8 Ways Musicians can Promote themselves Without being Annoying

David Le Deunff

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Everyone has that one musician on facebook who sends them hundreds of invites to their shows and fan page. No matter how many times you decline or press ignore; you know its not your last invite. You know that you’ll be getting a notification again by the end of this month. And you know that you’re regretting the day that you ever accepted this person to be your friend.

Now, not all musicians are annoying online. Some actually understand that the people who become your fan on facebook aren’t the kind of fans who will throw their undies on the stage when they perform. Some of them get it. Some do their marketing the right way and present themselves in a respectable manner. However, for those who don’t – here are some marketing tips.

Create a Fan Page

I’m suggesting a fan page because without question they’re the better option over groups. While both have their benefits and set-backs, the benefits of having a fan page out-number those of having a facebook group. Use your facebook page to not only strengthen your personal brand but also add another layer of interaction with your fans. With the emergence of FBML, you can create facebook pages for your brand/band that literally crush it. I’d recommend chatting with a local developer or doing a quick google search for help with FBML. It’s not overly complicating and if done correctly, you can have a pretty solid looking Facebook page. You don’t want to look like someone working out of their parents basement – You want to look like a professional. The majority of A-list artists have customized Facebook pages, just take a look at Drake, John Mayer and Lady GaGa.

Get a Twitter Account & Connect with the Right People

While its going to be very tempting to send out messages to everyone on twitter with links to your music; DON’T DO IT. That is called spam and that can result in you finding yourself kicked off of this social networking site for a few months. When you use twitter, use it to meet people in the industry and ultimately develop strong relationships. If you play your cards right you could end up with anything from; collaboration opportunities to being noticed by a record label. If you go into it recognizing that it takes time to build strong relationships and build your brand the sky really is the limit.

Don’t Spam Friends

What you consider friendly promotion may be considered spamming by your friends. The constant messages to the people who clicked attending or joined your fan page are directly linked to the number of “likes” going down. First of all, if you’re going to send out a message – don’t send out a message with 500 words. Get to the point and press send. And don’t do it every single day of the week.

One thing that you must remember when providing content to these individuals is the fact that they want value. They don’t want mass messages telling them about the most recent Holiday – They want information about your career and links to your music. They want to support you but will quickly turn their back if you are pushing out annoying messages that they don’t want to read. Before you send any type of update out on Facebook or through an email remember the three E’s – Entertain, Education and Engage. If what you’re sharing doesn’t come into either of those categories then it will more than likely have no value to your market.

Mixtapes aren’t just for rappers

Mixtapes have single handedly created some of the biggest names in the hip-hop industry. As more and more people begin to embrace that concept that music should be free; it will be harder to sell. For that reason, it only makes sense for you to build your fan base by showing not only your passion about the music but also your appreciation for your fans. Every musician has a few unreleased tracks in the basement. Take these tracks, combine them with something new and give it away for free. Here are six advantages showing why releasing a mixtape simply makes sense.

Send your Best Track to a Music Blogs

Don’t send the entire album. Send one track and let them take a listen and give you feedback. If the track is enjoyable they might even feature the song on their website which results in more publicity for your music. By being active and a regular commenter on the blog you will develop a relationship with the blogger which will make it easier to get your work shared. However, don’t be too pushy or even get offended if they don’t agree to share your song on their blog. Just take it as a challenge to step it up a notch in the industry and ultimately give them something they cant refuse.

Do Something Clever

As you begin to build your reputation and become more and more of a local celebrity. You will sooner or later have to start selling something to put food on the table. While the idea of sales makes a lot of musicians cringe; its necessary if you want to put food on the table. With that said, it doesn’t have to be as gut wrenching and pushy as the traditional methods may seem.

CoCo Chanel said it best,

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.

The web has given musicians an opportunity to think outside of the box and really get clever. If that means selling your albums online and letting the fan choose the price after listening – so be it. An interesting concept I came across a few months ago was an artist asked his fans to design a shirt for his new album. The person who created the best shirt not only got backstage passes to their event but also got to watch him perform on stage in their shirt. Be clever, be different – be remarkable.

Start Your Own Blog

A personal blog provides an inside look at your life and is really an extension to your personal brand. Its the one place where you control all of the content and have the deciding voice on what is and isn’t shared. If you’re not very familiar with blogging I suggest Tumblr.com. Use your blog to discuss upcoming concerts, talk about your personal life,  the inspiration behind your music but most importantly be yourself.

Having a blog is a trend that is really going to pick up steam in the next few years as all musicians begin to realize the power of their own brand. Your name is in fact your brand so when I google your name, what I find should represent you. Don’t cut corners and put together a cheap blogspot website either. Go out and contact someone who is going to put together a well designed website that is ultimately going to give you an opportunity to stand out.

Sites like elance.com and 99designs.com are great resources for artists looking to get designs/development done for great prices. I highly recommend using 99designs.com solely because of the fact that it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to design your site, CD cover, logo or business card as well as a professional can.

Feel free to forward this to your favourite Facebook musician. If you’re a musician and would like to discuss more ways to promote yourself just give me a shout here.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Piergi2010

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