Let’s face it: as musicians, we are walking small businesses. Our success hinges largely on our ability to get our names out and to turn positive attention into sales. Unfortunately, most of us lack any formal training in this area and are forced to flounder around, hoping to “get lucky” someday (I have long held that collegiate music schools should require their composition and performance students to pass a battery of business and marketing courses–after all, what good is learning to be a great musician if you don’t know how to sell yourself in a crowded marketplace?).
That said, there is a triad of fundamental marketing concepts that will help you to focus your efforts:
- Product (Is your music interesting and well-crafted? Does it appeal to a reasonably wide audience?)
- Pricing (Is your music priced appropriately given the market and your relative brand strength?)
- Promotion (Are you aiming your advertising at the right audience? How well do you understand their needs and their purchasing behavior? Are you making effective use out of promotional engines? How well-connected are you in the music community?)
We’ll take them individually.
Read the rest (and much more) in my book Writing and Living in the Real World: Advice for Young Composers