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Inclinedtomusic

What type of promotion is best for a music artist?

15 posts in this topic

I'm inclined to music and I want to help a close friend. I wonder about some music artists. They need to find ways to promote their own craft and music. They need to get out to the masses to gain popularity. What do you think is the best method? Is the use of social media enough? How about an online fan connections to build their own careers? Which is the best tool should musicians use to market their music? Any thoughts?

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Best method to get out to the masses?  The internet.  Youtube, soundcloud, bandcamp, spotify, these places can be accessed by almost anyone anywhere in the world.  Throw your/their stuff on there and boom, the masses can listen to your work.

Is social media enough?  Depends.  Some artists can get by completely without using it, others could use it daily or even hourly and it won't affect their popularity in the slightest.

Online fan connection to build their career?  I mean it couldn't hurt.

Best tool to market their music?  Get hooked up with a really good PR firm.  Find a really good label that deals with your style of music.  Find DJs/youtubers/radio stations/instagram or snapchat or worldstar celebrities and have them play your/their stuff.  Find whatever gig will let you perform and perform perform perform.

Final thought, if you/they really want a career in music, whether it's performing or composing or whatever, you/they really have to look at everything and everyone that's already out there, then look at themselves/their work/yourself/your work and ask "Is this marketable?"

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You are definitely right. The internet plays a key role in gaining popularity around the globe. And I guess, if people would like their music it would not be so hard to market them as well. They can share it on Facebook, Instagram, other social media. 

Anyway, regarding online influence, do you think paid advertising can help as well? 

I'll take your advice. Thank you!

 

 

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Protip (and one I never see anyone sharing): Remember that any and all advice and list of tools and places to do music promotion with are just guidelines at best and that actual, practical success in the music world comes from standing out in a creative and qualitative fashion and using as many tools as you can to see what works best for you and what doesn't.

All these "How to make it in the music industry" videos and articles and such are painfully generic (for a reason) and have logical flaws to them because what ultimately determines artistic success is being ridiculously high quality and very, very lucky. They can only point you in a direction because what worked for them may not (and usually doesn't) work for you, and that especially changes because hundreds of thousands of other newb musicians read those articles and do exactly what they say only for the venues they recommended to get flooded with newb musicians and decide to seek talent elsewhere. It's that cycle plus the luck of the draw - you might do a lot better on CDBaby and Soundcloud than you'd ever do on Bandcamp and Youtube, just because that's what seems to work for you.

Remember that if anyone truly knew what were the BEST music tools for promotion, everyone would be using them and getting successful from it. Because the question persists daily, there is no knowledge on what works best. The only logical course to take then is to get creative, take some risks and try as much stuff as you can to see what sticks.

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2 hours ago, Meteo Xavier said:

everyone would be using them and getting successful from it. Because the question persists daily, there is no knowledge on what works best. The only logical course to take then is to get creative, take some risks and try as much stuff as you can to see what sticks.

I think that overall, what you're saying is true, but I think you put a bit too much emphasis on "luck" and this bolded text in particular.

I've attended, since its inaugural year, what is now the largest annual video game devs conference/mini-E3 in Western Canada. I've met one other composer who can be bothered to show up to whatever kinds of events are going on. I've met a composer who showed up blasting bad music sequenced with Guitar Pro and when (surprise) no one hired him, he never showed his face again. The story rings true in the indie-film scene as well.

The most successful rock band where I'm from, is Nickelback. Every other rock band around here can't be arsed to learn to play to a click track, won't learn even BASIC music theory and are just terrible in general. For all the hate they get, Nickelback is the best and most competent band we've ever produced. Every group of overweight guys and their attempts at "metal" shit on NB though and no word of a lie, the average elementary school is producing more competent musicians than these haters. Yet, they can't understand why they rarely get gigs and they're always unpaid; it's the Dunning-Kruger effect in high gear.

I've made more money than any EDM producer, rock band, etc. in my area that I know personally (and I'm certainly no millionaire) 6 years ago, when I wasn't even half the musician I can be now, off scoring indie games and stuff simply because I was willing to try and learn and improve best I can. I'm willing to get out there and meet people, I'm always trying to learn how to compose better pieces, learn more theory, etc.

Yeah, luck is involved, but that "luck" is more the result of working hard and placing yourself in situations and relationships that can open doors for you. It's like the luck involved in any other field you try to break into: You can't just GIVE yourself the job, but you can do can your best to (hopefully) make yourself a much more attractive hire than your peers and hope for the best — it's all you can really do, but if you don't even give it an honest effort, you'll never succeed.

The truth is: If there was a recipe for success, most people couldn't be bothered to put in the requisite work necessary to do those tasks.

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I put it to luck because I can't fully justify saying it's hard work that ultimately defines success when we still live in an age where the amount of talent an artist has makes no bearing at all on how well they do (still loads of grossly untalented people see more of a career than genuinely talented people do) and neither really does perseverance. The idea behind perseverance is to keep going because sooner or later, something will pop, and while this is absolutely true, it's still probability that fuels that - meaning it's still a process of luck.

Your criticism of my post kinda sounds more like bragging as a point of reference for why luck doesn't cut it as an answer, btw. I myself have also reached a point I would personally consider "successful" in some outlets, especially since my skillset is largely self-taught and woefully limited compared to many professionals, but absolutely none of that is relevant here since no one else's journey into success as an artist is going to be the same as mine. It won't work.

