In today’s digital age, independent musicians have more opportunities than ever before to promote their music and connect with fans directly. With the right strategies and tools, anyone can effectively promote their art and gain recognition without relying on a record label or a massive budget. Now, these ideas might not necessarily make you a superstar, but they can be perhaps the best way to get started and build a following, which is all you can do as an artist.
Here are eight essential steps to promote your music independently right now.
In This Article:
- Focus on Social Media
- Pitch To Streaming Playlists
- Get Your Music on the Radio
- Build A Website
- Develop A Mailing List
- Collaborate With Other Artists
- Leverage YouTube And Other Video Platforms
- Engage With Your Local Community
Focus on Social Media
Social media platforms continue to be essential for online music promotion. Identify the platforms where your target audience is most active and create profiles on those sites, such as Instagram or TikTok. Regularly post engaging content, original videos using viral sounds, behind-the-scenes videos, live performances, and updates on your creative process. Photos and videos often perform better than simple text, but feel free to mix things up! Interact with your followers by responding to comments and messages promptly. Collaborate with influencers and other musicians to expand your reach and gain new fans.
No matter how you feel about social media, this needs to be your first promotional item, as it’s simply how the world works these days.
Need help running your social media promotion?
Pitch To Streaming Playlists
Streaming platforms have become a primary channel for music discovery, making them ideal for independent artists to get their songs featured on popular curated playlists. Research playlists that align with your genre and submit your music for consideration. You might be sending your upcoming tunes to one person, or perhaps to Spotify itself–both are completely valid.
Craft a compelling pitch that highlights the unique aspects of your music and explains why it would resonate with the playlist’s audience. Additionally, engage with your fans on streaming platforms by creating and curating your own playlists to showcase your musical taste and build a community around your music. The more active you can appear on these sites, the better.
Work Your PR
Public relations (PR) plays a significant role in generating exposure buzz around your music. Reach out to music blogs, online magazines, and local newspapers to pitch your story and music. Personalize your pitches for each outlet and highlight what makes you and your music stand out. Collaborate with bloggers and journalists to secure reviews, interviews, and features. Utilize the power of press releases to announce new releases, upcoming shows, and other significant milestones in your music career.
Many prominent musicians hire music PR firms or perhaps just one person to do this job for them. That’s absolutely a possibility for you as well, it just depends on how much money you want to spend. Working with a team to secure press is expensive, but it’s often worth it, as it saves you time and hassle, and the professionals know what they’re doing!
If you’re getting ready to promote your music, reach out to those who have been doing this for a long time if you need the time to focus on your music!
Get Your Music on the Radio
In terms of getting “discovered”, getting your new song into primetime radio rotation could turn an unknown artist into a nationwide sensation in a matter of days. The first step to getting your tunes heard in cars countrywide is to grow your following and make sure you have a decent number of streams and followers, since 99% of the time, radio rotation lags behind the streaming consumption.
Once you have a steady and active audience, focus your efforts on non-commercial radio promotion: such as college radio stations, smaller independent radio stations and web-first online radio – this is where most smaller artists make headway. Although there is a smaller audience for non-commercial radio, the competition is less fierce and the audience is more open to new artists and sounds. Besides, some of the more influential non-commercial radio stations are often used as hunting grounds by the mainstream radio programmers looking for the next big thing.
One of the best ways to get your music on the radio is to find the contact of a radio DJ in your area. Most radio stations have websites where you can find the contact info for the DJ of the show you are interested in. First impressions are everything in the music world, and sending your introduction along with a curated Electronic Press Kit will send a message of professionalism and know-how to the DJ of your choice. Send over a kit with a compressed MP3/WAV of your Single/EP/album with links to your website, social media, biography to help put your best foot forward. Don’t be too shy to follow-up either!
Many emerging artists prefer to leave radio promotion to the professionals, since often times the music industry can be about who-you-know. Let Planetary Group make inroads to radio for you so you can focus your efforts on the other aspects of your upcoming release.
Build A Website
An artists professional website serves as your online hub and provides a centralized location for fans to discover and engage with your music. Create a visually appealing page that reflects your brand and showcases your music, videos, and definitely includes a store filled with merchandise. Include an about page to tell your story and connect with your audience on a personal level. Don’t forget to optimize your website for mobile devices to ensure a seamless user experience.
Some people feel that websites are no longer necessary in today’s all-social world, but not having one puts you at a real disadvantage.
Develop A Mailing List
Email marketing for musicians remains a powerful tool for musicians to communicate directly with their fans. Offer an incentive, such as a free song or exclusive content, in exchange for fans signing up for your mailing list. Regularly send updates about new releases, upcoming shows, and behind-the-scenes insights. Make sure to personalize your emails for fans and create engaging content to keep your fans interested and excited about your music. Make it worthwhile for them to keep receiving and opening your messages–otherwise, you’ll lose them.
Collaborate With Other Artists
Collaborations with other musicians can be mutually beneficial and help expand your reach. Identify artists whose style complements yours and explore collaboration opportunities. Create a track together, perform at each other’s shows, or simply cross-promote each other’s work. Collaborations not only expose your music to a new audience but also provide a fresh and exciting creative experience.
It’s time to promote your music online–let us help you do that.
Leverage YouTube And Other Video Platforms
Video content continues to dominate online platforms, with YouTube being the most popular platform for music discovery. Create high-quality music videos, lyric videos, and live performances to engage with your audience visually. Optimize your videos for search engines by using relevant keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags. Consider collaborating with YouTubers and influencers who can help introduce your work to their followers as well.
YouTube is nothing new, but it remains an untapped tool for so many artists who aren’t using it to its full potential–or maybe at all.