A musician friend of mine recently wrote on his Facebook wall “if there is anything that’s cringeworthy… it’s self promo” and then went on to invite friends to Like his newly created Facebook musician page.
I don’t think he is alone. Probably quite a few of us kinda know there’s nothing wrong with promoting ourselves and our projects, but still somehow cringe at the idea.
As far as music marketing goes, it’s probably not surprising people feel like this, because the publicity efforts of some musicians are relentless… endless Facebook invites to endless small gigs, lots of talk about themselves.
So how can a musician market themselves and their music without it feeling sleazy? I think there are two parts to the answer. One is to know why you are promoting yourself and feel good about that, and the other is to do it the right way.
The right way
More and more indie musicians these days are using internet marketing techniques to sell their original music. The core of internet marketing is to market by email, and these musicians have fans on their email list who really appreciate their music – and they sell to them.
But it’s not as simple as gathering email addresses at gigs and sending out newsletters to these people. That’s part of it, but it’s much more than that.
This method bypasses the big record labels and radio stations. You have your own fans who love you and buy from you, and no-one else really has to even know about you! You are not trying to take over the world, or anything.
Facebook can be part of the picture, if you build up a relationship with your fans there, but it’s not the main thing.
If you do the internet marketing right you are only marketing to people who either already like you or are predisposed to – they might be actively looking to discover music like yours, for example. You are fulfilling a need, so it doesn’t feel yucksville.
Why you are promoting yourself
When you share your creativity with others you are sharing your love with them. You can feel it. You get into a zone that is expansive. It’s easier to feel in a performance, but if people hear your albums you are still sharing.
Promoting your recordings, and culture (with writing, art and merch), are ways to share your love. Why hold back? Just do it “the right way” and it won’t feel cringeworthy.
What do you think? Comments are welcome!
Cheers – Robin