If you want to build your music career, sell more music, merch and gig tickets or turn your passion into profit, you need to learn how to build a music marketing plan. In the marketing world, there is a saying that goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Therefore, you need to create a music marketing plan that will deliver the results. In this post, I am going to give you 15 steps to the best music marketing plan. Let’s get the show on the road…
Please also note that there will be affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps me to keep going and provide for my wife and son.
Get Your Free Copy of
The Complete Guide to Music Marketing 2021
Over 80 pages packed with sensible, actionable
advice, resources and aha moments
Step One: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan With Vision
Make a note of where you want to be in 5, 10 and 15 years and how you want to build your music career. What do you hope to accomplish in that time? Do you want to be a rock star? Do you want to be a club DJ or someone as big as Armin Van Buuren? Keep track of your progress because these things have a habit of becoming a reality.
Step Two: How to Find the Right Opportunities
Our next step on how to build a music marketing plan and build your music career is that we also need opportunity.
Bobby’s Definition of Opportunity
According to Bobby in the video, you need to understand your industry, your marketplace, where you fit into it, and how you can be profitable in your music career.
Develop Your Inner Strengths
Bobby also stipulates that you need to hone your inner strengths so that you have what it takes to build your music career and succeed. You can develop your skills to meet the needs of your opportunity.
If you are building a business plan, you need to develop a SWOT analysis for every competitor. This will also help you to understand your competition and where you can find a space in the marketplace to build your music career.
SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. This is typically on your plan in a box with four sections.
This would be the strengths of the company who you are studying. It could also be your own strengths if you are analysing your own business.
What are the weaknesses of the company you are studying? This will also allow you to know where you can exploit the market. Again, this could also be your own weaknesses if you are studying your own business.
Where can you find opportunities in the marketplace? What can you do to take advantage of those opportunities and build your music career? This will help you to understand where you fit into the marketplace and what you can do to exploit your advantages.
What threats do the company you are studying pose to your own business? This is where you can tighten up your own business and make it harder for competitors to exploit the market.
My Understanding of Opportunities
If you want to find opportunities, you are going to have to make them yourself. Therefore, you will know how you continue to create opportunities. There are various ways that you can create an opportunity. However, I am going to show you what I believe is maybe the best opportunity for you to create opportunities: networking.
How Can Networking Create Opportunities For Your Business?
When you network with other businesses, whether they are in the same industry or not, you have the ability to secure new business. This is because you are building rapport. Furthermore, rapport leads to friendship. Friendship also leads to trust and trust leads to securing new business. This will be invaluable in helping you to build your music career.
Therefore, networking is an excellent way for you to create new opportunities. You can do this online, or offline. I used to be a member of an offline networking group and I really enjoyed going out and meeting new people.
You can also find networking opportunities online through sites like LinkedIn. However, if you are only looking for music industry networking, I can recommend Music Link Up. The latter site is more geared to the music industry. Therefore, it may well be a better opportunity for you to meet the right people.
Step 3: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan That Increases Your Customer Base
Where do your customers come from? How do you get more people to listen to your music? What are the demographics of your target customer?
If you know the answers to all of the above questions, you will also be able to get into profit sooner.
Recommended Customer Acquisition Channels
As a musician, I highly recommend that you use Hypeddit to get your music known and to get ears behind your music. This will also help you to build your music career too.
As a musician, I also recommend that you utilise both Instagram and YouTube. If you also want another site that you may be able to use, you should choose Facebook. Basically, any site that allows you to play music or video should be considered as an option for customer acquisition.
Lastly, in customer acquisition, I recommend that you make use of SoundCloud for your music. This has many benefits and goes really well with Hypeddit.
Step 4: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan That Takes Your Competitors Into Consideration
Understanding your competitors is essential because you have to know where you can fit in to the market and this will show you what works for your competitors and what doesn’t. Therefore, you can leverage your position so that you are popular with your fans.
A Great Example
A great example of an artist who makes a difference above and beyond her competitors is Lizzo. This soul singer promotes self-love and body shaming. Therefore, she appeals to a lot of young women who are concerned about their bodies.
Step 5: Test Your Music on Your Current Fan Base
The next thing you need to do is to test your music on your fanbase. If they like it, they will let you know. You can also upload it to SoundCloud and see what kind of a response you get from the people who hear it there.
