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MUSIC MARKETING

APPROACH | BIGGEST MISTAKES | SETTING GOALS | PLATFORMS | TESTING

INTRO

Hopefully this page will be a very valuable resource for you and touch on psychology in brand building/advertising, social media strategies, and paid media strategies.

 

After working with 1000s of artists on music video projects, I've come to recognize that many of them inadvertently get sucked into inefficient and often questionable marketing services.

In the process, of starting a couple of businesses that have made several million in sales I've been able to experiment with many types of marketing.

 

hope to provide some valuable insights and guidance from my experience. If you'd like my help along the way you can contact me here.

NEW ARTISTS START HERE

Before we dive too paid marketing, it's important to remember that even the best marketing strategies can only work when they sit on a sturdy operational foundation and great product. By this, I'm referring to a business that generates revenue or an artist who consistently performs shows or has clear direct paths of monetization – essentially, anything that consistently captures attention or generates income, and not the idea of something that could.

 

The underlying principle is to possess something tangible and genuinely valuable that you can market, rather than just an idea of something that could be marketed. In one case good marketing always works, and in the other case, it rarely does. 

I understand that everyone starts somewhere, and the strategies I'll outline below are undoubtedly the least risky and most effective methods available to grow your fanbase. However, it's essential to set expectations and recognize that while growing a fanbase is possible and necessary in the beginning, if you currently don't have any significant paths to monetization, the likelihood of any marketing efforts covering the marketing costs diminishes significantly.

RISK MANAGEMENT AS A NEW ARTIST

NEW ARTISTS

If you are here, I'm excited for you. This part of the journey is a lot of fun. So it's important to not let the excitement lead to any financially risky situations..

 

Unfortunately, no one will be able to sweep you off your feet and take you to the promised land and everyone will sell it to you. At this stage of the process, you have to keep 2 things in mind. Only small risks. And focus on the product/music. 

BIG RISKS | You're not quite ready & lots of scams

SMALL RISKS | These are the good ones. Most just require a time investment. 

The idea is to take small risks until you start to see progress. If you're playing at events, they lead to new ones. When you post videos of your music online they get some good traction/feedback, and shares.

 

If not keep refining the product/music/method of free distribution until you do start to get traction.

 

Until then I wouldn't recommend any major investments.. no amount of any investment or fancy marketing will be able to help until this step is complete.

BAD RISKS

GOOD RISKS

- Paying for Radio Distro

- Paying for Spotify Playlisting

- Paying for a Music Video

- Paying for mention on a wesbite 

- Paying for TV Interview

- Hiring out any markting service

- Building expensive website

These risks aren't all inherently negative, but for a new artist, it's likely not the opportune moment to pursue them.

- Playing at a local venu

- Recording music at home

- Posting your music as reels on social media

- Writing more music

- Developing style

These are all good risks and hopefully lead to oppurnities over time with the main risk being time.

* these lists are only relevant to new artists, the more you progress many of these things switch. 

For example, the risk or opportunity cost for a mainstream artist to take the time to play at a local restaurant would be too high and be put on the bad risk list.

MARKETING AS A NEW ARTIST

BUILDING A TRUE AUDIANCE

1000 TRUE FANS THEORY

The concept of the "1,000 True Fans" theory is all about the idea that finding success in your craft often boils down to having a dedicated following of just 1,000 genuine fans or loyal customers.

 

Instead of viewing it as 1000 new followers, think of it as building 1,000 real connections or friends. These are the people who truly know you, trust your work, and resonate with your music – essentially, individuals you've built equity in by providing value, entertainment, and good music over time..

So whether you're selling a collectible vinyl record, launching a new album, or promoting merchandise, you can count on these 1,000 supporters to have your back.

 

You'll gain many more than 1000 fans while building your 1000 true fans. Considering the goal of true fans in your decision-making/branding/marketing efforts will help you grow faster while ending up with a more valuable audience.

So, the question is: What are the steps you need to take at this stage to get closer to achieving this goal?

