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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.

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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.

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How to Book Your Own Gigs

Gigs. Every musician has to start out booking their own gigs, but, as you’ve probably realized, this is a lot easier said than done. After all, there are so many musicians and bands competing for very limited performance spots. For promoters, it’s a game of risk management – they want to book bands they know will fill the room – so getting the spot as a new band can be very tricky. There are, however, some things you could be doing that can help you get those gigs!

What is a Promoter?

A promoter or venue owner is someone who buys talent. Depending on the size of the venue, they work independently or with booking agents to book bands and musicians to perform. For local clubs and venues, promoters and venue owners get a percentage of ticket sales and also make money from food and drink sales. As you can see, the business of promoters is really all about numbers – if they don’t fill the room, they don’t make money. This is where you come in. If you want to get the gig, you need to be able to prove that you can bring an audience, therefore lowering the risk for the promoter.

1. Finding the Right Venues

The first step of the process is always research. Especially with venues, there are so many variables. Some venues may cater to a certain genre, others tend to serve a target demographic like college students or working professionals, and many have age restrictions you need to consider.

You need to make sure your music and audience matches up with the venues you choose to contact. If your fans are mostly teens, don’t book clubs with age restrictions. In the same way, if you play upbeat country, contacting a venue that tends to book rock and roll gigs is a really good way to make a bad impression. An easy way to get this information would be to check out the venue’s website. If they have live music, they’ll probably have a page listing some upcoming or past acts. Do you fit in?

Often it can be easier to get gigs if you step out of the traditional venue scene. There are always plenty of community or charity events, store openings, and company parties that are looking for great live music. These markets tend to be much less saturated.

If you want a free action plan to help you achieve your goals in music, click here.

2. Make a Connection

Personal connections are everything in the music business and your connections with other local bands could help you book gigs in new or bigger venues. As we mentioned before, promoters are really in the business of minimizing risk, so they will book bands they know can draw a crowd and put on a good performance. But, that doesn’t mean getting a gig at a new venue can’t be done!

Think about all the musicians and bands you know in your area. Where do they play? If you’re interested in playing any of those venues, get in touch and suggest a collaboration. You could pitch your band as the opening act or do more of a collaborative 50/50 set split, especially if you can bring your audience. When dealing with more local venues like bars and clubs, the bands sometimes have more liberty to organize their own opening act, so they can be your ticket to getting your music in front of the promoter.

Open mic nights can also be a great way to make yourself known. There may not be a huge audience and you may only get to perform a few songs, but they give you the chance to make an impression on the venue owner or promoter. If people seem interested in your performances they may give you a whole set.

3. Contact

If you’ve had the chance to play at the venue, the best way to connect with venue owners or promoters is in person. However, if you’re writing an email you want to be short and to the point. Make the subject line clear. If you’re inquiring about a certain date, include that as well as the lineup. As an example, your subject line could read “Nov 7 – Opening Band + My Band.”

Your pitch goes in the email body. If you’ve met the promoter before or played at their venue, reference that meeting. If not, briefly introduce yourself and link to your website. If possible, try to have a live video or recording on your site so they can actually see your performance. Let them know if you’ve played gigs in the area, in their venue, or with other bands they tend to book. Tell them how many people you can draw to the show. To figure this out, look at some of the other gigs you’ve played in the area. What was the turn out? Look at your social media following. How many people live in a given region? It’s all about communicating your ability to minimize risk for the promoter or venue owner.

4. Make a Promotion Plan

Especially if you’re playing in local venues, you’re going to be doing most of the promotion yourself, so tell them how you will promote the show. There are many creative ways to promote a show, but your social media channels and email list are perhaps the most valuable assets. If you’d like to get more marketing ideas, you can check out these free ebooks and free music business course.

Another marketing strategy would be to work with a sponsor. The right local sponsor can help you reach a wider audience through their promotional efforts. The key is finding a sponsor whose customers have similar demographics and psychographics to your fanbase. We have webinars on sponsorships and more that you should check out if you want to learn more about finding and securing sponsorships.

5. Follow Up and Be Professional

The process doesn’t end after you get the gig. If you want to really connect with the local audience, you need to play the venues as often as possible. Introduce yourself to the venue owner or promoter and keep in touch.

On top of that, the best way to build a good relationship with local venues is to be professional. Always be on time for shows – in fact, be early! Make sure all your gear is working properly. Treat any sound or light technicians with respect and follow any venue rules. Above all, be prepared for your set and play well-rehearsed songs. Sometimes the gigging grind can get tiring, but you need to remember that for the promoter and the fans, this show is everything.

Click below to get a free ebook on how to achieve your goals and book more gigs today!

To learn more about how to book your own gigs and make more money performing live, check out the New Artist Model online music business school.

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