Marketing Your Music

Written by Rory Burbeck | December 18, 2013

SXSW 2014 Music Speaker Paul Jankowski

We keep reading about marketing strategies big music companies are using to try to stay ahead of their competitors - but what about the musicians? If you’re an artist or artist manager, it is so important for you and your team to stay ahead of the curve when developing your brand and promoting your music. The SXSW 2014 Music Conference is offering sessions geared specifically towards branding and marketing for artists.

As the landscape for consumer listening has shifted over the last 15 years, the strategies bands can use to effectively market themselves have also dramatically changed. A big part of sustaining traction is maintaining an active relationship with your audience, something that can be easily done these days with social media and mobile device technology. An article published on Music Think Tank in October suggests that “the relationship between an artist and fan is facilitated through their devices,” and lists new ways for artists to reach their fans.

Several artists have made the case that carving out a niche for yourself can be very profitable. In the case of Eighth Blackbird, a contemporary classical music sextet from Chicago, they earn in the “lower seven figures annually” simply by writing, performing, and “creating a personal relationship with the audience,” according to an article published by The Street. Making a sufficient wage from performing music is difficult for any band these days, let alone one that plays classical music - but it is possible.

Artists and artist managers interested in learning more on this subject should attend SXSW 2014 Music Conference Sessions geared toward music branding and marketing. Topics include marketing your tours and live performances, leveraging social media to push your music to a wider audience, and more. We’ve provided a list of these sessions below.

  • Marketing/Branding in Live Music Business Today (Michael Bishop, Crossroads Presents)
  • Are Brands The New Music Tastemakers? (Helena Ngo, VerveLife)
  • Building Brands in the New Heartland (Paul Jankowski, Access Brand Strategies)
  • DIY Digital: A Guide to Organic Online Marketing (Marni Wandner, Sneak Attack Media)
  • The Rise of Influence Marketing in Music (Acacia Newlon, Ticketfly)
  • Bad Ass Concert Marketing: Pack The F#cking Room (Dan Steinberg, Square Peg Concerts)
  • Direct to Fan: Showing the Love Brings the Love (Mike Jones, A to Z Media)
  • Paul Jankowski photo by Maggie Boyd