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How to Promote Your Music

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 is to 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 the person-to-person interaction. 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.

The live show is so much more than just performing. You can use gigs to promote your music, new album, or song. Tell your fans that you’ll be premiering a new song, or, if you want to go all out, tell them you’ll be playing the whole album at one show over the next month or two. The trick is not to tell anyone which is the lucky show.

If your fans really want to hear the album early, they’ll have to come to all the shows. 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.

If you want our free guide on
How to Promote Your Music with 3 Social Media Checklists (Click Here)

2. Use Social Media to Promote Your Gigs and Appearances

We all use social media. These days, if you’re not on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, 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 Vine 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.

Check out New Artist Model for more info on promoting your music via social media.

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 chances they have to buy an album, merch, tickets, or any other product you have available.

If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t have a lot of big updates other than the occasional album release and tour. Running 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.

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 another group of people and make new fans. 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.

The headline trade strategy we looked at earlier in this article is a great option. You could also work together on a song or album. If you don’t want to dedicated too much time, record a cover song or two together and release them on your YouTube channels. The key is to drive your fans to each other. If you create a song or video, link to each other’s websites. If it’s a gig, try to drive your fans to each other’s merch table to pick up a CD.

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.

The obvious use of an email list is to let your fans know when you have an album coming out or a tour. You can also use your email list to send fans to your blog. Remember, you want to get your fans on your website as often as possible.

 

“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

New Artist Model is a music business crash course designed to help you break through and get heard. Most programs will show you how to grow your following on social media, or even start building up engagement, but that’s where they stop. The truth is, if you want to be successful online, you need to know how to turn those followers and engagement into sales.

 Click to get this free eBook

How to Promote Your Music Ebook cover copy

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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. See what thousands of independent musicians are excited about. Learn different ways to promote your music with free lessons from the New Artist Model online music business school when you sign up for our free video training series.

Watch the video on this page to learn more

promote your music

 

 

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Easy Steps to Get Started with Email Promotion for Musicians

Easy steps to get started with email promotion for musicians

Email is a big topic (which is why we dedicated an entire module to it in the Music Power Tools course), and it’s something that a lot of musicians put off. But I’m here to tell you that email doesn’t have to be scary, time-consuming, or intimidating.

Instead of thinking big picture, narrow it down to a few easy steps you can take right now to get emails flowing in.

Choose an Email Promotion Provider

Before you do anything with email promotion, you need to choose an email provider – Gmail or Yahoo isn’t going to cut it here, you need something professional and legit with the ability to group and segment your list.

There are a lot of options, but let’s run through two big ones quickly so you can start deciding which may be best for you.

Mailchimp

Pros

  • Very easy to use, even if you’ve never used email services before
  • You can start with a free plan – which will give you up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month
  • Affordable pricing for paid plans starts at $10 for 500 users/unlimited sends (see more here)
  • Good templates are available, you can create your own templates, and the editor is very easy to use
  • There is awesome RSS feed support
  • You can track where signups come from and automatically add to group statuses with hidden form fields
  • Easy to understand reports
  • Customize signup forms for mobile devices
  • Easy to import and customize your lists
  • Easily share songs from iTunes or YouTube
  • Segmented email campaigns, such as by location (great for tour alerts)
  • Mobile apps available
  • Lots of integrations with website providers

Cons

  • Many advanced features require a Pro plan, which starts at $199/month
  • Some segmentation features require a paid plan

Aweber

Pros

  • Awesome drag-and-drop editor which allows you to easily format text, add hyperlinks, and insert images
  • You can schedule emails by time-zone
  • There are 700+ email templates to choose from
  • The interface is clean and easy to use
  • They take spam very seriously
  • Split A/B test your emails
  • Mobile Apps are available
  • The shopping cart integrates with PayPal, Shopify, and Google Checkout
  • You can add attachments to emails
  • There is extensive tracking and reporting of email campaigns

Cons

  • Lacks Google Analytics integration
  • No social media tracking or reporting
  • You can’t build your own email template.
  • You can only import xls, xlsx, tsv, csv, txt files

Need some ideas on what to send to your email list? Download these 10 email templates – Attention-Getting Email Templates for Musicians


Don’t Ask for Too Much

Once you have your email provider, your next step in your email promotion plan is to start creating opt-in forms where fans can signup to receive emails.

