This week, we’re talking to 1on1 Entertainment’s Seth Regan. As an artist, his music has been on everything from HBO’s megahit, True Detective to Dr. Pepper ads to the online network, Second Life. As an entertainment consultant, his 25 years of music industry connections have given him the advance track on what’s expected and needed of independent musicians.
We asked him one big question. “What’s the largest single thing that independent artists forget about when it comes to promoting their music?” He went into detail about what you need to remember when it comes to getting your music licensed by supervisors as well as heard by more people. Then he goes into detail on his professional services and talks about how he works with 1on1 Entertainment to help artists do that.
Q: What’s the largest single thing that independent artists forget about when it comes to promoting their music?
To be clear up front, I am an independent artist. I know the struggles that indies face. I’ve been there. I AM there! I’ve also been a business owner for most of my adult life so the things I’d like to share with you today come from years of experience on both sides: Music and Business.
I wish I could widdle the answer to this question down to the “biggest single thing” but in dealing with many musicians, there’s more than a single thing. The good news is that 1 ON 1 Entertainment was created to HELP indie artists answer these questions for themselves. Broadjam is a company that are professionals in licensing and publishing… that’s what THEY do. 1 ON 1 are professionals in design and marketing. Thats’ what WE do.
The biggest thing that I see when speaking to artists is that a good majority are sadly unaware about the business side of the careers they’ve chosen. Without a clear understanding of how this business works, a lot of time might be wasted chasing after opportunities that are not within the artists reach, or that the artists would not want in the first place. To answer, though, let me break it down to what I believe are the most important things for indie artists never to overlook.
1. Know that you are the CEO of your own business… your music, your brand, your social presence and your overall “Online Image” are you products!
2. Understand that this is a “business” that you are in. Writing, performing and recording are only a part of it.
3. Sell and market your brand and image as much as you sell and market your music.
4. Go for the interaction. With the advent of Social Networks, everyone is vying for the same footing. It’s incredibly competitive and highly saturated. We as indie artists need to grab every possible competitive advantage that is presented to us. If you can continually get more people engaged in what you do, say, offer, etc., they you are already winning the battle to get your name and your music out there more!
INVEST IN A PROFESSIONAL ONLINE IMAGE
On the business side, first and foremost is making sure you have a professional “online image”, including both a professional logo and custom website – I stress “custom” website not template driven, not a low quality freebie, not a storage closet like ReverbNation or SoundCloud page. Many think that just having any old website or a one page thing will do. But it won’t. It hurts you. It promotes an unprofessional public image of you and your brand and therefore, detracts from greater possibilities of people even being interested in listening to your music. It shows that you aren’t serious and have not haven’t considered the impact of not having invested in your own career.
Without a professional website, the public is far less likely to want to interact and engage with that website, profile or whatever they find on you. Online, it’s ALL about image. IMAGE! IMAGE! IMAGE! I can tell you personally that I would probably not purchase any products off a website that has poor product images or one that looks very poor in quality. Sure, anyone can learn a program and build a website, but a website must be “designed” not “built”, these are two different animals completely. This is especially true for an artist or other creative persons’s website and of course their logo.
To be clear, a logo is not the artist’s name in a cool font.That can be part of it, but I believe that every brand needs an icon, something memorable. Like it or not, you, the independent artist, YOU are a brand. That’s how you need to start thinking. Nike has the “swoosh”, Pepsi has their globe, Amazon has the curved “A to Z” arrow, and on it goes. A band or artist is also a brand and as such, also needs a great logo.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW…. FIND SOMEONE WHO DOES
Secondly, they need to understand that a lot of the tools that artists need are literally at their fingertips. But without the knowledge of their existence and how to use them properly, beneficially to thier career, well then the artist is missing out on a lot of opportunities. Artists often tell me that they have used the three “Evil W’s” (Wix, Weebly, Wordpess) to build their own websites. The problem is that they don’t need a template that anyone else can use. They need a unique design, as unique to the artist as the music they create. So while they may make the sweetest music, most are not professional designers and unfortunately, the shitty design that their friends and family have told them looks great, shoots them in the foot and does more harm then they are even aware. It completely kills their entire online image. Bottom line is that trying to do professional marketing for a company with no brand identity or no logo and a poor overall online image, well it’s near impossible to convince anyone that you are a professional in the music business.
There are so many websites to place your music which means the excuse for NOT having it out there is inexcusable. The issue as I see it lies with lack of knowledge. Bottom line is, if you don’t know how to do professional online marketing, you may have to start asking the hard questions: Why you aren’t getting traffic to your website, why hardly anyone interacts with your posts and why you don’t have more than a few hundred “Likes” on Facebook? If you think your music is the best it can be in quality and crafting, then it might be the right time to consider a professional and complete online image overhaul and professional marketing campaign. You must also be FOUND by the Search Engines and that’s where professional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. You can have the coolest website out there but if no one can find it, well then it’s like a water fountain in the desert, with no map to it. We can help there too!
The music is first. Once you’re happy and convinced that your music is the best it’s ever going to be, best in quality and performance, then it might be time to invest in a professional design and marketing campaign, in your professional “Online Image”… it’s cheaper than you might think. Whether it’s with 1 ON 1 or another professional firm… do it! If you can’t afford it right now, then I would strongly advise that you wait until you can because if you start marketing a poor online image, you’ll blow your shot. You get only one chance to make a good first impression. In the music business, first impressions are EVERYTHING!!!! So make it count. TAKE CONTROL!
I encourage everyone to read this article I wrote for the 1 ON 1 Blog called “DDIY – Don’t Do It Yourself!”
Q: How can they overcome that hurdle?
A: Gain more knowledge so you can “TAKE CONTROL!”
That’s where 1 ON 1 Entertainment can help. Like Broadjam, we offer professional level services without breaking an artist’s bank. Broadjam’s many years of valuable services are the reason they are still here today. If they were not an ethical company, they would not last and I for one would not be writing in support of them. 1 ON 1 will be up front, direct and honest with you. If you can’t handle honesty then we might not be a right fit. But remember, those that have the balls to be honest with you now are the ones you will find last the longest in your life and are the ones you will be able to trust later.
1 ON 1 has the goal of helping artists and bands to “Take Control” of their own careers. We offer professional level design and marketing services and will soon be offering Global Distribution to deserving artists. Once an artist contracts 1 ON 1, we work with you… “One on One” to create an entire online image including social branding and expansion, which coincides with the theme of your new website and logo 1 ON 1 designs for you (IE. Facebook page header image, Twitter header, etc.). We will also advise on some very good “How To” ideas on marketing yourself better online. We will also show you how to get more people to engage and interact with you, your music and whatever you have to say.
You will then have the knowledge and the “tools” to become far more professional at marketing your own brand. Your online image will be something you can be proud of marketing everywhere you can. Work with 1 oN 1 and you will become a DANGEROUS MARKETING MACHINE!!!
Posted by Broadjam on Apr 16, 2014 in Broadjam Blog