We all know how things work these days – you can’t be purely the troubled artist, while a team of professionals puts you in front of millions of fans. It just doesn’t work that way for most musicians.
If you want to reach a wider audience, you have to know the market, you have to understand the business side of music – you have to get a grasp of music marketing.
Music Marketing Made Easy
It doesn’t have to be complicated, or a chore, or something only bigger artists can do. On the contrary, music marketing is simple once you know what you’re doing, and it’s invaluable for the contemporary independent band, artist or producer.
Music marketing doesn’t have to suck the creativity out of your work, nor have a negative effect on how you write and produce new music – on the contrary, if you market your music in the right way, the new support and feedback you’ll receive will help keep that fire alive that prompted you to pursue music in the first place.
It’s far from impossible, and it’s not even that difficult to market your music and find success as an artist in 2019 and beyond. In fact, it’s easier than it’s ever been.
Whatever your style or intention, here we intend to outline exactly how to market your music.
Make a Plan
The more time you spend planning, the less time you spend panicking. Learn from the tips below, and then PLAN exactly what you’ll spend your time and money on over the coming weeks and months. Write it all down, and start acting on it. It doesn’t matter if you change your mind over time, just update the plan and keep moving. Music marketing and building a career in music are ongoing processes if you really want to grow and hold onto this lifestyle.
Self Awareness – Know What You Want to Represent
Do you want your lyrics to connect, do you want to be booked for big events and party gigs, do you want to be known for your guitar skills, are you the world’s most versatile one-woman band? What is the best setting for your music, who are the people likely to connect with it? Figure out the answers to all of these questions.
Once you know exactly who you are as a band or an artist, then you can begin implementing the right music marketing strategies.
Where Should Your Music Appear?
You need to reverse engineer this, so come at it from the perspective of a music fan. You get up to start your day – you make the commute, you go to the gym, you get ready for the weekend. You want music quickly, and you tend to go for something you already know, OR – a pre-approved, recommended playlist; this is an easy option that may well play you a bunch of new songs.
Indie Playlists Are Huge – People Want to Hear New Music!
We tire of the same old songs, we want to listen to something fresh. You just have to get your songs to cross the paths of those in need. Reach out to playlists that already have a following. There are hundreds, but invest a little time and you should get at least a few responses.
Make it Easy for People To Hear Your Music
Like it or not, it’s unrealistic to think you can spend a year making your masterpiece, then upload it as sale only without offering anything at all for free.
If people don’t know who you are, they won’t buy your music. OFFER VALUE. Give things away, let them hear your new song for free. Make it easy for them to listen. And then – just as important for longevity – make it easy for them to click follow or to subscribe and like your pages; this way they’ll remember you, and be prompted whenever you upload something new.
From Stranger, To Audience, To Fan
This is the aim. It comes with consistency. You can’t simply pump hundreds of dollars into a music marketing campaign for a single and then sit back and wait for fame. You have to keep working – keep creating new music, planning gigs, posting updates and letting people know where you are and what you’re up to.
Share your music with strangers and they become your audience. Engage with your audience, and they become your fans. Give them what they want. If you disappear after a month, they’ll forget about you – it’s the sad truth. There are too many other great artists and entertainment sources to be stumbled upon, and the fact is – those who put in the work, who stay visible, are the ones who achieve long-term success as musicians.
Getting your music in front of people VS Getting your music in front of the RIGHT people
It’s no good having your hip hop track appear in the news-feeds of ten thousand heavy metal fans. Find out your demographic – utilize the audiences of other artists similar to you, find out the ages likely to connect, the personality qualities, the locations where this style is popular or where you may be able to get gigs. Market your music accordingly.
Organic Music Marketing
This is the easy stuff – this is word of mouth, sharing on socials, free downloads, CD hand-outs, playing shows, networking. Keep the content fresh, keep telling your story, and consider every day an opportunity to connect with new and existing fans.
