Musician marketing can be tough. In this article, I am going to break down the best 5 ways to spend a $100 budget to promote your music career. Ideally, you will be able to take $100 each month and put each of these methods to the test. As your budget grows, you can go harder on one option or keep spreading it out in these different ways.
Undoubtedly the best money you can spend as a musician is to get your own platform to showcase and distribute your work. With streaming sites paying you no money for the attention you bring them and a world where performing is becoming tougher and tougher, you NEED your own platform.
To get a website you need a domain name, hosting, and content.
Hosting is going to be the biggest portion of your 100 dollar budget. As a musician, the best two ways to get a site are through WordPress or Bandzoogle. Hosting a WordPress site will cost $17 per month and Bandzoogle is about the same if you pay annually.
Bandzoogle is 100% geared towards musicians and has a ton of templates to help you drag and drop your content and be able to have fans streaming and buying your music within half an hour. WordPress is a bit more complicated to learn and set up than Bandzoogle but does have more customization options.
Both options have the ability to pay month to month which will help you stretch your budget a bit more.
You will also need a domain name. This is the name people type in to go to your site and will cost you between $15-$25 per year. You can’t buy this monthly, only by the year or multiple years.
Don’t Forget You Need Good Content!
If you have professional video and photos and are good with computers, you’ll figure out both WordPress and Bandzoogle and most likely not need anyone to help you build the site. Those who are not as computer savvy may need to hire someone to build their website for them. For the purpose of this scenario, I am guessing you were able to build at least a basic site yourself. Either way, make sure that your site has all of your music available to stream and sell, professional photos, a way for people to know how to book you for work, and any other info you’d want fans to know.
Budget – $100
Domain Name – $25
Hosting – $20
Content – Self Produced = 0
Budget Remaining: $55
I would use the leftover budget to get premium plugins for WordPress like Elementor Pro or when I was comfortable with the site I’d take the remaining budget and place Google and Social Media Ads to draw traffic to the site.
Social media ads are a necessity to grow these days when it comes to musician marketing. On average only 3% of your followers can see your posts in their feed. By having a Facebook Pixel on your site and using your analytics from your various online accounts to determine your target audience, you can make sure your music finds people who may enjoy it.
To go into the details of ads would take multiple articles but a few tips that always help:
- Run as many small segment ads as possible. Don’t put $100 into 1 ad. Instead, put $10 into $10 different ads. This will allow you to see what type of ads are getting a good response and not keeping all of your eggs in one basket.
- A/B Test. Run the same image or video with a few different captions or to a few different audiences. Again, review the data and see what is working.
- Run ads of all types. Run a full cycle of awareness, traffic, conversions.
- When someone engages with your ad, engage with them. If someone likes a sponsored Instagram post, go to their page and interact with their posts too. Try to start a conversation.
3. Flyers/Business Cards
Even though digital is very important doesn’t mean the old school isn’t still effective! You can have great success with passing out stickers, flyers, business cards, etc. In order for this method to have any real success on $100, you will need to be able to design your own things to be printed. If you are talented in Photoshop or have graphic design friends that would be ideal. No worries if you don’t though! Companies like Vistaprint and Canva have made it incredibly easy to get access to great templates that are easy to manipulate to your liking.
Once you have your design made, both companies I just mentioned (as well as Colin Can Help) can print your design in whatever quantities you desire.
The biggest factors in this option are if you are able to have your own design as well as the place you print with. I can almost always beat printing prices, so check with me before placing an order. I want to make sure you keep as much of your budget as possible!
In the last few years, business cards have had a bit of competition. Companies like Popl and others have created technologies that allow you to scan or tap your phone/ card options to work as a QR code and deliver all of your digital info to a prospect.
There are two ways you can use your $100 budget to collaborate and grow your music career.
- Paid Help – Obviously a great way to use your budget to grow your career is to hire other talented people. You can pay a marketer to place ads, web designer to upgrade/make a website, work with a new producer, hire someone for music or vocals, etc.
When you invest in THE RIGHT PEOPLE it will always help you scale your mission and get to your dreams quicker. When you invest in THE WRONG PEOPLE, it will almost always cost you money.
Make sure that when hiring help in any capacity you make sure that the responsibilities of any party involved are discussed in detail and preferably in writing.
- Opportunity Costs – This option is a little open-ended. I would define opportunity costs as something that you pay for that will help your music but might not be easy to put a metric behind it.
This could be spending money on going to events, getaways, new clothes, new equipment, etc. Anything that can allow you to gain a new perspective, new ideas, new vibes is worth investing in.
Nothing gets attention like FREE STUFF! This is rarely my go-to method for marketing, but there is merit in it when done correctly.
The key is to not think of this like you are “giving away $100” but that you are using it to buy information. To do this strategy effectively you need a website to send people to enter the giveaway to. Once they are there, the Facebook Pixel (that should be installed on your site) will capture their browser info and your form will capture their personal info.
The Facebook Pixel info will allow you to use the people who came to the website as a Target group for up to 6 months. What does that mean? You can run an ad to only those who already came to your site.
So as long as the giveaway is something relevant to your brand, this could be a good thing.
There are probably 1,000 other ways to spend a $100 musician marketing budget but I can assure you that if you find a way to continually invest in these 5 options you will have a positive return on your investment.
If you have better ways to help musicians market their careers or have put the above ways to the test, I want to hear from you!