By Mario Mendoza
The ultimate goal is creating a music marketing plan that works. Music 2.0 has offered an amazing amount of options and tools for independent musicians. The one thing I have realized is that every music operation is unique in its own sense.
Finding the right mixture is dependent now on the expectations of the artist. I’ve put a big emphasis on blogging for my Label in hopes of reaching value in time to come. Maybe its my Finance degree yelling at me to keep investing in this stock that is bound to take off.
The reason I find value is monthly visitors keep increasing and digital sales are coming in slowly but surely. The key component is converting sales. It’s a common problem many internet marketers face with monetizing their blogs and its a big issue for musicians. How can we become creative and use successful principles in relation to our music?
I want to take a pro active approach and test out different ideas that will take time but will be worth the effort. The first experiments will involve building Mailing list exchanges and affiliate marketing opportunities.
Mailing List Exchanges
Every musician needs a mailing list. Nothing new here, but we have to think about what do we want to get from our mailing list?
The discouraging thing for many new bloggers is building a mailing list takes some time and then they neglect its importance. I want to plan networking with fellow bloggers and exchange mailing list opportunities and let the test begin.
Step 1 involves you getting to know fellow music bloggers and establishing relationships. The main reason I see this as a good move is we got to think like an artist on a tour. Most tours have several opening acts that are the warm ups for the big show. The opening acts generally are in related genres and the opening acts benefit from the exposure to the bigger fanbase.
Why not treat our mailing list with a Pandora mentality? “If you enjoyed this song then you might enjoy hearing this band”. The key here is not whoring it out. Work with artists whose music you enjoy and brainstorm with these musicians. Offer to promote their song/album, blog article in a newsletter in exchange for the same effort. The power here lies in the numbers: building stronger exposure and branding while establishing a fanbase and networking.
Your blog visitors are just as important as your mailing list subscribers. These assets were built from your hard effort, now its time to put them to work for you.
The plan now involves talking with hungry musicians like you who are willing to share exposure. Take time to find the right partnerships. Power in numbers.
Affiliate Marketing and Music
Affiliate marketing provides a great way for you to get some extra income for your music operation. You essentially promote other services or products and in exchange get a commission. Many bloggers use this to make some extra money to cover hosting costs and promotion. I promote only products I use, so I feel comfortable promoting it and relaying my experience with it.
I am looking to flip this script and have other people promote for me. Affiliate promotion is ready for the music arena. This is not new but I personally have never been offered the opportunity to promote a musician’s cd and am shocked. The incentives through Amazon and iTunes affiliates provides a low commission rate, thus low incentive for people to promote.
As my label emerges, I would love to reward faithful fans with a commission for promoting my album. You share some album sales but may gain long term customers and loyalty. Who knows, even promoting an affiliate in your newsletter. Earn a commission while rewarding someone who is helping you. Monetize where you can and do it in a Ron Burgundy manner, “Stay Classy San Diego”.
Giving away some money to affiliates is not a bad thing. You would have to hire a street team for that kind of promotion and pay some money anyway. Share the wealth and watch your sales expand. The one thing I will be looking for is finding how to set up your own affiliate program or better solutions to establish this plan.
Why Is This Important for My Band
Judge what fits right for you in your operation. Some musicians use multiple blogs to promote their band while others prefer traditional methods. Do what you feel comfortable with. Most musicians play multiple roles to increase chances for success. The important part is finding what you enjoy and working hard at that goal. Build a fundamental business, with strategies in place, and watch your expansion take place.
The planning now begins and building these relationships with fellow musicians to stimulate sales and exposure. Selling music is just one aspect of a music operation for many bands. Build equity through your blog and use that leverage to expand on your ideas.