Top 5 Marketing Tips for Musicians

songcast music marketingLooking to pack the house at your next gig? Having a solid setlist is a good start, but a successful marketing strategy will bring people to the shows. Music marketing includes much more than posting your gig dates on Facebook. Not sure how to get started?

Here are five tips for musicians interested in building an effective marketing plan.


E-mail marketing

This is a safe way to maintain contact with people who are interested in your music. Social networking sites are a useful music marketing tool, but it is smart to have another form of contact for your fans. A mailing list can be a more effective way to spread the word about a last minute show. This is also a way for you to offer free mp3s or gain feedback on what kinds of merchandise your fans are interested in purchasing.

Do not use e-mail as an attempt to recruit new fans. While it might be effective in getting a few more people to listen to your music, it can leave a spammy taste in anybody’s mouth. Consider getting a personalized e-mail account for your band or musical project. This is a professional alternative to using your Yahoo or Hotmail account.

Word of mouth

Your music marketing strategy should include several platforms. The most effective marketing is word of mouth. By building connections and networking, new opportunities will present themselves. It is also important to have an online presence in order to promote your music via several social networking sites. Getting your music distributed through channels like iTunes, Amazon and Spotify will make your music more obtainable by potential new listeners.

Website optimization

Videos are a vital aspect to music marketing. When you post a video on YouTube, make sure to promote the video. Update all of your social network sites. Most importantly, tell everyone that you have a video on YouTube. The best way to create word of mouth is to have something that people can show their friends. People may be interested in the members of the band and the inspirations behind the music, but it is essential to have streaming music and video to become relevant.

Easy website navigation

Nothing is more frustrating than researching a new band and coming across a site with confusing links. Make sure that visitors know how to find your streaming music online. Your listeners and potential listeners live in an age that requires immediate gratification. Check the links to make sure they all work. Read through the information for grammar, spelling and content errors. Correct these before your site goes live, if possible. Don’t forget to have your contact information easily accessible. This is the only way that interested parties can inquire about booking.

Tailor your marketing strategy

Before you start marketing your music, you need to have an idea of your end goal. Communication 101 – the message should be tailored to the receiver. Your communication is going to be different for a club owner than it will an interested fan.Know your core audience and make new connections.

Music marketing is about sales. Sales are a numbers game. Increase your connections in the industry. If you want more people to come to your show, you need to have the fans do the promoting for you. This starts with word of mouth and talking to every musician, club owner and music listener you can find. Make the interaction memorable. Be passionate when you talk about your music. This will entice the receiver of your message to follow through.

Comment List

  • Gemma D Lou 03 / 08 / 2012 Reply


    Nice post. I liked what you said about email being a safe way to stay in contact with folk. It’s so true that if artists rely on social media too heavily, they’re at the mercy of board-directed changes, and that can disrupt things. Plus, there’s always mobile lists too. This works great with live events of which O2 phone texts folk about upcoming events at it’s nearby music entertainment venues. Quite clever.

    I’ve also got one to add to the list. In my opinion, one other thing almost trumps all those suggested because no major artist could do without it, but they could do without email marketing, web optimization, easy website navigation, and tailoring their marketing strategy, well, except for word of mouth. Without being in the media, getting PR or publicity, they won’t get very far.

    For instance, Karmin did well because of being in the media.

    Lady Gaga lives and breathes being in the media.

    MTV’s music videos were just one long publicity campaign for a selection of artists in constant rotation.

    But when PR is lacking, all those things you mentioned definitely help. Even in the Billboard 200, about 5 bands used mailing lists on their splash pages. That’s the Billboard 200s!! So, it definitely is helping them get around lack of media attention sometimes. And then NineInchNails are known for their very extensive email mailing list, but I also believe that’s off the back of a huge marketing and media campaign from their major record label relationship from before they went indie. Don’t quote me on it, but that’s what I’ve read at some point.

    I think bands should emphasise their online strategies such as mailing lists and website optimisation, but never at the expense or getting their name out there so that they can build a mailing list in the first place.

    Thanks again for the post, it’s definitely something for bands to think about


    • SongCast 03 / 08 / 2012 Reply


      Thanks for your thoughtful response. We agree with you!

  • izova the khemist 07 / 05 / 2013 Reply

    nice article, makes sense.

  • Luxury 01 / 07 / 2013 Reply

    I design clothing but I don’t want to go into industry, how do I get my foot into the business, or begin to design for bigger companies, maybe sell my designs to labels or other brand names?.

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