In this article, you are going to learn about the 10 best ways to promote your music as an independent artist.
The strategies I am going to reveal here are commonly used by record labels; and even though they do so with big budgets, I will show you how to achieve it with a lesser budget as an independent artist.
Why it is possible to promote your music as an independent artist.
With the constant rise in internet usage across the world, there are so many opportunities, to help you as an independent artist; launch a successful music career and promote your music conveniently from your home.
This goes to say that if you can harness the tools, tricks, and opportunities offered by the internet, you are going to achieve success in your music career.
And one of the things you never have to overlook in your whole music career is music promotion.
What is music promotion?
Music promotion is simply the art of making your music available everywhere for consumption by music lovers.
By all means possible, you just have to push your music out to the right places using the right sources.
What do you need to do for your music promotion?
The only thing you need for your music promotion is good music.
As a matter of fact, making good music is the bedrock of every successful music promotion.
If you are unable to get this right, there is no way that implementing the strategies I am going to reveal in this article will yield the needed results.
To however make good music, you need to do the following three things:
- Compose or buy songs that will meet up the standard used by top-rated artists in your genre.
- Find a good studio that will give you high-quality audio production. If you have the budget, you can even set up your own small home recording studio; where you will take the time to work on perfecting your audio production.
- Link up with a popular producer who will produce, mix and master your songs to the needed standard.
Once you are able to make good music that people will love listening to, you are going to set yourself on the road to promote your music and achieve success in it.
Below, therefore, are the 10 best ways to promote your music as an independent artist.
10 best ways to promote your music as an independent artist.
Below are the 10 best ways to promote your music as an independent artist:
- Promote your music on social media platforms.
- Build an email list and send campaigns.
- Pre-save campaigns on digital stores.
- Use playlists to promote your music.
- Build a strong team.
- Get press coverage on blogs and media houses.
- Shoot a music video.
- Use your niche to target the right audience.
- Perform live.
- Use the radio and TV stations.
1. Promote your music on social media platforms.
Before you ever embark on using social media platforms for music promotion, you need to understand the contents that work best on most of them.
I always feel for independent artist who thinks uploading their music on a free music app like Audiomack and sharing the links on their social media platforms will help them achieve success in music promotion.
But I wish they know that what social media platforms hate the most is trying to draw people away from another social media platform.
So the trick here is to upload your content directly on all the social media platforms you are using to promote your music as an independent artist.
And the contents that have been found to work best most are visual contents.
These visual contents could be freestyle videos, viral videos, cover videos, etc.
Secondly, there are specific social media platforms that can help you achieve success in your music promotion.
But if you are not conversant with social media platforms for musicians, you may hopelessly devote yourself to the ones that will not help you achieve your music promotion aim.
And the result might be giving up on your musical career.
The 3 social media platforms I can quickly recommend for your music promotion are:
And you can click on each of them to learn how best to promote your music on their platforms.
As a general rule, you need to create and post high-quality content consistently as well as take the time to interact with those who engage with them.
2. Build an email list and send campaigns.
Using email campaigns to promote music usually sounds old-school to independent artists.
In fact, a good number of them think that email campaign is long dead and gone.
But I wish they know what great success so many independent artists, and even record labels are achieving with it.
To however build an email list you need to set aside a budget to get a domain name and hosting to enable you to build a website or blog, where you can throw up a subscription form and collect emails from those who are interested in your music.
This then will give you access to emails where you will be sending updates, usually called campaigns; to people who are predominantly going to engage with your music.
The email list will help you inform people about your new releases, upcoming shows or concerts as well as tours.
3. Pre-save campaigns on digital stores.
Every online streaming platform, also known as a digital store; offers its users the opportunity to tell people beforehand about their music releases.
And this process is called pre-save campaigns.
It’s one of the promotion tools that help independent artists to send the word out about their music release date with a feature of making people save the music to their profiles or playlists.
It helps even playlist curators to get the awareness of your music and once it’s out if it’s good; they will add them to their playlist.
This music promotion source is cost-effective but it’s worth the returns if you set aside a budget for it.
4. Use playlists to promote your music.
Scores of people who are using music apps, whether free or paid; like to listen to music via the playlist.
This is because the playlist will avail them the opportunity of listening to multiple of their favorite tracks without interruptions.
And if your music gets on various playlists, you will increase your streaming because people will have no option but to listen as it plays along with their favorite songs
Playlists are compiled based on genres and moods, and you are likely to sound like one or more of the artists in your genre.
And that will make people easily fall in love with your music if it has the message they are looking for or rhythms they love so much.
There are basically 2 ways to promote your music via a playlist and they are:
- Create your own playlist.
