How Much Your Band Should Budget For Ads and Promotion?

So, you have a new release coming out and you know you need to do some sort of advertising for it, but how much should you spend?

You can’t just throw stuff out on the internet and hope for the best. That is never how it works.

This episode will give you an equation you can use to decide on the budget you need to set aside to spend on promotion (both PR and ads). If you save up an adequate budget to do PR and marketing, I guarantee you that release is going to do much better!!


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Let’s talk about budgeting

When it comes to Facebook ads, the first thing that you need to know in terms of budgeting is that you have to have a budget

This might seem elementary, but when I work with bands, you’d be surprised how often they don’t really factor in the cost of promotion. When they have an upcoming single, EP, or album they’re busy thinking about how much their video is going to cost or how much the recording and mastering costs – which leaves them spending all their money on the creation and not enough money on getting it out there

Before we actually get down to how much budget, I want to stress to you the importance of exposure and how you may be tipping money down the drain if you don’t have an adequate budget for getting that exposure for your work.

Three Components To Being Successful In Pretty Much Any Industry

Something I like to speak about both in my membership and courses is Coleman’s PIE theory. 
According to Harvey Coleman in his book Empowering Yourself, The Organizational Game Revealed, Coleman believes that success is based on the 3 key components:

  • Performance
  •  Image 
  • Exposure

Your Performance Is Only 10% Of Your Success

In the case of musicians and bands, this literally means your stage performance

  • Are you good on stage or in front of a camera? 
  • Are you entertaining?

Other elements that factor into your performance are:

  • Do you have an engaging brand?
  • Are you engaging with your audience?

PERFORMANCE is all the things that you need to do in terms of being in a band and being a musician, as well as executing those things in terms of your job role in this career path.

Just because you have good songs doesn’t automatically give you the upper hand when it comes to being successful. 

A lot of the time bands have the misconception that the media will find them and just automatically publish feature articles on them and write reviews, or if their band records something really well and puts it out there on social media, people are going to find them and their band will blow up.

That’s really not how it works. 

Performance only equates to 10% of being successful.

If you’re not getting exposure for your recordings, or for the announcement of a new show, then that stuff is not going to do well at all

This is why performance only counts for 10% of what makes someone successful. It’s just one piece of the PIE my friends.

Coleman's PIE theory visual aid

“Image” Is A Reflection Of Your Music And Your Reputation

Your image is not just your visual branding. It needs to be a reflection of your music and how people perceive you. It’s your reputation in the industry, not just as a band, but for the particular band members too.

Personal branding is such a huge thing.

This industry is built upon relationships and network.

Take the time to develop and protect your branding, it’ll serve you in the long run.
Your image equates to 30% of what makes someone successful according to Coleman’s PIE theory.

“Exposure” Is One Fat Slice Of PIE

In Coleman’s pie theory, exposure accounts for 60% of what makes someone successful. 

That means even if you have the best songs in the world, the best artwork, best video… If you’re not actively ensuring you get exposure for that then you’re doing yourself a disservice!

Because as I said, exposure counts for at 60% of the pie when it comes to being successful.
So you need to make sure that you have a good budget when it comes to doing PR and marketing. PR alone can be $500-$100 a month, and we haven’t even started talking about your marketing budget yet!

So How Much Budget Should You Set Aside?

I hope you’re wearing a 🤠 hat because I’m about to 🤯 blow your mind…

As a rough guideline, your promotional budget should be a minimum of 💸 50% of what it costs you to actually record 💸 that single, EP, or album. 

😱 Shocking, I know 💲💲💲

Now, let’s just say you recorded a single and spent $1,000 on the actual recording (depending on the kind of people that you’re working with) plus another $4,000 on a video clip. 

PRO TIP: I like to save money by getting photos done at the time of the video clip. So get yourself a 🎥 videographer who is a great 📷 photographer as well!

That’s $5,000 to create your single: 

$1,000 on the recording of the single 

$4,000 on a really great video clip

That means that your ad budget needs to be 💵 $2,500. 

Of that $2,500 you’ll divide it so $1,000 goes towards doing a month or so of PR and the remaining $1,500 dollars goes towards ad spend for a healthy budget .