As you’re doing this, remember that it’s important to only ask for what you need. People are wary of giving out too much personal information, and too many form fields can lead to people dropping off before they submit their email.

You need to decide what information you absolutely need (and what you can live without).

Keep in mind that you can create multiple different forms that collect different information depending on where they’re located on your site. So for example, an opt-in form on your homepage may just ask for email and first name (so you can personalize the emails you send). An opt-in form on your tour page may include email, first name, and zip code so you can notify them when you’re playing in their area.

Add Opt-In Forms to Your Website

Where you place your email opt-in forms will have just as big an effect on how well they perform and how many fans signup.

To start, make sure you have an opt-in form towards the top of your website’s homepage (it should be visible without scrolling down). Tell them what they’ll get for signing up right on the form.

If you have an active blog page, include another opt-in form towards the top or in the sidebar allowing fans to sign up for blog updates or weekly blog roundup emails.

Another option is to add an opt-in form to your merch page giving your fans the chance to sign up for emails to receive a discount code.

Pop-ups and welcome mats can be used, but be sure to adjust the settings so they’re not popping up all the time and getting annoying. Sumo.com is a great one to try, but there are plenty of other plugins for WordPress and other sites that will do similar things.

Let Fans Subscribe at Checkout

Another easy way to get more people signing up for your emails is to add an opt-in checkbox to your store’s checkout page. Don’t assume that everyone who buys from you is on your list. Plus, for the most part, fans who actually purchase from you are probably your most loyal fans, so you want to be able to contact them again!

Add a Call-to-Action to Your Facebook Page

Adding a button to your Facebook page to get mailing list subscribers can help create a mailing list from your Facebook following.

Here’s how to do it: Click the “Create Call to Action” button on your cover photo, select “Sign Up” from the button options dropdown, then enter the URL to your mailing list and click “Create.”

It’s a pretty easy step, but it’s yet another way to funnel fans into your email list.

Collect Emails at Your Merch Table

Your merch table is another place where email signup forms can easily be added into the mix. It can be as simple as having a clipboard on the table, or you can tie it to some kind of a contest to really make it worth their while. Tell your fans that anyone who signs up for emails will be entered to win a merch bundle at the end of your set.


If you want to go further with email marketing and learn more about what to send and when to send, consider signing up for the Musician Power Tools Promote Your Music Crash course. There’s an entire module dedicated to email promotion, and 5 other modules covering social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as your website so you can get everything working together to promote your music.

Written by Nicholas Rubright of Dozmia, Chelsea Ira

6 Things You Need to Promote Your Music on Social Media

Social media is a cornerstone to the artist-fan relationship today. With that direct connection you can find a fanbase, and develop a connection with your fans (something that wasn’t possible in the past), and even sell music. Social media really puts your music career in your hands!

But with so many options out there it can get totally overwhelming! Every platform gives indie musicians a unique way to connect with their fans. Twitter is great for fun, little engaging conversations. Instagram gives your fans insight into your daily life. And YouTube is almost like talking with your fans face to face. But with each new platform comes new rules, formats, and strategies.

To help you make the most of each platform you’re using to promote your music, check out this infographic.

You’ll learn:

  • The best image sizes and formats for your posts and profiles on each social media platform
  • Keyboard shortcuts to save you time
  • The best days and times to post so you get the most exposure
  • Social media tools you should be using every day
  • Easy tips that will help you get more engagement
  • And a quick guide to writing headlines for your posts

And if you want to take it even further and really step up your email promotion as well, download this free ebook. You’ll learn what to send your fans to create more engagement and how to email music industry people to unlock more opportunities. Plus, you’ll get 10 free email templates and examples that you can start sending to your fans today. Just change out a few words and press send!

This infographic is from On Blast Blog.

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