The internet has opened up endless possibilities to promote your music. And, while that may seem daunting, it really allows you to experiment and let your creativity run wild!
The key to successfully promoting your music in today’s music industry is to try new things, learn from the promotions you run, make changes, and fine-tune them to your unique career.
Let’s take a look at some basic strategies you could be using to promote your music right now.
1. Live Music Promotion
With everything moving more and more towards digital, it’s easy to forget about the value of that person-to-person interaction. After all, these days you can create great quality music, release it, distribute it, promote it, and even play live without ever leaving your room.
But, just because you can release something entirely online doesn’t mean you should! In fact, these personal interactions are still extremely important in the music industry.
Let’s take the live show as an example. Sure, it’s a chance to make some money and perform your music and have fun. But it also presents some really unique marketing opportunities.
Gigs are a great place to promote your new album or song. Tell your fans that you’ll be premiering a new song (or the whole album if you want to go all out) before it’s released. Choose one local gig and turn it into an event. Maybe fans who come to that show will be able to buy the album at your merch booth before anyone else.
You could also use gigs to grow a fanbase in new cities, states, or countries. Work with a local established band and propose a headline swap. You’ll open for them in their home town and they’ll open for you in your home town. Just make sure you pick a band with a similar musical style. Do this a few times and eventually you’ll be able to do your own headlining show.
2. Use Social Media the RIGHT Way
We all use social media. If you’re not on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter these days, it’s almost like you don’t exist. However, you may not be using social media to it’s full potential to promote your music.
Social media is NOT a straight-up marketing platform. It’s really a catalyst for conversation and word-of-mouth marketing. About 80% of your posts should be funny, conversational, and interesting, leaving about 20% for promotional material.
That’s not to say that conversational posts can’t be promotional! You just need to learn how to frame the content in interesting ways. For example, if you’re in the studio recording a new album, try sprinkling little updates on social media. Tell a story about your studio experience that day, share a photo of the mix, or post a short teaser video of a song.
If you’re out on tour, take photos at the venues or share short videos or photos of the audiences. These things aren’t obviously promotional, but they still let fans know what’s going on.
It’s important to remember, though, that social media isn’t the end-all-be-all when it comes to promoting your music. It can easily become a huge time suck that takes you away from your music if you don’t manage your time properly (Hint: get social media time management tips here).
3. Promote Your Music and Sell it on Your Website
Your website shouldn’t be a static thing. It should be ever adapting and changing to reflect new events in your career. Basically, you want your fans stopping by your website as often as possible. The more often they’re on your site, the more they’re exposed to your albums, merch, and tickets.
If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t have a lot of big updates other than the occasional album release and tour. Starting a blog is a great solution.
It’s fairly easy to set up a blog on the homepage of your website. Most website tools like Bandzoogle, and WordPress, have blog capabilities. Plan out blog posts at regular intervals like once or twice a week and share anything you think your fans would find interesting. This could be the inspirations behind certain songs, new lyrical ideas you’re working on, a funny story from the last band practice, or even a run-down of the gear you use.
Another idea is to create landing pages on your website. Landing pages can be used to collect email addresses, to raise awareness, to give your fans more information, or to make a sale.
4. Reach out to Music Blogs
If you want to promote your music, it isn’t just about sharing things with your fans. You also want to reach out to new audiences and convert them to fans. And music blogs are a great way to do that. Bloggers are always looking for fresh, new content, and the cool thing is, there are a ton of smaller blogs that are totally within your reach as an indie artist. Blogs also tend to have a pretty niche following. This means that if your music is run on a blog, it’s guaranteed to be seen by people who already like the genre!
Do some research, find blogs that cover your type of music, and send personal emails out to the bloggers. Are there any interesting stories about your new album, song, or tour? Having a unique story will definitely help you stand out from the thousands of other musicians releasing an album. Make it as easy as possible for them to cover your story and treat them like people. Remember, it’s all about establishing a relationship.
5. Collaborate with Other Musicians
Collaboration is an often overlooked aspect of music promotion. It’s a great way to get your music in front of a new group of people and grow your fanbase exponentially. You can collaborate on pretty much anything. Just make sure you collaborate with musicians whose fans would appreciate your music. Choose to work with bands in a similar genre or with similar fanbase demographics.
Of course, the headline trade strategy we looked at earlier in this article is a great option. But let’s talk about some things you can do online as well.
Obviously, you could also work together on a song or album. Try recording a cover song or two together and release them on your YouTube channels or Facebook pages. The key is to drive your fans to each other. If you create a song or video, link to each other’s website and social channels.
An even more easy-mode option is to just agree to give each other shout-outs on social media. Share each other’s newest track and tell your fans how much you dig it. (Obviously work with artists whose music you actually do dig.) The power of a recommendation is one of the best marketing tools out there.
6. Promote with Email
Your email list is an extremely valuable tool to promote your music. Unlike collaboration and blogs, your email list is marketing to your current fan base. If someone signed up for your email list, they want to hear from you, so take advantage of it!
Remember, your emails should be driving your fans to your website, so you want to include links.
So what do you send to your email list? The obvious use of an email list is to let your fans know when you have an album coming out or a tour. BUT you can also use your email list to send fans to your blog when you have new content. (Remember, you want to get your fans on your website as often as possible.)
Of course, you need to get fans to actually signup for your emails before you can start using it as a music promotion tool, right? An easy option is to trade something of value for an email address. Keep in mind this doesn’t have to be a free song (in fact there are a TON of more effective ways to grow your email list)
If you’re not sure where to even start when it comes to growing your email list, here are 10 easy ways to build an email list for your music.
“No matter how many followers you have, you can’t eat a tweet. Get New Artist Model and learn how to turn traffic – into fans – into money.” – Dave Kusek
How to Promote Your Music: Conclusion
Your music promotion strategy is going to be something that you refine over time, so don’t get frustrated if things take some time to come together.
The important thing to remember is that you should be taking advantage of all the different promote your music tools you have right here at your finger tips instead of relying on just one thing.
If you want more music marketing guidance, download this free ebook. You’ll get a roadmap showing exactly how different elements like social media, email, and your website come together into a music promotion machine that will help you grow your fanbase and make more money. You’ll also get 3 social media checklists with easy post ideas you can use on your own social channels.
Click to get the free eBook:
There are a lot more resources available for you at the New Artist Model blog. For example, if you want to self release an album, this will help you get started. If you want help with Instagram for music, this post may be very helpful.
The New Artist Model is an online music business school for independent musicians, performers, recording artists, producers, managers and songwriters. Our classes teach essential music business and marketing skills that will take you from creativity to commerce while maximizing your chances for success.
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