There are many opportunities for independent artists now to jumpstart their own music careers without needing any labels or significant investment.
Unsigned and unknown musicians are breaking ground through the use of digital technology and the ease of the online world. However, as a new artist working to build your way into the industry, you may feel lost as to where to begin.
Knowing the ins and outs not only to making music but promoting and building it up is a talent and skill that can aid you in creating a lifestyle where you can sustain a living from your music.
Music that resonates with your audience isn't enough.
Even the most professionally made and sounding tracks won't get far without the tools and knowledge to promote them to the masses.
Below is a guide to walk you through all the do's and don'ts when launching your next track or album.
DO: Sign Up with Music Distribution Platforms
Streaming is one of the primary methods where people will have the opportunity to hear and download your music.
So adding your music to a streaming platform, or perhaps two or three, will be an excellent method for getting your music out there.
Many of these services provide a subscription-based option for artists. When you sign up with them, you receive many benefits.
They also offer resources to help you get more visibility with your music within their library, allowing creatives like producers and filmmakers to find your music to use in their projects.
DON'T: Forget to Promote On Socials
Many artists will sign up for streaming on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Ditto, CD Baby, and more.
But, when they release their tracks, they don't get the exposure they hoped for after the launch of the song. Why? They forgot one key element in promoting their new songs.
You need to use marketing in your favour and create small campaigns to appeal to your audience. Even if you only have a small following, you need to be building hype for your song releases on your social media channels.
Promoting your music might include a little snippet of a video showcasing a song or two. You might also just want to talk about the story behind the song you're releasing to engage your audience.
Whatever the tactic, you must put it out there before you release the music for streaming so that people are looking for it.
DO: Build a Web Presence
If you don't have an online presence, this is yet another tactic that you should get to help promote your music. Creating a presence on the web includes:
- Creating a website - a place for your audience to learn more about you and link to where to find your music, socials, and more.
- Developing an email list (for updates with newsletters, etc., to let them know about new music coming out)
- Growing a social following - you can develop a following in many ways, such as creating your own YouTube channel or simply creating a VIP Group on Facebook that offers perks for your biggest fans.
Email marketing is a way to gain direct access to your fans so that you can connect with them on a deeper level.
Social channels can allow you to do the same and give a "backstage" or inside look into your music-making process.
DON'T: Rely Only on Social Media
You must stay authentic when engaging your audience through digital means. Having an online presence is undoubtedly a crucial part of the process, but that doesn't mean that you leave out other means of promotion.
While you want to be consistent and keep your audience engaged, you should be sure to take your music promotion offline, too.
Think about attending some events where you can network or participate in other indie musicians' concerts or activities in your area and even collaborating with them to get some live events of your own.
After all, performing live is a great way to get your music out there.
You can even use these events to promote through "swag," where you can sell t-shirts, CDs, and even vinyl records to fans. There are endless possibilities and something to be said about being "in-person" as an artist.
DO: Feature Your Music on Blogs, Publications, and other Press
Your music isn't just meant to be downloaded through streaming devices. Expand your exposure by looking towards music blogs, and license your music for podcasts or other press releases.
The more your music promotion is out there, the better your chances of obtaining more of those downloads.
Many independent artists worry about needing a budget for their Public Relations (PR).
But there are tons of bloggers, journalists, and podcasts out there that will be happy to promote you with the idea that they will also get exposure to your fans, helping build upon their following.
It can be a mutually beneficial relationship - and one that's worth exploring.
DON'T: Promote Without a Goal in Mind
You need to be aware of your successes as an independent musician. Setting goals for yourself when it comes to promoting and releasing are essential to help you become more successful.
In addition, there is a sense of pride in acknowledging your hard work, progress, and eventual reaching of that objective.
Set out by deciding what you want to achieve and find ways to document the process. You already know and understand your audience, have a strong focus on your niche, and can now create an appeal with your promotional tactics.
For a few months, your goal is to build your following - create an action plan and take steps to get there. Then, when you reach that goal, set the next one.
Take Your Time
As an unknown musician, getting your career off the ground will take time and dedication. Nothing happens fast, and you must exercise patience as you get each piece of your music promotion up and running.
Ensure that you are creating music with a specific genre or audience in mind, and appeal to them by utilizing some of these helpful do's and don'ts for your music promotion that will help propel your status in today's time.