From Promote Your Music:
In my opinion, there are five subjects a performing songwriter should have at least a working knowledge in. They include: songwriting, stage performance, recording, theory (including knowing how to play your instrument) and marketing. The first four may seem fairly obvious, however music marketing is a topic often completely ignored by songwriters. In fact, it may be the most important piece of the puzzle. If you want to get anywhere as a songwriter or a performer, you have to learn how to market yourself and your music.
The problem is, occasionally a songwriter will get a “lucky break” with their music and score a lot of money and fame without having put in much effort. Then every other songwriter on the planet thinks that’s the way to make it happen. You just have to be lucky. I want to give you a few pointers on how you can be much more likely to achieve your songwriting goals, based on how you market yourself and your music.
1. Speak to One Person
Of course as a songwriter, you want to appeal to the masses. You want a ton of people hearing, sharing and loving your music. I get that. But one thing you have to realize when you’re marketing yourself is it’s best to address one person, to increase the odds of getting their attention.
For example, let’s say you signed up for a band’s email list at one of their shows. Which of the following opening lines would be more likely to grab your attention as a reader?
A. “Hey Guys – We wanted to thank you all for coming out to our last show. We appreciated you guys being there and hope you can make it out to our next show at…”
B. “Hey Bob – We wanted to thank you for coming out to our last show. We appreciated you being there and hope you can make it out to our next show at…”
Doesn’t the second one feel much more like it’s directed at you, specifically (well, assuming your name’s Bob)? The second one’s much more likely to get your reader’s attention. There’s a subconscious detachment that happens when we read phrases like “hey all you guys.” It makes us feel like just a face in a crowd, and we zone out. But when we’re spoken to directly, we’re much more likely to respond.
To get good at this technique, a great marketing approach is to create an avatar of your typical fan. Write out the name, age, gender, occupation, etc, of one of your fans. It can be someone made-up, who you feel represents your fan base appropriately, or it can be an actual fan of yours. Every time you write an email, tweet, or Facebook post, keep that person in mind. Pretend you’re writing to him only and not to everyone on the internet. It’ll help you keep your writings engaging for everyone who reads them, because while saying things like “Hello Cleveland” is kick-ass on-stage, it just doesn’t apply when you’re marketing yourself.
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