Being a musician is an interesting dynamic. There are so many important aspects that you need to have covered in order to be successful. Getting your music out into the world is now easier than ever which is a great thing. However getting people to positively engage with you and spend money on your music and brand is another story altogether.
There are many ways you can go about your marketing. You can throw as much crap against the wall and hope something sticks or you can take a more calculated approach and get more strategic and targeted with your marketing efforts.
A lot of artists tend to work hard but the real question is are you working smart. You need to be efficient and in order to do so, you need to take the time to analyze what's actually working and why.
Once you have an understanding of this dynamic you will be able to leverage this information to increase the success of your marketing efforts and begin duplicating your results.
So what does defining your target audience do for you?
In our on your unique selling proposition, we talked about not wanting to go after everybody. If someone tells you they have a product that everybody needs, they clearly do not understand marketing. Obviously, there are people who want what you have which makes things relatively easy. Then there are those who want what you have but can't afford it or need some more convincing. Lastly, there are those who will simply never buy from you.
What do we do as humans though in a society where we are trying to please everyone? We focus on those who want nothing to do with us because we think we need to change this reality. So instead of focusing on the types of people who want to support you, we put all our energy into trying to acquire someone new.
Think about the amazing offers companies provide people if they decide to join or sign up to their services. Free TVs, don't pay for 1 year, etc. How often is this offered to the loyal customers who keep coming back year after year?
The 80/20 Principle
The fact is, it is easier to keep customers than to acquire new ones so keep this in mind when it comes to music. Focus your energy on nurturing the fans and supporters that you already have because they will be the ones to spread the word about you and are the most passionate about what you are doing.
Understand who these people are, why they like you, where they shop, what other things they like to do, etc. The more you understand these people the more targeted you can get with your marketing.
As artists, you need to stop thinking that the principles of the business world do not apply to you. At the end of the day, the 80/20 rule still applies here. The fact is, you are going to get 80 percent of your engagement from 20 percent of your fans which in turn means that you should be focusing 80 percent of your marketing efforts on the 20 percent of your fans.
You may feel like you are neglecting a lot of people but trust me this is what helps you to grow. The more you niche down and develop your core following the stronger your base will be allowing you to grow and attract even more people to your music and brand.
So How Do You Determine Who Your Target Audience Is?
Start by answering the following questions:
- Who based questions:
- Who presently enjoys your music?
- Who has spent money on your brand or music?
- Who shares or promotes your music without you asking them to?
- What based questions:
- What artists are similar to you? (Study their fanbases)
- What does your current audience enjoy?
- What do they enjoy doing? (ex. Hobbies)
- What age range does your audience fall under?
- What gender is your audience mostly made up of?
- What social platforms are they on?
- Where based questions
- Where does your audience typically hang out?
- Where do they find new music?
- Where do they spend their money?
For a resource of questions you can also think about when determining your target audience click here.
Using Data To Help Improve Accuracy.
There are a number of other tools that you can leverage when trying to gather information on your target market. This is more for people who are somewhat established as opposed to someone just starting out in the industry:
- Social media statistics on platforms like Facebook, Instagram etc.
- Streaming data from sites like Spotify
- Analytical data from the music distribution company that you use
- If you are using a social media scheduling platform they usually come with analytics as well
- There are also a number of tools out there that allow you to monitor your competition and understand what works for them, for example: Keyhole, Hootsuite, etc
How Do You Determine This If You Are Just Starting Out?
- Get out and do shows
- Spread your music as best you can
- Get feedback and conduct surveys
- Collaborate with similar artists and learn together
- Look at the competition and use them as a baseline
Wrapping It Up
The more targeted you become with your marketing the stronger your ability to see positive outcomes with your marketing efforts. Furthermore, you get real information that you can actually use to help make decisions rather than a sea of uninspired data that will lead you astray.
Understand who you are and what you stand for where your branding is concerned and then focus your energy on targeting the audience that responds the best to what you have to offer. Marketing is very difficult when you are not focused. Make life easier on yourself and give your attention to the areas that you will succeed in or at least learn the most from.
If you need even more help with creating your brand and identifying your target market you should head over to the Heroic Academy and get your hands on The Soundcloud Bible. This is the holy grail of music industry resources right now and has helped a ton of musicians take their careers to the next level!