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   >> article   

Music Marketing Lesson From an 8-Year-Old Girl
by Bob Baker

One morning not long ago, when my daughter was 8, I was driving her to school when she asked me to cue up a very familiar song on the CD player. If you have kids, you know that children often love repeated exposure to stuff they like. They'll contently watch a favorite movie over and over again, driving the adults in the house batty from the repetition.

Well, one of her favorite songs is "Accidentally in Love" by Counting Crows. I like to think she enjoys it so much because I recently played it at a show she attended. But the truth more likely has something to do with the Shrek 2 soundtrack.

Anyway, that morning we were on our second spin of "So she said, 'What's the problem, baby' ..." when I finally asked her, "Why do you like this song so much?"

Her answer: "I don't know. It just puts me in a good mood."

Outrageous Music Marketing Idea #1
Turn Yourself Into a Happy Meal

I definitely advocate that indie musicians *not* try to emulate the same tactics as the major labels. However, there are times when you can take one of their ideas (or an idea from a related entertainment industry) and give it a small-scale spin.

You know how the major film studios promote their new animated features by tying into fast food chain kid meals, such as the McDonald's Happy Meal. Most likely, you won't be able to land a nationwide Happy Meal deal. But you might be able to do something cool with a local deli or restaurant.

I know a couple of radio disc jockeys in my town who have sandwiches or special meals named after them at certain eateries. Why couldn't you do that? Especially if you perform regularly at a particular coffee shop, bar or restaurant.

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for a song

Wow. That might sound like a simplistic answer, but when you think about it, isn't that at the core of enjoyng any type of music, at any stage of life? You enjoy your favorite music because it makes you feel good.

The key words there are *feel* and *good*. Generally speaking, music makes the person enjoying it feel good -- or better about themselves than they might have before hearing it.

There are exceptions: Sometimes people listen to particular types of music when they are sad or angry or not feeling "good." In these instances, people use music to match their mood -- to cradle and support them in whatever state they happen to be in. But, regardless of the mood, people always use music to "feel," whether it's good or otherwise.

But I contend that most of the time people turn to music to feel better about themselves -- to, as my daughter says, put themselves in a good mood..

Feeling Great About Feeling Good

Music fans might say they love an act because of the vocalist's skills or the guitar player's chops or the groove laid down by the bass player. But those things are just the means that lead to the ultimate fan payoff: feeling good.

So ... How does your music make your fans feel? In what way do you elevate their mood to "good" -- or, better yet, great? The answers to those questions can be different for every artist. But asking them and pondering the answers will help you understand the true relationship you have with your fans.

Bottom line: Putting more people in a "good mood" will help your music career more than just about any marketing tactic you could ever conceive.

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about the author >>

Bob Baker is the author of "Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook," "Unleash the Artist Within" and "Branding Yourself Online." He also publishes The Buzz Factor, a web site and e-zine that deliver marketing tips, self-promotion ideas and other empowering messages to music people of all kinds. Get your FREE subscription to Bob's e-zine and a look at his great resources for advancing your music career here.

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