• Michael Wallick


Updated: Jul 15

The DIY guide to Getting More Fans and Making MORE money from your Music The New Rules Of Marketing are all about telling your story, Not simply advertising products. Large corporations leverage the power of social media very effectively using these techniques. Things are much different today than in the old days when you simply purchased advertising. Advertising is not very focused. It is like trying to reach a particular straw by showing a sign to a haystack. TV and Radio ads are very expensive. You reach a huge swatch of people, hoping enough will pay attention and come to you. Social Media, for most people, is just a way to socialize. The way businesses use social media is vastly different. The old way was to depend on Magazine, Newspaper, and Television ads. Publicity stunts have been used to create buzz around some bizarre situations so the ad executives can make a case to entertainment news agencies that the report is newsworthy. However, I work with Independent Musicians, mostly unsigned, Like Bently Monet and Kellan Lander (Snailmate) who were doing very well booking themselves all over the country. They signed with a record label with poor distribution and went broke. They are at it again with Poor Life Choice Management out of Phoenix, AZ, and doing well. There are reputable agencies out there they are just few and far between. The sad truth is that the music industry survives on exploiting musicians who do not have reliable representation. The reason the label they signed with no longer had the distribution power to support the band like in the old days is the very premise of the book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”. In one article by an organization, “Hip Hop Unwrapped”, they say “In 2002, the Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) reported that 95.5% of the music industry’s revenue came from CD sales. Nowadays, 75% of that money comes from streaming, with only 10% from physical sales.” Also, there are millions of artists out there giving their music away just to get it heard. Music News reports, “Companies like Spotify are killing the music industry. “If you look at the music industry as a whole, you will see that artists don't get much help at all from streaming. ... It would take an artist billions of streams just to make a small amount of money, so in this way, it would seem that Spotify is absolutely killing the music industry”. USE THEM, don't let them use you. Mike B of 3 Mind Blight is very good at this as are others, and he helps other musicians navigate the industry as he collaborates with artists like Clare Estelle, Sophie Dorston, and Trysette, making some really great music that is worth owning. My advice is to make your own website, place your own digital downloads on it and sell them yourself. Think, how many streams does a musician have to sell to make $20.00, about 500,000. Develop a plan. Here is a great resource. It tells artists the advantages of using these services getting attention to their music as well as telling them how to sell their music, themselves and gives them a guide including how to start their own websites to sell their own digital downloads. NEVER give anyone exclusive rights to sell your music. Copywrite it yourself with services like Trademark Engine. Here is a guide from Cdbaby, My friend, Dirk Prysby of Rubber Clown Car likes them. Many people are confused about the role of Social Media. Most people simply use it to communicate with friends. The business world has leveraged the power of Social Media to reach niche markets in ways businesses never have before. Contact is two-way now. Telling your story can be done in several ways. One of the best is Video Interviews. You can use advertising on Social Media more effectively but in doing so you can now tailor your content to your niche market rather than trying to appeal To a large swath of people in a general way. This is the key because no matter how intelligent or logical people seem to be, we all make decisions based on how we feel and whom we trust. We also create educational videos. Telling people about your business, how it started, what your mission is what you do, the history of your craft, and how your craft will solve their problems all using rich, language and meaningful images that when combined not only tell your customer about you but leave impressions through multiple senses, sight, sound, color, and the evocation of emotion. Social Media, allows you to be reached directly and more importantly, helps you reach them in an interactive way. I work with musicians. Social Media is a great way to attract fans and speak directly to your fans. However, the mistake I see is they get caught up in networking with other bands and trading experiences, expressing solidarity, and contact each other for collaborations, which is all well and good and very important but I do not see much talking directly to fans when it is your fans that support you financially so it is important to develop relationships with fans. Do you want to sell your music? Reaching out to and communicating directly with fans is how Social Media can increase your sales and in order to do this social media allows you to reach fans of your genre through the use of keyword filtering. I reach followers with a service called Twiends. I can put in keywords so only the fans with my interests follow me from that service. I am attracting my niche market and I can change those keywords periodically to attract others with other interests expanding my potential customer base. Do you say, I have a new release, name the song and post a link or do you write a couple of sentences that tell what the song is trying to relate to? Do you use the # symbol to reach people with your interests? Do you use language that evokes emotion? Do you tell people what the message of the song is? Samples: My new release is "name". It is about Global Warming. In 12 years we will have reached the point of no return. We need to start now to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. TAKE ACTION The earth needs you!!! #GlobalWarming #RenewableEnergy Then post a link. or I have a new song, go here to listen and post a link. Which one tells potential fans who you are and what your music is about? This is how PR works now. It is no longer about press releases and expensive, non-targeted advertising. Would you like some help? Also, you do not need record labels anymore, and getting on fickle playlists on streaming services that basically exploit your talent paying you a few dollars for thousands of streams is also no longer necessary IF you learn how to use Social Media Effectively. Stop letting slick marketers tell you you need them. You do not. The truth is- NO ONE CAN SELL YOUR MUSIC better than you. If you communicate with your fans directly they will buy your music and spread the word - all free and you keep all your money. Better to sell 20 songs for a buck apiece than get 15.00 for thousands of streams. BUT - it is easier to let the streamers rip you off than to actually get out there and do the work yourself. You need 1000 true fans, those who buy everything you put out to make a good living from your music but it takes time and effort to get those fans and the streaming services as all successful corporations exploit innate human laziness. You pay them dearly to do what you can do more efficiently. All it takes is time. If you use social media properly you can make it even while not being able to play live because your fans just want to interact with you. They will buy directly from you before they will buy from Spotify or Apple Music. Which is more effective? Which tells the story of your song, who will a message appeal to. We must start thinking like publishers. We have to think, How can my music be used to reach out to people who feel the same way I do through my music and how can I tell my fans I identify with them and their concerns. How is my music going to further the cause? If you can convey this directly to your fans, and inflame their emotions: If you can reach your fans on an emotional level they WILL buy your music. USE YOUR MUSIC to give people hope, make them happy, make them angry, make them feel sympathy - That is what music itself does BUT how are you getting that message to your fans. My whole purpose when I starting Michel's Music Blog, now Big Mike Productions was to help Independent Musicians reach more fans and sell more music. Over the years I have made many of the same mistakes. In realizing that I have started working on a Master's Degree in "Promotion and Video Content" from Liberty University. I am one unbeliever among 10's of thousands of Evangelical Christians. What better way for a rebellious Punk Rocker to make waves? However, I have found that even though there are religious overtones and they do try to get the students to focus on relating their education to their religious convictions no one has ever asked me not to put my opinions in my papers and posts. In fact, I have been encouraged to do so. The University is well run. The people I deal with are very kind. I am there for an education and I feel confident that in spite of my distaste for religion the material in the course will help me be more effective in helping you, which was always my goal, to help independent musicians reach more fans and sell more music. I AM SUFFERING FOR THE CAUSE, lol Why is hip hop the most popular genre in such a short time? It is about the message, the common experience, and issues that affect the hip-hop community. It is a culture of understanding and solidarity. It brings people together. It is communal, not the individual. It is also very emotional. You might be able to play great guitar licks but how are you going to get someone to click on your link to listen. You have to appeal to their emotions. Big Mike Productions Atlanta, Ga

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