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21 January 2010 - How To Advertise Your Music Business On a Budget

Advertising is a very expensive, but a necessary cost of doing business. The best advertising has always been referrals, but you cannot depend on them to grow your business quickly. The most effective marketing is consistent and directed. Know your potential customers and give them a regular dose of what it is you produce. What are some marketing strategies for a small music business?

Small businesses of all types struggle with small budgets. Some people call publicity "free" but it is something you must earn by doing something creative, innovative or newsworthy. Often, publicity is better than paid advertising because it is noticed by more people and is not considered "hype."

Issue a press release. Newspapers love free content (this is more likely in smaller papers that struggle more for content). Here are some reasons a business might issue a press release:

  • A business takes on a new partner, an old one leaves or a specialized employee is hired on that will differentiate the business from others.
  • Major renovation, redecoration of your building. We know how much studios love to upgrade their gear. Make it work in more ways for you by using it to advertise your continued commitment to the industry.
  • A new product or service.
  • Your business anniversary, especially of significant years like "20" or "25," etc.
  • An employee wins a Grammy nod or other accolade that sets your business apart.
  • Your business has a VIP visitor; whether a public figure or someone related to you business field.
  • Your business sponsors or is involved with an important community event.
  • A major sale.

Write articles for your local newspaper.

  • Write how-to advice about a product or service related to your business such as home tracking or editing. I actually post well written user submitted articles here on recordingjunkie. If you submit something you will get writing credit and a link back to your own website. Free advertising is a wonderful thing isn't it?

Host an event.

  • Have a cookout and serve free food and drinks.
  • Have a clinic where an industry professional or specialist comes and repairs, demonstrates or talks to people. I have attended many tracking clinics that were informative and did an excellent job of showcasing the studio's equipment and talent.
  • Offer free popcorn or coffee. A lot of hardware stores offer free popcorn every day. It's inexpensive and people love it.


  • Serve on a community board or committee.
  • Help plan, raise money or work in the annual parade or local fair.


  • Place paid ads when and wherever you can afford it, but be strategic about where you spend your money. There is no need to spend thousands of dollars for a television commercial to reach tens of thousands of people if you are trying to reach 4-5 people that an industry magazine would reach for much less. Talk about your business, promote it. Make other people want to talk about your business.
  • Word-of-mouth is still one of the best methods of advertising your business.
  • Don't forget business cards, signs, billboards, vehicle wraps. There are many good printers who can provide affordable printing. You can also do it yourself on your computer.
  • The best form of advertising is an honest, reliable, dependable business that makes a customer feel important. If you provide good service your customers will return again and again and they will give you FREE advertising to others with similar needs.

Happy New Year!


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