Category Archives: Music Marketing

Marketing yourself

At Quite Great, our philosophy has always been about being professional, tailoring our services in music marketing to suit each client, creating a special bond with artists and companies, and last but not least, getting results that are truly beneficial to everyone involved. We have over 15 years of experience in the industry working with a diverse array of talent, including Newton Faulkner, Sandi Thom, Russell Watson and Jamie Cullum. We’re always willing to share little tidbits of knowledge that help emerging artists get the attention they deserve, allowing them to understand this very tough industry.

Exposure, or more specifically the lack of it, is the main problem that even the most talented artists worry about. You can have the guitar skills of Keith Richards or the voice of Adele, yet find only dead ends in terms of having your talent appreciated. The main cause for this is often a misunderstanding of music marketing. Don’t feel too bad, it’s impossible for one person to have the knowledge of a whole team of people, but there are many ways a solo artist or band can understand the mechanics of music marketing and get their creations heard.

Music Think Tank gives some handy tips on getting to grips with marketing yourself, as Shaun Letang explains: “A lot of musicians when starting out feel like if they make their music good enough, they will get noticed – that all they have to do is record a good album, make it available to people in stores (or somewhere online) and their music will start making sales and getting downloads. While I can see why people would think this, it’s far from the truth! Anyone who’s tried this tactic before will know that this isn’t the case. All that happens is you make zero or very few sales. Being talented and letting people know about your talent are two very different things. As well as making music that people actually want to listen to, you need to get them to give you a listen in the first place. After all, how will people know you’re talented if they don’t give you that initial chance?”

Being good at music marketing is simple really. You just need to really focus on putting yourself out there, both in traditional and innovative ways, as Shaun says. Simply putting your music online will not do the trick, as we have said before, you need to galvanise the whole spectrum of the digital sphere, as well as those avenues where you get to interact with potential fans in real life.

On the latter subject, Green Buzz gives a quality word of advice, focusing on quality over quantity, in their article 8 Rules: Marketing in the Music Industry, saying: “prioritise connecting with fans one by one over applications that “autobot” fans onto your social networking sites. This will inspire loyalty in your fan base and will ultimately be the most effective way in turning potential fans into super fans.”

Always remember, finding a modicum of success in this the music industry is tough for even the most seasoned artist, but taking time to really think about marketing yourself will help exponentially.

The benefits of short form video

The music video has been a staple of the music industry since the early 1980’s. With the rise of MTV, we saw artists from Duran Duran to Madonna start to pay a great deal of attention to crafting elaborate, eye-catching gems, that in some cases catapulted artists to global fame in an instant. With the advent of the digital revolution came the further evolution of the music video. With content sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, artists are able to have a no holds barred policy on video creation, from giving their fans mini movies that can sometimes be 20 minutes long, to little teaser videos.

However, as Quite Great has noticed, today fans are after something more intimate, something that has individuality yet doesn’t overshadow the music itself. Many big stars don’t seem to understand this, but for many indie artists out there today, they are acutely aware that fans just want something aesthetically pleasing, but nothing too over the top that devalues the power of the song. That is why short-form video is an indie artist’s best friend, and moreover it’s where they are leading the way, compared to the big music industry establishment, who are finding it hard to understand.

A double bass being played

Leading where others are failing

In her article for Midem Blog, Claire Mas writes: “Short-form video continues to grow in importance and the music industry is still struggling to effectively tap into this trend. I continue to badger artists, managers and agents to use short-form video for any announcement: whether it is an album release (with a teaser video), a tour (with an artist shouting out about it) or a music video (using a cut down 20 seconds version for socials). An interesting development in this space is that Facebook may become much more than just the largest marketing funnel, but actually a potential video destination (with their new video search platform) and source of income (the launch of their Rights Manager must mean monetisation is imminent).”

