6 Magic Marketing Secrets That Indie Musicians Should Steal

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Oct. 10th, 2018 by Jack

Have you ever wondered about how traditional business marketing could apply to your career as an independent musician?

You’re definitely not alone.

In day to day life, you’re likely seeing marketing messages from many different types of businesses; from brick and mortar and ecommerce to corporations and beyond. In fact, it’s estimated that Americans are exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 advertisements per day!

Because we are inundated with ads and media day in and day out, it’s natural to compare business marketing strategies to what’s being done in the music industry.

However, conventional music industry “wisdom” presents an artist career as some kind of outlier, where marketing is vastly different than that of other businesses.

At best, that wisdom is a myth. And, at worst, it’s a lie. In this article, we’re going to dispel this myth by diving into 6 “real” business marketing strategies that can work for your music!

1. Leveraging Video For Awareness

This guide from video marketing platform TwentyThree presents a wide overview of how businesses use video for marketing purposes in 2018.

One major concept discussed is the use of video for top of funnel brand awareness.

The idea is that whether video is hosted on social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, on a company website, or on YouTube, it can serve as a heavy driver of discovery and engagement for new customers.

While views and impressions might be considered vanity metrics, they have real power as brand touches especially when viewers are able to be retargeted with nurturing messages and calls to action further down the marketing path.

Regardless of what industry a business operates in, video marketing can be a big asset for making introductions to a target audience at the beginning of the customer journey.

This concept is especially important for musicians.

Creating Facebook ad campaigns using specific types of music videos is a great way that musicians can leverage video to indirectly introduce their music to new audiences.

At Indepreneur, these types of video ads are a part of the Fan Finder Method for driving top of funnel awareness.

2. Serious Email Marketing (No Newsletters!)

If at any point in the past two decades you were subscribed to the email list of a business, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of some form of email marketing.

If you’re lucky, the messages you received were more than just boring newsletters, constant sales offers, and spam.

This blog post from DigitalMarketer lays out the role of strategic email marketing for businesses.

The truth is, email marketing can be used to accomplish tasks related to branding, acquisition, engagement, direct sales, and customer retention. This spells out that the overarching goal of email marketing is to create seamless paths that move someone through the customer journey.

Imagine what this means for musicians! Far beyond an every-once-in-a-while email or newsletter, you could create dedicated email sequences that keep your fans updated, engaged, and endeared to your journey.

3. Lead Magnets

As a musician, you may never have heard the term “lead magnet,” but beyond any doubt, you’ve definitely experienced it.

Have you ever downloaded a free ebook by entering your email address? How about a discount voucher from your favorite restaurant?

Both are examples of lead magnets, a marketing tactic that involves offering a “free” product in exchange for contact information and permission to contact you.

Lead magnets have been used by businesses of all shapes and sizes; from local mom and pop shops to international corporations.

HubSpot lays out the standard process for using lead magnets:

  • A prospective lead is captivated by a piece of content and driven by a call to action
  • After clicking a call to action link, they’re taken to a dedicated landing page where they can enter their contact information in exchange for something of value
  • Once the visitor clicks “submit”, they hit a Thank You page where they can download the lead magnet offering.
  • An email follow up process starts a conversation with the prospect to keep them engaged with the business

Lead magnets give businesses the opportunity to generate customers in a scale-able, methodical fashion.

At this point, the gears in your head should be turning about how you can utilize lead magnets to build your email lists and turn prospective fans into customers.

Here’s some food for thought: An Album Launch strategy can be a super viable lead magnet option that will allow you to create new customers on demand.


4. Upsells, Upsells, Upsells

Sales is sometimes thought of as a dirty word among independent musicians and it doesn’t need to be!

In blog post titled “What is Upselling, and Why It’s Critical To Your Business”, the team at NuORDER (a B2B ecommerce platform) breaks down some sales principles and how they affect business.

The three main ways of growing revenue for a business are:

  • Acquire more customers
  • Increase the average order amount per customer
  • Increase the frequency of purchases

Upselling is a sales tactic that focuses on getting your existing customers to purchase more from you, effectively increasinging their average order value.