Music Marketing Resources & Platforms
All of the following should be considered worthy of your content – each platform has an audience, and each audience could well contain potential fans of yours. Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes, Mixcloud, YouTube, Reddit, 8Tracks, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, GooglePlay, iHeartRadio, Deezer.
Google is your friend – search for the platforms and places where you can upload your music and videos for free, and make yourself visible on all of them.
Music Marketing Doesn’t Have to be Boring – It Can Be Fun
Music marketing is audience outreach. Start conversations and build relationships with like-minded people. When you post online, encourage a response – encourage a reaction. Instead of, look at this new guitar, try what’s your favourite guitar to play, or who were your favourite guitarists growing up? Instead of, check out all these tour dates, try – where would you like to see us play? Or, are we heading to a town near you?
Engagement is Everything
Likes can be faked and don’t encourage a conversation. Comments and messages are the threads between you and your audience. Keep reaching out and stay connected to those who love what you do.
Leave comments in a conversational tone – don’t just drop a bunch of emojis and call it a day. Be real, be genuine – people can tell, and they’ll respect you and remember you if you authentically engage with them.
Reach Out To Bigger Artists & Influencers
The path you want to walk has already been walked by many. Email them, email their managers – it’s always worth a shot. Be present within their community. There are different levels of success and fame these days – aim high, but aim somewhere in the middle, too. Let them know you love what they do, and let them know that you do something similar.
Collaborations with the right people can be music marketing gold. Even just a mention, if they’re kind enough, and they like your style, can open up a world of opportunities.
Browse their socials, check out their videos. Join the conversations in their comments. Don’t just plug your music, respond with insightful comments, ask questions, get to know the audience, then let them know what you do. If they like you and you’ve built a genuine connection, they’ll be intrigued enough to come and listen to your music. When they do – thank them!
Releasing and Marketing a Single is Different to an EP
One song is much easier to utilize in order to capture attention. A 30 second clip can be shared and will fit well amidst a society of shortened attention spans. Upload your music natively on each platform – the algorithm will reach more users this way than it will with a YouTube or external link.
Don’t try to push one song too much. You need new content, and regularly. Don’t let your audience get bored or forget about you. As you release and push one song, be working on recording the next. The added benefit of this is that you won’t be bogged down with anxiety about each step – you’ll already be busy with the next step.
Good Music Marketing isn’t Cost Free
If you want to utilize the best platforms, if you believe in your music’s ability to connect with listeners once it finds them, it’s always worth investing time and money into properly marketing your music.
You’ve got the music, you know who you are & who you want to reach – here’s how to maximize your music marketing strategy.
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Music Marketing on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram
Despite the influx of angry musicians and business owners every-time Facebook changes its algorithm, the fact of the matter still stands – Facebook is a huge resource, an invaluable tool, that allows you direct access to millions of other humans. And, more importantly, it’s incredibly inexpensive right now to utilize its features.
Design the right ad, with a video clip or photo that represents you and catches the eyes and ears of potential fans, say the right things when you build the add, and target the right audience – based on everything you’ve learned from the above tactics. Do all of this, and your ad should bring you incomparable results.
Millions of music fans stare down at their screens for hours and hours every day – they browse, they scroll, they see thousands of images and ads and statements from all manner of business and individuals. Be one that they see. Be visible, make an impression in that instant, and they’ll notice you – they’ll click through; they’ll listen. Then, if they like what they hear; they’ll come over to check out more of your stuff.
Don’t underestimate the power of Facebook and Instagram for music marketing right now. The price will only go up in the future. Utilize it today – get started, boost a post, boost another, try a few different designs and styles and see what works.
Also, an often overlooked music marketing tip is to boost to your own audience. Look after your existing audience first and foremost – always! This is crucial! Show that you care about your audience, mean it, and they will stay with you.
