The Sneaky Way to Promote Your Music Without Actually Talking About Your Music

[Editors Note: This blog was written by Dave Kusek and originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog.]

I know it sounds completely counterintuitive to promote your music and raise awareness for yourself as an artist without actually talking about your music – or your music career, for that matter. But it’s being done more and more and has become a really powerful way to make a name for yourself by bypassing the crowded indie-musician market.

Let me explain. The key is to establish yourself as an expert in some related topic like gear, self-releasing music, or songwriting. It’s about sharing valuable information on a topic you have a lot of experience in to draw potential fans. They find you by searching for “how to write a song,” or “how to book your own gigs,” or “guitar pedal review,” and discover your music through that connection.

Push vs. pull marketing

Traditionally, there are two ways to go about promoting your music. You can either push your message out to fans and potential fans (push marketing), or you can pull them in and get them to come to you (pull marketing).

Push marketing is those typical advertisements you see on TV and hear on the radio. They’re just pushing information out about their product to a large audience hoping to reach someone who may be interested.

Pull marketing is about giving out valuable information that you know your target audience is searching for. This valuable information could be exclusive or behind-the-scenes access to you as an artist. This kind of content will pull in current fans and deepen your relationship.

But you could also share advice on something you have a lot of experience with. This will help you reach a new audience who may not even be familiar with your music.

So let’s go through the strategy step-by-step.

1. Find your expertise

The first step is finding something you have a lot of experience and knowledge in. As a musician, you have a few really obvious routes – music, songwriting, mixing, mastering, music theory, gear, instruments, etc. These are the skills that form the very foundation of your career, so you definitely have a lot of valuable information to bring to the table here.

Many musicians, including Scale the Summit’s bassist Mark Michell, have set up online schools to share their musical knowledge and techniques. The key here is to bring this training online instead of doing local lessons. Not only will you be able to reach a much larger audience, you’ll also start showing up in Google searches for things like “online bass lessons.”

Other musicians pull on other skill sets like music business knowledge, booking gigs, or creating YouTube videos. DIY musician Ari Herstand, for example, runs the blog Ari’s Take, where he shares his experiences and the skills he’s learned from booking his own shows and generally running his own career. Other musicians like Alex Cowles share their knowledge on self-releasing music.

2. Find the right platform

If you want people to organically find you, the best option is to go online. Depending on the kind of information you share, your platform may be a little different. So, if you’re creating music lessons, videos may be your best bet. Try making YouTube tutorials, playthroughs, and lessons, and release them regularly to build an audience.

On the other hand, if you’re sharing the things you’ve learned on getting your songs licensed or booking college gigs, a blog may suit your information better. Gear and guitar pedal reviews and demonstrations might use a combination of blog posts and videos.

You could also aim to partner with other media outlets to share out your information. This will help you get your name out to a larger audience. In addition to his own blog, Ari Herstand also writes for Digital Music News. Maybe you could get a regular column in a small online music magazine or music industry blog – start small and grow from there.

3. Show up in search

Now that you have your content up, you need to make sure people can actually find it. There are plenty of SEO guides out there, but basically, you just want to think about what people are actually typing into search. There are also a lot of cool tools like Google’s Keyword Planner that can give you some ideas.

You want the keywords and article titles you choose to be relevant and specific to what you’re posting. So if you’re posting a review of a certain guitar pedal, a title like “Boss Waza Craft VB-2W Vibrato Review” will perform better than “Guitar Pedal Review.” Likewise, if you’re sharing your tips on how to set up good lighting for a music video, something like “Setting Up Good Lighting for a Music Video” will probably do the trick.

Of course, good SEO won’t instantly drive thousands of people to your articles and videos. It’s going to take a lot of work and consistent posting to build up an audience.

4. Create the connection

Here’s the most important part of this strategy: you need to make the connection to your music and drive your viewers or readers to check it out. After all, music is your main gig.

There are a few options here. You could obviously host your blog on your band’s site, or share your tutorials or gear reviews on your band’s YouTube channel. That way, your music is just a click away. This works, but it will make it more difficult to get the SEO working like you want.

If you host your content off your music website, you need to make the connection obvious. Include an “About” page that shares your story. Highlight your musical journey and your creative career as an indicator of your expertise on the subject.

You should also mention your career and bring out stories in your articles and videos.Preface an amp review by saying you brought it on tour and recorded some awesome sounding live videos with it. Include the live video to prove your point (and introduce your readers to your music).