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1 hour ago, Meteo Xavier said:

I put it to luck because I can't fully justify saying it's hard work that ultimately defines success when we still live in an age where the amount of talent an artist has makes no bearing at all on how well they do (still loads of grossly untalented people see more of a career than genuinely talented people do) and neither really does perseverance.

This reasoning usually is often "music I don't like is "untalented". The people who I'm sure you're thinking of are generally backed by a strong marketing team (or exceptionally good at marketing themselves) where aspects often unrelated to their music are a selling point aimed at a particular demographic or because they were guaranteed a job by being born into it.

The amount of people who get successful simply because of looks or theatrics, etc. are an extraordinarily small demographic and it's unreasonable for the average person to expect to get by in the same way. Alice Cooper is actually a pretty awful singer and songwriter as far as those professions go, but it is his stage antics that made him famous and people will remember him for. It is unrealistic for the overwhelming majority of new bands to aim to replicate this kind of success.

Despite what hipsters would have us believe, the Lil' Waynes of the world are the outlier, not the rule.

Most of the pop, country, rock, etc. and composers with regular work didn't con their way in: They're just solid, hard-working performers playing some decent tunes in a style that appeals to as wide a demographic possible. Again, it's cool to shit on Nickelback, but most up-and-coming bands I meet don't have even a sliver of the work ethic and musical competence of just one of the guys in that band. 

TL;DR: You cannot say that a handful of bad musicians becoming rich means that the majority of good, hard-working musicians' success therefore relies on luck.

 

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I don't really know many people in the industry who got where they were by being lucky instead of having the patience and intelligence to find and seize opportunities.

The latter may not be "hard work", but it's certainly not random, which is what you're implying. There are pretty commonly agreed upon strategies to succeed it in the industry, just not everyone has the willpower or patience to consistently follow through with them over a course of many years. It's not easy work, dare I say, it is... hard work after all. So not "everyone would do them". That's only assuming they're easy strategies, which they're not. They're very demanding and not everyone is up for them.

That's actually why I quit trying! I can see myself succeeding as a game composer, I'd also have to sell my soul a bit and slave away at cold emails and pay out the ass for networking events. Can't handle it. So I don't, and found an opportunity elsewhere in a different industry.

But you don't see me being cranky and cynical and butthurt about it everytime someone asks for career advice. 

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2 hours ago, Nabeel Ansari said:

I don't really know many people in the industry who got where they were by being lucky instead of having the patience and intelligence to find and seize opportunities.

His point is akin to saying,

"There are some really bad roofers out there getting work, so the skill and marketing ability of the good roofing companies has no bearing on their success"

Which, if anything, one would think it was the bad roofers who are the lucky ones. 

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I don't really believe for a second there are bad roofers getting work. EDIT: Following the analogy which doesn't apply 100%, I mean to say, musicians.

Getting work is not just about your "musical skill", however you want to measure that. It's about networking and being ready for opportunities. No one just sits there and get work piled on them because they're lucky. The only time you get a gig without working to secure it is from pre-existing relationships or referrals, which come from work in networking or previous work with a client.

The fixation on "hard work" is silly. It's not about "hard work", it's about "smart work". Doing the correct kind of work, when it's appropriate. Being patient and having plans.

If you're a "busy idiot", which is an expression that means you are working hard in the wrong places, you won't see success. It doesn't matter how hard you work if you're doing the wrong work.

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1 hour ago, Nabeel Ansari said:

I don't really believe for a second there are bad roofers getting work.

Getting work is not just about your "musical skill", however you want to measure that. It's about networking and being ready for opportunities. No one just sits there and get work piled on them because they're lucky. The only time you get a gig without working to secure it is from pre-existing relationships or referrals, which come from work in networking or previous work with a client.

Haha okay, clearly you've never been involved in building houses. No one who's bad at their job ever manages to keep it longer than they should. What world are you living in?

Also, no shit; I said the second part of your post. If you ever bothered to read what other people say instead of just posting your sage-like wisdom, you'd know this.

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42 minutes ago, AngelCityOutlaw said:

Haha okay, clearly you've never been involved in building houses. No one who's bad at their job ever manages to keep it longer than they should. What world are you living in?

I was talking about the metaphorized roofers being musicians, not actual roofers, sorry.

And can you quit it with the drama already? It's really played out, and you ruin a lot of threads with it.

To clarify, most of my post was directed at Meteo, not you.

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2 hours ago, Nabeel Ansari said:

I was talking about the metaphorized roofers being musicians, not actual roofers, sorry.

And can you quit it with the drama already? It's really played out, and you ruin a lot of threads with it.

To clarify, most of my post was directed at Meteo, not you.

Didn't seem that way, but fair enough.

I'm also not sure what you mean, as despite I guess what could be a harsh choice of words to some, my pulse rarely elevates in these kinds of discussions.

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It depends on your genre and focus and goals etc. Do you want to be a professional and only do music or is it sort of a semi professional hobby?

All in all I'd say that no matter how much energy and time you invest into it, it all comes down to luck and timing. There is no magic way to guarantee anything. World is full with musicians and projects that just never "achieved it" no matter what and it often doesn't mean that their music sucks. That is just how the world works. The internet definitely lowers the bar when it comes to what is possible, but it still is hard work. 

I'd say you can use whatever tools are available and you should.

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