BUILDING YOUR 1000 TRUE FANS

AS A NEW ARTIST ON SOCIAL MEDIA

CONCEPT

We need people to hear you, see you, and know you, by posting on social media. That's about it.  We'll delve into the fancy stuff in the paid media section later, but remember, the stuff fancy won't work until you the basics are mastered.

 

Start by acing these fundamentals; that's your ticket to unlocking exponential results down the road.

POST TYPES

To build your brand and 1000 true fans as an artist, making consistent posts on social that highlight your product (music), and you (brand), in a way that builds more true fans is essential.

 

If you understand the role each plays, you'll be able to build a more valuable brand and achieve a higher level of success.

EVALUATE/ADAPT

Evaluating and adapting your social media posts as a music artist on the path to your first 1000 true fans is vital.

 

Regularly assess which content resonates most with your audience, adapt your strategy accordingly, and celebrate milestones along the way to grow a deeper connection with your followers.

 

This iterative process will help you refine your approach and build a dedicated fanbase that truly connects with your music and message.

The top personal brands will produce 1000 pieces of content a month across all the social media platforms. Not to set an expectation that you do so, but more to drive home the point of how important this is at all levels. 

I would recommend as many as you can manage up to 3 per day per platform. 

Often artists will tell me they are worried about annoying their audience or they like how their page looks and don't want to mess it up.

 

These are limiting beliefs that hold most artists back. If its not possible to make the mindset shift I suggest making new accounts that you can post as much as you'd like to be your playground for learning without any holdups.

THE TWO TYPES OF VIDEO POSTS

TO BUILD YOUR FIRST 1000 TRUE FANS

80%

ADVERTISING POSTS

(CONTENT GEARED TO PRODUCT / MUSIC)

The goal of this type of content is to bring in new eyes/ears to grow general brand awareness and fans.

 

It is important that these posts make it fairly obvious to cold traffic who you are and what you do.

 

If you are a singer-songwriter that plays the guitar this could be a 20-second video of you playing and singing in your house, home studio, or park nearby. 

GREAT EXAMLPES

VIDEOS BELOW BY @LOUYAH

KEY POINTS

- In the first 3 seconds, we can see and hear the artist. It's very clear for cold traffic to get an idea of if they would like to hear/see more or not

- Text on the screen (people naturally will take the time to read this) giving a little bump to your audience retention rate. 

- Video is simple and great quality

20%

BRANDING POSTS

(CONTENT GEARED TO YOU / PERSONALTIY)

The purpose of these types of posts is to build equity in the new and existing fans converting them to true fans.

 

Posts that let people know more about you and what you're about, or even provide value. This could be simply sharing an interesting opinion to finding new and creative ways to create content around your music. These kind of posts/content can help build true fans.

While this might only be 20% of your foundation of content, it's worth a whole lot more when growing your 1000 true fans.

GREAT EXAMLPES

VIDEOS BELOW BY @LOUYAH

KEY POINTS

- These videos do a good job of building a closer connection with your audience in a fun way

- The concepts are easy to understand and are engaging/interesting to watch

- These type of posts can be great for bringing in organic traffic, but think of this more as an initiative to make the fans you already have stronger vs doing something outrageous to get a lot of new traffic. 

ADVERTISING POST

CHECKLIST

Does a first-time viewer that sees this post...

- Have a clear understanding you're an artist who makes x type of music

- See and hear you in the first 3 seconds of the post

(You don't want to beat around the bush too much. You want to be direct to gauge what people think of the music and build fans that are fans because of the music).

BRANDING POST

CHECKLIST

Authenticity: Be authentic and true to yourself; fans appreciate genuine content

Variety: Mix up your content with a variety of videos, including behind-the-scenes, live sessions, Q&A sessions, and updates

Experiment: Don't be afraid to try new ideas and formats to see what resonates best with your audience.​

GENERAL CHECKLIST

Quality Recording: Ensure good audio quality. Use a microphone and recording equipment or dub in a professional recording when possible 

Consistent Posting: Maintain a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and returning for more.

ASPECT RATIO: Make sure to film in a vertical aspect ratio

Engage with Comments: Respond to comments promptly to foster a sense of community and connection with your fans.

