- People: Think of the target group of people, whether in age, behavioral, demographic, etc. that would appreciate your music and how your efforts will attract and expand that fan base.
- Product: Define the unique benefits of your musical product to the consumer. Physical products include the obvious– like albums and concert tickets. Yet, your music as a brand represents a certain need from your listeners. Whether that need is to laugh, dance, cry, think, or question, is for you as an independent artist to decide. The better you understand the need you fulfill for your listeners, the greater appeal your musical product has.
- Place: The places where you sell your product. This can include concerts, street corners, CD retailers, or digital/online platforms. Some people say that ‘Digital Killed the Radio Star,’ but digital media simply provide a new means to sell. Take advantage of this new opportunity and be creative with ways that online platforms can expand your number fans. Recently, a popular independent artist named Mikey Wax offered his new album as a free download through Facebook in exchange for importing Facebook contacts into the fan page. Another independent band, featured in Billboard magazine last month, conducted a photo contest online for fans to get band stickers in the craziest places and post the pictures on the band website. The winning fan won a special signed album, merchandise, and tickets. It is unique ideas like this that allow independent artists to fully exploit the new place for music that the internet provides.
- Promotion: Promotion is the various marketing techniques used to advance your music, whether in printed advertisement, public relations, direct marketing, or social networking.
In a changing music environment it is vital to maintain multiple diverse revenue streams. Also, these revenue streams can help build a band fund which pays for recording time, concert expenses, and further promotion efforts.
- Both online and physical sales of music, merchandising, and concert tickets, music Subscription and other music royalties, ad revenue sharing, cobranding, and benefit concerts expand awareness while creating revenue for your band. These revenue streams are all utilized by major artists to maintain their financial success.
In an ever changing music industry, it is critical to remain up to date on the most recent changes and developments in the industry. Subscribing to music magazines and following blogs, as you already do, are great ways to stay in touch with the industry. Additionally asking friends, family, fellow artists, music engineers, artist managers, venues, and whoever else will listen, opinions about your music is extremely valuable. The fact is, you don’t know what you don’t know. Therefore, you never know how a person’s assistance or insight from any background, musical or otherwise, could help you in getting your music heard. Remaining open to criticism is how an artist is able to continually grow. Taking the best advice on your music and integrating it into your own unique style can take you from indie to legendary.