I like writing books. I like selling books. But what I really LOVE is when someone takes the ideas they acquired from one of my books, acts on them, and makes them their own.
That’s exactly what indie artist Nikki Loy did earlier this year.
By the end of 2012, Nikki had already established a modest reputation as a singer-songwriter in her hometown of Oxford, about 50 miles from London in the U.K. She had spent the previous four years playing solo gigs and open mic nights.
But she was ready for something more.
In a recent blog post on her website, Nikki wrote “In the initial chapters of Bob Baker’s Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook he outlines the importance of knowing what you want and setting goals to make it happen.”
So she set the following ambitious goals:
- Record a live duo show in London and create a ‘Live in London’ CD
- Launch it in a local record store
- Finish the studio recordings of some newer songs and create a studio EP
- Create a band for the first time
- Launch a new studio EP in a local theatre with a full band show
“I bought Bob’s book in late January immediately after I had taken the heart-pounding plunge and booked myself and my so far non-existent band into two local theaters and our independent record store for the coming April,” Nikki wrote.
“There’s nothing like throwing yourself in at the deep end and forcing yourself to float! I had just three months to pull everything together: Create and rehearse the band, finish (and start) recordings and production, press the CDs, and promote like crazy so that I could fill the venues, pay everybody and not publicly humiliate myself.”
She continued, “I actually announced these goals in an interview with our local BBC radio station to listeners around the county. I made it so that I couldn’t back out. The only option was success! Then I set about finding anything and everything I could to help make that happen.
“I tell you, there were some seriously sleepless nights during those three months, but on the marketing front Bob’s book became like a bible to me.”
Here are some of the actions Nikki took:
- Created a video for one of the songs on the EP using photos from the recording sessions
- Created seven branded flier boxes and left them in various music shops, cafes and galleries around town
- Put up posters everywhere (many people told me they saw them)
- Sent press releases to the local media
- Strategically placed ads in local music papers
- Contacted local music bloggers
- Ran a Facebook and Twitter campaign
- Ran an email campaign
- Used every gig I had in the meantime as an opportunity to share the news
- Ran ticket competitions
- Sent thank you cards
- Created a video interview
Nikki reports that the big, full-band live shows “were a phenomenal success. I achieved everything I set out to accomplish. Every show was fantastic.”
And she gained these extras along the way:
- Three interviews on BBC Radio Oxford
- Mentions and plays on four other radio stations
- Free full-page coverage in The Oxford Mail, reaching 17,000 people
- Free coverage in the Ocelot “What’s On Guide” in five counties
- Coverage in the local music magazine “The Nightshift”
- Video of the launch event by a local film school
- Recommended feature in Oxford’s “Daily Info” podcast
- An invitation to take part in a Strictly Oxford charity event as a local “celebrity”
- Coverage and listings by local music websites and bloggers
- A transformation of public perception about who Nikki Loy is and what she brings to the music scene
Nikki continues: “So I’d say that armed with my copy of Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, the impact on the local scene has been pretty huge. Thanks to Bob and to everyone else who lent their skills to this project! It’s been a hell of a ride!
“One last thing,” she wrote. “In the midst of this global economic crisis and the shift in the music industry from the old model to the new, there are many voices that hanker for the old ways and who speak doom and gloom about the state of the music industry today.
“But I want to thank Bob for offering hope and guidance to the independent artist that, without the backing of a major label, they can still make a way for themselves in the world.”
As for her future, Nikki said, “Now I am evaluating everything and setting myself a new set of goals that seem insanely beyond my reach and will be using a bunch more of Bob’s ideas to make those thoughts become things! To infinity and beyond!”
Thanks so much for sharing your success, Nikki! You earned it! This is indeed music to my ears
Pay a visit to Nikki’s website here. What do you think of the marketing steps she took? I welcome your comments below.