Musicians may feel lost in the new industry of streaming, file sharing, and social networks. However the rapid technological progress has actually provided artists with many more outlets to promote their music and connect with fans.
Besides common ways of promotion like live performances and collaborations, there are various ways to introduce yourself to a wider audience. Of course, most of them are related to the internet and social networks
Nowadays, everyone can make its own account on social media, even make a website or write a blog. Various internet platforms offer an opportunity to present your work, find like-minded musicians and producers, collaborate on various virtual projects and much more.
Here are some of the best ways to promote your music:
Though might sound a little bit old-fashioned, live performances are still a top way to promote your music. It’s often not the route to instant fame, but it’s clearly a very important way to developing a local following and spread your music.
There is no better way than playing in some bar or even on the street. You get an open access to masses and there is a great chance that someone will find your music interesting.
Of course, it could be hard at the beginning, especially to find a place where to play. On the other side, once you get a chance, there is a great possibility to get someone’s interest. After all, even in these days when social networks dominate, nothing can compare with live music performances.
2. Create Your Website
Your website is pretty much a proof of your existence, at least online. By creating a website, you get an opportunity to attract a wider audience.
Naturally, the most important is to provide quality content on your pages. You can start with some basic info about you and your band. However, things like your schedule are crucial. Be always up to date and provide your audience with all the necessary information about upcoming live performances. Of course, don’t forget to post your music, as well as things like contact information, future projects, or even to write your own blog.
We’ve put together a simple guide to show you how to create a music website from scratch. Be sure to check it out.
3. Local Music Collaboration
This is one of the best ways to promote your work. There is nothing better than collaboration with other bands and musicians. That is the way the music industry works for decades.
One of the first steps you can make is to arrange some gig together with a band that already has a decent fanbase. You will get a chance to play in front of a bigger number of people who prefer similar music genres. You can’t get anything more than that.
4. Online Music Collaboration
Besides in a real world, music collaboration is also possible on the internet. Moreover, it is a great way to connect with musicians from all over the world. Today, you can find a lot of websites and apps that can connect you with various kinds of musicians, producers, and even record labels.
It is a fantastic way to promote your music, but also to work with other musicians, which will be beneficial in many ways, especially if you want to learn something new and expand your views. Here is a link where you can check some of the best music collaboration websites and apps.
5. Social Networks and Mailing Lists
In the era of social networks, this is an inevitable way of music promotions. The number of these networks is getting bigger and bigger every day, but it would be enough to stick to those most popular. Of course, Facebook takes the leading place. It is the most universal platform where you can post pretty much any kind of media and other content. Definitely, the best social network to be in contact with your fanbase.
Another hugely popular network is Instagram. Owned by Facebook, it is designed primarily for a quick share of photos and videos with your followers. The amazing thing about Instagram is that you can post your media on three major social media platforms at once (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter).
You can also try with some of those social networks that are designed primarily for musicians. For example, Audiu is a smartphone app that gathers thousands of musicians, DJs and producers. You can share your music and ideas, but also find a bunch of like-minded people for eventual future collaborations. Another thing you should try is called Vampr. It is both a social network and music app, where you can randomly pick some stranger and start a collaboration.
However, I always think you should build a mailing list as early as possible for many important reasons. This is a really solid way to building a fan base, which can be much more resilient and long lasting than social networks. Your mailing list might be a lot smaller, but fans will be a lot more engaged and read rates are generally a whole lot higher. Check out our guide on building a band mailing list for more info.
6. Streaming Services
SoundCloud is a great place for musicians. Though basically a social network, it actually offers much more, which is the reason I put it separately. Once you create an account, you can share all kinds of information, including your personal details, biography and much more. The best thing is that you can publish your work and get followers. Many musicians started here and ended as major artists.
Spotify shouldn’t require an explanation. Although, you get paid very little for streaming, play counts can build up quickly and it’s an amazing way to promote your music. You can use aggregator services like routenote to get them online for free. While doing so, they can also upload your tracks to many other streaming and music stores such as iTunes, Amazon music, etc.
7. Develop Solid Branding
It might sound a little bit strange, but music isn’t the only thing you should take care of when promoting your work. Just remember how many times you bought some album because of its interesting cover. In these days when the music industry is overflowed, it seems almost impossible to make that initial stand out.
One of the good ways to attract potential fans is to create an interesting band or artist logo. Also, if you have some material to share, make sure to get some intriguing covers.
8. More Personal Relationship With Fans
Even you make a really quality music and have a nice fan base, indifference from artists might lose many opportunities. A good way to create a more personal relationship with your fans is to share some details about your personal life.
If you’re filming your live performances or making a video for your new song, there is one proven method to get closer to the fans. Most people would call it “Behind the Scenes”. Capture the recording process, where you can show your personality, but also more details about things like the gear you use, studio tricks. A good sense of humor is more than welcome.
If you receive a fan message or comment, make sure to respond. That could be a long term fan in the making.
9. Music Competitions
Personally, I despise music competitions. However, I must admit that those are arguably some of the best ways to introduce yourself to a wide audience.
Today, you can find numerous music-oriented talent shows of both local and global character. Those are mostly about singing, but some of them promote creative work as well. Even those bands competitions could be useful. All these events are full of the people of the music industry, so someone could notice you.
10. Make GREAT Music
Despite all these useful tricks, you’re really faced with an uphill battle if your music is not up to scratch. Also, even if your music is great, you need to make sure that it’s been well produced, mixed, and mastered.
Modern music listeners have an expectation of high quality mixes when it comes to new releases. If your music is not well produced, it’s not going to stand up in comparison to other artists.
As you can see, there are numerous ways to promote your music. Some of them are more or less conventional, but there is no real reason why you shouldn’t try them all.
Despite all the benefits that social media and internet bring, it is still all about the quality. Even the best possible promotion can’t guarantee success. It all returns to the point where you have to make good music.
Without that, there is no connection in label house or number of gigs that will make you popular.
In one sentence, try all these useful tools, but keep a lot of your focus on music and creativity.