If you’re teaching people on YouTube about modes, you could mention that you used a certain mode when writing a new song you have out. Play a short section of that song to show your point and include a card in the top right corner to link to your music video.

How to Maximize Your Music Promotion on Social Media Using a Simple Formula

[Editors Note: This blog was written by Dave Kusek, founder of New Artist Model, and it originally appeared on the Sonicbids Blog. As we continue to celebrate the launch of TuneCore Social, here is some helpful content for independent artists who are always on the look-out for social media strategy tips!]

 

 

As a musician, the last thing you want to do is spend hours and hours every single week dealing with your social media. After all, you probably started in music to be creative, not to sit behind a computer dealing with marketing.

While it’s awesome that you can be in direct contact with your fans in today’s modern music industry, it definitely puts a lot of strain on your time. You need to post quality content on a regular basis, and on top of that, you need to post unique content to your different channels to keep your fans interested across the board. I mean, why should someone follow you on Facebook and Twitter if you push out exactly the same messages on both platforms? That all adds up to a lot of content and a lot of time.

But there’s a solution to simplify your approach, maximize your impact, and speed up the process – and it starts with just one piece of content.

“Circular viralocity” is a phrase coined by marketer and career coach Brendon Burchard. In short, it’s a very simple formula that will help you turn one piece of content, like a cover video, music video, or new song, into multiple pieces of unique content that you can easily share across social media. It’s also a way to circulate your fans to all your online channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SoundCloud, your blog, and your email list.

In the end, not only will your social media promotion be more effective, it will also be easier and less time-consuming to manage. So let’s break down the steps.

1. Multiply your content

The first step is to derive multiple pieces of content from whatever you’re sharing, and it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. As an example, let’s say you’re uploading a cover video or even an original song video to YouTube:

  • YouTube: First, you’ll post the music video or cover video to YouTube.
  • Facebook: Create a shorter edit of the video and upload directly to Facebook to take advantage of its sleek video player.
  • Twitter: Grab your favorite lyric line from the song and create a quick quote graphic in Canvato post to Twitter.
  • Instagram: It’s pretty easy to just snap a photo while you’re filming the music video or cover video, but if you forget, you can always just grab a screenshot from the video for Instagram.
  • SoundCloud: Pull the audio from your video and post it to SoundCloud.
  • Blog: Your blog gives you the chance to go a little deeper with your fans, so use this opportunity to let them into your world a little. One option is to simply post the video and write up your thoughts on the song, what it means to you, the story behind your lyrics, or what the writing and recording process was like. If you have more time, you could film a separate video where you actually explain and talk about some of these things on camera and post that instead.
  • Email: You can definitely just email out a link to your blog post, but if you want to take it a step further, you could send your email subscribers a free download of the MP3 audio from the video.

Of course, there are a ton of other options. You can post short videos to Twitter, different lyric quotes or images to Facebook, or free downloads on SoundCloud. Get creative with it!

2. Link it together

Okay, so now you have a lot of really great content. This is where a lot of people stop, but we’re going to take it a few steps further to really power-drive your social reach by linking everything together.

What do I mean by that? Basically, you want everything you post to be linking somewhere else.

  • Your shorter Facebook video can link to the full YouTube video.
  • Your Twitter can link to the YouTube video, your SoundCloud, or your blog post.
  • You can add links to your social channels, your blog post, and a place they can buy/download the MP3 for the song in the description of your YouTube video.
  • Your blog post can include a link to sign up to your email list.

See what we’re doing here? We’re getting your fans to check out all the awesome content you just created to drive up the exposure and engagement on all your online channels. It’s a big content circle!

3. Drive traffic

If you really want to maximize this strategy, you want to be actively encouraging your fans to follow through the content circle. In other words, let them know that you’ve got a lot of different and cool content for them on your other channels.

When you’re working with YouTube, most people don’t take the time to look in the description box, especially if they’re viewing on mobile. So the best way to get your fans to check out your links is to actually ask them. Do a quick voiceover at the end of your video encouraging your fans to open the description box and click through your links, or even better, get on video yourself.

On Facebook and Twitter, ask your fans to click through the links you share, and tell them why they should. What will they get by clicking through that they can’t get here?

If you follow this circular viralocity strategy, your social media should be much less time-consuming and much more effective. If you’d like to learn more strategies to simplify your career and unlock more opportunities, I’d like to give you the opportunity to download my most popular ebook, Hack the Music Business, for free. It’ll take you through some of the best strategies for indie musicians to help you grow your fanbase and your career.