What’s the worst thing that can happen to your songs? Nobody knows, it even exists. I know, that some might say, that you just do it, because you love it.
Believe me, once you’ve put in some effort to write and record your music, it is much more fulfilling to get some attention and acknowledgment from other people.
In order to get an audience, you have to share your music with the world and grow a fan base. In this article I’ll share with you the best way to promote your music.
Promo Material You Should Keep At Hand
In order to start serious promotion activities, you have to have some basic material in place. The promotion material should give insight into who you are, what your music is about and how it sounds.
– Website: As simple as it may seem, not every musician has a website or it doesn’t look professional. Your website is the business card of your music. If you tell someone about your music, he will Google your name and check out your website.
– Photographs: 2-3 professionally taken photographs of you or your band. You can find young, talented photographs, who take little money for it.
– Demo Versions: It’s impossible to promote your music without any recorded song material. If you don’t have a full album available, record your 3 best songs. With today’s recording software (even freeware), you should be able to produce a demo of good quality in a short amount of time. Please, avoid just taping a rehearsal session.
– Footage: Music videos are a great way to show the full picture of you as a musician. It sometimes makes a big difference between only hearing and seeing a singer/musician in action. You can take a live recording of your recent gig or produce a professional music video.
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– Biography: An artist bio is important to introduce yourself and your music to someone, that never heard of you before.
Don’t get into too many details, but give some information about the band history and describe the style of your music, e.g. a pumping rhythm section supporting the operatic vocals of the lead singer. Try to find something that’s characteristic or unique and highlight this in your bio.
One of the most important promotion activities is quite simple: Get out and play electrifying live gigs. Especially, if you are unknown, with only a handful followers, that’s the best strategy to introduce your music to new people.
Still, there’s much more you can do.Think about really marketing yourself. Don’t just go onstage, get everyone excited about your music and then leave the building – you’re not Elvis.
Things you should do while performing
– Repeat your band name and your website couple of times during the concert. There’s a rule, that you have to hear something at least 22 times before you memorise it. We don’t want to push it too hard, but let’s say 5-7 times is easily manageable without appearing intrusive.
– Tell the audience something about your band history and what the songs are about.
– Talk about your current album and that you have some copies with you.
– Here’s a hot tip: Hire a charming, good-looking girl, who starts moving around and sell your CDs while you’re still playing.
Things you should do after the show
– Connect with the people personally. If someone approaches you to talk about your gig, thank him for coming. Ask him, what song he liked best, etc.
– Make sure to always carry some copies of your current CD with you. Even if you go for digital distribution of your music (which I highly recommend), you should also produce a small edition of physical CDs.
– Ideally, you find a small place, where you can build up a simple booth. Sit down, relax, talk with your audience and sell some CDs. Make this a regular procedure.
– Make an email list. Motivate people to subscribe to your newsletter.
Remember: After the show is the best opportunity to sell. It is your window of opportunity. Take the chance! If you send them home with the message to purchase your album from i-tunes or Amazon, only a few will do it.
Online Promotion – Your Access To The World
Offline promotion will help you attract new followers and gain your fan base. In order to keep your fans interested, online promotion is indispensable.
Furthermore, you have the ability to potentially reach out to the whole world.
– YouTube: Open up a YouTube channel and upload music videos, live gigs or short stories. If you have an album coming out or a big event, like a CD release show, you can create small teaser videos and publish them on Facebook and twitter in a predefined sequence to get everyone excited.
– Social Media: I don’t have to dwell much upon this as it speaks for itself. There are plenty of opportunities. The biggest ones are still Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. You have to check out, what works best for you.
Have You Thought About This?
There are still some more options for promoting your music, which probably not all musicians and bands go after.
Approach Bloggers: Look out for blogs writing about new music or new bands. Check the site’s traffic via similarweb.com. I would get in touch with all relevant blogs with a traffic >1000 visitors/day.
Contact the blogger and send him your bio, pictures and links, where he can listen to your music. Ask him to write an article about your band/new album – you name it.
Call Radio Stations: Reach out for small, local radio stations. Call them and tell them who you are and that you would like to get some air time to promote your new album and play something live.
There are plenty of opportunities to promote your own music, when starting out at level zero. Before you start your promotion, invest some of your time to create a basic promotion package (website, photographs, music demos, artist bio).
The fundament of your marketing is playing gigs and attracting more fans. Live concerts are also a perfect chance to sell some copies of your current album.
