Why Every Music Producer Needs an Email List (And How To Start One)
Music marketing is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. What is music marketing? What does it look like today? And how can I use it to my advantage as a producer?
That’s what we’re going to cover in this post but first, a bedtime story.
Once upon a time…
There was a producer who worked out of his home studio.
He made a sizable investment in preamps, microphones, and amassed a collection so large that it upset “mother bear.”
While she was asleep, he took care to set-up his studio monitors not too close, not too far, but just right.
“Why, what big monitors you have!”
“Better to mix you with!”
Okay, you get the idea.
Music equipment is expensive! And as you build your skills through completing the courses here on Audio-Issues.com, you’re going to want to upgrade your gear as well.
In order to get that steady stream of clients to justify these upgrades, you’re going to need to learn a thing or two about music marketing.
I’m not talking about Facebook Ads or doing costly pay per click advertising on Google.
You need to take it back to the tried and true basics.
You need an email list!
And here’s how you get started.
Build a list of potential clients
As a producer, you offer a valuable service that artists definitely want.
But why is it so hard to find clients then?
It’s simple: They are in front of you. But they just don’t raise their hand.
I want to share with you one of my favorite concepts in marketing: it’s called the “Know, Like, Trust” strategy.
It has to do with a potential client’s relationship with you.
I like this strategy because it’s not overly “salesy” and it mimics the progression of our everyday relationships that we take for granted.
Building an email list is important because it gives us a tactile way to see the KLT strategy right in front of our eyes.
And you’re probably guessing it…if they are on your mailing list—they definitely know about you.
An email list is a perfect vessel to enact this strategy in your music career.
Practical methods to Start a List from Zero
There is not a one-size-fits-all solution to this, but we can turn to the products and companies we use every day and take a leaf out of their book:
Give a free consultation
We will never know the extent of what humanity will do for free stuff. You can use this to your advantage.
Help get potential clients off the fence by offering something of small value in exchange for your email. This could be a free song critique, a mix review, or anything you can think of that will give them the warm fuzzies about you and want to take that first step.
This doesn’t have to be in-person either.
If you know what your potential client needs, you can offer it in a PDF document, a video, or even a download.
Host a contest
Continuing on the “free” theme, a contest is a super-fast way to get people on your mailing list. Now in order to discourage freebie-seekers who will just waste your time, I recommend you follow these tips that I’ve learned from hosting contests of my own:
- Make sure the thing you’re giving away will actually bring the right people
- Make it clear who you are and that they will be sent marketing emails from you
- In the contest agreement, require that subscribers stay subscribed in order to win
Raise your prices (and offer a coupon)
Yes, the oldest trick in the book works for music producers as well.
By requiring potential customers to opt-in to your mailing list in order to receive your best price, you are gathering your most interested parties all in one place.
This can be done simply by adding an announcement banner at the top of your website and delivering the discount code within the welcome email. (Always deliver within your welcome email to prevent sly-guys from putting in fake emails just to get stuff from you.)
Whether you have an electronic method of adjusting the price or just wait to hear the “secret code” from your client is up to you.
The vehicle for this coupon doesn’t matter.
The psychology behind it will work either way.
Now that you have a small list
This is where we bring in the rest of the Know, Like, Trust strategy.
By following the suggestions above, you’ll have a list of musicians who at least know surface-level facts about you.
Through the rest of your communication, it’s your job to get them to like you and to trust you enough to hire you.
Easier said than done when it comes to finding the love of your life, but simple enough when it comes to marketing.
Like and Trust
People tend to like people who are confident, funny, and make their life easier. This is who you need to be as you email your list.
If you really want to be fancy about it, you can even pre-program a welcome sequence of emails designed to share who you are and accomplish the “like” stage of your strategy.
This doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Just be yourself.
And if possible, a funnier and more confident version of yourself.
An example of this is the embarrassing story that I always share about needing to turn my refrigerator off when I record because it has known to ruin recordings…
I get it, we’re both musicians—I want to retreat back into my studio cave too even as I write this. But I know you can do it.
Lastly, share your work and how excellent you are at what you do. That will build trust and be the perfect lay-up for you to dunk your next gig.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
So who is this guy that somehow knows a lot about audio recording and happens to have the loudest refrigerator in the galaxy? My name is Ryan Waczek, and I am the founder of the music-training website, the Indie Music Academy. We help artists learn how to make a living and grow a fan base through our expansive library of training and career resources that help them earn a music income and grow a hungry audience.
If you are a home studio owner who writes and releases your original music and needs help marketing to a broader audience, I’d love to offer you a gift: my Spotify Marketing Gameplan. It’s the same 5-Step method that I use to get my artists playlisted on Spotify, again and again, resulting in hundreds of thousands of streams. It’s free to download and utilize right away!
Audio Business, Keeping Track