Being a fan is like being a friend – it’s a relationship people value, it helps them get through difficult times, and it’s easy to ruin if you fail to return the love.
Reach Out To Bloggers
Bloggers can be a musician or band’s best friend or worst enemy. To be honest though, these days most bloggers don’t bother writing about music they don’t like. They blog because they love discovering new music, and they know how to write about that music in a way that makes other people likely to listen to it.
Bloggers are artists in their own right, they offer to listen in depth to even the smallest bands out there, they understand music marketing, and they can put together a feature and some promotion that will give you glowing recognition across certain platforms. Furthermore, what bloggers say about your music will stay online and will likely be far more searchable and visible in the early years than anything you post yourself on your socials.
Connect with bloggers and music blogs that post your kind of music, send them a personal email, compliment them and connect on a human level, and you’ll have a connection and friend for life.
Music reviews and interviews via indie blogs are essential for any band, artist or producer looking to expand their audience. It’s a chance to find out what people really think about your music, whether your song expresses what you intended for it to express, and furthermore – it’s a chance to integrate into a community of dedicated, hard-core indie music fans.
If you’re stuck for time or want some guaranteed, professional and honest coverage of your new release – there are a number of options for music reviews and interviews that offer support and promotion within a few days. We currently have an audience of over 40,000 music fans across Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, and we’ll be happy to help you on your journey. Visit our contact page to submit your new release or if you have any questions.
In Order To Grow Your Audience – KNOW Your Audience
Once you have a small audience – asking them questions about themselves will help you identify the kind of people that like your music. The same goes for other artists who are similar – head over to the YouTube comments on their videos and see what people are saying. More than that, join the conversation!
Music Marketing simply means reaching people who will enjoy your music and will actively support you online and when you play shows. Eventually, you should be able to create a marketing persona – a style of music marketing that is exactly the right way to reach the people who like your kind of music.
All it takes is a little effort, a willingness to learn and to talk to new people, and a consistently out-going approach when it comes to marketing your music. If you’re an introvert, that can still show in your artist persona and your music, but your marketing needs to be seen – let that be a thing separate from yourself; a mask that you wear, a label that you control.
Soundcloud Marketing Tips
Soundcloud is a FREE music marketing tool that can be extremely beneficial when used effectively. We always hear those stories about the artists who uploaded their track to Soundcloud and almost overnight they reached millions of new fans and everything changed for them – Post Malone, The Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen (To name just a few). There’s more to it than purely uploading of course – thousands of artists and bands upload great songs every day. Being present and active is the only place to start though. Spend time on the platform, engage with other artists and their fans, submit to playlists.
An additional Soundcloud Marketing tip is to consider Soundcloud Pro – this way you get unlimited uploads, and you can access informative insights about your audience – where they’re based, how old they are, what else they listen to, which of your songs they love the most, how often they listen.
Google Analytics is also an invaluable tool in this respect. Your Website should already be up and running, but keep tabs on who searches you, who writes about you, who mentions you, and who listens and buys your music or tickets to your show. You can also find analytics in Facebook if you use ads there – which you absolutely should, as outlined above.
It’s also worth considering paying to promote your tracks within Soundcloud. The more plays a song has, the more likes and interactions it will get, and the more intriguing it will appear to people who see it in a playlist or a list of new tracks for them to discover. For whatever reason, human nature means that we trust popularity in general – we follow the crowd, even if it’s the smaller and more alternative crowd (hence the snowball effect). Get busy, look busy, get your play counts up, and keep working.
Spotify Marketing Tips
Spotify is a massive platform, utilized for music marketing by big and smaller artists across the board. You need to have your music on Spotify if you want to grow your audience. Get your music on Spotify, share your links everywhere you can, contact playlists and submit to Spotify themselves for playlist inclusion.
Use the shorter version of long songs; post-four-minute tracks are less likely to be chosen for bigger playlists.
Promote other people’s playlists, tag them as you do; be kind, be grateful, and be visible!