TRAIN SEO: Write descriptive copy and only use relevant hashtags. This is one-way social media companies are able to better recommend your posts to other users.

BOOST ORGANIC REACH

VIDEO BY @LOUYAH

Use Text Overlays: Incorporate concise and engaging text overlays or captions in your videos. Text can provide context, highlight key lyrics, or convey a message even when the sound is off. This can help capture viewers' attention and keep them engaged

OPTIMIZE FOR AUDIENCE RETENTION: Optimize your content to maintain viewers' interest throughout the video (if you hit avg of just 40% audience retention, your video is primed to perform very well)

DRIVE ENGAGEMENT: Encourage viewers to tag a friend or loved one

OPTIMISE FOR SHARES: If you make a song/video that are good/meaninfull enough that you show 5 strangers and 2 of them share it, your content is very likely to go viral

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THE VIRAL MISTAKE

THE VIRAL MISTAKE

One of the biggest mistakes I see artists make is trying to find ways to trick and audience into hearing their music. Trying to go viral with the wrong types of content will hurt your marketing efforts.

 

Far too often I'll see an artist that will post clip after clip that has nothing to do with their music, oftentimes reposts of other content, for the sole purpose of trying to get views.

 

This approach does not provide you or social networks with valuable insights about who your actual target audience is, consequently hindering their and your ability to effectively promote your content to the right audience.

THE THEE MAIN PLATFORMS

TO BUILD YOUR FIRST 1000 TRUE FANS

tastypxls_Chaotic_image_of_all_the_social_media_platform_logos__792d9165-0554-4ee6-a69c-df

With limited time and resources in the beginning, focusing your attention on three primary social media platforms is key to building your 1000 true fans, learning more about what works on each platform, and gauging where opportunities might come. 

  • Instagram

INSTAGRAM

VIRTICAL REELS 20s - 60s

  • TikTok

TIKTOK

VIRTICAL REELS 20s - 60s

  • Youtube

YOUTUBE

VIRTICAL REELS 20s - 60s

LANDSCAPE & FULL LENGH SONGS

Maintaining a consistent posting schedule is essential. However, the most common reservations I encounter revolve around concerns about the visual appeal of one's page or the fear of overwhelming the audience with an excess of posts.

 

In this case, a good approach is to create new accounts, could be called "@artistnameextra." Thes new platforms serves as your canvas for exploration and growth, providing an opportunity to experiment, evolve, and refine your content without constraints. In many cases, this can be very beneficial as you have the chance to train a fresh algorithm. 

THE INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY

From the beginning of time until just recently marketing has had sticky been pay-to-play before social media. In 2023 there were 6oo million monthly users on Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube, that anyone with a phone can reach for free.

 

There is a learning curve, and you have to have a good product/content/music etc. But you still had to have those things before marketing became free. The only difference now is that you don't need to beg for a seat at the table. You can build your own table.

CONCLUSION FOR NEW ARTISTS

- Be cautious, and don't rush into spending money right away

- Invest most of your time in developing your music style and craft

- Make content and post 1-3 times a day on each social network (IG, Youtube, Ticktock

- Gear content to fit the 1000 True Fans Theory

 

Once you start noticing a positive feedback loop online, your fanbase is growing, and opportunities are coming about, that's when you might want to consider making some small strategic investments I will cover a little further down this page.

 

These investments could serve as stepping stones, growing your music career and ensuring your talent finds its rightful audience. 

 

Remember, making it in the music industry is a blend of hard work, creativity, and savvy resource management. Keep the music alive! 🎵🚀

MARKETING FOR LEVEL 2 ARTISTS

If you are here, I'm so excited for you I've made this strip on the website pink and blue. Lots of fun stuff below to experiment with. But If you aren't starting to the the first signs of success- whether it's gaining traction online, securing regular gig opportunities, licensing your music, or any other avenue that's bringing in a stream of new opportunities/income.. then I wouldn't even recommend peeking at what's below. Were talking trillion $ military-grade social engineering weapons of mass brain melting. 

 

For those of you who are ready to get into some new marketing opportunities, let's jump in.

