How to Set a Marketing Budget to Be Successful in the Music Business

By Loren Weisman

The biggest part of your business plan in the music business is the marketing. It’s one of the first lines on your expense sheet that investors look at to see if you budget enough to get the word out about . . . you. And if enough music fans learn about you and like your music, the quicker and easier those investors get paid back.

You may want the success, fame, and riches, but the first step is to pay back, with interest, those who paid for this project. It’s a music business plan, you’re being funded like a business, so you need to act like a business and realize that the business side enables dreams, goals, and creativity to flourish.

It’s easier to get a loan for $100,000 than it is to get a loan for $10,000 in most cases. Why? If you have a project or product that you want to sell, it costs $10,000, and that’s all you go after (which is something many bands did in approaching crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter or other smaller investors), you have the money to only create the product.

But then how does it get sold? You need to budget for marketing and advertising to get your product noticed by those who want to buy it.

The majority of the money goes to marketing

Planning the bulk of your budget to go toward marketing is the smartest choice you can make. Some models show a 90/10 or 80/20 split offers a higher level of success at a faster rate. This means that 90 percent of the budget goes toward marketing.

It’s all about the marketing to get the word out about you, your music, and your shows. That’s also why it’s easier to get $100,000 over $10,000 if you’re able to showcase that the bulk of the budget is spent on the marketing in order to make all that money back . . . plus some.

Get out of the mindset that you need to record in the most expensive studio with the most famous producers if you want to stay on a better budget. Ask any of your friends who are not musicians, and you just might find that they don’t really care where Nirvana recorded or that your producer worked with Counting Crows. It might impress a few people, but it’s not enough to bet that much of your recording budget.

In covering all your other expenses, realize one of the biggest keys to a successfully funded and profitable music business plan is one that puts the focus on the marketing and budgets the least amount to get the best product built and market it the best way possible. That doesn’t mean to cut corners in the studio with producers, musicians, and the recording process as a whole.

It means you carefully and precisely budget as best you can and save where you can to allow as much as you can to go to marketing.

Market to get heard

No matter how amazing your music, your musicality, and your other musicians are, or how great you look, perform, or record, if the marketing isn’t in place, you’re not going to get noticed and move forward.

The music business is an oversaturated world, and without a marketing, publicity, promotion, and advertising presence to get the word out about you, your music, your project, your shows, and your merchandise, you might find yourself spinning in circles and not going anywhere.