I advise you to run it through Hypeddit and SoundCloud so that you are guaranteed to have some great response to what you have. However, please note that people may give you a positive comment when in reality, they don’t like the music as much as you would like them to.
When you get the feedback, remix your track so that it includes the changes that your fans highlighted in the feedback. All this has to happen before the official launch so that you are releasing the best music possible. I always upload my music to SoundCloud first and foremost. From there, I can gauge what people think of the music from what is written in the comments.
Step 6: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan That Includes Achievable Goals
What are you going to do along the road to success in your music career? How are you going to get there? All of your goals have to be achievable. You also need to follow the following acronym.
The SMART Acronym
Specific: What exactly are you going to do to get there? What are your exact plans. You need to be as specific as possible.
Measurable: You need to use the right analytics tools and your plan needs to be measurable. How are you going to know how well your plan is going if you don’t also measure it.
Attainable: This is basically the same as achievable. You will need to make sure that your goals are also very attainable. You might look at goals further on down the road and think, “How am I going to get there?” From your viewpoint now, you will be worried and think, “How the heck am I going to do that?” Well, it might be daunting now, but if you start off with small goals, you can work your way up to the bigger goals. When you climb the stairs, you start on the lowest one. Nobody is expecting you to jump from one floor to another – unless you’re either Superman or completely stupid.
Road Mappable: By road-mappable, I mean it needs to read like a map. You need to know where you are in your plan, and how you are going to get to your eventual goal. All of this needs to be included in your marketing plan.
Time-Based: Your plan needs to be time based. This means that you have to meet your goals by certain dates in your diary. However, please always remember that you also need your goals to be achieveable. You might want to be a millionaire by this time next week, but you’re not going to achieve that unless something miraculous happens – especially if you live paycheque-to-paycheque.
Step 7: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan With the Right Branding
Branding is the image that you build up in your customer’s (or target customer’s) minds. Therefore, you always have to strive to have the best branding possible.
Too many people think branding is just about a logo. While your logo is an important part of your branding, it is a tiny part of your brand. As well as your logo, did you know that your very own name is your personal brand? It has been since the day you were born. Therefore, you need to make sure that you and everyone you work with have an impeccable personal brand.
Your brand is about your mindset and the mindset of everyone you work with and work for. Therefore, you will want your customers to have the right mindsets when it comes to your brand. You can achieve this through offering excellent customer service more than anything else.
I always buy my beer from one particular shop. It is not the cheapest price, but I go there because I always get a smile from the lady serving me. It is worth me paying a little bit more to get that kind of customer service.
How to Brand Your Music
You can brand your music through your own personal appearance and the styles of both yourself and also your band literature, advertising, etc. For instance, if you use a lot of pink in your branding, you would be more popular with women and gay men. Black and darker colours are better for heavier rock and metal bands.
The Krannaken logo is the white K on a black or purple background with the word Krannaken underneath in a futuristic font style. I believe this is better for an electronic music act. It also highlights the fact that we use current and new technology to make our music to a much better standard.
Step 8: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan With the Right Product
How are you going to develop your music? Are you going to use new technologies? Do you play an instrument? Which Digital Audio Workstation are you going to use to develop your product?
Your product is about taking all the feedback, everything you know, and turning it into the right product. This is how you are going to succeed in your music career.
You also need to have a plan of how to master your music. Are you going to use a professional mix engineer? You may want to use a professional service such as LandR. Alternatively, if you feel you have the right skillset, you can master it yourself. However, this should depend on your budget and resources. Furthermore, I would only suggest using your own skills if you really have those skills. Otherwise, I would urge you to make use of one of the former methods I mention here.
How Do I Create the Right Product for Krannaken
Personally, I use FL Studio with third-party plugins to engineer the right sound and create music that people will love. I play a few different instruments, but the only one I use to make music is the keyboard. This is because it is simple just to plug the keyboard into my PC.
Step 9: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan With the Right Price Structure
As a music artist, you may well be aware that music retail sites like to choose their own prices. However, you get an option of whether you want to have a lower, middle of the range, or higher price for your music.
This is where price elasticity comes into play. If you charge lower fees, you will get more downloads. Therefore, if you charge more, not so many people will purchase your music. You need to have a hppy medium. You won’t make as much per sale if your prices are lower.