Accustom yourself to a frequent and regular social media activity, which will nurture your growing fan base. Also, try to leverage your promotion by the support of popular bloggers and radio stations.
I hope you found some useful information in this article.
What do you think about music promotion? What is your best experience? Leave a comment and discuss.
13 thoughts on “What is the best way to promote your music?”
Wow that’s some really great and well thought out advice for anyone with aspirations to make a career out of singing. I think you have covered a really valuable point in creating this article. That being that if you’re going to be successful at anything, you must learn how to market yourself. Get the word out about who you are and what you do. I would love to know if get any feedback from singers and site visitors about how they get on implementing your advice and tips, and hope you will share it on your site in the future. Thanks Kenny
These are great ideas on how to promote your music. I am sure beginners artists are looking for something like this. I know how hard it is to start your business and have people recognize you or your business. I like the idea of asking bloggers to help promote them. That’s a cool idea. Thank you so much for sharing these cool techniques.
Really awesome article on a grass roots approach to music promotion. I was in radio for many years from the 90’s to 2000’s and I can tell you it’s tough to cut through the white noise in the music industry. You know that. Your points really hit home…you have to work harder than the other guy. It seems so simple…but it is hard to do consistently.
There are a lot of missed opportunities…. as artists at times are not the best at self promotion or hanging around after gigs to chat up the patrons. This is a must! The best results now are meeting with folks after shows and get them to engage with you on social media. You have to build a database!!! Keep touching them….like you said….22 touches to make them remember you. 🙂
And yes…call radio stations (morning show producer…music direct….program director)…you never know when they need a talent to fill in for some event (paid) or segment on the air. For every 10 “no’s” you may get one yes…and those are fantastic odds if you can get them.
Keep up the great work….and Rock On!
Hey Felix – excellent article. I found myself inserting my own niche each time you mentioned band – and know what? I got a LOT out of your suggestions and I think you’re spot on about after concert being the best time to connect and sell … yourself and your work. Lots of artists, craftsmen, singers, etc forget that what people want to connect with is a real person who does REAL work and allows them to be in their space a bit.
I do have one question. Do bloggers you approach expect to be paid to promote in the music industry? If yes, what compensation do you feel is appropriate?
Thanks for your comment. Promotion activities are pretty independent from the niche or product. You pointed it out perfectly: People want to connect with real persons.
With regards to the blogger’s compensation, I wouldn’t suggest to pay anything, at least on an entry level. Most bloggers will be happy to have new stories and if your music is really good, they will be happy to recommend it to their readers.
I’m not a musician by any means but I found this really interesting. This is not an easy gig to get into unless you have the fortune to be found. So much to do and I found myself feeling a little shy reading about it because i’m not that type of person to put myself that far out there. That was just from reading it.
Funny I clicked on electrifying live gigs and there was Bono from U2 my favourite band.
I was impressed with this and enjoyed the education.
Thanks for reading, enjoying and commenting! U2 (still) rocks 🙂
My friend has a music band that he’s been trying to build as a career for many years. Like most people, he doesn’t know much about marketing except for doing a bit of YouTube videos. He recently asked me about a site called Bandzoogle and it seems like a professional platform to help him get started. At least it looks easier that using WordPress. Would you have any experience with the like of music-based website builders? Thank you for your input.
Hi Cathy, thanks for your comment. Actually, no I don’t have any experience with Bandzoogle. It sounds interesting and I will check it out to probably review it.
All I can say is, I’m no website designer, too. However, there are some free music specific WordPress themes available. If he is willing to set aside just one weekend, he will be able to create his own website and has full control over it.
Excellent points made! I can’t image it being easy to make it as the underdog.
I can see how every point you made can be important in making yourself known as an artist. Especially being a presence in the online world as well as social media. These two alone can get you to where you want to be if done properly.
This past summer an event came up on Facebook that I had never heard of. It included live music and beers
Hi Christine, thanks for sharing “live music and beers”. I never heard of it either, but I will check it out.
Hi Felix – you’ve created an awesome list of marketing opportunities for artists. And what’s really special is that most of them are free or low cost. Each social media channel tends to work for different industries – which do you personally use to promote your music? Marketing one’s own creativity is always a challenge but you’ve made it sound easy – good on you. I would also like to add that if people get a ‘no’ that’s really just a ‘not now’ and to try again. All the best, Alisa
Thanks Alisa for your comment. I personally primarily use YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
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