- Reach out to curators to add your songs to their playlists.
1. Create your own playlist
To create your own playlist you have to look for songs in your genre that are making waves.
Add your own song from 3 to 5 in the list and compile the playlist.
Give a title that best fits your genre and will attract people to view and start listening.
For best results, share the playlist to your Instagram or Facebook account and run Ads to target audiences in a location that you know will listen to it.
2. Reach out to curators to add your music to their playlists.
You must be very careful when implementing this particular strategy because most of the playlists with millions of streams have bots streams. Especially that one that seems cheap enough.
Thus, you need to do a little research to look for genuine curators and contact them to know how much you are going to pay for your music to get on their playlist.
5. Build a strong team.
Even though you are an independent artist, don’t try to do everything on your own.
As a matter of fact, the word independent in relation to being an artist simply means that you are unsigned to any record label; that is supposed to oversee music promotion for you.
Therefore, you just have to take the bull by the horns and gather the people who will help to promote your music.
The team members could range from your friends, colleagues, family members, dedicated fans, and whoever will be excited to join in spreading the word about you and your music.
The team does not necessarily have to be in a physical form altogether. For that reason, you can go online and check your already followers’ database as well as dig into that of your similar artist.
Dig out the ones who are always active online and also have a good following.
Now spend the time to send these kinds of DM’s and tell them how you’d like them to be a member of your promo team.
You can use giveaways, or promise them shout-outs on your songs and content; in return for the favor.
Believe me, ten out of every fifty or hundred will be more than excited to take on this task.
Now the task is simply asking them to repost, reshare, or even upload your content on their social accounts.
6. Get press coverage on blogs and media houses.
Press coverage is simply the process where blogs or media outlets relate a story of what’s happening in the life of a celebrity.
Even before the advent of the internet, media houses like newspapers and magazines have always made it a duty of writing about celebrities.
In the modern era, all media houses have secured a place for themselves on the internet.
And for that reason, you need to utilize this unending opportunity to approach these media houses, as well as blogs to write something about yourself.
It might not necessarily be about your forthcoming or current release, as some people might overlook it.
But a great story of something spectacular that happened in your life, even if it’s a made-up story; can go a long way to drawing people who feel your story to your music.
So at the end of your story, you can draw a conclusion that the experience you had brought the inspiration to make the music that people can download below to listen to.
The most important thing I want you to note here is that you are the one who is going to write this press coverage.
After which you will send it to the blogs and media houses after you have negotiated on how they are going to help you publish it.
You can use an EPK (electronic press kit) to write your press coverage.
You can also use SubmitHub to send your press coverage to blogs.
7. Shoot a music video.
So many independent artists are brainwashed to believe that shooting a classic music video is way too expensive.
But I’ve known of so many artists who blew their music career with a low-budget music video.
Go to YouTube and you will see music videos that were shot with one costume in one location having millions of views.
It all depends on the concept you base your music video on. So long as it’s something that will easily grab people’s attention, they are going to watch it.
Do you even know that lots of artists have spent thousands of dollars to shoot music videos in great locations but the music video ends up not going anywhere?
As a rule of thumb, don’t go for popular music directors, as their fees are going to be relatively high. Instead find an upcoming music video director who knows what to do, and together develop a concept for a music video that will go places.
Your main target should be on using a camera that will give clean video footage, and color correction during the post-production process.
8. Use your niche to target the right audience.
Randomly promoting music is one of the reasons some independent artists are unable to promote their music.
For the life of me, why should you share your music with people you already know who will never get to listen to it.
By the way, I hope you are not making rap, rock, AfroBeats, and RnB music all at the same time. There sure has to be one of these niches you are into.
And for that reason, you need to use your niche to target the audience you want to listen to your music.
For instance, if you are to share your music with a Facebook group, you must look for the one that pertains to your niche.
If you are running Ads, your target interest should correspond with your niche.
You can even include this in your post caption. For example, if your niche is AfroBeats, you can caption your post “listen to this irresistible AfroBeats sound by….”
Add your name and title to it.
9. Perform live.
Performing live will give you the opportunity to physically interact with people and convert them into your fans.
Before now you must ensure your promo package is on board. It could be a CD jacket or simply a flyer that contains your artist’s name, the title of your song, a short musician bio, your contact details like phone number, email, etc, and links to where people can get your music online.
Make sure you have people in the house who will distribute this package to people immediately after you finish performing.
Someone might have felt you while on stage and thought of connecting afterward. This package will provide him with all the details to connect with you afterward.
10. Use the radio and TV stations.
This is another music promotion avenue that independent artists think is old school and no longer working.
But I wish you know how many people still see the radio and TV as their source of gathering information and use it to reach these kinds.