Independent artists now have the edge over artists of years past when it comes to marketing their music. Because of the Internet, it’s easier for today’s artists to launch their careers independently without the help of major labels. Artists no longer have to be like the traveling salesperson, going from door to door with a suitcase full of goods. Today’s marketing requires far less legwork, though it does require some knowledge and hard work to amass a fan base.
While it’s possible to make a promising career independently, many new artists don’t know where to start when promoting their artwork and maintaining a successful promotional campaign. Suppose you’re interested in going independent but need some help getting started. In that case, we’re going to give you some tips and tricks on how to promote your music. With consistent work and some good strategies, you’ll be on your way to becoming a known artist.
1. Make Great Music!
Make sure your songs are well-written, arranged, and professionally produced. No matter how great your music is, you won’t get very far without these things. Even if your song is meant to have a natural, live, or unproduced feel, make sure that it has a good balance of parts, hooks, and production quality. You may have to put a little money into producing your music, but it will be well worth the cost.
2. Make an Artist Website and Mailing List
Two essential components of your marketing strategy should be building an artist website and compiling an email subscriber list. An artist website is an essential landing place for all of your fans. It should include links to your music, bio, photos, and any performance dates.
The most important part of your website should be a mailing list signup. This will enable your fans to hear directly from you and deliver updates about your music and upcoming projects to their inboxes. Social media marketing has its place, but a fan is more likely to see a direct email than a tweet.
3. Social Media Tips
Even though social media isn’t the most direct form of communication with your fans, it’s still an important one. Having a solid social media presence will boost your marketing significantly and help build your fanbase. Here are some tips and tricks for having a vibrant social media presence:
- Be consistent.
- Post interesting and engaging pictures and updates—and videos too!
- Tap into all of the platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and more—as many as you can manage!
- Keep all of your handles consistent across the various platforms.
- Use your header space to promote new releases or your website.
Streaming music is the new norm for musicians and consumers, and playlisting is a great way for new artists to get discovered and build their fanbase. Try to get your music on a popular playlist (e.g. Spotify’s “Discover Weekly”), and you’ll start increasing your streams. Getting into top playlists is impactful, but with approximately 60,000 new songs uploaded each day on Spotify alone, this is not a minor task. Start with getting on one playlist, then another, and watch the momentum build.
How to get playlisted? To get onto a popular playlist, you must pitch your music to the playlist’s curators. You can use tools such as “Spotify for Artists,” which allow you to pitch your music. Also, do your research and figure out how to pitch your tunes to other big playlists, as well as independent curators.
You can also build your own playlists and fill them with your favorite songs (and include a few of your own!). Once you start getting followers on your playlist, you’ll have a chance of getting noticed by other playlist curators and big influencers.
Press coverage helps your music get noticed, whether you’re featured in a big or small publication, online or in print. You can hire a PR executive who can take care of your press for you, or you can start your own blog, which is more cost-effective, especially for indie artists.
Make Music Videos
Music videos are a huge part of the music industry these days. A video can easily go viral, even if it is not produced by a professional. To start, come up with an engaging theme that you think will appeal to all kinds of people. When shooting your music video, make it as clean and professional as possible within your budget. Put your music video up on YouTube and promote it across your social media channels, and watch the views come streaming in.
Build a Strong Team
You may not be able to pay a lot of different people to help out with your music right away. Still, it’s important to get as many teammates as possible. A great team will increase your chances of success tremendously. If you can’t afford to hire people, see if you can get a few friends interested in your artwork to help out for free.
If you can only hire one person, that person should be a manager. Choose one that believes in you and is passionate about your music. Your first manager should be a ‘jack of all trades,’ meaning that they will need to perform multiple tasks—such as booking, marketing, publicity, and more. With a willing manager, you’ll go much farther than trying to do it alone.
Keep Up the Good Work
It may seem like you are treading water at first but remember that success doesn’t always happen overnight. Consistency and good quality artwork are the keys — and promote your music as much as you can. If you have inspiring music to share, it will be embraced sooner or later.