So you want to have your talents heard, appreciated, debated, and possibly even promoted in a way where you feel you have near total control? One of the best platforms for distribution and marketing is the Web. Once you create sound files, preferably MP3, they can be attached to emails to your fan base, co-writers, vocalists, potential band members, management, venues – whoever, whatever, wherever there are many applications for generating interest.
The only major drawback is that with email you run the risk of ending up in a spam, junk, or trash folder, especially with people that don’t know you well or at all. But, email is a powerful tool for follow up and keeping in touch.
You can check back with contacts you’ve made after a recent gig, workshop, or music related event. You can ask people to become email subscribers so they can receive your songs as they become available – or as a bi-monthly promotion, kind of as a thank you for your support. It affirms who you are and lets your contacts know that you value their feedback, support, and interest.
MP3’s can obviously be uploaded to your personal website, as well as other social networking sites such as MySpace, Pure Volume, or SonicBids. The web has become an effective way to showcase your voice, material, band, musicianship – all aspects of your art and craft. Those opportunities will continue to grow. The challenge will be to make yourself standout so that you get more hits.
iTunes + Rhapsody
There are online opportunities to make money with your music through sites such as iTunes and Rhapsody. Making your music available through such sites on the Web taps into a worldwide, diverse audience while giving you more control over proceeds from downloads of your songs than you would get if you were with a record label. It will also help you build your confidence, get feedback, grow your fan base, create a buzz, beef up your resume, and make connections.
By having such easy access to the Internet you can use your songs in a timely fashion to play into current news events, activities in your area, community celebrations, and holidays. For example, in February there is what has to be the biggest holiday for love songs. So, you could feature Valentines Day specials. You could have songs of love gone right, love gone wrong, or songs of love lost and found. You can even offer a song or two that takes a humorous look at the holiday or pokes fun at how out of control or goofy people tend to get when they’re in love.
On Mother’s Day you can have a variety of works that honor mothers, celebrate motherhood, and include a lot of “thinking of you” or “thank you” themed pieces that would also work for honoring mothers. You can have working mom and single mom songs. There can be songs for mothers to be. If you as a singer or singer-songwriter are a mom, you can use that role as a selling point in showcasing your works. And, of course, many songs can be put online to help celebrate Father’s Day.
One of the things to remember is that music carries such a deep, profound emotional appeal. It can touch someone that hasn’t been able to shed tears and give them the chance to grieve. It can express joy that someone hasn’t been able to put into words. Imagine somebody looking online for some unique way to honor their father or to tell a girlfriend or boyfriend how special they are – and they find your song. Your songs and your voice can have an amazing impact in such situations. A buzz can be created by that timely, emotional impact of your work.
Targets + Triggers + Tunes
Look for opportunities to put your songs on line so that they support local events, current holidays, high school or college graduation, or organizations that help people work through tough times. The opportunities for you to attach your voice and song to life-changing events are something you need to consider looking into. Many of the people you encounter will likely share their stories. That will trigger new ideas. This is one of the many side benefits of getting your songs and voice heard on line.
Make Multi-Media Connections
For singers, it will give you an opportunity to promote the works of songwriters you know as you sing their songs. It also gets your voice out there so you can be heard and hopefully pursued for other projects. If you know any aspiring playwrights or screenwriters, they can create musical stories for you to star in online. Your online performance activity can even tie into clips on YouTube. Let your mind and your senses run wild as you explore the countless opportunities that exist on the Web.
Most importantly, remain open to and curious about how to use what makes you unique to create a buzz, attract a fan base, and get you closer to realizing your full potential as a singer, singer-songwriter, musician, band, band member, or performer. The mouse is in your court – start clicking and don’t stop until you find that first big cheese that leads to your singing success!