Advice from a Music Marketing Expert

Marcella Smeele is a music Marketing Expert, Consultant, Music Manager and Founder at [Synergy For Music]( "target="_blank). Synergy For Music is a company who wants to help musicians with their goals. Based in The Netherlands, Marcella brings a unique, global perspective.

1. Who are you? What is your background?

My name is Marcella Smeele. My background story started as an Artist Manager at a very early age, 13 years old. It began with arranging bookings for artists. That went on so well, that it got word by mouth. In the mean time I also did other freelance jobs for artists and musicians such as setting up a website, social media, marketing plan and everything that involves the business side for an artist. In 2010 I studied Artist Management, to expand my knowledge and tools in the Music Business.

2. What do you exactly do?

I am still an Artist Manager, I do management nationally and internationally for 10 artists. Besides that I give trainings and advice sessions towards artists about marketing for getting gigs. I hire partners when needed. Partners who are more involved in the Music side of the Business.

3. Why are you doing that?

I always wanted to do something in the Music Industry, cause I go often te concerts. But I didn’t know what to do, because I can’t sing or play an instrument. It grew out of passion and it always has fascinates me why some artists are very succesfull and other are not.

4. How are talents being spotted right now at the moment in the Netherlands?

Talents mainly are spotted through talent shows as The Voice and the events like Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen and Amsterdam Dance Event. Talents are also spotted when they have a large fanbase, put their music into commercials or films as a soundtrack and when they do incredible gigs on their own.

6. What are the conditions/terms for talents to be signed to a label?

You need to have a solid and faithful fanbase. Everything has to be right: good music, good musicians, good live music, good life performance. The image of the artist needs to be in line with the story of the artist.

7. What are the conditions/terms for talents to be succesfull in their career?

Being a self aware person who knows what their strengths and weaknesses are. Making a good business plan with good partners to help them along the way. And ofcourse the music has to speak for itself for the public he or she is trying to reach.

8. What are the main added values a talent must have to be succesfull?

He or she needs to be distinguish in the market. Why are you different from other artists? And it is important that they know how the music industry works.

9. How does the business / marketing work here with the talents?

In the Netherlands we have an alternative, dance and singer-songwriter market. Dance still is a very upcoming market. The talents who are succesfull do their business on their own. They get knowledge out of internet.

10. What are the main goals/struggles for artists/musicians here in the Netherlands?

The main struggle is most artists they think their good at what they do, but some of they’re not. Besides that, they think they know every thing of the music industry, but later in their career they find out, they know not much about the music industry.

11. How are artists dealing with video, social media, online content, interaction with fans and introduction to themselves?

Branding is very important these days. So artists need to get knowledge about this. Some of them think it’s very hard, some don’t. It’s a huge topic. I think you need to be a Personal Brand to be succesfull in the business. This is the only way to show yourself to the public, so you’re position in the market can’t be copied and will be established.

12. Do you have tips for artists/musicians who want to enter the Dutch Music Market? What are the first things they must do?

It’s important to know where your genre fits in and if they are places to go with your genre. So do research about that. Having a website with every information about you on it is a must for reaching people in the Music Industry. Try to build your own fanbase and have a good Marketing plan.