With a number of short-form video additions to the myriad social media sites and other platforms out there, now is the time for artists to take the bull by the horns and continue galvanising this tool. Marketed correctly, your presence online will explode. On specific musicians that have seen the potential in this new and exciting medium, the Icelandic rock band Sigur Ros showed everyone how it’s done. Anish Patel, writing on the storytelling aspects of short-form video, in Venture Beat, mentioned how Instagram’s new Periscope-style video feature, that allows users to view a curated collection of video clips from major events, captured the interest of the band, resulting in an innovative curated video. “Sigur Rós took advantage of this” he writes “by launching an “ever-evolving” video, which collated their fans’ Instagram photos and videos for a continually updated music video. Fans simply tag their content with a designated hashtag to join in and their content gets added to the video. This interactive concept could be duplicated by any brand with a large following, continuously updated, and then shared on Instagram with a branded hashtag.”

With such a vast variety of video making tools, that range from free to costing just a few pounds, there really has been no better time for artists to just go forth and create, becoming short-form video masters. Furthermore, with the big honchos of the music industry lagging behind, it’s time for indie artists to take the baton and launch a new movement where both artists and fans can benefit exponentially.

Images by freeimages.com/Marcel Hol & freeimages.com/Vyvyan Black

How to use SoundCloud

Like most content sharing sites, SoundCloud has garnered many users over the years, so there are numerous skills you need to employ in order to gain a sufficient amount of fans. It’s advisable to use your SoundCloud profile to show the world that you and your band are a professional outfit. Then there are those more complex nuances; those little marketing tricks that can often seem insignificant, but when executed, ultimately put you head and shoulders above the rest.

So, let’s start with mistakes to avoid. All of us are prone to overdoing it sometimes, promoting our work in what we think is a fiendishly brilliant manner, but to the rest of the world just looks a tad desperate, or doing something that seems out of the ordinary, but is in fact fairly humdrum, and would have worked far better if we stuck to the tried and tested methods.

In Music Marketing Budi Voogt, an artist manager and label owner, pin points 13 mistakes to avoid when using SoundCloud. Each point is useful for any musician, whether a newbie or seasoned professional, to take heed of. For example Voogt writes how uploading every single recording you’ve ever done seems like a good idea, but more often than not puts people off. “For people that are new to your band, and music, you only have a single shot at impressing them.” He says: “You know how it goes: if you discover a new artist, you’ll give one track, maybe two, a shot, and if those aren’t to your liking, you’ll move on. Therefore, it’s essential that you don’t place everything you make on your Soundcloud account. Sure, a Soundcloud upload is less definitive than a track distributed to iTunes or Beatport, however it’s still in the public domain, and fans you win on Soundcloud can certainly become paying customers for gigs and actual releases.  Ideally, your profile should become a showcase of all the amazing finished work you’ve made and released, so that every potential visitor can be amazed and impressed by your prowess.”

A record and sleeve

Be A Social Butterfly

One major key to success with SoundCloud, and one that can never be underestimated, is the aspect of simply being sociable. The entire digital sphere is all about sociability, and it’s the same door to success on other platforms like Twitter, YouTube et al. SoundCloud is structured in a way where the more positivity you give out, the more positivity you get back, so along with promoting your work, be a curator and share other artist’s work you like on your profile too, they will more than likely do the same in return.

DIY Musician has given 10 simple but extremely effective ways to promote yourself, and the majority involves being an active member of the SoundCloud community that really cares about what they’re offering and who they’re promoting. Essentially, creating an awesome vibe of approachability. One idea from DIY Musician is to join the myriad groups featured on SoundCloud: “There are all kinds of genre and location-based “groups”. Pick out a few that you think your music would be right for, join ’em, and submit your tracks. It’s a great way to build a little online community that could lead to sales and gigs down the line.” Further in this vein of creating your own community is hosting a remix contest of your work – “Check out SoundCloud’s advice on hosting a remix competition. Then post all your song’s individual tracks and enlist your fans to make some killer remixes.”

