Tour van rock and roll band

Download BMI‘s pdf of the survival guide for musicians here.
A music career IS all about surviving – at least in the early years.

The concepts below will help you think of different ways to keep your focus on building your brand and creating a path for success. If you think of yourself as your own small business, then the following information can become your personal marketing plan.


Goal: Make a living making music

Internal Check: Self Image

Everything starts with a look within.
– Is this going to be a hobby or is this going to be a career?
– Understand your music genre and how to represent to it
– Does your name work? Is it simple for people to recall?
– Does your logo/graphics fit the style of your music?
– Does your look coordinate with your sound and audience?
– Do you know where you want to be with your music?
– Do you and your band members share a common goal?
– Are you affiliated with a Performing Right Organization like BMI that will collect royalties on your behalf?
– Do you know that it’s free?
– Once you have joined BMI did you register your songs so that you can get paid?

External Review:

Know Your Audience: who is your target market?

– Age
– Gender
– What is the demo you are trying to hit?

How do you reach them?

– Live gigs
– Email
– internet
– mobile
– printed materials and merch

How do you get them involved in your success?

– Referrals
– Social networks
– Included in videos/music
– Contests

Communications: Spread the word.

How big a component is the internet for you?

– Are your website and social networking sites easily accessible?
– Is your website’s name/URL easy to remember?
– Is your website interactive in building an online community?
– Are sample music and videos available for your fans on the website?
– Do you use blogs?
– Do you have a Myspace group?
– Do you have a Facebook group?
– Do you use webcams?

Research: Your fans are your biggest and most valuable source of information regarding your level of success. Look for common trends amongst the information you receive.

– Capture and build a database of your fans’ email addresses
– Releasing new music? Ask for fan feedback
– Make sure that you can track the feedback that you receive
– Is there an incentive for input?

Promotions: You have to be your own advocate. You need to be thinking about promoting your self/band every step of the way. Build local and grow national.

– Promote shows and events through your website
– Promote your music through MySpace, YouTube and Facebook
– Use free entertainment publications in your area to promote your gigs
– Check out your local cable company for local access channels that can carry your message or a short set
– Build a fan base and shoot for sponsors
– Display an upcoming event on community billboards, websites, etc
– Plan events in areas close to one another to allow “word of mouth” to promote your shows
– Are your live performances consistent with your online look and feel?
– Can you concentrate on geography and build a fan base out from there?
– Display your email, website, and any other important information on everything including merchandise at events
– Give samples of music and live concert footage on your website
– Do you have a good way to sell merch at your gigs?
– Always have time for the meet and greets
– Use companies like Muzlink, Songtank, Sonicbids and Surrge to help you get your music out to a mass audience

Look inside, then outside, do your research, figure out a consistent message and then promote like crazy. The traditional path to success has changed and you have to use the technology available to capture an audience. For more information, check out and Both sites will offer help with career development and get you closer to where you want to be with your music.