Music marketing as we know it
For most musicians, marketing and networking is the least favorite part of their careers. In fact, one of the biggest reasons why musicians strive to “get signed” is because they can unload the marketing tasks onto the record label. Getting signed allows the musician to just focus on creating, writing, recording, and performing music and leaving the marketing to the label.
But what goes into music marketing?
Marketing your music is traditionally looked at in two aspects, internal marketing and external marketing. Internal marketing involves putting together marketing campaigns to nurture the fans who already know and love your music such as fan exclusive discounts, pre-releases, and merchandise designed to promote and upcoming concert or release.
External marketing is the marketing of your music to folks who have never heard of you. This type of marketing can be quite laborious and expensive if done the traditional way. To reach a new audience, an artist would have to spend many hours promoting themselves on various forums, websites, and platforms sharing their music and tooting their own horns. Another avenue is hiring a marketing agency to run ads or hiring a PR company for write-ups in publications.
These marketing agencies and PR firms can charge upwards of $3,000 per month with no promise of tangible results. In fact, a quick google search for reviews of any of the top music marketing or PR firms yields stories of musicians who spent their entire savings to market an album that went nowhere.
So is that it? Is there no other more cost-effective way to promote your music without either spending all day promoting or spending your life savings?
Well, a company based in Southern California is introducing a system that is changing the way music is marketed and promoted on social media and in-person.
Something different: Networking.
Networking. What a vague term with so many different interpretations. For some, networking involves going to music conventions like NAMM and handing out business cards and thumb drives to hundreds of reps in vendor booths. A ticket alone costs $400, but the likelihood that your business cards are thrown into a pile is a feeling that’s shared by the hundreds who are networking in the same fashion.
MNO, or Music Network One, is a new approach to networking and was created by rock vocalist, producer, mixing engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Emo Alaeddin. In addition to his original rock opera, he’s also the owner and frontman for the country’s top Queen tribute band playing the part of Freddie Mercury in The Kings of Queen.
His approach to music networking is based on various factors, so we’d like to break it down in two three distinct philosophies.
1. Networking outside of the industry.
Even though MNO has members who are musicians, such as The Borrowers, Rattle Trap and Erika Ann music is not the only industry represented in MNO. In fact, the majority of members of MNO are non-musicians, so why would a musician want to be associated with other business professionals like realtors, financial advisors, and insurance agents?
Who listens to music? Who goes to venues to watch live music? Who buys tshirts and mugs for their favorite artists? You’ve probably guessed that it’s overwhelmingly the non-musician. It would thus make sense to network with non-musicians, and that’s the essence of what networking is in the world of MNO.
2. Promoting others while others promote you.
Networking is a collective effort. The essence of MNO is that members agree to promote each other, whether it’s on social media or to people within their circle of influence. This is not a buyers club where members are forced to buy each others music, merchandise, or services.
The concept is each member promotes their fellow members on various Facebook groups, or other forums where others would get turned on to their music or business. The result of this collective effort of promoting each other results in real engagement, real traffic, real streams, real subscribers, and real clients.
Fortunately MNO has released their link-sharing app that is exclusive to MNO members. This revolutionary app allows musicians to upload a link to their upcoming show or single or maybe a record they released years ago that they’d love to revive. Their fellow members would in turn go into the app and grab those links and share them on various forums, platforms, and websites to drive real organic traffic. Of course, the musician is expected to do the same for their fellow members.
3. The cost/benefit is revolutionary.
One would expect that a program like MNO along with the usage of the app would cost hundreds a month since the results resemble that of an advertising campaign.
Quite simply, there is a one-time $100 activation fee for joining a chapter and gaining access to the MNO Member App. That’s assuming the chapter they’re joining is an established one with at least 8 members. If the musician joins a chapter that has less than 8 members, they’d be inducted as a founding member and would thus have the $100 fee waived. So if a musician were to join as a founding member of a chapter, they’d in essence have a free membership.
Aside from the activation fee, there are no monthly fees, no annual contracts, and no singing away of any royalties or creative control.
What’s the catch?
The catch is simple: provide value to your fellow members. Your members will promote your music because they believe in your music but mainly because they expect to be promoted in return.
The chapters meet on zoom weekly, so depending on which chapter you join you’ll need to commit to being there on a weekly basis. Think of it as a band rehearsal; it’s essential to maintaining the strength of the group but also in building the unbreakable bonds that ensure even more promotion.
How do you join?
It all starts with a visit. These zooms are one hour long and they includes members and visitors across various industries. You may be the only musician on the zoom or one of many. Keep an open mind knowing that the attendees of these chapter meetings have the same goal as yours in mind: they want to grow their business and help others grow too.