Marketing Your Music 101: the importance of your story

In a previous article I talked about the importance of STORY when it comes to marketing your music. “Story” is a vague catchall word, I know. But what I mean is this: an extra-musical impression that develops in a potential fan’s mind, something visual or biographical or thematic which captures their imagination and makes them want to listen to your music right away!

In a crowded marketplace where literally millions of other people are creating music, competing for gigs, and asking for fan support, a good story — and how well it’s told — can mean the difference between obscurity and stardom. A good story is also essential when approaching the media; it makes it easy for the press to write about you and your music. If you present something that already reads like an article, or at least has a good hook that will excite their readers, you’ve basically done their job for them.

But what IS your story?

In order to effectively communicate your story, you have to know what it is first. Is it your bio? Your musical achievements? Your struggles and triumphs? A description of your sound and style?

It can be all of these things and more. But most importantly…

1. Your story should be focused

Your story won’t reveal all of the beauty and complexity of you as a person or as an artist. That’d take too long to tell. Instead, think about the three things you most want to convey about your life and music. Maybe you already have the makings of a great band story in those few details.

2. Your story should be authentic

Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, unless that persona/gimmick is crucial to your music. Your audience (and the media) will see through it.

3. Your story should be unique

What sets you apart from other bands? What aspect of your life will connect on an emotional level with listeners? THAT detail is what fans will be drawn to, what music critics will write about, and what should be supercharged at the center of your story.

Still having trouble finding the heart of your story?

Think about the following:

* your musical inspirations

* career highlights

* the origins of your lyrics

* any technical innovations in your music

* personal revelations that inform your music career

* your own struggles and triumphs

* anything funny or gimmicky about your music

* band drama, setbacks, etc.

* themes that run throughout your songs

* horror stories from touring

* the things you’re proudest of in life

Anything memorable or noteworthy? That’s the beginning of your story right there!

How do you think about YOUR musical story?

How did you determine what your story is? How do you convey that to your audience? Let me know in the comments section below.

And for more tips on marketing your music, download our FREE guide:

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