SoundCloud is one of the many arenas in which an artist’s identity is formed, and you must look at your online identity in terms of a brand, without removing any of the fun or artistry that goes with being a musician.

Photos by freeimages.com/Yarik Mishin & freeimages.com/miguel ugalde

Best Music PR Tips For Unsigned Pop Acts

The Quite Great Marketing and Label Services team work with artists at all levels of their development from across the world and we gain immense insights from them as to how they find the UK Music Industry and the trials and tribulations of working within in it, before checking out the interesting views of developing pop act Timotion check his video which was ingeniously created using an array of dance footage and has certainly shown a clever way to make a very watchable music video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twfqPzq372k

‘The good thing about being an artist making it on your own is that you have total control of your product.

1. You have a say in when it is released, where it is released, and how it is released.

2. You have the luxury of bringing product to market in weeks instead of months.

3. You don’t fall risk to having your product shelved in favour of a bigger artist.

4. You have the choice of which artist you work with and which producers you use.

5. You have a the last say in which tracks you choose for release, the supporting video, and promotional campaign.

6. The benefit of a successful campaign is far more lucrative than if you were in debt to a label.

7. Now a days we independents have a platform to where can get our product to millions.

8. My work is appreciated by industry professionals who have been in this industry for years.

9. To hear those who have been in this industry and have seen millions of talented people and say to me that I am very talented, is one of the highest compliments you can be paid.

10. Lastly, to know that people enjoy the music that I created is priceless

For me the above is exciting and all up to me to either succeed with or not. I can only blame myself if things don’t go well. I like the fact that in order to see a return on my investment I don’t have to sell millions of records. More importantly I enjoy making music and I am very fortunate that I am able to create, package, and put my music on the market.

The down side to all of this which we will label the bad is you are really on your own.

1. It is difficult to get the support from promotional companies, National and regional radio as they favour the larger organisations.

2. I just don’t have the budget of a major so my campaigns take longer and are not as wide spread as I would like.

3. I can’t compete with the bigger labels in regards to getting the exposure for my titles.

4. You can have the best track of the year, but if it isn’t in mainstream there is little fall out from a brilliant track.

5. It can be frustrating as you feel as if you are at a stand still, you expect a certain amount of movement but things grind to almost a halt.

Even with the bad you must focus on the good and the positive. I believe in a simple formula and that is just keep chipping away and chipping away, eventually the wall will fall.’

The guys at www.quitegreat.co.uk love working with all levels of act to help drive them to the next level and when you read such a piece as outlined above by Tim you can see why it is vital to offer a structured release pattern in order to really work with new artists in a focused manner so all is clear and understood as that is the only way to approach things when moving through the maze that can be the music industry.

MEMORIES FROM A LIFE IN MUSIC – ROCK’N’ROLL CHILD CRUELTY (Part 1)

Sometimes the blog will have interesting music tips and advice and sometimes I am just in the zone of looking back at a life in music and sometimes there is room for a confession. Given the worrying headlines that seem to proliferate in the media, I have to make sure my confession is out there so in future there will be no repercussions, and if any of you have any similar stories of rock n roll child excess then let us know. When my son was born, two months after, give or take a week or so, we took him to his first rock concert. At the time I was overseeing the Guns ‘n’ Roses PR promotion for Use Your Illusion 1 and 2.  I felt it was vital that he became acquainted from a very early age as to what his dad did for a job, ok maybe two months might have been pushing it but we took him all the same. Even fitted him with ear plugs and sat him in the press box. The gig was one of the greatest shows I have ever seen from a rock band, with the greatest Guns ‘n’ Roses line up, some of the greatest rock songs from one of the greatest series of albums ever written, and the weather was just perfect, not a cloud in sight. What a night a night, never to be forgotten, other than the fact that throughout the whole show my son never woke up, honestly not once, not until and I kid you not, we got back to the car then if I remember correctly he wouldn’t be quiet until our two hour car journey was over, rock n roll child cruelty indeed.

Memories From A Life In Music to be continued…