“Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them.” – Jeremiah 1:17 (NIV)
Gird up your loins people! This is important stuff for those of you who are serious and want to do this music thing a long time.
Many people ask me when we near the completion of their music project, “Okay, what do we do now? How do we get this music online?”
This is a good question, and usually it means starting with a web site, getting the music to the online sales portals, and online promotion.
The problem is, just because we can build it (pretty easily in fact) it does NOT mean they will come. In fact, online activity is very difficult to master and profit from. Yet I will still lay it out in this post for you to read, shake your head that you don’t think you could ever really do these things, and curse me in vain. (Note: if you feel this way please do not comment below. ;)
This is step one for any business, but certainly required for an amazing music project. If nothing else, it serves as a place to send people who may want to find out about your music and ministry. Our job is to present some information about the artist and music, then give the user ways to access the music (buy/download/stream), and of course contact the artist.
Again, just because you have a website, it doesn’t mean anyone will go to it – unless they are told to, or given a reason to. We’ll cover how to do that in a bit.
It’s actually pretty easy for anyone to get music online. Aggregators like CDBaby not only provide a way to sell CDs from a totally automated store once you send them product, but they also send the music to iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and many more digital stores and streaming companies.
The good news is that by using a company like CDBaby, they will collect from all those stores and pay you in one payment. Now, will you make anything? Well, that likely depends on what you are doing to promote it, the kind of following you have, and believe it or not, how much you sing live.
Social Media Promotion
“Be a person that others will look for your posts daily because they know you will encourage them. Be the positive one and help others to have a great day and you will find that not only they like you but you will like you too.” ― John Patrick Hickey, Oops! Did I Really Post That
You’ve probably known that at some point you’d have to engage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging and other tools to promote your music. You’ve likely just been trying not to think about it.
Unfortunately folks, as I am proving by you reading this, social media and online tools are the new marketing – and they are free! You likely already do Facebook, and that will be a main tool. You’ll build a page just for your music, then try to get your friends and family on your regular FB account to “Like” it.
Whether you want to tweet or not, Twitter is a fantastic device for marketing to strangers. As much as we want to speak to fans, we need a way to make new fans. Twitter allows you to target new fans by their profiles and follow them in hopes they will follow you. Watch for a new post devoted to my Twitter strategy soon.
LinkedIn is a good way to find professional people to follow you and to reach out to when you need them. It’s a great way to find pastors and church folk. Instagram is a good way to share pictures with your fans, and it integrates with Facebook and Twitter very well!
All these social media tools and the following they may bring are for naught if you can’t provide any content they may be interested in. This may shock you, but people aren’t just sitting waiting to hear and buy your music. However, they may be touched by what you have to say and take interest.
The Importance of Blogging
“A blog is neither a diary nor a journal. Many people think of blogging in relation to those two things, confessional or practical. It is neither but includes elements of both.” – Lemn Sissay
WordPress and many other platforms that are similar to this allow you to write blog posts like the one you are now reading. They can also act as your web site. All my current sites are located either on WordPress or Blogger.
This is a tough one for most folks as they wonder what they would have to say. But I find that kind of ludicrous. If you have written 10 songs, you have at least 10 blog posts. Plus, as people walking through life you have much to share, much as you do on Facebook about many silly things.
Blog posts can be dropped into your Facebook post, and sit nicely in a post there. They can be mentioned in a tweet, or LinkedIn post. Then your followers may be tempted to come read.
Working it Harder than Anyone Else…Forever.
Well, this is a hard one to teach, but it is really the key. I have many artists I have worked with and continue to work with for years, if not decades. These folks stay at it during the hard times and easy times. They keep working despite months or years where the industry changes, or their personal life crashes, or they take a new job.
They simply work harder and more consistently than anyone else.
Real Success Online
“An individual artist needs only a thousand true fans in her tribe. It's enough.” ― Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
Online success is not about making money. You need to get that out of your head right now. Working hard with online tools is an important way to build a following that will support you for a long time. It’s a way to find possibilities and relationships that may not pay off today, but could lead to opportunities years in the future.
That is, if you are serious and going to be doing this that long.
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is a producer, composer, and author who takes all the above very seriously, hence the unceasing posts, tweets, and other annoying stuff you likely get bombarded with. But he stays busy, and isn’t that what you’d like to do as a Christian artist and songwriter? If so, come talk to him at http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com and let’s get your music and ministry started or restarted.