HAPPYRON’S MUSIC MARKETING MAXIMS
(not just for musicians)
By Happy Ron Hill
Cause I’ve always wanted to use the word “maxim”.Originally published in Life By Design Magazine
MOST OF ALL, BE GREAT AT WHAT YOU DO.
Word of mouth about a great artist is the best marketing of all, and better then everything else combined. So be great.
FINISH IT, THEN MARKET IT
People ask “can I get my music on the radio or on TV shows or movies”. I always ask “do you have a studio-quality CD” and they say “uh no I have demos”.
People say “I want to play bigger shows,” I always ask “do you have a polished ‘act” “Uh, no I can barely play”
What many people need to do is find producers, musicians, singing teachers, or whomever to help them create something that is marketable, but instead they try to market themselves first when in effect they have nothing to market yet. And it can be counter-productive because if you give someone a CD that isn’t ready, or if you get them to see you act before it is ready, they will rightly look at you as wasting their time.
YOU ONLY HAVE 15 SECONDS, IF YOU’RE LUCKY
Make your music so memorable that if someone is listening for 15 second they’ll listen to more. Usually, most people won’t go past 15 seconds.
The best marketing thing I’ve learned from all of the workshops I’ve been through is to have a one or two-line pitch for everything you do, yourself, your shows, every single song and video. I like calling this a “connection statement” as it is less “Salesy” then “pitch” and it underscores that you want to make a connection with someone and listen to their response.
My Name is HappyRon and I love creating community and Happiness by doing sing-alongs of my songs that are a combination of Mr. Rogers meets South Park
My favorite “statement” is for my song The Wider View: what you would say if you only had a little time left, and since we are all only here a little while, we might as well say it now. Will you listen and tell me what this means to you?
MUSIC MARKETING IS THE ART OF BEING YOURSELF IN FRONT OF AS MUCH OF THE WORLD AS POSSIBLE
People tell The HappyMan that I am very good at “marketing” and “selling” my music, but something about that has always vexed me. Most of what is called “marketing” is simply being yourself.
FOR EVERY GREAT SONG AND GREAT RECORDING THERE IS A PLACE FOR IT AND SOMEONE LOOKING FOR IT
Every GREAT song has it’s place somewhere in the world. The world is full of “good” songs, but great songs are less common.
IF YOU WANT LARGER SUCCESS YOU PROBABLY HAVE TO GET SOMEONE TO MARKET YOUR MUSIC OR DO IT YOURSELF
Professionals, of course, have more experience and connections probably then you do, but on the other hand, nobody will wake up every morning thinking about your music and how to get it out there than you.
FINDING YOUR NICHE DOESN’T NARROW YOUR AUDIENCE, BUT EXPANDS IT.
I always balked at first when people told me I had found my “niche” cause I didn’t want to be pigeonholed or narrow my audience. But I’ve found Niche doesn’t narrow your audience but expands it! Having a song put into the niche of being a “kids song” may seem like narrowing the audience, but lots of adults love kid’s songs!
DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR ANYONE
The trick is to have so many “possibilities” out there that you aren’t waiting by the phone for anyone to “make you”.
ONLY ASK FOR ONE THING.
So often when sending emails or talking to people we have a tendency to bombard them with a ton of stories or requests. A simple “will you listen to…” is much much likely to get a response.
ELIMINATE OR REDUCE THESE WORDS
“Check it out”, “this means a lot to me”, “come support”, “oh I do a little bit of this a little of that”. Focusing on yourself doesn’t answer the question for the audience “why do I want to listen.”
CONSIDER HOW YOU ARE COMMUNICATING IN ADDITION TO SELF EXPRESSION:
As artists, we are usually wanting to express something in our art, but people who are successful are also communicating.
REJECTION USUALLY ISN’T AN INSULT OR MEANINGFUL
If you know that you have quality music then the most common form of rejection will be “it’s not what we are looking for.” Which really isn’t rejection at all, it’s just someone saying that what you do doesn’t fit what they want. Sometimes people hear that as “your music isn’t any good”, but it very well may not be, and understanding that no music fits all needs is vital.
If someone does make a respectful comment on your music they very well you know that your music is good then their opinion really doesn’t matter very much.
BE COURTEOUS – EVERY PERSON MATTERS
The message I hear more than anything else from big shots is that nobody on the way up is “big enough” to be a jerk that professionals in the business simply don’t want to work with jerks. Also, audiences remember if you treat them poorly. It may be part of your image (or real personality) to be a jerk, and that may work as part of your show, but nobody likes to be disrespected in person and they’ll remember it. And they’ll tell someone.
IT’S “WHO YOU KNOW” IN THIS BUSINESS, SO MAKE SOME FRIENDS!
Bitter people often say it’s “it’s who you know” in the business, they’re to a certain extent they are right! Part of marketing your music is simply making friends with people in the business; even if you never do anything with them they may know someone who knows someone who needs your music.
*MAKE MARKETING PART OF YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE
Most of us want a magic “marketing button” that we push and millions know our music. The truth is that even highly successful artists are constantly marketing themselves – doing interviews, designing their image, etc. For many of us, we are building our fan base one person at a time.
And you never know who you are going to meet and where.
TAKE CARE OF EXISTING FANS
It’s easy to think in terms of is once someone is your fan you are “done”, but fan relationships are just any other relationships – they have to be taken care of constantly or you’ll lose them.
BOTTOM UP, TOP DOWN
Work on promoting your music to the people around you, and talk to as many of the people “at the top” as you can. Hopefully, the two will meet in the end
When it comes down to it there is no better way to drum up interest than the old fashion way of simply touring. “Tickets and T-Shirts” are the main sources of income for most bands.