Marketing for Bands and Artists

Marketing for Bands and Artists

By Erick Gerber
In May 5, 2014

Often times I’ll be browsing on social media sites and stumble upon some band or guitar player that I think is amazing, but it’s hidden in the shadows. It comes down to the marketing for bands and artists or lack of. Other times my friends that have way too much time on their hands, will introduce me to a band that they have discovered on the internet, that seemingly no one has ever heard of. Most of the time these artists are pretty bad. But every now and then, they find a gem that no one has seen or heard of. They have some serious potential to be the ‘next big thing’ but only if they get heard.

Marketing for Bands and Artists: Why You Suck

It saddens me to think that there are so many people out there who have this amazing talent and are making music that deserves to be heard by the masses, yet have hardly reached an audience the size of what you might find at a pub on a Monday morning (I’m exaggerating but you get my point.) Then, on the other hand, you get artists who have nothing spectacular to offer to the consuming market but are touring the world and making a sufficient living off of it.

Why does this happen? The answer is MARKETING! My guess is that most genius musicians of today who have the time to sit in their bedroom all day and perfect the art of making beautiful music, are too introverted to get out into the world and make people hear their songs. On the other hand, some artists know that their music isn’t the greatest, but they know who will like their type of music and they know how to punt it to that specific target demographic.

Marketing for Bands and Artists: What The Pros Say

In an interview with guitar player Joe Satriani on, he explains how you need to first build your own fanbase and generate hype. This is what Joe says in order to get promoters hire you at their events:

“The reality is that you get invited to tour by local and international promoters. They take the financial risk of putting on shows. If you propose a tour with several unknown artists the promoter will always decline to invite you to their territory. They often have ideas of their own as to who to put on a show, so, it’s always a little give and take between art and commerce. If an artist like Guthrie Govan for example, who is amazing by the way, could sell 80 000 CDs then the promoters would line up to book him. But, without radio, TV, and ticket or CD sales to go on, the promoters will be afraid to get involved. It’s the same for all musicians”.

Marketing for Bands and Artists: It’s Not Just The Music

If you’re an artist who likes jamming in your room and thinks that your music is of international standard, or even of high enough standard to just be added to someone’s favourite iPod playlist, get a marketing strategy! It can’t hurt to have more people hear your songs. Sitting and waiting to be discovered doesn’t really pan out well anymore, like in the old days. There are so many bands/artists out there that are trying to get somewhere in the music industry. To be able to market yourself properly is the key to success in today’s society.

If your music is amazing then that obviously helps. And at the end of the day most people have lives and jobs and aren’t going to sit in front of a computer all day and find bands on the internet like my mentioned friends. They are going to listen to what they are told to by popular media channels or word of mouth.

Remember kids: Good Music + Good Marketing = Success.

Profile photo of Erick Gerber

Plays for “Red Helen” and “Truth and It’s Burden”. Can make his guitar sound like an accelerating car. Currently doing his BMus Honours degree with the University of Chichester. Sucks at Guitar Hero. Can solo behind his head. Has gigged extensively throughout South Africa.

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