The Power of Influencer Marketing for Indie Musicians

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For as long as I’ve been in the music industry, influencers have been a vital part of an indie musician’s success.

When I first started, it was blogs. Then it was playlists. Niche websites and even more niche festivals.

And while all of those still bring a lot of value to an artist’s press and marketing, things have changed. Influencers aren’t just music journalists or playlist curators anymore. They’re TikTok stars. Instagram influencers. YouTube personalities. You probably interact with at least a dozen a day, even if you don’t realize it.

Because the thing is, influencers aren’t just people with millions of followers anymore. They’re the people hanging out at your show and sharing it to their followers later that night. They’re listening to your favorite podcast and making a TikTok about it. They’re going out in the city you call home and making content about the best things to do and see.

They’re everyone, and they’re everywhere. 

What is influencer marketing?

Simply put, it’s when you partner with someone with a larger audience to promote your music and brand. Think, Britney Spears and Pepsi back in the day or Michael Jordan and Nike.

Done well, it’s empowering and mutually beneficial.

Why should indie musicians care?

It’s an incredible way to get in front of an entirely new fanbase

You can usually do it for free

It makes you a lot more credible (great for when you’re seeking out labels, management or other sponsorships)

It’s fun!

Ok, so let’s break those down. 

The biggest reason to include influencer marketing in your promotion strategy is that it gets you in front of thousands of new people. Even at the nano influencer level (those with under 10k followers) that’s a massive boost. 

Plus, if you work with nano influencers you’re more likely to find they’re willing to do the collaboration for the sake of a mutually beneficial exchange rather than charging you. That does change as you start seeking out larger accounts, so start small. Feel out what’s working and once you have a strong message and solid brand, you can look at bigger influencers.

The other thing that gets overlooked is that working with influencers boosts your credibility. Telling the world how great you are is one thing, but someone else vouching for you? That’s what’ll set you apart.

Lastly, it’s just fun! The music industry can be so challenging, and having partners along the way to remind you of who you are outside and within your music is such a special part of these collaborations. 

For instance, if you’re someone who loves skateboarding and makes that a part of your brand, collaborating with a skateboarding channel or influencer is a great way to build and strengthen your brand, get in front of people who are naturally going to appreciate your music, and get a chance to bring your two interests together.

Ok, I’m hooked! How do I start using influencers to promote my music?

Start simple. If you’re someone with less than a. few thousand followers on any given platform, look for someone who has 5k followers. If you have about 5k, look for 7k- 10k, and so on. You don’t want to be approaching an account with 50k followers because they’re not only going to charge a fortune, but you’re not going to get the most out of it at this stage.

Step One: Set goals. You want to be able to measure success here, not just go off a feeling. A few examples would be:

Have my new song in three Reels/TikToks

Do a joint Reel/TikTok with 2 similar indie artists

Get one YouTube Reaction Video to my song

Step Two: Make a spreadsheet with who you want to reach out to and what makes that collaboration unique. I suggest brainstorming the parts of your brand that lend themselves well to different niches. Use hashtags, search interests, and look at the people you already follow for ideas.

Example: Are you a singer-songwriter who writes a lot about femininity and empowerment? Partner with a similar account to get a piece of your music video or song featured, like we did with Cassie Fireman here.

Step Three:   Reach out! Explain who you are and why you think a collaboration between the two of you would be mutually beneficial. Make sure to offer clear ideas of how they can integrate your music into their content. The less work they have to do to figure out how they’re going to make this happen, the more likely they are to say yes.I suggest two to three options.

Step Four: Follow up, and when it’s live, share, share, share! Remember, this is about collaboration, and that takes two!

Now get out there and start meeting influencers!

PR is all about the long game and influencer marketing is no different. You might get an instant yes, but more likely it’s going to take some time, creativity, and persistence. That’s ok! It takes time to find the right partnerships. 

Be sure to follow up, let them know how excited you are to potentially work with them, and that you’ll share any and all coverage they can partner on. 

Like all relationships, influencer partnerships take nurturing. So give it time, stay creative, and keep doing what it takes. You’ve got this.

If you’ve tried influencer marketing or have any questions I’d love your thoughts!

The post The Power of Influencer Marketing for Indie Musicians appeared first on Two Story Melody.

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