This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but marketing yourself has gotten a whole lot easier thanks to the internet. With social media on hyperdrive, it’s safe to say that the music industry has completely transformed. So it only makes sense for upcoming musicians and bands to do their best to promote their work using all these new tools and platforms at their disposal.
To give you some ideas, I’ve compiled this detailed guide on how to promote your music:
Hop on YouTube
If you’re not already on YouTube, you are definitely missing out. It is the absolute place to be for bands and bathroom singers alike. Uploading videos on YouTube is a piece of cake, all you have to do is create your own channel, and then after that, everything should be a breeze from then on. And best of all, users can now use hashtags to promote their content too. This is great for categorizing content and increasing visibility.
But simply joining YouTube isn’t enough. Use it to reshare content on all of your social media accounts. Doing so will allow you to build a decent following on multiple channels.
Use a Mailing List
Remember there was a time when people couldn’t get enough of MySpace? Well, times have changed significantly now. Keeping this in mind, it’s worth considering that your current digital audience is likely to move somewhere else someday. And when that happens, it’s crucial that you have other means to contact them and in this scenario, starting a mailing list is the best option.
Apart from using it to promote your music and connect with your fans regularly, a mailing list will guarantee security. It will ensure that you’ll be able to stay in touch with a chunk of your audience regardless of whichever social media platform you decide to migrate to.
Make the Best Out of Social Media
The music industry has seen a drastic change ever since social media has come into play. Depending on where your fan base spends the most time, I thoroughly advise you to take social media seriously. At present, Facebook and Instagram happen to be in the lead in terms of popularity and engagement. Use these platforms to get the word out about your music.
Aside from social media posts and announcements, I highly encourage you to post video content. Whether its clips from your live performances or backstage fun with the fans, your audience will surely like to see the other side of you. But before you start uploading content, be sure you’ve done plenty of research on how to get the best results.
Check out my detailed guide on how to boost your Instagram music marketing game. In this comprehensive blog post, I have taken out the time to list down actionable tips that will help you gain concrete results.
Build Your Own Website
Once you’ve built a commendable fan-following, it’s time you get yourself a website of your own. Rest assured, the process isn’t that tedious, and it’ll be actually worth it in the long run. Once you have a website of your own, you can regularly post content and share your music with the world. Additionally, you can also use it as a place to sell your music along with band merchandise that fans might be interested in.
Similar to creating a mailing list, having your own website will only add to your credibility. It’s like taking things one step further. Plus, it’ll help you seem more serious about your goals as a musician in front of potential collaborators. You’ll talk more about this in the later sections of this blog.
Reach out to Other Music Blogs
Realistically speaking, it can take you months to organically build a following on your social media account or website. So what do you do in the meantime? You explore other options of course. Reach out to credible music blogs that promote local talent. These blogs are always on the lookout for fresh content and will be more than happy to feature you (provided you’re good at what you do and follow their guidelines). This will allow you to gain recognition in a completely new platform. But before you get too excited, be prepared to do some extra research. Take some time out to search for renowned blogs that would be a good fit for promoting your music. It’s safe to say that a blog that promotes county music will not be too thrilled about sharing hardcore rap songs.
Aside from sharing your music, you can also share your success story. Readers enjoy learning about what happens backstage and who knows, maybe some of them may be looking for some inspiration and you could be the perfect solution to their problem. You’re likely to do better as long as you focus on building a long term relationship with your fans.
Unleash the Power of Live Music
Yes, everybody loves the digital world but do you know what’s more exciting? Getting Goosebumps from listening to your favorite songs or getting completely blown away by a bunch of musical lyrics that transported you to another world. I know I sound slightly delusional here, but that’s what music is all about. That’s the reason why we get up every day to do what we do. That being said, it’s important to acknowledge the power of live performances. That’s how real relationships come to life and though it may be old school, it’s the best way to promote your music.
So yes, while posting songs and announcements on social media is great, you’ll make a more significant impact by playing live. Remember, humans thrive on personal interactions, and as a musician, you can do your best by hosting events, meet and greets or singing live at your local pub. This is an especially great way to promote new songs and albums. You can also set up a merch booth or set up a refreshment stall for your fans.
