Today Jeff and Chris sat down with Gaetano DiNardi, a great singer, songwriter, and producer from New York City, who also happens to be an expert digital marketer! Gaetano has worked on records with artists like Ryan Leslie, Fat Joe, and Shaggy. He also has two EPs of his own – Fade Away and Acoustix. He shared some great insight with us.
This article features some of the highlights from our talk, but make sure to check out the full interview on the Music Business Lounge podcast!
- Be business savvy – there is huge importance in music networking.
- Versatility as a musician and industry professional will make you stand out from the crowd.
- When it comes to marketing, talk about your music 20% of the time and something else 80% of the time.
- Try different approaches to your marketing strategies and see what works best for you individually.
- Make sure you own your digital property online, from your website to your social media presence.
Can you share with us a little bit about how you got your start in music?
You could say that I started off with being Italian. My grandmother was a big influence in my life. She was always playing the Italian tunes and I kind of picked up on that. When I was probably eight years old I was full out singing in Italian. I learned the language. My parents communicated with me in Italian. I recorded my first song in the studio when I was seven years old. It was a big hit in the family because no one had come out and done anything like that.
When I was in middle school coming up, I was venturing out to alternative rock. I was a big fan of Metallica, Eddie Van Halen, and Santana. I fell in love with guitar at a young age. It just took me over. My favorite style out of all that stuff was definitely the Santana style; more blues-y with a jazz influence.
From there, I got introduced to a vocal coach and I was just practicing on honing my craft. I was in the studio a lot, learning how to engineer, produce, and arrange. I was learning a lot from a number of producers in the game that were just accessible from this vocal coach. It was in his building on 9th Avenue where a lot of stuff was popping off at the time. So I was able to make connects at a very young age.
Then it was just kind of grinding through social media, getting introduced to people. My music skills brought me a long way as well. The more you can do in music the better. I feel like our problem is that people can’t leverage that much any more. They write maybe one style, for example. There’s no versatility left. Everyone is trying to do one thing. If you’re a grinder and you’re on the come up, you have to be able to do a lot of different things to be able to stand out from the white noise.
Can you talk a little about content and marketing strategies for musicians?
It’s interesting because when I do digital marketing for businesses there’s a lot of things in common, but there’s also quite a bit of difference. Mainly it’s that the businesses I work with have something available to them called “top of the funnel awareness content.” Those are indirect ideas and topics that are somewhat related to the product that they offer, but not necessarily tied into their products.
Let’s say we’re talking about a laptop company. We want to get people to buy laptops. You don’t necessarily need to create something that’s all about laptops. You should also have topics that aren’t related to the laptop, but are still business-oriented. Topics like “how to install new software” or “the best computer games for summer 2017.” All of these awareness-drivers suck new people into the funnel so that they learn about you and get familiar with your brand. If they don’t click through to your site and they drop off, there’s a number of different ways to get them back into your funnel. If you capture their email in a pop-up, that’s one way to do it. Then you can retarget them.
So for musicians, remember you don’t always have to talk about your music. Just like a business doesn’t always have to talk about their product. You should be talking about your music 20% of the time and not talking about it 80% of the time. You have to start focusing on the lifestyle and the process. The things that you’re going through as a musician. The daily struggles and any kind of news that’s related to your industry or genre.
Talk about a related artist who’s popular that you want to associate your brand with. There’s so many things that you can do. The problem is that there’s not a lot of education out there on how to do it and nobody even knows that this tactic even exists. That’s why a lot of these websites for musicians aren’t really getting any organic traffic. It’s just whatever their name is as an artist. That’s all the traffic they’re getting.
What are some common mistakes that you see people making?
So number one is sending out mass email blasts that are not personalized. And they’re not sending them through any kind of management software like MailChimp either. They’re sending it straight out of Gmail and then BCC-ing 28,000 people. It’s one big spam wave. That’s the worst one for sure.
Number two is another damaging one. I find it shocking that it’s still happening. Some people don’t have a personal website. To me, there’s nothing worse than asking somebody, “where can I find you?”, and they’re like, “you can add me on Facebook and sh*t.” It shows that they aren’t savvy about their craft or their career. If you don’t have a personal domain then you are leaving your personal real estate – your intellectual real estate property – available digitally. It’s no different than property you would own on land. It is your property that you need to claim before someone else does. If you don’t have that, you’re already kind of behind. You also need to have consistency across all of your social media platforms. Your brand name should be the same everywhere.
Give us one tip from a marketing standpoint that our readers can start working on tomorrow.
There’s so many things you could do. I would say pick the number one thing that you want accomplish and then start focusing all efforts on that. Don’t make it be something huge. Maybe you have a single coming up. I would challenge you to go about your next single release differently. Don’t just say, “yeah, I’m going to put it out and I’m going to promote it on my social media channel.” Do research and think about what it’s going to take to really have a successful single release. Do some pre-promotion around it. Some planning. Read blog posts and figure out all the different marketing channels that you could use. Do you have extra money saved up that you could dump into Facebook ads? By leveraging ads for just ten bucks you could get an extra 25,000 views. You just have to know what you’re doing. Read up on it and try it out.
Like what you read? Make sure to share this article! Let us know if you had any thoughts or questions in the comments section or at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find our full audio interview with Gaetano on the Music Business Lounge Podcast, where we dive even deeper into his experiences and insight on marketing as a musician.
Be sure to connect with Gaetano!
He received his BA and MS from Boston University and also holds a certificate in Music Production from Berklee. Jeff has helped clients earn coverage in countless international media outlets and was a "Top 40 Under Forty" selection for his accomplishments as a young entrepreneur.
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