As a musician, you have to navigate many internal and external artistic struggles. And once your song is written, once your album is finished, once the creative work is over, you’re going to want to share that work with other people, right? That means marketing: a very dirty word in some circles!

Well, here is a collection of sagely advice to help you move your music career forward without feeling smarmy. Respect yourself and your audience and you’ll find that marketing your music can be an authentic and creative experience in its own right.

(Photo of Asteroid M taken by Daniel P. Jones. Used by kind permission and all that good stuff).

The Basics

Constantly ask, What do they really want?
Reach them like you would want to be reached
Read about new music. Use the tricks that worked on you.

Have the Confidence to Target
Proudly exclude some people
If you target sharp enough, you will own your niche
Bad Targeting Example: progressive rocker targeting teenybopper

Grab People’s Attention, Senses, and Emotions
Touch as many of their senses as you can
Never use corporate-speak
Leave ‘em wanting more

All the World’s a Stage: Which Character Are You?
A short description – 10 seconds or less
Imagine a play with 1000 actors on stage
Be an extreme version of yourself
Even conservative legends were extreme
Well-Rounded Doesn’t Cut

Think Test Marketing: Proof of Success
Test. Improve. Perfect. Announce.
A good biz plan wins no matter what happens
This is only a test. See what happens.
Was 10%, now 90%
DIY = Decide It Yourself
Business is Creative

The Power of People
Someone you know
Be a friend, not a mosquito
Persistence is Polite
Stay in close touch with hundreds of people
Get used to the idea of database and quantity
Database tips
Meet three new people every week
Always think how you can help someone
Get personal
Don’t be afraid to ask for favors
Small gifts go a long way
Make these habits, and they won’t seem hard
More thoughts about people

The Power of Words
Why words matter more than ever
How to describe your music
Hillbilly Flamenco
If you don’t say what you sound like, you won’t make any fans
Blah blah blah…What NOT to Say
Think Like a Person or Poet, Not a Musician
Or You Can Not Talk At All

Tools and Skills
Know the Important Skills
Promo Box on your Desktop
Your Interactive Website

Big Strategies
Call the Destination, and Ask for Directions
Put your Fans to Work
Make your Success a We or Us. Include Everyone.
Photos of your Audience on your Website
Go Where the Filters Are
Assume the Basic Sale, and Go for Quantity
Have Someone Work the Inside of the Industry
Be a Novice Marketer, Not an Expert
Compass in Your Gut
A Musician’s Advice About the College Market
How to Get Into the College Market in 4 Steps