How to Market your Music with Storytelling
Working with creatives over the past 2 decades has revealed much about the way most emerging artists approach marketing. However, when it comes to promoting your music, there are several reasons why people decide to follow you and most of it boils down to one main thing – an inspiring story.
When I work with clients on their marketing, the first thing they say is that they don’t have an inspiring story. But then, through a series of guided questions and some deeper reflection about their journey, they realise, that they too have overcome challenges and gained wisdom that they have yet to turn into a powerful story.
The best stories usually arise from certain ‘turning points’ in life, which are often attributed to a meaningful event or experience that can be turned into powerful messages for your lyrics and music. These messages are sometimes referred to as core value statements, which are the pillars to any cause, message or movement. It’s how an artist becomes known for their work, their cause and everything he or she represents and stands for.
Take lady gaga for example.
Her message is about empowering people to be brave, to own their inner monster and to be who you were born to be.
As you look deeper into her music lyrics, consistent image reinventions and her actions on and off stage, you will find that Lady Gaga’s messages are backed by her appearance, her words and her actions. This creates more legitimacy in her position, thus giving a purposeful reason for others to relate and support her cause.
Her message is founded through her unique story of adversity as an aspiring performing artist, juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet and dealing with bullying in her youth.
All of these experiences have become defining moments or ‘turning points’ that have been the catalyst to Gaga’s inspiring message. Her ‘stories’ have been well crafted and laced amongst themes in her music, her appearance, media, PR and personal brand.
So how do you create an inspiring story?
To create maximum impact on your followers and listeners it’s important to understand that people love success stories. The main purpose is to create a powerful story that INSPIRES and MOVES your audience.
There are essentially 5 parts to an inspiring story:
- The call to adventure
This can be the moment when you were called to be an artist, musician, dancer, entrepreneur, difference maker, take a risk, step into the unknown, follow your passion or dream etc
- Meeting your first hero
Such as a role model, an idol, a mentor, a helper, finding faith, or your personal source of inspiration.
- The challenges, tests and fears you experienced throughout your journey
These are usually defined by the major turning points in your life that led you to where you are now. These could extend into areas such as relationships, career, health, mental, spiritual, social and family.
- The moment you found a way to break through those challenges
This is where the real magic occurs. It’s the point when you revisited your dark cave and found your diamond and your gifts. Think Batman.
- The rewards you now have received as a result of this breakthrough
This could be anything from winning competitions, getting discovered by a well-renowned label, agent, radio airplay, interviews, etc. Think about all the best things that describe your success and the feelings you’re now experiencing. It’s also important to paint a vision of the pathway that’s now ahead for you and your career, for example, planning your next tour, recording your next single, planning your next album release or crowdfund campaign.
Tip #1: To create an even more powerful impact in part 3, expand on the pain and struggles of what it was like to be rejected and what it FELT like during this period.
Tipe #2: People connect through ‘feelings’ more than any other means of communication. Be descriptive and use sensory imagery when sharing your moments of adversity in step 4, as this will create more of an impact on your audience in step 5.
Once you have crafted your inspiring story, you can then begin to entice your audience by using elements of your story’s message in your content as you begin to create more impact in your marketing.