When I started this website one of my main goals (besides shameless self promotion) was to provide people with valuable information on how to be successful in music production and audio engineering.
Previously, the majority of my articles and videos have been focused on the use of plugins or particular techniques to improve our mixing skills, but I want to start looking at one of the main issues overlooked by creatives in the music industry – the business side. It’s all well and good that you’re a creative genius but if you have no audience or market, there is no outlet for all the hard work and hours spent making music. I want you to start becoming more aware of some great new free tools at your disposal to help advance your music career.
With the vast amount of competition and just how easy it has now become to create and produce music in a relatively inexpensive way, it’s fundamental to find a niche and an audience to be successful in this line of business. Unlike a lot of other industries, we already have certain pre-defined niches due to the various different types of audio engineering – post-production, sound design, tracking, mixing etc. and then the multitude of genres present in music. Even though these genres are constantly evolving, changing and blending into one, the rough guidelines still exist.
Almost every successful business has a specific target audience or demographic that they would like to reach. This is the same for musicians, sound engineers and music producers. Regardless of whether you’re just doing this for fun or it’s your chosen career path, you want someone to hear your work.
We might all be creative and good at producing music, but at the same time we’re not all mass media magnates. We don’t all have great business brains and that’s OK. However, there are some very simple often overlooked steps that can easily help us to get at least 80% on the right track towards running a viable business in music.
We all have an online presence in one form or another but how do we get the audience we need? Whether it be through our Soundcloud, Twitter or Facebook pages, by word of mouth or gigging, most of us will already have some form of audience. To keep our audience interested, we need to create valuable content.
We are a society that consumes vast amounts of information on a daily basis. This information comes in all shapes and forms with music being just one medium. Your number one method of creating valuable content is going to be doing what you do best – writing and producing great music. You can then supplement that any way you like, with videos, articles, blogs etc. Precise marketing techniques and the fine details of self promotion are outside the remit of this article but a lot of information is readily available online; specifically through one great source mentioned below.
What is the goal in having a website or online presence? We want people to listen to our music, watch our videos, read our material and gain some value from it. Let’s face it, we want to gain something from it too.
The one thing that everyone with a website wants is traffic. Some even become obsessed over it.
Traffic is an incredibly important determining factor in how successful a website may become for very specific reasons. You could be getting a lot of unique daily visitors to your website, but what value are they to you if they just disappear once they hit your site and find the valuable content they’re looking for? There’s a wealth of information out there. Your website may be unique and offering something of very high value, but if you’ve no way of converting these visitors to returning visitors and perhaps potential customers, then it’s going to be a real uphill struggle for you.
Constant content creation linking back to your website should start to generate you some traffic but we don’t want your time spent on creating awesome content to be wasted. We want these people to stay and not only have a look around your website in more detail, but return again at another time. They might even be feeling generous enough to spread the word about your music, your site and share your content.
You’ve already got an audience and now it’s time for it to grow. But how?
Every time someone new visits your site and reads some of your great free content or listens to your music, you’re helping them in some way. Your goal should be to develop the reciprocal relationship and continue helping them, while they will receive access to great free content. Yet with so many competing websites and so much music to consume, you need a way to request the loyalty of your readers. You need to ask for their consent to contact them again in the future via email.
There are many sites with annoying pop-ups that essentially bully visitors into either giving their email addresses or clicking off the site completely. This should be totally avoided at all costs because the last thing you want is to piss people off.
You need to stand out from the crowd and politely ask your readers to leave their email addresses with you so that you have permission to email them again in the future when you’ve got something new to share.
Enter AppSumo – a 100% free newsletter to help entrepreneurs kick ass.
AppSumo promotes the greatest tools and knowledge to help people supercharge their business. If you haven’t already signed up, I would highly recommend doing that now. Through being a member of this free newsletter, I discovered SumoMe.
SumoMe.com is AppSumo’s flagship product that helps websites grow their traffic for free. These tools include List Builder, Heat Maps, Share and many more. The tools created by SumoMe are very creative and my favourite by far is List Builder. It is the tool I was really looking for and it will help you build an email list in a non-pushy efficient way. List Builder allows my visitors to provide me with their email information to help me stay connected and in communication with them.
There are many misconceptions about marketing and how it could be sleazy, cheap or disreputable. To me, this couldn’t be any further from the truth as long as you present yourself in the right way. If you don’t use all the tools at your disposal to sell yourself and your ideas, you’re fighting a losing battle against the incredibly high level of competition and vast levels of music and information out there. These methods are used by a lot of successful companies and entrepreneurs across many different fields, so why shouldn’t it be applicable to our industry and careers?
Before List Builder, I only included a small opt-in email box on my home page or at the end of my articles. I was missing a lot of opportunities to engage with people but I didn’t want to install a tool that would harass my readers with annoying popups that acted in an unintelligent way.
Since installing List Builder, the sign-ups to my mailing list have increased substantially. Previously, I would have had to create new content hoping that people would see my sign-up boxes on the left of my home page or at the bottom of my articles. Now if someone clicks on my site and likes what they see, they can easily opt in to receive updates and free mixing tutorials in the future. This in turn increases the reach of my tutorials and provides information for those interested in developing their skills as a music producer or sound engineer.
List Builder’s clever lightbox popover can be customized to automatically popup after a certain amount of time, or you can use the smart mode (my preferred method) to ask your visitors to subscribe when you think they’re getting ready to leave your website. Now people will find your blog, read your article, learn something new and subscribe via email to your newsletter. Everyone wins!
The respectful collection of email addresses also needs to be approached efficiently. This simple tool easily ingrates with mail list clients like Mailchimp/Aweber and is a seamless addition to any WordPress theme (like mine).
SumoMe is not just for WordPress. You can add it to any website by including a simple line of code in the head of your HTML.
There are also many more tools from SumoMe that operate in a similarly efficient unique way.
Another great recent development from being part of the AppSumo mailing list has been access to Email1K – a step by step approach to increasing your mailing list subscribers from AppSumo’s founder Noah Kagan that further demonstrates the effectiveness and value of the free marketing tools from SumoMe.com.
So what are the main benefits of SumoMe’s tools?
- They’re simple, smart and efficient.
- Over 25,000 people are using these tools every day.
- If you don’t have the tools installed, you’re competing against those that do.
- It’s free, so what have you got to lose?
If you’re exceptionally lazy and don’t often take action when you know you should, then you’ll be glad to hear that List Builder, Smart Bar, Contact Form and all the other SumoMe tools are easy to install, even if you’re one of the laziest people in the world.
If you still feel like you should do it but won’t get around to it today because looking at cat memes is more important, you can even email firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll do it for you free of charge.