Following on from last post, this one is for those musicians with an extra level of thick skinned perseverance, precisely what it takes to get anywhere in this industry.

So let's begin with a few websites you need to make use of. If you've followed the earlier advice about spreading your music far and wide on facebook, soundcloud etc., you may be struggling to fit all those web addresses into your email signatures or the bottom of your business cards (?). And that's where an aggregator such as Onesheet comes in. A simple and quick way to bring all your web presence together into one handy place - could also be good while you're waiting on that elusive 'official band website' getting completed.

Once your onesheet is ready to go, why not use it like a press pack? Get it tidied up and ready for approaching all the influencers in your musical genre. Get the correct and most appropriate email address for every promoter, radio DJ, blogger you think might be interested. Do not spam, do not ask your fans to spam on your behalf. Email someone new every day (or delegate this task).

Take a look at websites and radio stations willing to accept dropbox submissions of new music, for example check out freshonthenet (in association with the legendary Tom Robinson.) Lots of additional music marketing tips on there too.

Networking isn't a bad word, it's not so much about who you know, but about who can hear you. For my Scottish readers, events such as Born to be Wide and goNORTH could be valuable places to meet people who can help you get heard and get gigs.

Finally, I address the issue of being put in a box. Any true, talented musician full of integrity will naturally crave to stand out, be different, be new and unique. And you should be, no matter what influences you have or bands you've been inspired by, no-one likes to labelled, or treated like a copycat. But remember the Search Engine Optimisation lessons of before, if you want to be FOUND then you might just have to climb into a box or two. At the very least you should aim to be genre specific (even if it means making up a new genre name of your own in the hope it will catch on.. eg. I once created the genre ApocolypticPop but alas it just never seemed to go far...) You should also consider your local fanbase, and make your location clear, not to limit your reach but to give a clear starter for those music fans out there just dying to find the next 'jazz punk' hero from Fife...

Good luck my friends, onwards and upwards.
Today, the average major music label foists an unhealthy number of samey, middle of the road pop acts upon us whose work has become so commercialised-beyond-recognition as to not actually resemble any real form of music as such. Thankfully though independent DIY musicians and retailers are demonstrating the power of the niche, and the long tail of ‘alternative’ music choices is still frequently coming up with ways to punch above its weight.

See for example the thriving Irish music scene, with bands so against the grain no major would touch them with a barge pole, yet able to tour the world and sell their music in whatever format they wish to a dedicated tribe of followers.

And see the success of Record Store Day to see how independent shops support local and unsigned bands whilst still making money.

With this in mind, many musicians may shun the need for a strategic marketing approach and understandably wince at the thought of parading themselves around in a product demo style fashion. However one of KD marketing’s key aims is to help you be HEARD. And if you’re a musician who prefers obscurity then perhaps this isn’t for you. If however you prefer to make a noise here are some ways to do it that will still allow you to sleep at night..

Once you have crafted your musical genius into a downloadable product, get it online as soon as possible in the following locations. If you don’t want to try all of them, choose the ones you are willing to update regularly and where you think your fans will most likely be found.
  • Last FM
  • MySpace (yip, it still exists)
  • Facebook (use a free App like Bandpage or link to your Spotify account)
  • Soundcloud – ability to create remixes makes it a great place to find collaborators
  • Bandcamp
  • Itunes/ Amazon/ CD Baby
  • BBC Introducing Uploader & AmazingRadio
  • Your own website promoted via Twitter
If you think you don’t have the time or inclination to do this, ask a trusted fan/friend to do it.
  • SEO for musicians: Cynical? Too contrived? Well people still need to find you to hear you. If you are just forming a new band it really is in your interest to give your band a name that will be found when people hear about you and want to Google you. Avoid generic names and names which already exist within another industry. More examples here
  • Branding – Maybe you think style, look and feel and tone of voice are not important, but they are essential in establishing a connection with fans. Read this from Grimes and consider how embracing it might actually be part of your creativity, as long as you are authentic. 
Enough – now go rehearse, record and create the ultimate content.