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TEM Blog

The Entrepreneurial Musician Blog by Andrew Hitz featuring articles on being an entrepreneur in the music business. Show notes for The Entrepreneurial Musician Podcast.

Filtering by Category: Marketing

If you feel a little squeamish about your marketing...

Andrew Hitz should probably trust your gut. This means you're doing it wrong.

This short article is a good reminder that there's two kinds of marketing:

  1. The pushy car salesperson who is trying to get you to drive off of the lot that day in one of their cars no matter what they have to say to you
  2. The complete opposite of that

Always trust your gut when it comes to marketing. The bad kind of marketing is like pornography. It can be a little hard define. But you always know it when you see it.

Oh, You're a Marketer Alright

Andrew Hitz

As Seth Godin points out in Unleashing the Ideavirus, there isn’t a single market place that isn’t more crowded than it was a decade ago. So getting attention is harder than ever. Embrace marketing as an entrepreneurial musician today or fail.

The name of the game today is getting noticed which means every single one of us is a marketer.

A post shared by Andrew Hitz (@tempodcast) on

The Danger of Great Marketing

Andrew Hitz

"If you're great at marketing and your product is $#&@ it actually exposes you quicker because they have more awareness of how sucky you are."
—Gary Vaynerchuck from The Ask Gary Vee Show: Startup Grind LA

I harp over and over again in speeches, on the podcast and on this blog that getting noticed is the number one obstacle in 2016 for any artist "making it" in the music business. This point can't be made too many times.

But Gary Vaynerchuck makes a really great point in that quote above.

If you spend a lot of time mastering your marketing and engaging your potential customers where they are hanging out you need to make sure that one thing is true: that your product isn't sucky (as Gary colorfully puts it.)

You need to be sure that what you are doing is worth getting noticed by a large number of people before you attempt to get their attention. Because with all of the options available to human beings in 2016, none of us are going to give you attention again if our first taste was terrible.

(Note: If you want to get fired up and don't mind some profanity, click the link above to hear Gary Vaynerchuck address Startup Grind LA. It is a two hour talk that flies by. It's crazy how much information and passion that guy can pack into one speech.)

Article: 10 Skills Online Marketing Teams Must Have to Succeed

Andrew Hitz

Whether your marketing "team" is a dozen people or like most musicians, just you, this is a good, quick read from Entrepreneur Magazine of things to be thinking about on the digital marketing front moving forward.

And as I've said on the podcast over and over again, getting noticed is by far the most difficult thing in the music business in 2016. By far the most difficult thing!

The good news: The gate keepers of the music business are gone!

The bad news: Those gate keepers are gone for everyone else, too!

So if you don't consider yourself a marketer, you better get started today.

Article: 10 Skills Online Marketing Teams Must Have to Succeed

(I'm especially fond of #10.) 

Don't Follow the Leader

Andrew Hitz

"The reason it's so hard to follow the leader is this: The leader is the leader because he did something remarkable. And that remarkable thing is now taken. It's no longer remarkable when you do it." 
—Seth Godin from The Purple Cow

I would say a full 95% of all musicians I speak with who are struggling to gain traction within their corner of the music business are following the leader. This is a fool's errand.

The brilliant Seth Godin talks about marketing aspirin in his book The Purple Cow. (Bear with couldn't be any more relevant.)

He asks the reader to imagine how easy it must have been to be the first person to market aspirin. It's cheap, easy to try, and solves a problem for just about every person alive. That copy writes itself.

Next he points out there over 100 kinds of aspirin in some form or other currently being sold. He then asks "Do you think it's still fun to be a marketer of aspirin?"

The answer is of course it isn't. That's a nightmare. Where do you even begin?

So the question you have to ask yourself is this:

Is what I am offering the music business (and therefor the world in general) the first aspirin or the 93rd aspirin?

It is also important to note that the manufacturer of each of those 100+ versions of aspirin can easily articulate how their version is different than the rest. Doo you know why that doesn't matter? If I had never taken aspirin in my life and was looking for a brand, do you think I would take the time to listen to 100 different manufacturers explain to me how each one is unique?

The answer is no. None of us would ever do that.

So if your woodwind quintet or your resume for a college teaching position are not obviously unique to your target audience with no explanation (since you won't have the opportunity to give that explanation anyways), you are most likely on a fool's errand.

So don't follow the leader. Be remarkable and lead yourself.

Who Is Your Bio Written For?

Andrew Hitz

In my work as a consultant, there is a mistake I see individuals and groups make with an astonishing frequency. To see if you are making this mistake you need to ask yourself one question:

Who specifically is your bio written for? 

If you can't answer this simple question I bet I can answer it for you. If you haven't targeted a specific group of people with your bio then chances are very good that you wrote it for someone you know quite well:


One of the most common problems I see people make is writing their bio as if they were the intended recipient.

If you are writing the bios for a chamber group (both the collective bio and that of each member) who wants to be a touring ensemble performing on different concert series around the country, who is your target audience? (Hint: Who does the hiring for those series'?)

The answer is concert presenters. The answer for me would also be "not fellow tuba players."

A fellow tuba player may be impressed that I have studied with Sam Pilafian, Rex Martin and David Fedderley. 99% of concert presenters have never heard of a single one of them. They also don't care that I went to Northwestern.

None of these facts will help that presenter sell tickets or sell you to her board of directors (who she generally reports to.)

So why do the bios of so many musicians start with where we went to school and who we studied with? The answer is because we were writing the bio for ourselves and not for a targeted audience.

I frequently challenge people and groups I work with to do the following:

  1. Identify exactly who the target audience is for their bio.
  2. Put yourself in their shoes and figure out what in your bio they'll be most impressed with.
  3. Write the bio using words and terms that your target audience are already using.

If you take these three steps when writing your bio you will nail it every time.

Finally, it should be noted that each person or group should not necessarily have only one bio. If you end up targeting different audiences with your various skill sets (which almost all of us do in this age of the "portfolio musician") then you will get very different results from the above three steps depending on who you are trying to reach.



Article: 8 Effective Email Marketing Strategies Backed by Research

Andrew Hitz

Here is an article from the blog at Buffer on email marketing strategies. Some of the conclusions were surprising to me:

  • Between 8:00 pm and midnight is the best time to send a marketing email
  • Mobile accounts for almost 50% of all email opens
  • Sending email campaigns on weekends is a good idea

Email marketing, yes, good old-fashioned email, is still a vital tool in engaging customers and in converting sales. There is lots of data to back this up. This article lays out a lot of the strategies you should be employing.

8 Effective Email Marketing Strategies Backed by Research