Music promotion spreads your music, grows your fanbase and advances your career.
In the past music promotion was taken care of by industry professionals. But today the power of music promotion is back in the artist’s hands.
It’s a lot of work. But with the right plan you can grow your music on your own terms and share it successfully in a way that fits your vision.
Making strong music promotion part of your music marketing plan includes online tools like digital distribution, social media and email, as well as traditional means like live shows, press kits and mailing lists.
How to promote your music independently:
- Make good music
- Get verified
- Write a music press release
- Build a fanbase
- Share your music
- Share on social media
In this simple music promotion guide you’ll learn the 6 steps to build an effective music promotion plan on any budget.
1. Make good music: You need great tracks first
Let’s get this out of the way right now—if you want to do good music promotion you have to start with good music.
It can seem like promotion muscle is all it takes to push a track to the top. But if the music you’re promoting doesn’t have something to offer to listeners you won’t get anywhere.
Do your best to make your music as compelling as possible before you start your promotion.
That means take your time to produce great tracks, perfect your mix and master your music to create your final product.
When you’ve finished tracks you’re proud of you’ll have the confidence to set goals and promote yourself enthusiastically online.
Making the best music you can is a commitment to your fans and listeners.
2. How to get verified: Make it official on every platform
Verified pages are the best way for you to manage your presence on different platforms.
Good music promotion means controlling your messaging everywhere fans come into contact with your music.
It’s not enough to just to have music or content available on a platform, you need to own your space there and make it work for you.
Verification is part of creating a trusted online presence. Luckily most platforms offer paths to verify that aren’t too complicated.
3. Write a music press release and reach out to playlists and blogs
The music media is a powerful force in music promotion.
Coverage from even a small music press outlet can do a huge amount to bring your music to a wider audience.
It’s the same with playlists. The biggest ones have hundreds of thousands of followers and daily listeners.
But trying to find coverage is hard and getting tastemakers interested in your music is an intimidating task. But it’s worth it for the huge amount of traffic they can generate.
Here’s how to get started finding out where—and how—to reach out.
Who to contact
Music blogs are some of the most influential tastemakers out there.
The biggest names like Pitchfork and Stereogum have broken countless artists to the mainstream. But smaller blogs can have a surprising amount of influence.
Look for blogs that are posting tracks and artists like yourself and find out how to contact them.
Streaming playlists are another major player. Playlists aren’t exactly media outlets, but they’re still key platforms for promotion.
You can’t exactly submit directly to the big branded playlists, but there are tons of user generated ones that can help you move up the ladder and get noticed by other curators.
Identify which playlists to shoot for and contact the users who curate them.
How you contact your industry connections is just as important as who you reach out to.
There’s a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes to reaching out for coverage, but in general you will benefit from adding an electronic press kit to your website.
4. How to build a fanbase for your music
The ultimate goal of your music promotion is building a fanbase.
You need to connect with the people who will support your music by streaming tracks, buying merch and attending shows.
But building a fanbase from scratch is difficult. You’ll have to use all the tools you have at your disposal to get fans on board.
Use traditional methods
There’s lots of great ways to promote your music that have been around for ages.
Press kits, mailing lists and tours are all effective tools for growing your audience.
Get into the real world
Events, live music and person-to-person networking are absolutely essential for effective music promotion.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in promoting your music online. But if you forget about real life you’ll miss important ways to build your audience.
Own your space online
Your band website is your music’s home online. It’s the one place you control how your fans interact with your content completely.
5. How to share new music: Release it right
Sharing your music is one of the most basic parts of music promotion. But there are more ways to share than ever before.
Sharing your music in a meaningful way that increases your following is hard. But you have to do it—if you didn’t there would be nothing to listen to!
Getting ready to share
Sharing music online has never been easier. You might be closer than you think to being ready to go live with your tracks.
Find out how to share with confidence—and why it’s worth it.
Don’t get thrown off by metrics
It’s tempting to get too focused on measuring the success of your tracks or posts by a single number.
But the fact is that social media stats tell a complicated story that can get glossed over when you’re only looking at likes.
6. How to promote your music on social media: Share more than just music
You can’t fill an engaging social media feed with just your releases themselves.
Music promotion is about way more than just music today.
It’s videos, images, interviews, articles, playlists, sample packs, studio tours, live shows and anything else that can help build the story around your sound. Even the occasional meme or quippy Tweet can build your narrative and following.
Having an active presence on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and wherever else is incredibly useful for connecting with your fanbase. Remember that as an artist you have a voice that people are listening to.
Approach your promotion with the question ‘what does this say about my music?’ to help guide your efforts. The answer will help you decide what to say yes to, and what to pass on.
Start with your sound and vision as a launchpad to look outside your music for other content to share to keep your followers engaged.
Promotion is your voice in the music landscape that does more than just sing a song. So share your music well.