Setting Prices For Your Merch
As I just said, your download retail prices are determined by the retail site it is available on. However, one thing you do have more say in the price of your merch. Again, the rules of price elasticity also come into play with your merch. You can choose how much profit you want to make per sale.
I highly recommend sites with no minimum order values. Therefore, your fans will be able to purchase merch directly from the third-party website. This means that you don’t have to worry about numbers of sales. The promotional items company will bear the brunt of the worry about how much merch is sold. You just have to send traffic to the website to make the sales.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, merch is advertising that pays you. This is what makes it so good.
Step 10: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan By Selling at the Right Place
The place is important. You could take the Distrokid route. Distrokid don’t take a cut of your money, but instead charge you one annual payment. I have used Distrokid for a couple of years now and they have peace-of-mind, no nonsense strategies. They will also pay the right people directly. Therefore, if your lead guitarist and lead singers both want 20%, Distrokid will put those payments directly into their bank accounts.
Where Will You Do Your Live Shows?
Another thing that you need to consider when talking about the right place is where you will play your live shows. This should depend on where your fans live. If you have more fans in Japan, you could put on a show in Tokyo.
The alternative to traveling to different cities around the world is to live-stream your shows from your home to people all around the world. This is easy, hassle-free and all of your fans can tune in. This makes your music accessible to the entire planet. A good example of this is Armin Van Buuren who plays his sets from his home studio in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. You can find an example of Armin Van Buuren’s shows below…
Step 11: How to Build a Marketing Plan With the Right Promotion Strategy
How are you going to ensure that your fans know your music has been released? When deciding on your promotion strategy, you also need to take all of the above into consideration.
There are tonnes of ways to promote your music. This should be both online and also offline. You can use sites like Hypeddit, YouTube advertising, Instagram advertising, sponsorships or securing blog reviews, radio plays and playlist placements. There are also many more ways to deliver your music to both new and also to existing fans.
“Promotion must stay in motion”
Promotion Must Stay In Motion
As a music artist, you never want to stop promoting your music. Keep at it all the time. This is because you need to make sure that people are always listening to your music. Therefore, you will find success as more and more people tune into your sound.
Step 12: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan by Measuring Your Statistics
This is basically keeping an eye on your analytics. This could include Google Analytics. However, all of the streaming and social media platforms have their own analytics data that you also need to keep an eye on. It can usually be found by typing in analytics.domain.com. For instance, with Google analytics, you are typing in analytics.google.com.
Sign Up to Google Analytics
If you haven’t done so already, I recommend that you sign up for Google Analytics. This is especially if you also have your own music blog or website where you sell your music products. Google Analytics are maybe the best analytics data providers that you will find anywhere online.
Step 13: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan and Assemble the Right Plan
This is the process of writing everything down, creating your budget and also keeping a time schedule so that you know what is happening and when.
“If it’s not on paper, it’s only vapour”
Step 14: How to Build a Music Marketing Plan With the Right Execution
Execution doesn’t necessarily get written down on your plan, but it’s putting it into action that counts. If you want to be a success, you need to put your entire plan into action. Otherwise, this whole post and your whole marketing plan is a waste of time and effort.
Step 15: How to Build a Marketing Plan by Adopting a Forever Student Mentality
Reading books, ebooks and audiobooks is just a drop in the ocean. You can also do courses with Udemy, watch YouTube videos, read magazines and blog posts…and much more. Therefore, you will be able to build your music career much more easily and know where you are, where you have been and also where you are going to.
The simply truth is that if you learn more, you can do more. If you can do more, you can charge more for your services. When you charge more for your services, you are becoming more successful. Therefore, learning more and adopting a forever student mentality is going to stand you in good stead to make more money and be more successful.
Thank you for reading all of this post. If you haven’t read the entire post, I am not going to force you to. However, to get a brief insight of what is included in this post you might want to at least read the headings. However, the goal of this post is to help you to build your music career.
If you would also like to read my other recent posts, you can find them in this short list below. This is longer than any of those in the list, so if you’re worried about getting into as long a post, don’t worry.
- 6 Tips For Better Music Marketing
- How to Monetize Your Online Fanbase in 2022
- 5 Fantastic Ideas For Your YouTube Music Videos
- How to Make Money as a Songwriter in 2022
- Services to Offer as a Successful Label in 2022
Get Your Free Copy of The Complete Guide to Music Marketing 2021
This book includes more than 80 pages of music marketing strategies, resources and aha moments that work in 2021.