Creating a marketing budget for an independent artist

Good marketing is essential, and while you do have to spend money to make money, how you budget is essential to the success of your efforts.

Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog

Effective marketing is a fundamental part of being an artist. Without it, you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. To get yourself out there and recognized by the world, you need thoughtful marketing, and thoughtful marketing requires thoughtful budgeting. Trying to determine your next marketing budget? Here are some things to consider…

How To Determine Your Marketing Budget As An Independent Artist

Think Long Term

When it comes to marketing, timing is everything. It’s important to consider when the right time to pull certain triggers will be for you. For example, “Should I be focused on building an audience and a social following organically right now?” or “Is it time to invest in spreading the word more widely?” You need to consider which roads will give you the most success over time, not just for right now.

The time it’ll take to make these goals a reality will effect the amount of money you’ll need to allocate towards whatever means it’ll take to get there. Remember, each paid avenue should yield a sufficient amount of action from your audience.

You don’t want your efforts to be “dust in the wind”. Make them count.

Consider Your Goals

First, consider your strengths from an internal perspective.

  • What seems to be working you?
  • What generates recognition or revenue?

Secondly, consider your weaknesses from an internal and external perspective.

  • Are other artists performing better?
  • What are they doing differently?

Finally, take a look at your strengths and ask yourself whether or not they make way for any opportunities. Based on the weaknesses and the opportunities you’ve come up with, now you can decide what your goals need to be in order for you to improve.


Sharpen your skills…

How to Evaluate the Progress of Your Marketing Campaign

7 Useful Productivity Tools For Independent Musicians

Marketing Strategies You Should Know as a Musician

Best YouTube Promotion Channels To Submit Your Music To


Know Your Priorities

Once you’ve uncovered which areas will need the most attention, you can allocate funds accordingly. Some of the services you may find yourself considering range from copywriting services and release packages to video marketing, social media analysis, public relations, playlist placements, release campaigns, and more.

These services will cost you depending on how much you need and where you get them from. For example, one of Symphonic’s most popular marketing services is a marketing diagnostic and brand analysis service which includes:

  • In-Depth Audience Analysis with location, ethnicities, age, gender, interests
  • Digital Surfaces/Presence Analysis & Optimization Recommendations
  • Popular Social Engagement Tactic Recommendations
  • High Affinity Creator Targets
  • Notable Followers Analysis

All for a $400 one time fee. Other companies offer different services for prices way more than this and offer much less. It’s up to you to do your research to find what works for you and your needs. Once you’ve done that, you can tally up everything you need and adhere to whatever budget you’re able to meet.

In the meantime, here’s a basic budgeting sheet to help you out:

Advertise Meaningfully

Meaningful advertising is a big part of any successful marketing plan. When it comes to ad spending, sit down and ask yourself the following questions first:

  • What platforms do I want my ads to appear on? (FB, IG, YouTube, etc.) // It’s best to stick to platforms you are actually active on.
  • How much budget do I have to spend in total? // This could limit your placements depending on platform minimums.
  • Do I have more than one release in my strategy? // If you have more than one, you will need to allocate accordingly based on priority.
  • What is the end goal? // Do you want more streams, more views, more fans, etc. If you have a limited budget, it’s best to focus on one and go from there.

“I typically suggest to start with $500-$1,000 for individual releases depending on the amount of placements; if you want more, you need to spend more, essentially.” says Symphonic’s own Digital Advertising Specialist, Andrew Faraone. If anyone knows best here, it’s Andrew. He works with artists every day advising them on inquiries just like this.

In Conclusion…

Your marketing budget should be based on all the services you’ll need to accomplish whatever goals you set for yourself as an artist. To make your budget as concise as possible, you’ll need to go through each action item and come up with the approximate cost of each.

Everyone is different. Assess what you need and what you don’t. You don’t need to break the bank to create useful marketing solutions for yourself. Be smart, do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Need help creating your marketing plan? // Click here to download our free Music Marketing Guide.

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