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Why do I need to market (as a D.I.Y. Rock Star)?

This post loosely accompanies Gab & Jam, 278. Why do I need to market (as a D.I.Y. Rock Star)?

If you want to share your art with more than your friends and family, you have to do this. Here’s why you need to market (as a D.I.Y. Rock Star). This post was inspired by Art Juice Podcast’s Marketing Your Art without Marketing [193] Marketing SHOULDN’T feel cringey. Look at it as “look at what I made!” Address your resistance. If you don’t decide this is what you WANT to do and just do SOME. There’s no point stamping your feet about it. Or instead, resign yourself to get a job to support you JUST expressing—and NOT marketing—and so you don’t need to sell AT ALL.


Why you need to market (as a D.I.Y. Rock Star):

1. Marketing is different from sales

Marketing is where you are making people aware of your product, your brand, your band, etc. whereas sales is asking for a purchase. When we talk about the D.I.Y. Rock Star journey, we know that creating the art is only the FIRST part, but if you want to attract folks that vibe with you, you will need to let them know that you exist. –My favorite point that was made on the podcast episode that inspired THIS one was she said that when she is marketing her art, she presents it like, “Look at this cool thing that I made!” By just being excited about what you do—and about sharing it with others —you take out the “hard” part out of marketing. THAT’S what marketing is for; to figure out how to share it with the world. Marketing happens BEFORE the sale, though it may lead to a sale. However, it is NOT explicitly asking for someone to give you money for what you do.

2. Social Media makes marketing easier for introverts

Often, the pushback to artist marketing their work is that creatives are introverts and it’s hard to be outgoing. Well, the good news is that because instead of dealing with folks face to face, you can decide when and what to respond to people—and from the privacy of your home. Isn’t that wonderful?! In fact, we think that there’s no greater time to be an independent artist than now, because we have the international, extremely low-cost, bountiful resources to be able to amplify whatever message you have, whenever you want. Back in the 80s—when we first started this D.I.Y. Rock Star journey—you’d have to pay for a FRACTION of what you can do now and since there weren’t people ALREADY gathered to wait to see who showed up, the word STILL may not have gotten to the people that you MOST wanted to reach. So, we don’t complain, because even with the limitations, it’s still a great tool that can take an artist DIRECTLY to his/her audience.

10+ Social Media Strategies:

3. Sharing your backstory helps draw your market

We talked a little about this in our post, 3 Easy ways to share behind the scenes content (for the D.I.Y. Rock Star): But an EASY way to “market” your art is to share some of the backstory and/or process on a regular basis. It helps to draw in the people who vibe with your message and aesthetic. So, if you’re uncomfortable with marketing—or just need a place to start—try this technique to get yourself out there.

4. Keep track of your inspired ideas

One of the objections that the podcast that inspired this post mentions is that artists have a hard time thinking of ways to write about their art for outsiders. Their suggestion reminded us of what we do; when an idea hits us over the head that is AMAZING, we jot it down. For instance, one of the flippant things that we said when we finished writing our funk album is “Sugar Fit” was “It’s the funky on the bottom with the sweet on the top.” Ding, ding, ding! We IMMEDIATELY jotted that down into our marketing file, so that as we were trying to put together our ads, bio, emails, etc., we pulled it out and put it where ever it worked. We suggest that artists create files like this. THIS way, you don’t have to work all that out when the pressure is on; you can just pull from snippets you have already collected.

You can also jot down how you’re feeling or the process you’ve used to create what you’re sharing. Those are the nuggets that are gold when you’re needing to put your electronic press kit together.

Tips for your band’s Electronic Press Kit:

3. Tamper your expectations early on

Often, people think that the minute they put something up on social media, that it will be seen by EVERYBODY, EVERYWHERE. What’s MORE likely, is that only a few of your regular followers will see it—if THAT!—and it will take doing it regularly before you will begin to see any real difference. The point is that it usually takes a while to build a following and to expand who knows what the hell you’re doing and why. It just takes time and patience. So, plan accordingly. Just post and don’t stress about who will see it and who likes it. By NOT constantly checking the number of times your post is seen will allow you to stay focused on creating and not to get lost into something you NEVER wanted to be involved with—your art being “liked.” –Remember, what YOUR purpose is—to create FIRST—and that this sharing is a bonus (that will, hopefully, help you find your “people”). –Finally, you can’t control what happens AFTER you post; all you can do is to show up and post.

