MusicDish e-Journal - May 19, 2002
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Viral Marketing: Internet Success
By Jaci Rae
(more articles from this author)
2006-06-09
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Traditional radio airplay, standard brick and mortar distribution, and being signed by a major record label are no longer the only means of getting your music noticed. Thanks to digital distribution and the massive appeal of and easy access to the Internet, unknown musical talent now has a chance at real success. Additionally, the Indie musician is not stuck with the costs of making an entire CD. They can make a single and post it on the Internet, gaining huge success from one song.

With a little know-how and marketing sensibility, any upstart musician or experienced musical act can now achieve success, great success, in fact, on their own. Recently, while a guest on the Sirius Satellite Radio Show “The Good Life,” I spoke with the host who told me that his two teenage boys get most of their music off the Internet and never listen to regular radio anymore.

Why? Because they can obtain music from acts they wouldn’t be allowed to listen to on traditional radio. They’re tired of the same old bands and singers being played over and over again. “Most don’t have any talent, they’re just showpieces.” This isn’t the first or the last time I’ve heard that statement from teenagers and adults alike.

For the Indie artist who wants to reach a broader market (and you must have a good product) and receive more exposure for their product on the Internet, the first thing you need to do is market, guerrilla market, and then market some more. How do you do that? There are many ways that I mention in my book, “The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money,” but here are a few simple suggestions:

• Join music boards and start in on the discussion. At the end of each of your posts make sure to put who you are and your website. Add something to the conversation, don’t spam. Write helpful hints and post them on the boards, etc. If the boards don’t allow tags but they do allow you to post your email address, make sure it’s something with your website at the end. Have a real email address, but DON’T use your main email because it will be spammed. Something like mine: raeofhope@jacirae.com

• Start networking at local musician meetings and songwriter/artists forums in your region. You can find them on the Internet. These meetings host artists such as yourself who get together on a regular basis to discuss the music scene and present their latest creations. It’s also a wonderful place to get the pulse on gigs you can join in on and new marketing ideas.

• You know all that annoying spam snail mail you receive with pre-paid postage envelopes inside? Why not save the envelopes and put a little note inside that states since they were kind enough to share their information with you, you’re returning the favor. Also, with any bill or any correspondence you send out that’s official, include a one sheet or little card that has a blurb about you and your music (watch the weight; you don’t want to add more postage). Make sure to put your website on whatever material you have.

• Start your own podcast and post it on all the podcast sites.

• Why not send your music to different podcasts? Ask permission first. Send them to your site where they can hear a sample or two and if they are receptive to playing your music on their podcast, send it along. If they use your music in their podcast you may have gained new fans and sold more CDs.

The most important thing you can do is to play live. Go to Wal-Mart, Starbucks and other local shops and ask if you can put on a free concert there. Anywhere and any place that will let you play, do! Make sure to have a sign up sheet where people can sign up for your newsletter. Then create a newsletter and send it out once a month at the most. This is a form of “Buzz Marketing” also known as “Viral Marketing.” At the end of the letter make sure you include your webpage of course. Tell your fan base they can pass it along to whoever they want.

This is a very, very tiny list of things you can do. The time for the Indie musician is now. Take advantage of it!

For more information and to contact Jaci Rae, click on the author’s name at the top of the page.


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