Consistently add to your catalogue. As stated earlier – one song is never enough! If you’re in it for the long-term, you need a playlist all of your own Keep making that music, and keep uploading it.
Crowd Funding & Patreon
Along the way – consider sites like Patreon, where your existing and future fans can sign up for exclusive extras and rewards that the general public don’t benefit from. This special access will appeal to those who genuinely love your music and want you to do well.
Don’t set this up too soon, and don’t consistently punch out with the ask – post content, GIVE, keep giving, and over time people will WANT to support you.
Know Your Numbers, But Don’t Obsess Over Them
Don’t let the music marketing process or the numbers overwhelm you, but be aware of where you started, where you are now, and where you want to be. Start small – aim to get 10 new fans on the first day, then maybe 20 the next, and in a month you can try to lift these numbers further. This will occur naturally to an extent, momentum will gather and others will see your new fans talking about your music and come to check it out.
Think about it – If you see a friend you respect and have things in common with post a video they say is amazing, you’re likely to watch it, right? You trust their judgement and respect their opinion. The same is true for most other people. If you stick with your music marketing strategy, you should eventually see things start to snowball.
Engagement Always Matters
If you go from 30 fans to 3000 fans, don’t consider it too many people to care about. Keep making that effort, stay excited about it, and grateful, and keep the conversation going. There will come a point when you can no longer respond to every single comment and message, but always try to address them – a post to everyone, a quick thank you. Never forget or leave behind those who find and support you. That would go against everything you’ve been working to achieve.
Offer your audience value, show effort, give them good content, and it’s easy to gather even 1000 fans within just one month.
Quick Music Marketing Tips For When You’re On The Move
If you’re a full-time musician or artist, you’re going to be busy – you want to be busy, and you will be. If you’re not writing new music you’ll be recording, rehearsing, sending emails, booking gigs, playing gigs, planning a tour, going on tour, making videos, being interviewed, submitting music to blogs and radio shows. Use your down-time wisely. Make sure you get your rest and relax, but even when you’re chilling out – there are some little moves you can make to keep low-key marketing your music.
Use polls, host competitions, give away free or discounted merch and tickets to shows – create exciting opportunities and encourage people to join the conversation or to share your posts in order to win or benefit from the offer.
Use Your Phone – it’s always with you, it’s your gateway to the rest of the world! Post on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram – ask your fans a random question. Be yourself in the process, be authentic; over time they will get to know you, and they’ll always want to know how you’re doing – as well as let you know how they’re doing!
While you binge watch that new Netflix show, take a few minutes to create a quick Instagram Story or a post that invites your existing fans to engage with you. Don’t do this all the time, but do it often enough that you’re a prominent part of their life.
For most people, music is escapism – you the artist are the provider of that escapism. You offer something that gives people a break from the rat-race, a moment to breathe and rid themselves of their concerns or troubles for a while. Embrace and respect that role. Keep in touch with your new family, and keep giving them content they love.
Music marketing and building a career in music is an ongoing process. Don’t just spend a few weeks implementing these tips and then sit back and wait or even give up because you didn’t make it big yet. You may not make it to be as big as the biggest stars out there, but there are eight billion people on this little planet of ours, and music is one of the few things that consistently connects us all.
Keep working – set your marketing plan in action, then write some more tunes, book some more gigs, chat to your fans, plan a new video. And then, do it all again, but different – NEW music, NEW gigs, NEW merch, NEW updates.
If you want this to be your full-time career, act like it already is. Put in the work, remember why you make music, stay true to yourself, and most importantly – hold on to that passion and ENJOY THE PROCESS. In a year or so, when you’ve at least doubled your fan-base, you’ll be so proud of how far you’ve come, and grateful that you put in the time and kept on improving your craft.
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Thanks for reading! Let us know in the comments how you’re getting on, or if there are any other valuable music marketing tips that we’ve missed out.