Here we explore how to break up an otherwise Sisyphean music marketing strategy into more manageable and actionable steps.
Guest post by Sara-Lena of Blackbird Punk
Music Strategy is a buzzword that seems to be in everyone’s mind right now. Musicians and industry personal are eager to get it started after the long Corona pandemic.
For once, that might not be quite over yet. Also, just knowing a buzzword is not going to make you a pro in implementing it.
Surely, music strategy can’t be that hard, though? Here’s the thing, it’s easy to talk about the big picture all the time. However, having a plan that is actually doable is a whole different story.
Without further ado, here are easy ways to help you narrow down your music strategy into doable steps!
Know your budget for your music strategy!
This is crazy, so often I get asked to consult a musician on their new release only to find out that they haven’t even thought about a budget. Don’t get me wrong, having an artistic vision for your new release is key.
Is it all sweet and lovely to record in Abbey Road Studios and have a massive mastering session. Also, to think about three official music videos and an elaborate photo shooting is probably quite fun.
However, if that ends you broke and without a penny to actually promote the album, you haven’t really achieved anything.
And that is where the budget comes into play first and foremost. It can tell you straight away what you can achieve with your release and whatnot.
Hence, informing your overall music strategy. I know it can be very difficult, but try and come up with the overall sum you have for the release.
If you have applied for funding then factor in the time for it to actually come around. Only then do you really know the full amount of money spending you have.
What is more, can you invest time into your project, and if yes how much? Let’s say you can allocate 2 days a week for your music project besides working your day job. For how long can you invest the 2 days?
Being honest with yourself is paramount in coming up with a realistic budget.
Know what you really want to do with your release
Knowing what you want to do with your release is very important for the overall music strategy. Why does that matter?
Different releases can have different jobs. For example, your first release might be a go-getter in order to find a fan base first of all. The second release might be a way to foster that fanbase. The third one might be here to please the journalist before you even think about selling just one copy.
You see, there are a million reasons to do a music release. Of course, I hear you. It’s always about art and music in the first place. However, concerning the industry side of things, there is always a value attached to each release. Know this is vital for your music strategy.
Let’s say it’s your very first release, aiming at only the journalist will not get you very far. The question is, how do you reach people that have never heard of you?
Likewise, just assume it’s indeed the third release, how do actually catch the journalists attention? Of course, without killing off your fanbase?
Being very certain of the reason and value of your release can get your music strategy to the next level!
Know what you want, with your team
If you work on your next release with a team then make sure you know exactly what you want them to do for you. As mentioned above, if you can invest time into your project, what are tasks that you can do yourself? When do you know you need to outsource?
Being super diligent about this topic will help your music release a great deal. For once, it makes working together with a team so much more effective.
When it is very clear what everyone’s job is – chances are that you will get the outcome you desire.
For example, let’s say you are working together with a social media manager. Will you do the photos needed for Instagram yourself and send them over to the social media manager for posting them online? Or does the other person also need to do photography?
Will you hand over posting to them all together or only when it becomes too stressful? How will you communicate this moment with the social media manager?
Will there be a shared work platform like Trello, Podio or Asana where you can communicate about the tasks? What form of communication will you use otherwise?
This might sound a little bit like kindergarten. After all, you are here for the big artistic vision!
However, planning your music strategy like this can make or break your release when it gets stressful. Having a plan indeed might prevent the release to get stressful in the first place!
Music strategy planning first and foremost means being very clear in your possibilities and resources
Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first one to tell every musician to dream big. However, sometimes the only thing that you can actually make is your music strategy.
Do that and one day you will be in a position to have the music release of your dreams. Until then, it’s planning, planning and more planning!