4. Lean into finding your people (instead of going viral)

As a follow up to the last point, if you lean into the idea that your purpose is to find your people, you won’t fixate on how fast your followers grow. –Remember, that you’re trying to find those folks that “get it”; not just folks “liking” a post. –Well, it turns out that if folks are into you, they will end up following and liking you along the way, so it works out…. (For example, we started with seven years ago and had 137 subscribers on YouTube. It has taken a heck of a lot of cross-posting on over 35 social media platforms and monthly email newsletters and telling everyone from pillar to post to build to our current 2023 subscriber count of 16,300 subscribers, so it has NOT been overnight.) –And if we can do it, you can do it too.

Why you should be on more than one social media platform:

5. Make a commitment to just start

We KNOW we keep saying the same thing over and over, but our easiest and best advice is to make a choice to just start doing more marketing today than you did yesterday and work your way from there.

6. Do more than you did last time; as you grow more comfortable, try more things

To be honest, that’s how we started. At first, we barely posted at all, but over time, we worked out a weekly time frame that was comfortable for us and that we could maintain and we have just kept going from there. –There are STILL modes and methods and post types that we HAVEN’T tried, but we keep trying to add something new to the list and, if we like it, we continue doing it—and sometimes, we cross older things off—and at other times we disregard the new thing because we know it doesn’t work for us.

Want to take better band photos?

7. Decide what you want before you begin

Finally, if you are JUST beginning, decide how much time and effort you’re doing to put into it early on, so that you don’t get sucked into a wormhole—like we did at first! —When we FIRST began, I was in blog groups and was swapping subscribes with ALL kinds of folks, so that I was on social media for HOURS a day and sharing as many as 400 subscriber swaps per day! –I was fucking obsessed and it WASN’T healthy. –Now, I post 4 major posts per week and spend about 45 minutes per day online a day and try NOT to log in at all on the weekend, except to share our weekly episode. It doesn’t consume my life and all my free time, because I decided that like sucked when I was online ALL THE TIME. So, I suggest that you decide where you see yourself BEFORE you jump in. That way, you won’t burn yourself out and drive yourself crazy and won’t run away from social media screaming and cursing.


Well, that’s it. We KNOW that this is good information and, hopefully, you can find yourself somewhere in there, no matter where you are in your social media and/or marketing journey.

See the episode for the full discussion.

What about you?

How do YOU market your work?

Be sure to let us know in the comments below.


Did you know that along with putting together our next album, we are working on our first book?

Here’s the link, if you want to pre-order:


Here’s what we’re into now:

· One of our videos for our song, “Tell Me What You Want,” is going gangbusters in Vietnam!

· “Faith in Me” on Union 999 Independent Playlist:

· “I Miss You” got picked up for a Spotify Playlist!

· Tom Ray’s Art Podcast:

· “Sugar Fit” on Darkest Corners of the World Podcast S2 E3

· “Flying High” (from “Sugar Fit” album) on Toes in the Sand Playlist

· “Sugar Fit” on his Spotify “Indie: Undiscovered But Brilliant: Vol. 3”

· “Sugar Fit” on No Sugar Radio

· Here’s how to get our “Sugar Fit” t-shirts:


If you like this, you might enjoy:

· Basic Recording Studio Setup:

· What to do when real life interrupts your artistic process?

· 7 Strategies for rebounding from creative burnout:

· How to give better interviews (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to give better live performances:

· How to collaborate better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· How to write quicker, but better (for D.I.Y. Rock Star):

· Should you ever play for free?

· 17 Tips for taking better band photos—ESPECIALLY if you taking them yourself:


Funk album, “Sugar Fit,” by Bourgeoisie Paper Jam and

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Until next Monday, here’s wishing love, peace, and chicken grease!




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