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Marketing Music
Will Griffin

Do It Right Yourself:

    Those wishing to take a measured and pragmatic approach to success, may wish to do most of this themselves.  Remember...producers, record companies, managers and marketers are the employees of the artists.  Therefore, to be successful, the artist must know ever aspect of their business and the music business generally.

    Using a combination of marketing tools and on-line resources, an artist can begin selling their own products and promoting themselves locally and on-line to attract top musicians, producers, record companies, managers and marketers.  Using these resources and methods also shows these other professionals that the artist understands the marketing and the business aspects of the music industry, beyond the creative performances.  If the songs are solid, the artistry competitively marketable, and it was a legally (AFM union) recording session, success can be had at many of the initial levels, before other airplay and distribution has commenced.  These also lead to better chances to record with major musicians and companies.

    By recording your project legally with AFM musicians, setting up your own domain and web site, and marketing yourself on-line and through other means, you are showing radio stations, record companies, distributors, and promoters that you have already invested into yourself and that you are continuing to do so.  By doing this, you also show them that you are investing and believing in yourself and so should they.  You additionally show them that you are very organized and professional and that you will make money in this venture with or without them.

    An artist should have their own web site and own their own URL name such as YOU.com.  This way you can have as one of you POP3 email addresses of.  you@yourname.com for easy recall and you show far more stability than those amateur artists who use @yahoo.com/@hotmail.com and other free web based addresses.  You should be hosting your web site on a reliable server and paying the hosting and bandwidth fees yourself   Your web site should have contact information, on-line CD sales, brief 30 sec. clips, on-line order forms, latest news, biography/discography, tour/club dates, mailing list for fan club, and other features for your listeners and customers of your products.

    Even if you have the perfect artist's web site, you will need to drive traffic to this site.  Although you may submit your web site to every search engine on the planet, put a link to your site on other sites, if it is one of those websites where anybody can post their info/clips and there are thousands of artists, musicians, and songwriters, you will have to pay either the site's or search engine's premium package, or hope for random hits from those just browsing the field of thousands of artists.  Visitors to web sites generally aren't that patient to sort through a lot of artists for very long.

    If your site is listed in an index or with an on-line company like Independent-Artists.com so that you are getting more direct traffic, you'll have to pay some kind of advertising fee or provide other consideration, because providing you with advertising costs every site that does so a lot of money.  Just as with Yahoo.com, Google.com or Overture.com to get listings that separate you from a host of artists with products made at home and submitted free sites requires advertising fees.  These usually come in the form of bidding on keywords in a range of $.05 - $1.00/click (the more expensive ranking higher). 

    Even with high search engine rankings, on-line traffic may be driven to a web site using various applications such as internet news groups, on-line clubs, on-line mailing lists, message boards, chatrooms and instant messaging of interest lists.  However, these need to be carefully crafted, so as not to appear as SPAM and then have a counter effect to your intentions.  You or those helping you will need to spend a minimum of about 250 - 500 total man hours of on-line promotion, if you choose to do this yourself.  Mailing lists/SPAM, that are not from forms on your personal artist's web site, or a radio/music advertising site where you are listed, prove to be a waste of time and money and do not generate the traffic to your site and sales to justify the costs.

    Once you have a site up, you've got traffic coming to it and you are making sales, then you are in a position to send CDs to a distribution/promotion company, your local and regional radio stations for airplay consideration.  You may find it helpful to get with a company who can help you with your on-line CD sales, notably if the company also distributes CDs through on-line sources such as CDNow.com or Amazon.com. 

    In order to sell your CD through some of these companies, as is true with getting radio airplay, you will have to show that you have a legally recorded project using AFM musicians and that you are set up to pay royalties to all others, if you have recorded a song they wrote. Calling or e-mail to a company/radio-station asking who is the proper person to send something to for review may  prove helpful.

    In your packet, you should also have your bio, photo, a nice cover letter written to a specific person, and your contact information, notably e-mail and your web address.  Follow-up with an e-mail asking for a time for a brief telephone conversation to discuss their thoughts on your CD/package to the labels and radio stations you've sent it.

    For more information:

Independent-Artists' logo and link

Will Griffin: griffin@desktop-radio.com
Shelley Yates:

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