QUICK DISCLAIMER

There are a million and a half marketing tools and methods for artists. I only care about the top 2 that significantly outperform the rest. The reason why these two are the best is simply because of how cost-effective they are compared to the others.

 

Trillions of dollars in development have gone into developing these two tools. Some people refer to them as military-grade social engineering weapons that anyone has free access to.

 

You might already know them and either believe they work or they don't. But I guarantee they work if used correctly. The two tools are Google Adwords, and the Facebook ads manager.

SIMPLIFIED MUSIC MARKETING

MAXIMIZING IMPACT, MINIMIZING COSTS

Marketing music is very similar to marketing products and should be very simple. There are a lot of parallels with the organic strategy. The objective? Achieve the highest impact for the lowest cost per result. In this context, the process involves making sure people see you, hear your music, like what they hear, and, ideally, become part of your artistic ecosystem, & engaging with what you have to offer.

Tailored Marketing for Your Monetization Path

An effective marketing campaign will be custom-built from the targeting to the creative to serve a specific path of monetization. For example, if your path to monetization has been mostly from your band playing at weddings, the marketing goal would be to get more of those bookings for the lowest cost. These campaign types can work really well on google adwords and the facebook ad manager.

The Role of Brand-Building Initiatives

Alongside targeted marketing efforts, there's room for brand-building initiatives. These campaign types typically have a lower budget allocation. The primary aim here is to cultivate a fanbase and enhance your brand's value as an artist. Although not directly tied to a specific monetization path, brand-building plays a crucial long-term role that can unlock paths of monetization over time.

THE TWO MAIN PATHS OF MONETIZATION

MAXIMIZING IMPACT, MINIMIZING COSTS

SEVICES

HIGH MARGIN / NARRROW TARGET AUDIANCE

Services tend to have much higher margins, but a much lower total addressable market. Since more specific campaign types and target audiences are required, typically your cost per view will be higher since services in many cases have to consider serviceable areas cutting down the potential reach substantially. A smaller audience typically means more competition from other advertisers bidding on the same traffic, resulting in a higher cost per person reached.

Some examples include:

- Booking shows

- Booking wedding gigs

- Booking casino gigs

- Playing at events

- Music Producing/recording/mixing/mastering

- Songwriting

- Music Therapy 

- Custom composition

SEVICE EXAMLPE

HIGH MARGIN / NARRROW TARGET AUDIANCE

Let's take my business for an example selling music video services. The total addressable market that I have access to advertise to is about 140 people per month using Google AdWords. Of course, there are many music artists in NJ. But only about 1000 artists show signs of buyer intent per month in the US, which filters down to about 140 artists per month in my serviceable area in NJ/NYC. The path of least resistance for me is for me to just market to those 140 people. 

PRODUCTS

LOW MARGIN, EXPAND TARGET AUDIANCE

Products can be more scalable than services and allow for a much lower cost-per-reach campaign type. I would put anything in this category that wouldn't require more units of your time per sale made. 

Some examples include:

- Music Licensing (Artlist, Premium Beats, etc)

- Streaming (Spotify, iTunes, etc)

- New Single

- New Album

- Merch (Apparel, Vinyl, Collectible Art)

- Youtube Streaming (music videos)

- Exclusive online content (ex bass/piano lessons on Patreon)

PRODUCT EXAMLPE

HIGH MARGIN / NARRROW TARGET AUDIANCE

If the product is a single on iTunes or Spotify, and your version of a sale is a stream, a significant amount of listens is required since a stream might only make a fraction of a penny. There aren't any paid strategies that will show an immediate return on ad spend in these cases since the margins are so razor thin.

 

However, with the proper approach, brand-building campaigns can compound and become profitable over time with the proper video and music content. 

IDENTIFYING WHAT TO MARKET

MAXIMIZING IMPACT, MINIMIZING COSTS

current income streams artist .jpg

EX. OF CURRENT
INCOME STREAMS

If you were to make a pie chart that included your top sources of income until now, this is generally a good rule of thumb on what percent of the marketing budget/effort should be allocated to each area.

