Where to start? I'm going to pitch music marketing and promotion ideas for my band, to myself

Photo credit - Some rights reserved by tmray02

I decided to ask myself, what would I like to accomplish by promoting my own music?

By the end of this article I convinced myself that it could be possible to get:
  • 144,000 streaming listens over the period of a year 
  • Make around $4000 
  • With a budget of only $365 to spend

Let me explain.

I started this website theundergroundartist.com a while ago. The concept was to share things I've done to promote my own band online and help others.

Problem is, I didn't really know where to begin?

I've already been promoting my band Lorenzo’s Music for several years. Anything I talk about is something I've already done a while ago. I had no context of what to talk about first.

I got an idea to create a new band from scratch and promote it.

I'm going to start a new band as an experiment and try to build it up. A sort of guinea pig. It has no existing audience, no online presence.

As I create and promote this band, I’ll share what I do and how I do it.

So now I’m a new band. What do I do?

To get started I asked myself, "What do I want to accomplish, and more importantly how?"

I was listening to this episode of the Foundr Podcast. The host, Nathan Chan was interviewing a guy named Ben Chaib who is a marketing consultant. Ben was explaining how he gets his clients to tell him how he should promote them… He has them answer some basic questions.

I know?! As I say this it sounds silly right?
Of course you ask them questions to know what they want!

But as I listened to the types of questions he was asking -- I started thinking of my own answers. What I would want to do with my own musical and creative projects.

That's when it occurred to me… I've never really done this. I've never just asked myself what do I what to accomplish, and more importantly how?

I pitched my own music promotion concept to myself.

After listening to that podcast, I sat down and wrote out the questions Ben asks. Then I asked them to myself.

Truthfully, I even got a little inspired and excited as I was answering them. Thinking about what I might be able to do.

Here are the questions I asked, and what I came up with.

What do I currently do for promoting my music?

  • I post songs on the website.
  • Share songs on our Facebook page and Twitter
  • Post songs on YouTube
  • Sometimes look for people using our songs in videos and share that on Facebook and our website
  • I also have a playlist I created of fan videos on our YouTube channel I save them to
  • Take photos while practicing and post to Instagram 
  • Have email for download on our site to build mailing list
  • Put songs on music services and stores 
  • Email our mailing list when we have a new release 
  • Did a live internet performance 
  • Made single videos for YouTube channel of each song from that performance 
  • Did some ad promotion, but not much
  • Created landing pages for recent singles to send people to
  • Covered another artist's song and shot a video
  • Re-purposed a creative commons video for one of ours 

What things do I think would be different if I move forward, trying to find a solution for more exposure?

  • If I create a larger fan base I can get more plays on streaming services to collect more ad revenue 
  • People may use our song more in videos - (one of my most popular songs was because it was used in a gaming video).
  • More downloads = bigger mailing list
  • An engaged list of new users - current list has become kind of stale
  • Possibility for mechanical sales
  • More remix or collaboration possibilities 
  • A larger fan base makes it easier to promote events in the future 
  • Be able to have a more regular income
  • Licensing opportunities
  • Become more active and recognizable in online communities 

How much do I think each new person would bring in if I were to start building this exposure?

  • Ok, possibly $1 to $5?

What's kept me from moving forward on this?

  • Not knowing what to promote 
  • No constant song releases 
  • Not knowing how to really engage with a fan base
  • Feel like I'm bothering them if I post sometimes 
  • Making the money back that I spend
  • Don't want to just promote a song over and over
  • Feel I would have to spend all my time doing this to get somewhere and don't have time

How does that make me feel?

  • Makes me feel like I could be doing more. 
  • I thought I was doing a lot but my fan base hasn't grown in a while

What would it be like if I learned how to get more listens on streaming services or more downloads or have more of a fan base?

  • I would be able to fund what I do creatively
  • Share more music for people to enjoy
  • Meet more musicians and open collaboration ventures with them
  • Be able to get involved with more creative ventures with other creators that may have heard my music and work with them on their projects 

Why is that important?

  • It's what I care about doing
  • To meet people and do creative work 

Let's say, if I plan to make music for the next 10 years…

The value of that could be:
  • If I tried to average 100 listens a day for a song from each of the 4 big services
    • YouTube
    • Spotify
    • Google play
    • iTunes
  • That adds up to 400 listens a song per day
  • Which would be 12,000 listens a month
  • Times that by 12 months for a year = 144,000 listens
  • 144,000 a year for 10 years = 1,440,000

Ha! That's ridiculous right?

But what if I tried to do that?

And that's just thinking about one song. That doesn't include the other songs I have or the new ones I plan to release along the way.

How long have I been trying to think about a solution?

  • Always of course
  • But in the past couple of years I really wanted to up my game
  • Since the internet has become more involved in people's day to day lives

What's kept me from pursuing or completing this?

  • Not having a plan I stick to
  • Not knowing where to start
  • Finding the best way to make it part of my day to day

What If I had $1 a day to increase my exposure to start with?

  • That's $365 a year to spend.

Here is where it gets interesting.

So, for example:
  • If I were to think about trying to get the 144,000 listens a year I had mentioned earlier
  • And let's say, for that one song I made like, 3¢ a day for streaming?
  • I could possibly make back $4,320 in a year?

I could at least make my money back and more if I kept at it. And that's not including if people download the song for the standard 99¢.

It's nothing to make me wealthy in this scenario. But as I said, wanted to start expanding and building my audience for right now.

I’m not going to stop making music?

  • I'm making music already
  • I'm going to continue making music regardless
  • It's just silly that I don't want to try something more

The way it is now, I made maybe a little more than the $365 with my music already I could spend. So I don't personally have a problem putting that back into promotion.

I spent more than that on random crap I needed this weekend I think?

It's kinda like this. Someone is telling me; "If you give me $365, I'll try and pay you back around $4000".

It's not for certain, but what if it happened?

Why would I try? Maybe I'm an idiot?

But I'd feel like more of an idiot if it worked and I didn't try?

I think?

But I'm gonna try it!

(Next: TO-DO: A list of tasks I need to finish before I can promote my new band project.)

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