Playing gigs on a weekly basis is also an effective way to build a new fan base while promoting your business gradually. Loads of cafes and pubs offer mic night or let local bands use their space. Build a network and use it to get the word out. Having people tell you that they love your songs is far better than receiving virtual ‘likes’ from somebody.
Hire a Professional Whenever Necessary
When you’re first starting out, it’s easy for you to want to do everything by yourself. I know this because I went through the same thing. A couple of years ago I was managing my band, spending hours editing tracks and if I didn’t have enough on my plate, I also went through the trouble of handing out flyers (which by the way also required printing) for our local gigs. Now when I look back, I wish somebody had pushed me to pay a kid $20 to get the job done for me. It would have given me more time to work on my music. More time to get some editing done. More time to get some sleep.
My point is, don’t be afraid to hire help when it comes to promoting your music. Whether you’re thinking about building your social media page or simply need help distributing flyers, consider outsourcing and delegating. Not only will hiring a professional benefit you in the long run, it’ll give you more time to do the stuff you’re actually great at.
Taking Branding More Seriously
This is your art, and it needs to be taken seriously. Invest in personal branding that will help you leverage a larger audience. Start by optimizing all of your social media platforms and make sure you have a logo. Other tips including selling merchandise and being consistent in terms of branding in terms of color scheme and style. People expect uniformity and this will definitely help you when it comes to promoting your music on different platforms.
Another tip is to position yourself a trendsetter in your field of music. You can do this by offering people advice on new gear, connecting with your fans and by simply being yourself. Letting your guard down every once in a while to help upcoming artists will boost your popularity which will, in turn, help your music.
Collaborate with Musicians
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and yet it’s overlooked. You know how they say that you can always achieve better results if you work together? Well, collaborating with fellow musicians may actually help you grow visibility and increase your fan base. For starters, start by creating a list of musicians who make similar music. You’ll only get results from this method if your potential collaborators have a large following.
Keep in mind that since you are trading services, you will also have to return the favor and promote their music. For instance, the two of you can collaborate together to record and song. Once that’s done, both of you can work vigorously to promote each other by uploading the video on your social media accounts. By tagging and giving each other a shout-out, you’ll be able to get twice as more engagement on your videos. And this collaboration doesn’t have to be short-term either, you can settle on an agreement to regularly promote each other’s content on each other’s website or social media handles.
Recommendations and referrals are some of the most powerful marketing tools out there, and when it comes to music, people always want to be on trend. Use this method to promote your work without spending on a hefty budget.
Send out Newsletters
Remember how I mentioned the importance of creating a mailing list? Well, being able to send weekly/monthly newsletters is another reason. Your fans aren’t going to simply give out their email address if you’re not going to keep them in the loop. Start a newsletter to stay connected with your fans and notify them about new content. This is also a great way to promote your website and diversify traffic through multiple channels. To get the ball rolling, you can offer a few tickets or backstage access to your shows. Depending on how much effort you’re willing to put in, using newsletters is a great way to get the word out about your music.
It may not help you create a new fan base, but it will help you stay in touch with people you already know.
Hire a Publicist
So this suggestion is for musicians who are eager to get the word out about their band and are willing to pay for it too! Notice how some popular radio shows invite upcoming bands and musicians to talk about their music. Well, these folks don’t get magically found owing to a stroke of luck. They hire publicists who help them connect with influential folks in the industry.
Times have changed and the world of public relations has certainly evolved and that has altered the scope of online press releases. Today, online press releases not only play a crucial role in helping you get the word out about your brand, but it also helps boost SEO. And you’re better off hiring a professional to take the workload off your back.
With a publicist, you’ll be able to expand your audience-base and get the chance to work with some influential people in the business. Aside from local newspapers and magazines, your publicist can help you get a spot on famous podcasts, radio interviews, and blogs. Realistically speaking, you may have some trouble getting noticed when you’re starting off, but once you’ve made your mark, there’s definitely no turning back.
Wrapping it Up
So this was a pretty long guide but I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. I hope these tips will help you promote your work and build a larger fan base. Perhaps you will benefit from some of my other comprehensive guides.
Is there something you’d like to add?
Let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!