 

The other day I talked to an artist that has a wedding band that charges about $10,000 per event at a wedding, and around the same for playing at casinos but gets many more wedding gigs.

 

With limited resources, the primary allocation of ad spend would be booking more wedding gigs followed by booking more casino gigs.

music income streams .jpg

EX. OF MARKETING ALLOCATION

For an artist that is crushing it on Instagram and seeing growth on Spotify which makes up most of their income, the marketing resources will involve a higher allocation to producing more music/content/brand-building campaigns.

 

Generally, whatever currently makes the most money is the quickest and easiest thing to grow. 

 

One framework of thinking that has best served me is "do good, do good better, and then do new". A lot of people get caught up in new leaving holes in the bucket of the first thing and end up feeling like nothing works. In short, when you do good better, you're creating the most effective profitable version of the thing before you move on to new. The rule of thumb is you only need one product and sales channel to make $1m. 

TOTAL ADDRESSABLE MARKET

THE NUANCE OF MARKETING SERVICES

Let's say you make income from a few services and want to get a feel for what your total addressable market is. There are two really cool tools to help with this in the next section. I'll use a wedding band service and my business of music video production as examples.

 

According to the NJ Department of Health, there were 55k weddings a year in NJ in 2021, and according to Wedding Wire, about half of them hire music services with an average budget of $3000 - $7000. This means the total addressable market would be $125,000,000. And that's great and all, but it's impossible to market to all of them. 

 

So really what we have to do is get a sense for how maybe people are in the market for these services per month that we can reach, how much It will cost to reach them, and how much of that traffic can you convert into a sale. 

GAUGING YOUR TOTAL ADDRESSABLE MARKET

WITH GOOGLE ADWORDS KEYWORD PLANNER (SERVICES)

GOOGLE ADWORDS KEYWORD PLANNER

The Google Keyword planner is a great way to gauge buyer intent in your serviceable area that you can directly market to.

 

Here you can type in phrases your customer might search when looking for your service and see what it would cost to you get a click from someone searching it. 

 

Here the data shows around 400 people per month that search these keywords on Google in NJ and NYC with a price per click from $1 - $4. 

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GOOGLE ADWORDS DIRECT SEARCH

If you decide to run a direct search Google ad using the first search phrase from the list above, it will show up as a sponsored listing on Google shown to the left. Each click would cost around $2 in this case.

 

So the question to gauge the opportunity with this sales channel would be.. If you had a great service and website, were competitively priced, and were exactly who your target customer was looking for.. how many clicks would you need before you get a sale? 

REAL-WORLD RESULTS (400:1 ROAS)

My business has a few parallels with a wedding band. For one it's a service that would be considered high ticket with good margins.

 

I have about 75% less total search volume, and my cost per click is similarly around $2. Since I properly set my campaigns and track conversions on my site that are attributed to specific google ads, I know my return on ad spend is about 400:1 each month with a 12% conversion rate. 

 

Let's say you also booked 1 gig per ten people that came through your site and your total cost for that customer is $20. If you are charging $3,000 - $7000 per wedding the ads should be very efficient. 

GAUGING YOUR TOTAL ADDRESSABLE MARKET

WITH FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER (SERVICES)

FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER

Facebook is another incredibly powerful tool. The capability to reach someone in the market for your service or wedding band is much less than a direct search, but you can get close and reach many more people for a much lower cost per person reached. 

Here I targeted people in NJ/NYC who recently set their status to engaged and then out of those people filtered down to households that live in high-income zipcodes.

 

The total audience size is 6000, and if you spent $5 per day you could reach 900 - 2.6k of them on facebook and Instagram each day with a video ad. 

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BRAND AWARENESS / FAN BUILDING CAMPAIGNS

WITH GOOGLE ADWRODS & FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER

Before I get to the fun stuff.. views/likes/brand-building campaigns etc.. It is really important to bring up the 1000 True Fans Theory again to make sure this goal is prioritized. Yes, there are ways to use these ad tools to get extraordinarily low-cost-per-view results.. but just like the viral mistake I outlined above pertaining to organic marketing, we have to consider who we want to be our 1000 true fans. This will ultimately be the worth of your band as an artist.

