Marketing your Music: Online Guide for every Indie Musician

Music will not earn an income unless it is well marketed. No matter how good you are at songwriting, composing music, playing instruments and everything on the creative side of music; you will never earn income without marketing it to your customers.

According to this definition:

Marketing is defined as “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably“.

The good news is – the word marketing is not always associated with the word “promotion”. But, marketing is more of a “planning” on how to:

a. Identify customer requirements
b. Anticipate customer requirements
c. Satisfy the customer with the requirements

Let’s tackle each of those 3 components in marketing and apply it on the online business world in formulating an effective marketing plan for your music.

FIRST: Identification of Customer Requirements

As said before, if you are aiming to earn some income from your music or songwriting, you should seriously treat it as a “business” and not just a hobby or having some fun. Forget about musical notes, lyrics, creativity and emotions at the moment and focus on the business side of things.

You need to identify the customer requirements. Before you can identify, you need define your customer, by answering these following questions and defining your “requisites” in one sentence:

1.) What industry defines my customer? For example if you are a music/recording producer, your customer will most likely be recording labels.

2.) What specific niche am I targeting? Music is broad, you need to specialize. Are you are rock songwriter, pop producer or a jazz musician?

3.) Where can I find my customer online? Is it coming from search engines? Forums or directories?

Example formulation of requisites – Supposing you are an independent music publisher and a need to specialize in pop/rock/country mainstream music. Most of your potential customers can either be found from search engines (potential website visitors searching for songs), forums or directories or by directly contacting them.

Or it can be film and TV production companies that are actively seeking new songs to be used in the project. Or it can be major labels that are scouting for new songs to be included in their artist new album projects.

You need to satisfy this customer needs to succeed. You also need to define your customer requirements by examining those things commonly accepted in the market place:

1.) What is the trend? Looking for low music licensing fees or a completely free material or a major label material?
2.) Specific requirements when looking for music: Lyrics, melody, etc.
3.) Qualities of your competitors. What is commonly practiced in your marketplace?

What is done by your competitors in a marketplace (where your business belongs) is most likely to satisfy customer requirements. Examined your competitors by visiting their websites and learn from them.

SECOND: Anticipate customer requirements

There are things you probably do not know and you would only know this if you carefully study what your competitors are doing.

Magnifying glass

Magnifying glass

These can be answered by providing them a survey or interviewing your clients. For example, you need to ask them directly:

1.)What specific things are you looking for in a music publisher?
2.)When looking for music and a manner how it is presented in a website; in your opinion which would be the best presentation of music material that makes it very easy and convenient for you to search music?

It is why both start up and established big companies are willing to spend some budget on doing market research. It provides a lot of valuable information or insights on how you are going to market your songs.

THIRD: Satisfy the customer with the requirements

Now you have formulated FIRST and SECOND, you need to implement these marketing strategies to your website. This time, the marketing efforts will most likely pays off because:

1. You have identified customer requirements well, by adopting standards set by your competitors.
2. You have anticipated customer requirements by asking your potential clients directly.
3. You have implemented these things in your website.

It can take some time to see the results. You need to wait. And be patient with this process. Implementing marketing strategies is like climbing a ladder. You will need to watch your step as you climb up higher.

Ladder to success

Ladder to success

BOTTOMLINE: In order to profitable, you need to examine those actions periodically to assess ongoing results. Continue implementing those effective and profitable marketing strategies while scrap those ineffective ones.

Estimate your conversion from music sales

If you are planning to put up an online music publishing business, you got to know the typical figures. The most important of these figures is your website conversion rate. Basically conversion rate is defined as:

(Total Number of Successful Downloads/Total Number of Unique Visitors) x 100%

So if you have 15 successful downloads in the month and your website has around 2000 unique visitors for that month, and then your website conversion rate is:

Conversion Rate = (15/2000) x 100% = 0.75%