours.

eg: you’re an  R&B singer, you have picks from the likes of Chris Brown, Rhinna, etc. As A POP artist, your picks may be from the top 10 Billboard charts. This would normally be done in the early phase of your career, to build your fanbase.

For a deejay or singjay, you can mix it up, for example, using the hooks of popular songs and doing a completely new verse to showcase your lyrical skills

The next phase of the process, You’d have then published your cover on youtube, and so when persons are searching for these originals eg. Steven Marley and Pitbull ” Options” they’ll find your version in the mix.

The spin-off is that persons may check out other singles you have posted as well.
You may choose to do a pristine production of the cover, or simply do a lyric video or a live acoustic performance.

Cover songs can be used to find new fans online. Use this as a means to get your name out to the public. You may release the cover while working on your originals, as this is just a way to ease into the market.

 Covers are an effective way of introducing yourself to new audiences. This may be a way to funnel persons to your youtube, and other social media pages, where they can update themselves and get familiar with your work. Existing fans may also better appreciate your music as a result too.

 Doing a cover though does not mean that you will do the song back in the original form. instead, transform the song in a way that makes it uniquely yours. eg.Sanchez  is known to go all out productions and performances of covers, which, in turn, leaves you thinking it’s  his original.

When you find the cover you want to to do, check out the top 10 or 100 Billboard charts. Get the lyrics and chords for the song. You can get someone to play it for you, and you record the video of your live performances or an all-out production.

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