HOW MUCH IS YOUR BRAND WORTH

IT'S WORTH WHAT YOUR FANS ARE WORTH

The easy answer is your brand is worth what your audience is worth to you + advertisers - liabilities. You can take this one to the bank. You add to the worth of your brand each time you gain a new true fan and then feeding them with smiles, happy times, and good music.

WORTH OF BRAND TO YOU

If you have a show how many tickets will you sell

Can this person rec

WORTH OF BRAND TO OTHER COMPANIES

REDUCE AD COSTS BY 50% OR MORE

IT'S WORTH WHAT YOUR FANS ARE WORTH

GOOGLE ADWORDS PRE-ROLL ADS

The Google Keyword planner is a great way to gauge how much buyer intent is in your serviceable area that you can directly market to. Here you can type in phrases your customer might search when looking for your service and what it would cost to you get a click for someone searching.  Here the data shows there are a total of around 400 people per month that search these keywords in google, in NJ and NYC with a price per click from $1 - $4. 

FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER

An effective marketing campaign will be custom-built from the targeting to the creative to serve a specific path of monetization. For example, if your path to monetization has been mostly from your band playing at weddings, the marketing goal would be to get more of those bookings for the lowest cost. These campaign types can work really well on google adwords and the facebook ad manager.

MARKETING OBJECTIVES 

Each ad campaign a business runs has an objective. In this case, your objectives might be to book more gigs, grow your 1000 true fans, sell tickets to a show, sell songwriting services, get more digital streams.. etc. Depending on how good your product/service/music is will determine the efficiency of your marketing initiatives. 

 

For example, I sell music video services and my return on ad spend per month is about 400:1. Meaning for each dollar I put in I get about $400 back. This is much better than an average result, but it took me many years of testing to figure out what works the best for my business.  

MARKETING OBJECTIVES 

Each ad campaign a business runs has an objective. In this case, your objectives might be to book more gigs, grow your 1000 true fans, sell tickets to a show, sell songwriting services, get more digital streams.. etc. Depending on how good your product/service/music is will determine the efficiency of your marketing initiatives. 

 

For example, I sell music video services and my return on ad spend per month is about 400:1. Meaning for each dollar I put in I get about $400 back. This is much better than an average result, but it took me many years of testing to figure out what works the best for my business.  

MARKETING OBJECTIVES
THAT AREN'T PROFITABLE

A goal you might have could be general brand awareness / more digital streams / YouTube views.. and that is ok, and there is a way to get to the most amount of views per dollar spent. But keep in mind this type of campaign objective while it would bring new fans and brand awareness, in most cases won't be profitable in the short term. 

Marketing objectives that have the chance of bringing in more than what the ad spend is would require a higher selling point product or service. One digital stream on Spotify might make you $0.003, whereas a DJ or wedding band could make a sale in thousands of dollars. A vocal coach might bring on a new client and make thousands over the lifetime value of that client to the vocal coach. Selling tickets to a show is another example of a good marketing objective. 

BEST PLATFORMS FOR PAID MEDIA

FACEBOOK ADS MANAGER

MARKETING OBJECTIVES
THAT AREN'T PROFITABLE

A goal you might have could be general brand awareness / more digital streams / YouTube views.. and that is ok, and there is a way to get to the most amount of views per dollar spent. But keep in mind this type of campaign objective while it would bring new fans and brand awareness, in most cases won't be profitable in the short term. 

Marketing objectives that have the chance of bringing in more than what the ad spend is would require a higher selling point product or service. One digital stream on Spotify might make you $0.003, whereas a DJ or wedding band could make a sale in thousands of dollars. A vocal coach might bring on a new client and make thousands over the lifetime value of that client to the vocal coach. Selling tickets to a show is another example of a good marketing objective. 

MARKETING OBJECTIVES
THAT CAN BE PROFITABLE

Marketing objectives that have the chance of bringing in more than what the ad spend is would require a higher selling point product or service. One digital stream on Spotify might make you $0.003, whereas a DJ or wedding band could make a sale in thousands of dollars. A vocal coach might bring on a new client and make thousands over the lifetime value of that client to the vocal coach. Selling tickets to a show is another example of a good marketing objective. 

