It can be daunting when you’re unsure of who your target audience is…
As an artist or a band just starting out, it’s not necessarily something you need to consider. Knowing your target audience can certainly help to boost you into a more suitable path much quicker though.
One thing that can make or break a band is knowing who you need to be aiming your marketing towards. It can quite honestly be the difference between making a living from your music or watching your music fall upon deaf ears.
For any artist to truly mould a living out of their creativity, they need to know at least these two things:
- Where to draw attention before the release and…
- Where to showcase the finished product.
Unfortunately, it can often take time to gather and collate enough information to work out who your target audience is (and where they congregate! see a blog that I wrote for Design A Gig here – Locating Superfans). This is so often the early demise of an artist / band… their lack of patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day after all!
First of all, you need to define your music as what it truly is.
In fact, the only artists / bands that I have come across, who have a large and dedicated following, are those who have stepped slightly off the beaten track.
The artists who don’t display themselves as being just Rock or R&B etc … but the ones who have fully defined themselves in order for the right people to find them.
A great way of breaking down your genre is working out some of the key elements that take place in most (not necessarily all) of your songs.
Here’s how I’ve planned it (and my reasoning!)
I compose quite heavy music, myself. Rock, bordering Metal, distorted guitars, plenty of thundering bass and tonnes of Synths (I mean tonnes). So there’s one feature; my music is Rock / Metal.
I’ve personally found that most of my music is based on a science fiction theme (that’s a lie. I knew exactly what I was doing!). So already, I have another defining feature to most of my music; a Sci-Fi theme!
On top of that, I tend to compose music which doesn’t stick to popular song structures. I would definitely deem my music to be prog (progressive). Another defining feature.
Now when you reach this point, I would recommend doing some research. I recall looking into whether or not there is a market for Sci Fi Music. Here is what I found:
- 50 Progressive Rock Albums with Science Fiction Themes
- Science Fiction of Music post
- Sci Fi Prog Metal forum post
- Is Prog Rock The Music Of Science Fiction?
I found so much more to connect Sci Fi to Prog music and so I decided to directly promote my music as such, knowing that there is quite clearly a market for it (One with extremely dedicated fans apparently). As of the time that I started my most recent project / album, I have defined my own genre as Progressive Sci-Fi Rock / Metal.
And back to you!
It takes a lot of time and some creative effort to really locate your target audience.
First of all, let’s look at where you would need to draw some attention from, before your next release. You know… to build up the hype!
You’ll need to work out your exact style (which is why it may take time, especially for new artists with very little material). The reason you need to do this is so that, again, you know who you’ll be aiming your marketing towards.
Once you’ve analysed this, you can then go on to make some friends!
I’ve said this before (in many of my blogs) but one thing is for sure…
If you write music that means something to you then surely, the people you’re marketing your meaningful music towards will also have similar interests. Some / Most of the people you cater your music towards will have at least a few things in common with you. If most of the people you’re catering your music towardsd aren’t similar to you at all, why would you be catering your creativity towards them?
So yes. Connect with people before releasing anything.
Even after your release, keep people in the loop!
If you don’t keep up appearances in your social scene, you become a forgotten member of the scene don’t you.
Well, don’t expect the online scene to be any different! The only differences are that there are probably more people in your online scene than locally and that it’s so much easier to post something a few times a day as opposed to meeting people from your local scene every day.
I’m not trying to tell you to stay indoors… but it is very easy to keep up appearances online so there is no excuse for failing to do so. It’s for the sake of your music career!
Take a look back, over the course of your promotional campaign and release. If you can see anything that you could do better, you’ll know for next time. If there is anything that you noticed which really pushed your sales forward, that’s great!
Even if it’s something that boosted your “reach” or your “listens” (depending on the platforms you chose to use for your entire campaign), it’s so useful to document what went well.
Please do not make the mistake of thinking it will be easy. Something so rewarding is never easy.
Even between releases, you will of course need to keep up with your online presence. In the right places!
Facebook groups are good. So too are Twitter profiles which you can tag in your tweets.
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