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Your Biggest Music Marketing Mistake That You Don’t Even Know You’re Making

I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.
-Gary Vaynerchuk

If I asked you who you were marketing your music to, you’d probably say something like this: young, hip people, age 18-27, living in Los Angeles, San Fransisco, New York City, or Chicago. But if I took a look at who you’re really marketing to, I’d most likely come to the conclusion that you’re marketing to yourself. Or moreover, you are marketing to your ego.

The Golden Rule of Marketing: WIIFM

I say that most musicians, event promoters, and music professionals are marketing to themselves. Most music marketing messages are self-oriented. There’s a lot of “I” talk going on, and not a lot of “you” talk to speak of. How many times have you seen these online:

  • “Go check out my track!!”
  • “Come out to this event! It’s gonna be awesome!!!!!”
  • “Got such a sick announcement for you guys!!!!!” (Producers even know it’s arrogant, and leave out the “I” in sentences like this to avoid being a douche.)

Marketing messages like this are annoying, and ineffective because they are self-centered instead of other-focused. To create effective marketing, you must first put yourself into the head of the consumer. Step outside of being a music producer and become a fan. Step outside of being a talent buyer and become a club attendee. Once there, you need to ask your consumer-self some basic questions.

What’s in it for me?

What benefit would this song, show, or product give to the consumer? This is the Golden Rule of Marketing. Find the benefit for others, and then communicate it. If your fans do not get any value from your work, then don’t release it into the world. It pays to please. Think of ways of to incorporate your present and future audience into your brand and the things you do with it.

Why should I care? 

As ego-driven creatures, we often think our creations are more important than they actually are. They’re our babies, and we love them more than anyone else could ever love them. Because of this, you need to seriously ask yourself why other people, besides you, should be interested, or if they are interested at all.

Is this vital for me to see? Do I want to see this?

When asked about how he makes blockbuster TED Talks, Derek Sivers gave a simple rule: “Cut out everything that isn’t shocking.” Make it so there is no fluff, there is no boring introductions, only the meat of the message. Most marketing is full of fluff , and most of the things that you announce shouldn’t be. So be deliberate in your marketing. Ask yourself, “how much do my fans want this?”. It’s not about how much you want to tell them, it’s about how much they want you to show them.

Shifting the Language

As we move from focusing on ourselves to focusing on others, there’s a change in tone to our marketing messages. Instead of saying “I”, we say “You”. Instead of describing the product, we describe the reactions, the emotions, the benefits that are caused by associating with our work.

Let’s take the two examples in the section above.

Framing Benefit

The most simple way to change from self-centered marketing to other-focused marketing is to change words like “I, we, it’s, this” to “you, your, yourself”.

Instead of saying, “This show is going to be great! You should come!!”, try the following:

  • 50,000 Watts of bass, killer lighting, and the best DJ’s around, all for your enjoyment.
  • Your night of greatness awaits you. Will you rise to challenge to greet it?
  • Get lost in yourself in a night of good vibes and killer beats.
  • You asked for it: we’re back at it with bigger talent, bigger production, and more paint.
  • What do you need to enjoy a night out? How about a giant crocodile inflatable raft to crowdsurf all night.

While some of these are a little cheesy, they illustrate a proper point.

First, the value is shifted from the event to the attendee. It’s not necessarily that things are going to be great, or going to be awesome, but rather an experience is going to be delivered to the individual. A good event is built up on the good individual experiences, so don’t miss the trees for the forest in your marketing messages.

Secondly, notice how including “you” language allows you to use “I” language without sounding self-centered. When you create something, you have to talk about it. You probably even have to talk about yourself. There’s a tremendous difference between starting the conversation focused on someone else, versus starting the conversation focused on yourself.

Asking for the Sale

If you have something to offer, it is inevitable that you will ask people to buy. Whether that purchase is a listen, a ticket, or a dad hat, there comes a time to ask for the sale. But if you’re focusing your message on others, how do you ask for something for yourself?

Let’s to use Gary Vaynerchuk’s model of “jab, jab, jab, right hook” to answer this. Vaynerchuk looks at marketing as a boxing match of giving and taking–a jab is giving value, a right hook is asking for the sale.

In boxing, a jab is a light punch to get at the opponent, while the right hook is a match-ending blow. Boxers can spend massive amounts of time jabbing at each other before one of the chance to land a right hook.

When putting out content, it is important to maintain the right amounts of jabs–value creating, brand-building assets–and right hooks–calls to actions. Giving more than asking is paramount to a healthy brand. If I help you more than you could ever help me, I almost can guilt you into supporting me.

So when asking for the sale, it’s often effective to remind your audience of the value you’ve created. Check out the example below.

If you’ve found value in this blog, please consider purchasing a dad hat from us. We give away all of these posts for free, and supporting the brand is one way to make sure that resources like this are available for music pros like yourself. Plus, the dat hats will make you look badass, they’re on-sale for a limited time, and they’re shipping soon. Get yours now.

The Influence Curve

Focusing efforts on others is most needed when a brand is growing. If nobody gives a damn about you, you need to show why you’re beneficial to other people. Once you’ve achieved fame, you can drop a new track, with no marketing at all, and do well. But if no one knows who you are, then it is vital to show that you care for other people.

The most powerful, most influential people get there by effectively creating the most value for the most people. If you’re at the bottom of the ladder, it’s your job to hustle why you’re important to other people, using the 3 question criteria from earlier.

So go out there, change your message, and create some value.

If you’ve found value in this blog, please consider purchasing a dad hat from us. We give away all of these posts for free, and supporting the brand is one way to make sure that resources like this are available for music pros like yourself. Plus, the dat hats will make you look badass, they’re on-sale for a limited time, and they’re shipping soon. Get yours now.

The post Your Biggest Music Marketing Mistake That You Don’t Even Know You’re Making appeared first on Pariah Reign.


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