Marketing can be a fruitful venture, especially when you record your music in a professional studio. Putting your product out into the world for all to hear may ultimately result in a huge success—but it doesn’t come without associated risks. When marketing music, you need to be careful how you proceed.
The first and most obvious step to take is to identify who you’ll be marketing to and where that marketing will take place. Are you making a music video and plan to post it on YouTube? Will your songs be available on iTunes, Google Music or some other type of media? Or are you planning to work in person?
Whichever avenue you choose (or all of them), there are some steps to take to ensure your own safety.
Believe it or not, hackers and other cybercriminals have a vested interest in your success. This is particularly true if you sell your music online, as your stream of revenue makes an excellent target for thieves trying to cash in.
Keep your business accounts secure with difficult passwords because weak passwords are an easy entrance into your private matters.
In case you’re not familiar with what constitutes a strong password, you need something that doesn’t include dictionary words (for passwords under 10 characters) and uses a mixture of numbers, symbols, as well as uppercase and lowercase letters. Just as important is changing the password at least once a year, if not quarterly.
Unsecure Network Connections
However, you also need to consider how hackers acquire passwords outside of guessing. All too often people—from regular users to high-end businessmen—get hacked when utilizing public WiFi. All it takes is a few minutes for a hacker with a “sniffer” program to search out users on the network and steal their information.
Luckily that problem is easily solved by utilizing a program called a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It’s a service that encrypts your internet connection and prevents hackers from identifying you.
Avoid Stalkers and Critics
Sometimes your followers get a little too…personal. To keep fans who become a little too enthusiastic at a distance and provide yourself with some anonymity, here are some tips by Secure Thoughts to hide your IP address using a VPN. This can also work for critics that just won’t let up, even though there’s no apparent gain in their actions.
Less determined stalkers are more likely to post on your social media feeds. Most are fairly harmless, but a few might become a nuisance—one that can distract you from your work and interfere with marketing efforts.
The key to any social media interaction is moderation. Allow commenting but be sure to remove negative or creepy posts. Watch for malicious links as well because popular social media pages are a big draw for account thieves looking to post links to their phishing websites (fake sites that look nearly identical to real pages).
Since you’ll be engaging your listeners for marketing purposes, you also need to be careful how much you say. Answer questions very selectively. Remember that you want to encourage discussion to generate additional buzz without dominating the conversation.
Plus, you’d be surprised just how much information people can learn about you from a few off-the-cuff comments. Dedicated fans hang on every word you post and might scare you by just how far they will take a single sentence.
Keep Your Rights
The music business is relatively cutthroat, even if the internet has made things better than in the past. Retaining the rights to your intellectual property is, as you might imagine, incredibly important when approaching marketing.
If you decide to hire someone from outside to help grow your brand, make sure you read the fine print. You could easily end up owning a very unimpressive share of what revenue your music generates. Some companies even retain rights to advertise your product even when you’re not comfortable with the way they’re doing it.
When possible, it’s best to handle marketing on your own. The various mediums available on the internet make that possible. Don’t forget that you can use nonmusical advertisements. Blogging is another great way to bring in audiences that weren’t specifically looking for your songs, and you don’t need to give away any of the pie that way.
Maintain a Secure Website
Whether you decide to maintain a blog or not, you’ll definitely want a website as your center for operations. Just having a Facebook page or Twitter feed isn’t enough because there just isn’t enough room for the information and content you’ll want to provide.
But hosting a website also comes with certain headaches. Malicious scripting is a threat you’ll have to watch out for, as any page that contains entry fields (particularly comment sections) can be subject to injection.
Make good use of common services such as SSL to screen traffic to and from your site. Also consider running scans with services such as Acunetix to ensure you aren’t vulnerable to cross-site scripting or SQL injections (although you can save a lot of money by learning to look yourself or just having a friend who knows coding).
Practice Not-So-Common Sense
The thing you’ll often read about keeping yourself safe is to use common sense. But if it were really that easy, no one would have issues. Truthfully, scammers play on our expectations and common sense to make their schemes function.
The area you’ll need to be most careful for tricks is in email. Scammers love to send convincing emails that are targeted at the specific interests of the victim. A music artist might expect to see messages that appear to be from marketers or even big label record companies. Be wary of these, as they might be an attempt to steal your identity.
This is a scam known as “spear phishing” because of the targeted nature. Unlike broad-based scams such as the infamous Nigerian prince scam, these types of contacts are well crafted. If you’re ever in doubt, consider picking up the phone. The easiest way to sort these things out is by calling the official source to find out if correspondence is really from them.
Other than that, examine the sources. Make sure email addresses actually match (@walmart.com is not the same as @walmartmarketing.com) and don’t surrender personal information without a fight. This goes double for account details; companies typically know your login information, so there’s no reason they would ask for it.
So long as you keep the above tips in mind, your marketing efforts should proceed without much threat to you or your brand. Be mindful and be bold!
About the Author: Diamond Grant is a music enthusiast and internet securities specialist. She blogs about tech-related topics, covering everything from marketing strategies to security protocols to keep users and businesses safe from outside interference. Diamond is a content contributor for https://securethoughts.com/