The article specifically discusses the benefits of upselling for retail businesses, but the benefits are true of all business, including music.

Upselling current customers is easier and costs less because the relationship with that customer has already been built. Acquiring a new customer can cost up to 25 times more than upselling an existing purchaser.

When you create upselling strategies, you actually improve the customer experience by tailoring your offers to specific customer profiles and desires, rather than blindly slinging your products.

This can apply directly to the offers that you present to your fans. For example, the next time you sell a ticket to an upcoming show, you could upsell a CD or a limited edition tour t-shirt to your customer at a discount at the point of purchase.

Doing so will add value to that fan’s experience (both in checkout and at the concert) and bump up your revenue immediately.

5. Let Your Customers Advocate For You

What if someone told you that you were sitting on your most influential marketing force and you didn’t even realize it?

On his blog, Neil Patel lets you in on a little marketing secret that can transform any business. That secret is to let your customers do your marketing for you in a way that will outperform both organic and paid marketing campaigns.

Simply put, customers are a business’ lifeblood, but not simply because of revenue and transactional value.

A customer that is fully aligned with a brand and its values will want to champion the cause, shout from the rooftops, and be the most persuasive salesperson a company could ever hire.

Why? The answer is simple when you think about how complex purchasing decisions have become for consumers.

Rather than choosing between two options within driving distances, consumers of all kinds have numerous choices that span around the world thanks to “the interwebz”.

You can see how the public opinions of the network can carry a ton of weight when it comes to converting new customers: 90% of people trust recommendations that come from their friends.

With a great product and stellar customer service, building customer advocacy is a logical step in the customer journey for any business.

The pillars of customer advocacy campaigns are identifying an ideal advocate, setting goals and benchmarks, equipping the the customer advocates with the tools they need (think product reviews, branded content, and user generated content), measuring success, and building a reward system made up of things like beta tests, special deals and discounts, events, prizes, and merchandise.

Customer advocacy is a musician’s dream! Building deep relationships with fans to the point where they’re willing to advocate for you is the highest level of support a fan can offer.

If you don’t believe it, look no further than the power of street teams and fan clubs.

6. Educating Customers with Content

In a digital world where people are constantly inundated with content and attention spans are at an all time low, businesses are always scrambling to nail down the types of content they should create and share.

Rather than sharing spammy, salesy content or regurgitating the same content as competitors, this article from Forbes points out how education is the real difference between quality content marketing and spammy bulls***.

Content that delivers real value to an audience is key to getting people to align with a brand.

From practical how-to guides and topic-specific articles to brand-specific content that hones in on a product and its features – it is these types of content that will help an audience grow with a company.

There are numerous ways for businesses to create “education stage” content, and the article discusses a few:

  • Identify with the pain points of the customer
  • Let people learn from your mistakes
  • Allow them to get to know what you’re all about
  • Teach them a skill
  • Learn something new together

These five points can be easily applied to the content that you, as an artist, create for your growing audience.

For example, you could let people into your world so that they know more about your life alongside your music. Consider the popularity of a show like MTV’s Cribs as proof.

You could hop on Facebook Live to discuss what’s going on in the lives of your fans so that you know their struggles and pain points.

If you write your own songs or produce your own music, you could create video content with your go-to tips and creative secrets.

If you and your fans are passionate about a particular cause, you could go the next level to share related content with them. This will allow you to learn together and share experiences that deepen your relationship.

Take These Examples and Build Your Fanbase!

By analyzing these “real” business marketing examples and applying them to your music, you can build a real business around your music, whether you’re a solo artist or in a band.

Feeling inspired? You should be!

There are numerous powerful marketing tools to arm independent musicians with the ability to build massive fan bases and thriving businesses around their work.

These are just a few examples of marketing strategies employed by businesses of all kinds that are largely overlooked by the music business at large.

Want to dive into more digital marketing strategies like the ones mentioned above? Want to know how the relate to your music and fan base?

The Buddy System Workbook is a step-by-step guide to serious marketing that takes fans from cold and totally unfamiliar with your music to busting down the doors for your upcoming shows!

And, for a limited time only, you can get the Buddy System Workbook completely FREE:

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