This week we are dealing with how to market yourself just like a company markets a new product. After all you are a product too so you need to use some of the same marketing techniques to get better known like a “Household name”. The questions is how do YOU do that? Here are some steps I have learned and I am always in the process of learning more about and achieving because YOU NEVER STOP MARKETING YOURSELF!!! Much of my back up data came from an Internet Promotion Panel that hosted greats from the industry like Bob Baker , Jenniffer McCord , Tim O’Neil l , and Benjie Hughes . Benjie has a great event going on May 8th at 7 PM called Songwriters Showcase . The Showcase is a live concert, a demo recording session and a songwriting workshop – combined. You perform your music in his recording studio, in front of an audience of other songwriters and music lovers. He records your performance and compiles feedback from the other participants. You Then leave with your songs on CD and a written evaluation to help you improve your writing. Check it out. 
First and foremost you will need to decide right now why you want to get into business for yourself and if that entrepreneurial spirit is in your blood or not. People succeed in business and life because they have a great plan and have great reasons why they MUST succeed. Pick a reason why you’ll be going into business this that is close to your heart, that ties into your very soul, and you’re certain you would rather die before you failed doing it.
Sit down, read some books on writinging a business plan , commitment them to memory, and then write your business plan out start to finish. Make it achievable, realistic, time bound, complete, and give a copy of it to your best friends and family members and tell them to ask you if you’ve reached the goals outlined in it yet and on time. If no one knows what you are doing except you, you will make it too easy to give up. We all need a little pressure once in a while to stay on track.
This is all about Who are you?, What you do? and the Unique way you do it. In this case I am talking about your music, your name, and or your band name. First go out and buy your domain name at www.GoDaddy.com  You may think your product is more important but I disagree. If you take the time to create the product and someone beats you to the punch and buys your domain name then how are you going to sell the product successfully? You can but it becomes much harder after you lose your domain name. If your name is Tom Berry then see if www.TomBerry.com is available. Don’t stop there you will want a site to act as your management company too. Think of something that is not your typical name too don’t buy www.musicbusiness.com as that is going to get lost in the sea of other sites named nearly the same thing and you will be page # 30,000 at best in search engine rankings. If you don’t understand search engine rankings don’t panic I will cover that later on in this post. Consider this, when you want a tissue to blow your nose what do you ask or? A Kleenex?. That is because the Kleenex company rocked at building their brand and chose the right name and no one else is called that. Search for Kleenex online and see what you find. Now go search for music business and see what happens…. A lot of sites named very close to that aren’t there?
This is the part where you Prepare your product for marketplace  and involves what you need to know when creating your product and there is more to it than just your songs. There is your website and how well it flows, Your content (We will talk further about this one), Your Logo, Your company name, and also these very important items.
A. What drives your product?
B. What within your product produces that got to have it feeling inside your clients?
C. What is going to make you a household name?
D. What are you giving back to your clients?
What I mean by content is king is that if your going to have a Blog, and you need to have a Blog, what you say and offer in it will directly impact your marketing results. If you take a lackadaisical approach to writing the Blogs, don’t care what readers think, and most of all don’t care about what your reader get out o it then your ship will sink and sink quickly. What makes your Blog special will make all the difference in whether they click on your ads, buy your songs, or care about you at all and COME BACK TO READ MORE. Really the same concept applies to life in general so do all you can to show them you care and really mean it.
There are different schools of thought on this one but it is a part you will need to do eventually and planning ahead is never a bad idea. Some of the Legal considerations  you’ll need to cover will be copyrighting your songs, Talking to and hiring an attorney to set up your corporation, Setting up business bank accounts, and engaging an accountant to make sure your books are kept straight as you don’t want to be in disarray should the IRS comes knocking on your door. Once again domain names are very important to buy right away, and eventually you want to look into business insurance if you plan on having employees on site at some point but this part can wait until you are to that stage.
Identifying your target market  involves Who the vision is about?, Who resonates with what you do? Who responds to your product and why? Who longs for the same things you do? and what do you have that others want and need? These are all very important in building your marketing machine so it runs fast and lean.
Direct marketin g is one successul technique  and involves going to the clients and telling them about your product or service. You will want to start with identifying who similar artists are that have big client bases you can borrow fans from. Much of this is a little to no cost marketing plan  so look at building an email marketing list to send out tips on promotion and tell about yourself, Write a weekly Blog , Do Podcasts about your products, Get on Itunes , Join Yahoo groups , MySpace , Twitter , Facebook Music , Compete in OurStage  song contests, and Post your videos on YouTube . You can also try free product give aways  to get them hooked on your product and hire other authors to write Blogs  for you but these will have a cost.
9. Setting Your Marketing Budget
Setting a budge t is a big part of the your marketing plan. Decide after building your plan what it will cost you and whether you can afford it. Once you have that number you’ll know how to stay on track and be certain your budget will not run dry as running out of funds will be a killer to your forward progress.
Modeling those already successful in the field you are just getting started in is a great way to gain an edge right off the starting line. It involves finding out what they did that worked rather than blazing your own trail and making all the same mistakes they did when starting out. You can use Mentors  to gain great advice, bounce ideas off of. They can serve as the the person you tell about your plan that will ask you if your on track we talked about earlier in this post. You can find mentors through friends, business partners, and through word of mouth by asking friends who they know that could help you in your quest.
Getting links is very important but you cannot be a bull in a China shop about it. getting links will take building relationships and some finesse. Go join Technorati  and locate other related Blogs with lots of traffic by rank and get to know them, comment on what you like about their Blogs, tell them what you’ve learned from them, and after you have earned it ask them or a link. You will make relationships along the way and if you are honest, have good intentions, and are willing to help others to achieve their goals too your will get so much in return. Bob Baker is a well respected in the industry and has been on many panels and wrote a book called The Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook  and many others too. Go to his site to buy them. Here is a partial version of his book 
This is part of your website software and is how you are found in search engines like Google. You can go to Google Keyword search sit e  to find out what people search for the most. When picking Blog titles tag your posts with the most searched for keywords so you are higher in search results. A tag is when you enter the keyword into the tag field on your site such as your WordPress  theme when you write your Blog posts.
Until next time here is to seeing you succeed in marketing your site. Please comment on what you would like to read about next and could use help with.
Contact Dave