Music Marketing Q & A
Jul 12, 2017 · 6 min read

By Guest Blogger Leena Sowambur of Positively Music

Join Leena as she guest hosts #GGChat at 3 and 9pm EST on Twitter on 7.13.17!

GoGirlsMusic was kind enough to invite me to appear on their Twitter chat, I took this opportunity to answer a few questions before the event. Here are the questions and their answers. I hope you find the information below useful.

How do I convert fans from radio airplay to Facebook and/or my email list on Mailchimp?

Question? What are you reasons for increasing ‘likes,’ on Facebook? Because the solid reasons for increasing ‘likes,’ on Facebook is to engage with fans, strengthen relationships and provide customer service. In addition we also look at growing the email database thereby converting leads to sales. Please remember that follower numbers mean nothing to potential industry partners unless you can back those likes up with hard sales data. Better still back your email subscriber data with hard sales data. Nevertheless, give these methods a go however bear in mind that users typically favour one communications channel over another and may not want to hear from you twice e.g. via email and Facebook unless they are raving fans.

#1. Getting Facebook Likes from Radio Airplay

To get likes on Facebook directly from radio airplay you would pay for an ad campaign that compliments your existing airplay on the station giving you the heaviest rotation. The advert would state a dedicated Facebook URL which is just for that ad campaign so that you can track its effectiveness. You will want to compliment this ad campaign with a PR feature on the radio station; this can be anything from a simple interview to being a guest on a whole show. This would really depend on what you can offer in terms of valuable content to the radio station’s listeners that would make said listeners want to tune in to the whole show and listen to the end.

#2 Getting Facebook Likes From A Mailchimp List

Encourage your email newsletter subscribers to like your Facebook page by providing a call to action within the newsletter and also on the final “Thank you for signing up” webpage. You can also engage further with your newsletter subscribers by promoting a live video session from your Facebook page within a newsletter campaign. You can do anything from answer fan questions to play a live gig or both during a live Facebook page video, thereby increasing the likes to your Facebook page.

My question would be at what point do you feel in a musician’s career it is appropriate to hire someone to do a PR campaign for you? Whether it be a PR person or radio. Is it just for somebody who’s been at the grind for a long time? Or a newbie releasing their first album?

What does your manager say? Because he or she should know! Put your budget towards working with a solid manager first as well as a lawyer. For that you need to refine your music product not your publicity.

With that in mind, a newbie releasing a first album shouldn’t hire a PR person or plugger unless the album is of broadcast quality. I have known entire runs (in the tens of thousands) of superstar act CD albums which have been trashed by major labels because the album was considered to be unsuitable for the market. If the music product isn’t to that standard, it shouldn’t be released. This does mean production or packaging, this means suitability for the market, will the market actually buy the album? Does the market buy albums in this genre? What do they spend their money on when it comes to music entertainment? Do they spend any money on music at all? So before spending any money on marketing, you need to do your market research to see whether you will recoup on the costs.

How much do you pay the players in your group?

I am going to assume they are working as session musicians for you. Pay the going rate for a session musician of their instrument and capability in your locale. To find out these rates you would need to do your market research by checking trade press and websites to find a range of prices for the variance of skill. You may even try some “mystery shopping,” by calling up some agents to see what the charges are bearing in mind they add a commission to the fee, this also an opportunity to do some further market research and get to know the session musician market a lot more.

How do you find your target group or ideal customer?

Great question! One that is best answered by my free webinar below:-

There is a running theme within these questions which is the need to have a fuller understanding of how marketing strategy fits with a sales strategy. The whole premise of marketing is to generate leads for sales. There is no other reason to market a music product, it all leads back to sales. As an example, it is important to understand whether fans favour one communications channel over another e.g. they may favour email newsletters over Facebook page communication. If, for example, your market is primarily active on a social network such as and as such doesn’t engage so much with Twitter or Facebook there is little point in increasing the latter’s numbers as the engagement simply will not follow and therefore the sales won’t follow. It is additionally important to understand whether the music fan in question even listens to whole albums let alone buys them. Of course, one needs to have a fuller understanding of the business to business market in their area to get a better perspective on whom to partner with to increase sales; as well as understanding different market segmentations in order to increase sales. All of this can be effectively dealt with by doing 2 things:-

#1. Ensuring that a career in the music industry is right for you, if for example you are spending a significant amount of time and money long term on the creation process with no real plans or thoughts into any financial investment for the business and deal making side, you may find that your music is best treated a fulfilling pastime. Most acts fail because they do not think they need to put money into the business of their music or small amounts of budget are put into the wrong places for the wrong reasons. All businesses need significant capital to get started even by bootstrap, music is no different, cash is needed to create the product and cash is also need to bring the product to market.

#2. Get comfortable with selling, money and working out how to recoup costs, as mentioned the whole purpose of marketing (whatever way you spin it) is to generate leads to convert to sales. Most indie music marketing fails because the focus is on exposure and buzz rather than generating paying fans. This often means that a lot of marketing efforts miss the mark. So get comfortable with selling, negotiating, pitching and doing deals. Ultimately, a manager and lawyer should handle your business affairs, however these skills are need to acquire these team members in the first instance.

Finally, remember sell it from the stage. There is no better marketing than a scintillating, sell out string of shows.

Leena Sowambur holds a BA (Hons) Commercial Music and MA Design and Media Arts from the University of Westminster, London, UK. Her professional career started in 2000 running music marketing campaigns for acts from Beyoncé to Take That. Leena now manages “Positively Music,” which provides music industry online courses and live training focussed on music business model design, entrepreneurship and strategy for SMEs.

Follow on Twitter @positivelymusic

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