I’m sure you’ve been told to market your song over and over (maybe even by me), but the underlying philosophy behind it goes deeper. At face value, we see marketing as ‘promoting’ a product, in this case, your song. But what you’re forgetting is that marketing actually starts with the artist in mind first. It starts with you.
“So Jonathan, you’re telling me the $1000 course I just bought telling me to create a 12-week release strategy for my song is not the right kind of marketing?”
Yes and no. Here’s why.
As much as major record labels get a lot of flank on the internet, the one concept they do successfully is using the song as an introduction to what they’re really selling AKA the artist. Cause if you can sell the artist, you can sell everything else about them (merch, tours, movies, music videos, physical albums, subscriptions, content). So if we reverse engineer how record labels turn listeners turn into fans, it goes something like this:
Listener discovers a song on a streaming service or an Instagram advert (awareness phase) > Listener likes the track and the brand, then digs deeper and follows the artist on socials (permission phase) > they continually see the artist’s content and engage with them (nurturing phase) > then they see the artist perform live or look forward to their next release next release via a premiere launch (fan acquisition phase) > finally, they tell their network about you (the artist) and then the song (advocacy phase). Turning your listeners into advocates is where real success happens.
As you can see, it starts with the song, but ends with the listener becoming a fan because of the artist. And the issue I see a lot of independent artists make is put a lot of thought into their song’s marketing strategy, and not so much focus into their own persona/brand. A big no-no. Especially in today’s competition.
How do you fix this? I’m glad you asked – here at Soundprise, we start every release project by focusing on you, the artist, not the song. You the artist has to drive the vision behind the song, and not the other way around. You will drive the brand, the visuals, the story, the music video, and the whole artist project.
Here’s a great blog talking more about artist branding.
So instead of leading an artist project with a song, why not conceptualize who you are as an artist first? And then use that concept to create the song’s vision. And finally, strategize how you’ll go about marketing your project (and the song) so that it speaks to fans who will want to then ‘advocate’ for you.
Think of an artist or band that you’re really into right now, and ask yourself WHY you like the project (and the song). What will make you advocate for their project to a friend of yours? Is it the visual aesthetic? Their story? Is it the type of content they release? Is it all because of the song? Now use those answers to relay back to your project and use it as a reference point.
In conclusion, before you even think about releasing a song and uploading it to a music distribution service, take a couple of steps back and work on your artist brand/project. Start to conceptualize what you want it to represent, or what it could be 3-5 years from now. Remember, you’re not just selling the song, you’re selling your artist project too. Not just to potential fans, but also to record labels, music publishers, tour promoters, music agencies, artist management companies, Spotify, potential collaborators and so on.
Anyways, talking about marketing is such a massive topic, so if you’d like to take a deeper dive into the topic or ask me a specific question, I’d love to chat with you personally and see how Soundprise can help you and your project get traction and practical results for your next release. Send me an e-mail HERE. I’ll get back to you within a day. I promise.
And so there it is! I hope the blog has helped you think about your artist project from a different angle and tickled your curious side – leave a comment below if it has!
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Here’s to more music,