Marketing - What to spend on what?
In the excitement of making a record it's easy to overlook one very important point. You're going to have to market the record to get it heard. Although there are ways to market a product for free, it's much more effective to use a paid marketing strategy to get yourself out there. However, may people make the mistake of not allocating a budget for this very important point in the music release process. So what should you do?
Firstly, I would say it's imperative to have your own website or if you already have one, spend some money paying a designer to freshen it up. If you're doing it yourself there are lots of great platforms such as Squarespace and Wix which make building a site easy. You'll have to pay for hosting and a domain name but it's affordable and necessary. Having your own site provides a focal point for your followers and of course there are no algorithms as with social media to only show your content to a select group of people. A fan who wants to know everything about you can find everything they need on your website rather than scrolling through Facebook trying to find the information. It's also much easier to tell someone your website address rather than them trying to find your artist page.
The second area where it's necessary to splash the cash is on good, professional photographs. A selfie with an iPhone won't do. Great pictures really stand out and working with a professional really makes the difference. A photographer will know good locations to shoot, they'll make sure the lighting is right and you'll end up with a much better product than if you go down the DIY route. Video is another area where it's good to spend some money on a product to promote a new single for example. In this area you don't need to hire a whole film crew, there are affordable options out there such as Rotor Videos - This lets you create professional looking videos using a combination of your own picture/footage mixed with stock images and visuals from the site. You can pay as you go (at the time of writing $19) or you can take out a subscription if you plan to use it a lot.
As I mentioned earlier, Facebook's algorithm means your content will only be shown to a small number of your followers but Facebook's advertising is great. Not only is it affordable but you can specifically target your audience to make sure you're getting your message to the right people - i.e. those who will buy your music. It's a much more cost effective way to advertise rather than a scatter gun approach hoping you hit the target. It's really worth spending some money here.
Lastly there's good old merch. Everyone loves merch and it's great for getting the message out at gigs. It gets you as a brand more well known and you can use it for competitions of giveaways on your website. Again, it's not super expensive to get some t-shirts, badges, stickers etc made and shipped to you. I talk about this in more detail on this week's podcast which you can listen to here.
Thanks for reading