Many artists fail to live up to their full potential. Much of this occurs by their own fault, well lack of knowledge really. And yes, we can go back and forth all day about education and ignorance and glass ceilings but we have plenty of time for that down the road. Today we will be discussing the most basic of concepts, promotion vs. marketing.
Most artists are very good at the promotion side of music, you know, putting their music on different sites and launching statuses, tweeting endlessly about how they have the hottest new track and that this is their year to shine. A lovely amount of lip service that most simply scroll past without really noticing. Happens everyday and will continue to happen simply because it’s free and people actually have the laughable delusion that they are reaching new fans. Quite laughable really but then again when someone lacks the proper method, they tend to follow the wrong path. Promotion does have it’s place and uses but the key to unlocking a career in music is marketing.
Marketing is where things get fun and expensive. Launching a musical or any true art career is an investment in yourself and that means money. Proper videos with good lenses and filters, photo shoots, tours, merchandise, and the staff to run it all. It all costs money and those funds will come from 1 of 3 places. Either yourself, an outside investor, or very rarely a record label. The best option is to fund this yourself as you retain control of all aspects including marketing. Like any start-up business, the founder or CEO will think that they know best and in some instances this is true. But, there are professional services that specialize in marketing genres of music. Ad placement, graphic design, merchandise design, demographic isolation, all the fun little items that make up the get to know me aspect of the artists’ career. And guess what? They all cost money.
Promotion is free and marketing costs money. Very simply put, but here is the kicker. Promotion has a very slim chance of generating profit while marketing has a higher chance of generating a profit and yes it is all a gamble. No artist knows for sure what the future holds for their career, there is always that 1-5% chance that Murphy’s Law will occur and you will go from being cock of the walk to a sweater folder at Wal-Mart.
Each tool has its use. But without a proper marketing plan and team to: launch, continue, and progress forward the marketing plan, all the promotion in the world will just be hot air about a single that could become the next platinum record and not just a CD with some sharpie scribbles on it. ~Biggz