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February 08, 2010



well, there was a lot about what NOT to do in this article...not really what I think is a productive use of space

David Hooper

Regarding what to do, what specific questions to you have?

Kevin B


Maybe that guy with the car should hook up a set of speakers on the roof of it and drive around blasting his music? Just kidding... If I saw ads like those, I think I would just laugh. But seriously, I do agree with you that nobody is going to buy his music just because his face is on a car. For me personally, it's all about hearing it. You can tell me all about you and what you can do but if I don't like your music I'm not going to buy it. Even the 30 second "previews" on iTunes and Amazon don't usually cut it for me. I feel cheated when I listen to those.

I'm sad to say that I fall into that 84% category of people that don't know their favorite artist is releasing a new album. I blame it partly on myself and partly on the music industry. There are so many different artists I listen to and love that I could not possibly keep up with who is releasing what and when. If you think about it, there is an amazing number of artists in this world. Being bombarded with so many makes it difficult to follow just a few. Relating to the music industry, the only time I usually find out that somebody is releasing a new album is either from a friend or when I look at my local Best Buy ad. Sad, I know...

Going back to the music promotion aspect, I think that the fans need to be able to access your music if you want them to buy it. For example, The Swell Season made their entire album available to be streamed online for a period of time before it was released. I loved this and I respected them a lot for doing this. It's almost like saying "you are family to us." They are letting us hear their whole masterpiece for free and if we like it we (or at least the few people left that don't steal music) will buy it.

Pat from RockStar Machine

What not to do, in some ways, is more important in the case of most musicians.

I hear more musicians than I care to whining about how they aren't selling enough CDs or downloads. They spend a load of cash on recording and then a boatload on silly advertising like this.

It'd be better to forget the costly advertising angles, let people download your music for free and consider the "lost profit" an offset of what you would have spent putting your face on a bus.

Or spend the ad money on a low level PR campaign.

A. Lauren

Being a Business management student of the entertainment field I found this to be very helpful. I'm very interested in marketing in the industry i found this blog to be very insightful and brutally honest, it made me really think about the the correct way to market an upcoming artist.

Kyle J Harris


As an owner of an independent record label, and student of music business and entrepreneurship, I found this information very useful. I would like your opinion on the idea of a wrapped truck used only for promotional events and music conventions. The truck will display just a logo that creates curiosity, name of company, and a company website where visitors can view videos blogs and links from the artist that the label is currently promoting. The wrapped truck will simply to attract people to the website and if they are interested they may continue from there.


Living in the internet age we as musicians have to look ahead and not backwards and I feel this post is a great way to show that. Instead of all the glamour of advertising and after playing going straight back stage, we have to build relationships, end of story. I love the analogy of walking up to someone and asking them to marry you! Hysterical! Try to always see it from the other person point of view. Your selling a "state" not a product. It's your job to to sell that "state" with your music and your relationship!


We are in class at Columbia College Chicago and my student Lenrow agrees that: there is not enought detail for implementation. He suggests that you provide other links that will help better understand.


Wow you're the first music marketer I've ever herd talk about a squeeze page, this is very clever stuff.



Well one things to do which is not mentioned enough is to connect with people in the industry that are actually there to help. Many of the artists spend tons of time practicing and recording and since they can do most of this by themselves they look at promotion as a do it yourself task as well. The internet gives everyone the impression that it is simple to do. It is not. There are a few great places to learn about music promotion and how to make it effect. One guy out there who is really good is Greg at http://www.genyrockstars.com/. There are also tons of people listed here http://www.musicxray.com/x/category/career-coaching as well. And a great site for everyone who still wants to do it on their own is MTT http://www.musicthinktank.com/. These are just a few.

Whatever you do I strongly suggest that you look towards people in the industry that have been there, done that.

Fat Moe

Did you actually read the article? He says exactly what to do.

Pat from RockStar Machine

My problem with the whole bus/van wrap thing... and pretty much most print-based advertising for unsigned/little known musicians is that you usually can't sell music to a public that's never heard of the band (or musician) via a strictly visual medium.

Coverage in newspapers, magazines, music sites, blogs, etc. are different in that they can provide a description of the music and background of the artist - most importantly, from a third party perspective. This kind of social proof is about a thousand times more effective in motivating someone to check you out than the standard "buy my record" ad no matter where it is.

For a fraction of the cost you could have a press release written for you and have it distributed on one of the press release websites like Beatwire. That's assuming of course that you have an angle that you can base a press release on; say a record release or beginning a new tour.

Alex A

Regarding squeeze pages, they are absolutely the way to go for collecting emails. Its annoying to many but its probably the most effective way to list build. Its also a good way to "qualify" your list...meaning you are only picking up emails of people who are truly interested. You want serious lookers who are going buy whatever it is you're selling.

Offer something free along with it and people think less negatively about it.

David Hooper

Yes! Also, newspapers and media go beyond basic social proof with an added element of authority, which makes any mention that much more powerful.

David Hooper

True. You'll get some fake emails, but people who really want your stuff will get you the correct contact info.

This mailing list topic is another one to talk about when it comes to "ego stroke." Feels great to have a list of 10,000, even if it consists of everybody you've ever met, your relatives, addresses you collect at random, etc. The reality is that a tighter list will perform better every time, even if it's much smaller.

Kusha Deep

Nice 1
very tight advice

Account Deleted

One obvious disadvantage of the car with the ads/ signs: if you have a gig everyone know that that's your car/ van and that it probably carries instruments and equipments. It can be vandalized.

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