You can try to be a little bit more conservative than that. For example, you may like to just put $1,000 towards your ad budget for a single. But this gives you a rough estimate of how much it actually costs to adequately get your single out there. 

So if we’re spending 💰 $15,000 on an album (recording of the album, doing a number of video clips, artwork, etc) then that means that you need to have a budget of $7,500 for the actual promotion

Now with all of this, I am not at all telling you to be frivolous. Don’t go dropping $1,000 on Spotify ads without really knowing what to expect and just hoping for the best. 

Be smart with your money.

Be smart with the budget that you are spending.

Don’t Be Afraid To Push Back Your Release!

A lot of people just haven’t thought of the amount of budget that they require for promoting that album, which is one of the reasons why I do not recommend doing an album too soon. 

Now, if you have already announced the 💿 release (say you’ve got a release coming out in four weeks) and you’ve just realized you haven’t really set aside much of a budget for promoting it…


It’s ok to move your release date. No one is paying as much attention to your band as what you think.

If you move the release date, even just four more weeks to save up an adequate budget to do PR and marketing, I guarantee you that release is going to do much better! 

You can’t just throw stuff out on the internet and hope for the best. That is never going to work. You have to be actively promoting, you have to be marketing, you have to be going ham plugging social media and paid ads. 

You only get one shot at recording your first album, so ensuring you have a budget before your release for marketing is essential.

So one of the things that I’ve been recommending to clients (my own band has started doing this) is pitching in into a shared 🏦 bank account a certain amount of money per week. 

By doing that you never have to stress when it comes to your releases because you’ll have a pool of money to access. It’s also easier when keeping track of invoices and that sort of thing.

Spending For Social Media Ads

A couple of episodes ago, we went through 3 Types of Ads Your Band Should do For Each Release and they were: 

  1. Spotify ads
  2. Facebook ads
  3. YouTube ads (if you’re doing a video)

If you’re doing a single, then you totally should be doing YouTube ads because videos are powerful.

Start with a budget of 💵 $100-$200 on each platform, keep an eye on how they’re performing, then adjust your budget accordingly. But I certainly wouldn’t be having a budget for a single of less than $100 per ad because that’s just not really going to be enough. Think about it, if you spent five grand releasing that single but only spent $80 on a Facebook ad – it doesn’t make sense. 

So I’d say start with $100 on Facebook, $100 YouTube, and $200 on Spotify. 

I just love Spotify ads, I think that you really really just get so much value out of that.

If the ads are doing well then you can throw some more money on it. Or, if you find It’s not getting you the results that you want, then you can stop the ad and try something else. Just don’t put all your 🐣 eggs in one basket, spread it around and then slowly increase your budget and tweak the targeting as needed as the weeks go on.

Marketing Masterclasses and Resources

Obviously, when I’m doing my consultation work with bands, we are able to dive into what’s worked for them previously and I’m able to recommend some strategies that are specifically going to be tailored to them. But I do have some free resources to help you guys get started.

In the free Facebook Ads workshop we talked about how long you should run ads for and go into a little bit more detail, so sign up before September 25th to get the replay! It really is just going to lay it out for you from start to finish and clarify all the most common questions around Facebook ads. 

I also have a post about 3 Types of Facebook Ads to Get Exposure + Grow Your Audience as well as the podcast episode on 3 Types of Ads Your Band Should do For Each Release. So definitely make sure you check that out. 

If you’re still looking for more personalized guidance you can sign up to the Being In A Band membership. You’ll get access to all the master classes that we’ve done so far, including: 

✔️ How to release an EP or album

✔️ Your release strategy

✔️ Visuals and branding

✔️ Band content creation

✔️ PR and media training

✔️ The mindset you need for long term success in the music industry. 

Honestly, this membership is going to be your Bible when it comes to being successful in the music industry. 

We do a masterclass every month, as well as a Q&A, in between these times we have a Facebook community which you can use to bounce ideas or ask questions. It’s just a really cool supportive space. So I hope to see you in the membership!

Membership enrollment will be closing soon and the doors will not be reopening for several months. So if it is something that you’re interested in this is pretty much your last chance to join for a while!

Links & Resources: