Music marketing is more important now than ever before. Making a lasting first impression before your song even starts can mean the difference between stardom and obscurity. This rings especially true today because of a thing called “attention economics”. Musicians may find themselves competing for the same aural real estate. They are fighting for your attention.
So, how do you create an emotional appeal before anyone listens?
The value of storytelling
The most successful artists know the value of storytelling, and how to sell themselves. It is the most effective way to cut through the noise of all the other music that lands in our social feeds.
Feeling some pressure?
Remember, you don’t have to tell your whole story all at once. Novels unfold over several hundred pages. As a musician, every action you take is a chance to further your story and make additional connections — every show you play, every video you create, every new release, every email you send, every blog post, and social media update you write.
Still, having a grasp on the highlights of your musical story helps so much with marketing.
Your story won’t reveal all of the beauty and complexity of you as an artist. That’d take too long to tell. Instead, think about a few key things you most want to convey about your life and music. Maybe you already have the makings of a great band story in those few details.
What should I focus my story on?
Are you as influenced by The Beatles as I am? SAY IT. Associating yourself with your musical icons instantly gives the listener something to reference and anticipate before pressing play.
Your heritage or even just the scene you’re in might be a defining trait of your music and what you stand for. However much you choose to make culture part of your identity, it can bring an audience ready to support one of their own directly to your feet.
The story of your artist or band formation alone can sometimes be enough to gain a fan. Your trials and tribulations will always make for a good story, potentially making people emotionally invested in your success.
It is totally acceptable to only make party music; the world still needs it. But, if you’re an artist with an affinity for concept albums and political discourse then you better milk that for all it’s worth. Many listeners can appreciate music that is about a cause they hold close to them.
Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Your audience, and the media, will see through it. Having said that, what sets you apart from the other bands? What aspect of your life will connect on an emotional level with your listeners? THAT detail is what fans will be drawn to, what music critics will write about, and what should be supercharged at the center of your story.