The Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Artists Make (Part 1: Mistakes 10 through 6)

Hi, my name is Tony van Veen, CEO of Disc Makers. 
Do you remember back in the day when David   Letterman would do his top 10 lists? Yes, I know, 
I'm an old guy. And if you're a young pup and you   don't remember David Letterman, just google 'David 
Letterman top 10 listing' and you'll find plenty   of pretty funny examples. Well, today I'm going to 
start this year off with a top 10 list of my own.   Except, unfortunately, it won't be funny because 
I will be discussing the top 10 marketing mistakes   i see independent artists make. You see, after 
talent, which you need, and a willingness to   work hard, which are essential, the ability to do 
effective marketing is probably the single biggest   driver of music success.

I've seen a ton of albums 
get released during my 30 plus years at Disc   Makers. And of the hundreds of thousands of albums 
released by independent artists over the decades,   only about one in seven is reordered. That is a 
really low success rate of about 15%. So my goal   is not just to get that success rate up 
overall, but more specifically to help you   be a more successful artist. Now, I. like to keep 
these videos short and easy to digest and one list   of 10 items would just take too long. So today in 
my countdown, I'm going to be discussing mistakes   10 through 6. And in my next video, I will tackle 
the top 5 mistakes. So without further ado,   here is the first half of my list of top 10 
marketing mistakes independent artists make. Mistake number 10: Not making a low 
or a no budget music video. Music was   always not just an audio format, but highly 
visual as well. I mean think of any famous artist   and you will probably even think about their looks 
simultaneously with or even before their sound.   And video is essential to building your 
brand as an artist.

Youtube and TikTok are   two of the world's biggest music discovery 
platforms and they're both all about video.   Nowadays, video does not need to be expensive. 
And you're an artist, you're creative, you can   pay to get a video made because it's really 
really affordable nowadays. And if you really have   no budget, well every artist knows a creative 
kid going to art school or somebody who's an   aspiring videographer who would love to 
make a cool music video even if it's just   for their own portfolio. Number nine: social 
and email spamming. We've all been there   we follow a new artist or maybe even a company on 
their socials, on their email list, and all of a   sudden we start getting inundated with messages to 
buy the product, buy the product, buy the product   over and over again.

And that, frankly, is a great 
way to get fans to unsubscribe or unfollow you.   Remember, you want your fans to engage with 
the content that you create. You want it to be   interesting to your readers. Instead of banging 
them over the head just with messages meant to   sell them something, you got to think of yourself 
as a storyteller. You tell interesting authentic   stories and illustrate them on your socials, 
in particular, with interesting or beautiful   or interesting photo and video content. Tip number 
eight, or mistake number eight: not giving fans   something special to get excited about. Nowadays 
if you want to make a living from your music,   you can't rely on streaming.

You have to sell 
something. However, in this streaming era,   fans don't have to buy anything in order to 
listen to your music. So, you have to go for   a mindset change. Fans don't have to buy your new 
album like in the old days. You have to get them   to want to buy. And you do that by making special 
content and special packages and special product.   You know, deluxe packaging, a super cool vinyl 
album, an autographed CD, a limited run pressing,   a physical only release, that you don't put on 
the streaming sites.

You want to make your music   special so that fans want to give you their money 
and feel good about it. Mistake number seven:   dropping an album out of the blue. Today, your 
music release strategy is part of your marketing   strategy. If you drop an album cold just like that 
without dropping two or maybe three singles first,   you are increasing the chances that your album 
will fail. Very simple. Every album needs to be   set up with a few digital singles to get your 
fans excited. Start six or eight weeks before   your album release with single number one.

You 
can hype the single on socials and in email.   And then three four weeks later, hit single 
number two and more promotion. It's a way to get   fans excited. Singles are so cheap, for 10 bucks 
you can be on every streaming site. And singles   offer some of the biggest promotional bang for the 
buck because they are so cheap. And if you do the   singles, then your fans will be primed and ready 
for both the digital and the physical versions of   your album when you are ready to release. Mistake 
number six: ignoring email as a marketing channel.   Yes, we live in a social media world, but every 
artist I know who has an active email list tells   me that email is their top channel for actually 
driving sales transactions of their physical   media, of their merch, and of their concert 
tickets. People still don't really go to social   media to pull out their wallet although that is 
starting to change a little bit. Artists love   to brag about their huge social followings, but I 
have a saying 'social for show, email for dough,'   and it's worth noting in this age of social media, 
email is one of very few assets that you truly   own.

That you control. And you can take that list 
with you wherever you go if you switch providers.   All right. In the interest of time, that's it for 
today's video. Next time, I will be discussing the   top five marketing mistakes artists make 
i hope you will join me then. See you..

As found on YouTube

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