Direct To Fan Marketing is an increasingly prevalent way for bands to reach people who like their music. Direct To Fan Marketing is a strategy for bands to talk directly to their fans, through the use of emerging, and increasingly mainstream, social technologies and social platforms. Let’s face it, writing a great song is the tough part but successfully marketing your music is a must if you want it heard among the crowded field of musicians vying for attention. As with most things, a little planning can go a long way towards helping you succeed.
When putting together a music marketing plan it is important to think through these questions before taking action:
What do your fans want?
This one is really pretty simple. First and foremost music fans are interested in music! Music fans are always seeking a new great song to fall in love with. If a fan has become interested enough to visit your website don’t disappoint them by not having music available for streaming, download and purchase on your site. ReverbNation provides several free music player options that can be embedded in a musician’s website making it easy for fans to stream music. Both Audiolife and Nimbit allow musicians to easily sell MP3’s directly from their own website in addition to merchandise, CD’s and DVD’s, without any upfront fees.
Once fans have developed an interest in a musicians’s music they might become interested in learning more about them as an individual or individuals. Make it easy for fans to keep up with the latest news and updates by prominently featuring an email list signup and RSS subscription link for the blog on the website. Fans may also want to connect on popular social networks. Be sure to display links to the social networks where you are active such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
Fans want to see the musicians they enjoy play live shows. Regularly communicate the dates, show times and locations of all scheduled live shows on your website, through your email list, on your blog and social networks. ReverbNation also has free Show Schedule Widgets that include show dates and maps to help promote live shows.
What do you want to accomplish through your marketing efforts?
When considering what you want your marketing efforts to accomplish think more in terms of how you can develop a direct, long-term relationship with fans instead of just focusing on adding “X” number of email subscribers or Twitter followers this month.
Consistently give fans what they are interested in, great music and insight into the songs and creator(s), and they will reward you with their loyalty and support. In addition to sharing your best music, share your personal story, the inspiration for specific songs or your songwriting process through blog or video posts on your website. Ultimately, the goal is to develop relationships to the point where fans will want to buy your music, merchandise or tickets to your next show.
What are the priorities?
It seems like there are is an infinite number of options for marketing music these days and new solutions and companies are constantly popping up. It’s important to prioritize your efforts so you don’t end up trying to “do it all”. Here is my take on the top priorities for marketing your music:
Get a Website – If you are serious about a career as a musician you should own a url that includes your name (or bands name) and have your own website. If you don’t already have a website check out Bandcamp and Bandzoogle, they both provide full featured and inexpensive website solutions specifically for musicians.
Direct Marketing – Go sign up at ReverbNation. They offer an impressive set of free direct marketing tools for musicians, including email marketing, media players and electronic press kits, that can help drive traffic to your website and build relationships with fans. RN also provides detailed reporting that can help you better understand fan reaction to your music and marketing efforts.
Internet Radio – Internet radio providers such as Last.fm. Be sure to take advantage of the Internet Radio Opportunity for Independent Artists and get your music heard by new potential fans.
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[photo credit – The Italian Voice]Tweet