If you’ve read any music marketing books, you know by now that every industry specialist will ask you ”what is your audience?” and a thousand other questions related to it, your audience. Normally, the first thing that comes to your mind is your fans, the people who care enough about you to listen to every song you release. What you don’t know though, is that there is A SECOND AUDIENCE that is equally, if not more, important, and that you most likely, are ignoring. This is costing you YEARS of your life and every time you don’t consider this second audience, you are putting distance between yourself and your ultimate success in the music business. Let’s dive into it and see how you can set things in your favor!
This second audience that is crucial in your career, is the music industry PROFESSIONALS. Think about a writer, when he publishes a book, he is expecting reviews from 2 worlds: the readers AND the professionals (critics, agents, editors). Same applies to an artist. When you release a song, you should care what your fans AND your peers think of it. These 2 audiences are completely different from one another and you should treat them as such. If you can engage with a fan in hours-long conversations, don’t you dare act the same way with a publicist for example. Besides your song, he has a MINIMUM of 20 other releases he must pay attention to and offer his feedback on. The more you take from his/her time, the more you are pushing the publicist away. Think of X factor, or any other talent show for that matter, there is the public AND the judges. In your case, your fans are the public, your judges – the industry professionals. These pros are people who earn their living from working in the music business: curators, analysts, writers, reviewers, producers, sound engineers, A&Rs, booking agents, DJs, TV and Radio Hosts, etc. So when you think of posting something on your Facebook Page, or ANY social media for that matter, THINK about the TWO AUDIENCES. Would you post the same senseless caption knowing that PROFESSIONALS are paying attention too? Would you upload those selfies in lingerie that got jack sh°t to do with your music career? Or would you annoy the internet with your pets 24/7? I bet you wouldn’t. The issue is that these people have A LOT on their plate to digest daily, and if at any moment they feel that you’re stealing from their time and attention, they will ignore you. Permanently. Forever and ever. And even when you release something, for God’s sake, DO NOT SPAM THEM WITH A STANDARD MESSAGE. Put in the effort to customize your email for each industry professional and thank them for their time whether they respond or not. Being polite and mannered will take you places.
But what if you never took the time to build this second audience? How do you start doing this? EASY! One person at a time. Look up articles and past interviews about artists you like, find the author’s social media, follow them for a while, comment and engage with their posts, THEN muster up the courage to message them directly and congratulate them on something they deserve. And THEN you can ask for a small favor. Don’t expect people to just jump in and ”save” your career for free. Not gonna happen. And even if you pay someone to help you, if you are not nice and did not take the time to build an actual connection with them, chances are, they won’t even care about your next releases. Treat every relationship in the music industry with integrity and respect. And after a year or two of laying the foundation of your second audience, NOW you can relax for a moment and focus on your music, release GREAT product, then contact your new ”friends” to give you a hand in pushing forward your career.
Also, remember to NOT bother them with every release you got. Only reach out when your product is worth it! Meaning you got a stellar song, a fantastic music video, and some money set aside to promote it. If you’re just putting out Soundcloud music, forget you’ve even read this and come back when you’re serious about taking your career to the next level.
In conclusion: take time each day to build up both audiences, reaching new fans AND reaching more industry professionals. When you make a fan, make sure you’ve also made a DJ friend. Each audience has its pivotal role in your life: one will make sure the food stays on your plate and the second makes sure you get to sit at new tables.