Here’s the second part of my marketing blog. Enjoy. Thanks for reading.
The first part is here: https://causticmusic.wordpress.com/2009/07/17/marketing-your-new-music-pt-1/
4) Use your brains!
“Marketing” and “advertising” can be as mundane as an email, blog post, or MySpace bulletin, but in a sea of those the people with the most creative, engaging ideas can rise above the rest. Creatively put together campaigns, planned in advance, can not only get people interested, but done right can engage and actually make people a PART of the marketing (Nine Inch Nails, anyone?). Think up something fun to get people thinking about what you’re doing. Lube them up for the awesome ear sex they’ll be hearing.
Personally, I put together a 2 month “campaign” for my latest release THIS IS JIZZCORE with set dates for releasing promo cartoons from my pal Seth Riley, presales starting on my birthday (happy bday to me!), and I also worked with Vampirefreaks.com to get two free EPs of remixes out (before anyone even heard the “real” tracks) to let people get a taste for the new stuff, as well as promote some bands that did the remixes that may not be as familiar to people yet.
Not to mention the whole silly “Rascal Flatts side-project” thing a bunch of fans and friends helped me with on Amazon.:)
If you think of something that would be awesome and haven’t heard of anyone else doing it, then DO IT if it can be done. Surprise people. It takes a lot these days, but a simple, fun idea can outshine 100 bland emails. Your imagination (and a little time figuring it out) is your only limit.
Also, think of ways to KEEP people interested. I usually do “CD commentaries” similar to DVD commentaries where I get together a bunch of pals and we get drunk and listen to the CD and talk about it. Mostly we get drunk, but I release it later as a thanks to fans AND as a way to get people talking about the CD again. Honestly though, mostly it’s a good reason to get together with pals and get drunk.
5) DJs and You, a 2-parter
a- DJs are you friends.
Slipping DJs, especially ones that have supported you and pimped you previously, a few tracks prior to “the big campaign” is a cool way to give a little exclusive peek into the new stuff (because, of course, you should mention up that they have it and promote THEM) AND it lets some people hear the stuff and hopefully get interested early on. This could be club, radio, or internet radio DJs, and make sure to do “radio edits” if the song is over 4 minutes or, like mine, offensive. Don’t let your potty mouth or experimental ramblings preclude someone from playing your tracks to new ears.
b- DJs love free shit
Compile a list of emails from DJs you know and don’t know. Make an effort to find as many as possible via contacts, labels, or just sending out simple bulletins on social networking sites. Make a zip/rar file of 4 tracks you think best represent the whole of your new CD, write a little about them in a text file, and make that zip available to any DJs that want it. Ask them not to send it to everyone they know, but if they’re pals with any other DJs that might be interested they should give it to them as well.
Why only a few tracks? Less chance of it ending up online on torrents, and if there is a DJ who shares it with 10,000 Facebook pals they’re only getting 4 tracks, and hopefully that’ll be something they like enough to check out more of.
Why not a CD? Money- for packaging, postage, and because this is the fucking digital age so get used to it. Plus if they don’t like it nobody’s out anything– they can delete it off their hard drive and you can try again later. Some DJs still want/demand a physical CD, but all I can say is it’s nice to want things. If they don’t understand that you’ll just have to agree to disagree. No need to be a dick about it, though. They’ll hopefully learn one day.
Having a good relationship with DJs, especially early on, raises your chances of them giving your music a shot on their shows or dancefloors.
6) This is a backscratching business.
You want your fellow artists and friends to mention up that your new CD is coming out and how they’re excited about it? A nice way to do that is always try and return (or initiate) the favor. Your pal’s excellent EBM project has a new digital EP up? TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT. Your friend has a new photography exhibit this weekend in town? TELL PEOPLE ABOUT IT.
Word of mouth is the most powerful tool you can use to cheaply (and effectively) get momentum for a new CD. This does NOT mean pimp every fucking event out there– be selective, and only pimp things you actually BELIEVE in. If it sucks people won’t listen to you, and on top of it this whole thing isn’t worth whoring yourself insincerely over. It’s just a nice thing to do if you truly like someone else’s stuff and only takes a second or two to do. Hopefully they feel the same about yours.
And don’t get mad if they don’t. Nobody’s obligated to shit. If nothing else consider it good karma.
7) Make the best fucking music you’ve ever made in forever.
My pal Eric touched on this on the blog of his I posted yesterday (http://blog.nulldevice.com – check it out!) and I have to blatantly rip off the sentiment: No matter what you do, no matter how hard you push it, and no matter how bad you WANT to succeed you won’t be able to unless you have GREAT MUSIC. Don’t mistake hype for substance, and don’t ever mistake anything I say as a substitute for that.
And don’t give up. My music was less than desirable at first, but you learn as you go (in my case, a lot), and now I’m almost someone you’d musically ask to dance at prom…if you wanna get made of by your friends. You learn, so put the time in and keep learning. Dedicate yourself to what you are and what you want to say.
The point is that it’s still all about the music, maaaaaaaaan, but at the same time this is a BUSINESS, whether you want or like it. If you don’t want to do the legwork, fine, let people find you and do your thing. That’s no less a noble cause. Personally, I like exercising the marketing part of my brain and see it as part of the entire creative endeavor and image (for lack of a better term) for Caustic, but that’s me. Maybe you can find a pal who is into that to help (and appreciate the hell out of them for it), but I try to do as much myself so I don’t need ANYONE…except for the zillions of people I DO need to help with this shit, advertently or otherwise.
You also have to get lucky (remember that karma thing?), but you can increase your chances of hitting some kind of raffle jackpot by getting your name out there and buying a bunch of tickets instead of just sitting on your laurels with the one ticket that anyone can get by just signing up for an account on Myspace.
So get to it, y0.