MUSIC VIDEO MARKETING | BRAND AWARENESS

Marketing a full-length music video on YouTube is done on Google Adwords. You know the pre-roll ads you see on YouTube? Those are just YouTube videos that advertisers are paying to target you using Google AdWords. Each view they get longer than a certain amount of seconds counts as a view on the video uploaded to your channel. Any service that sells you "YouTube views" will be using this and taking a cut of your ad spend. If a marketing service is using any other method to boost YouTube views it's not legitimate and likely will be fake views.

Tips:

- The first 3 seconds of the video has to grab the viewer's attention or they will click skip

- Setup 5 target audiences to start with little to no overlapping interests. 

- Spend $20 on each target audience over a day to gauge which one is converting more viewers into fans

- Cut the bottom performing 3 target audiences and add 3 new ones the next day. This is a constant game of war you can play and over time you will find your top-performing target audience

NEW ARTISTS

If you are here, I'm excited for you. This part of the journey is a lot of fun. So it's important to not let the excitement lead to any financially risky situations..

 

Unfortunately, no one will be able to sweep you off your feet and take you to the promised land and everyone will sell it to you. At this stage of the process, you have to keep 2 things in mind. Only small risks. And focus on the product/music. 

BIG RISKS | You're not quite ready & Most are scams

SMALL RISKS | These are the good ones. Most just require a time investment. 

The idea is to take small risks until you start to see progress. If you're playing at events, they lead to new ones. When you post videos of your music online they seem to get some good traction/feedback, and shares.

 

If not keep refining the product/music/method of distribution until you do start to get traction. Until then I wouldn't recommend any major investments.. no amount of any investment or fancy marketing will be able to help until this step is complete.

BIG RISKS

GOOD RISKS

- Paying for Radio Distro

- Paying for Spotify Playlisting

- Paying for a Music Video

- Paying for mention on a wesbite 

- Paying for TV Interview

- Hiring out any markting service

- Building expensive website

These risks aren't all inherently negative, but for a new artist, it's likely not the opportune moment to pursue them.

- Playing at a local venu

- Recording music at home

- Posting your music as reels on social media

- Collab posts with peers

- Writing more music

- Developing style

These are all good risks and hopefully lead to oppurnities over time with the main risk being time.

* these lists are only relevant to new artists, the more you progress many of these things switch. 

For example, the risk or opportunity cost for a mainstream artist to take the time to play at a local restaurant would be too high and be put on the big risk list. While making a music video would be in the small/good risk category.

1000 TRUE FANS THEORY

The concept of the "1,000 True Fans" theory is all about the idea that finding success in your craft often boils down to having a dedicated following of just 1,000 genuine fans or loyal customers.

 

Instead of viewing it as 1000 new followers, think of it as building 1,000 real connections or friends. These are the people who truly know you, trust your work, and resonate with your music – essentially, individuals you've built equity in by providing value, entertainment, good music etc over time..

So whether you're selling a collectible vinyl record, launching a new album, or promoting merchandise, you can count on these 1,000 supporters to have your back if you have earned them.

 

What's appealing about the number 1,000 is that it feels like an achievable and realistic goal. However, it's important to recognize that only a select few artists and businesses manage to reach this milestone, partly because it's overlooked.

So, the question is: What are the steps you need to take at this stage to get closer to achieving this goal?

For an artist that is crushing it on Instagram and seeing growth on Spotify which makes up most of their income, the marketing resources will involve a higher allocation to producing more music/content/brand-building campaigns.

 

Generally, whatever currently makes the most money is the quickest and easiest thing to grow. 

 

One framework of thinking that has best served me is "do good, do good better, and then do new". A lot of people get caught up in new leaving holes in the bucket of the first thing and end up feeling like nothing works. In short, when you do good better, you're creating the most effective profitable version of the thing before you move on to new. The rule of thumb is you only need one product and sales channel to make $1m. 

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