Falling into the world of marketing was one of the most significant moments in my career as a classical musician. After almost a decade promoting not only artists and organizations but also my own projects, I have come to learn how much success this crucial skill can bring within the classical music industry.
And now, I want to share everything I have learned with you so that you too can harness and wield this essential skill.
Think of marketing as the glue that holds you and your audience together. With effective marketing, the glue is so strong that you’ll never lose the connection. Furthermore, its stickiness will continue picking followers along the way the more that you apply it.
Marketing is increasingly important to classical musicians today. As the familiar narrative goes, times are changing and the classical music industry is attempting to find its footing in the modern world. With traditional performance jobs in orchestras and teaching positions cut or dwindling, the 21st century musician must break tradition, seek unique opportunities and forge a career of their own. The problem is that the attention of our audience is at a premium in an over-stimulated, noisy world. This is what makes effective marketing vital in helping us to stand out and be heard.
So what exactly is marketing?
You’ll find many sterile, corporate-sounding definitions online but in a nutshell, I like to think of marketing as the most effective ways that you can put what you do, offer or sell in front of the people that it benefits or interests most and are most likely to buy.
Therefore, if a violinist decides to present a concert of works written entirely by Mozart (what you do) and admission is ticketed (what you sell), then marketing is any specific method that you can use to reach fans of classical music, Mozart and/or the violin (people that it interests and benefits most). If they purchase a ticket, then you've achieved your marketing goal with that individual.
But how do I actually do it?
The means are endless and constantly evolving. It probably goes without saying that social media, both through content creation and paid advertising, is without doubt one of the most effective, accessible and affordable options available especially for classical musicians on a tight budget.
Then there are e-communications, cross-promotional partnerships, affinity marketing. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Public relations, though not strictly under the marketing umbrella, is another highly effective way of breaking through the noise.
We live in an age of massive opportunity. The power and might of the Internet and social media gives each of us a voice (and a megaphone!) to reach those that matter. Even better is that this can all be achieved at little to no cost. Classical music is slowly but surely catching up with this modern era of opportunity but there is still huge potential to get in NOW and not only succeed but to do so in a big way.
I still see the struggles and baggage that seem unfairly inherent in the classical music industry despite these sparkling opportunities. This is why I started Brenden Guy Media so that we can all take charge and walk confidently forward into the light.
Like you, I am a classically trained musician.
And like you, I had zero formal education in marketing.
If I can learn this and execute it, then so can you.
There is no magic bullet, no secret weapon, no one-strategy-fits-all. But there is a huge amount of knowledge that you can acquire in order to give yourself an advantage and achieve your career goals, be it attracting more audiences to your concerts, finding students to build a studio, or simply enhancing your prestige as a performing artist.
This marketing glue is just as vital as the talent and skill that you possess as artists. If you commit to that notion, then you’re already a step ahead of everyone else. The next step is where the real fun begins because once you start implementing some of the ideas that we’ll cover through Brenden Guy Media, your success will only continue to grow.
Now is the time, my friends!