In today’s increasingly saturated digital climate, promoting your music as an artist is becoming just as important as actually creating it. Whether it’s promoting shows, new singles, EPs, albums or other creative projects, it’s essential to be actively plugging the work. It’s important to brand yourself, or your artist, and keep the audience engaged as this plays a crucial part in thriving as an artist who is both relevant and stands out from the rest. There is an incredible number of free tools available, as well as promotional techniques, which can be used to gain exposure, build up a fanbase and network – and you should be taking advantage of them.
Remember, everyone’s progression is different in the music industry so don’t get disheartened if you don’t become instantly famous – it doesn’t work like that. Be patient and focus on the important things. Keep in mind what you’re looking to achieve through the music and creativity and the rest will follow.
Check out our tips below for promoting tracks, running social channels, sending out demos, networking and more. In addition to this, if you’re looking to level up your knowledge of the music business we can help with that too – find out more about our BA (Hons) in Music Industry Management and our BA (Hons) Music Industry Management Degree (Online).
1. Use Social Media the Right Way
Having an active presence on social media in the digital age is extremely important when it comes to marketing music. Using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud, MixCloud and others are great for staying on top of current trends whilst also building an identity. It’s important to sustain a blend of both conversational and engaging content whilst promoting yours or an artist’s tracks and creative work at the same time – that way, people won’t feel spammed by your own content. Currently, Instagram and Twitter are the most important channels you should be using. Update these regularly with pics of work in the studio, clips of productions, artwork, experiments, inspirations, tours, memes and more – these will all help pack your channels with content your audience will want to be exposed to. Keep on top of hashtags in your posts as this will help new users find you and reach a much wider audience. People will want to connect with you as a person, so being as personable on these channels is a good look. Plan ahead with your posts and content so you can build a strategy around your releases, tweet your favourite artists and join in with the social sphere’s open dialogue. Make sure your channels are looking on top form with high-res images, press shots, working links, and identical (if possible) social handles so the right people will be able to find you easily.
2. Network in the Real World
So, you’ve got your socials all set up and looking polished, now it’s time to meet some real people. Although networking on social media is an important aspect of promotion, it’s extremely important to interact with other musicians and managers and build relationships in the real world. Go to events and see the artists you love performing, there will be like-minded producers, DJs and creatives there to build up your contact list with. Sometimes you’ll even get the chance to speak to the headliner, get their email, give them a USB with some tracks on and follow them up on it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them after the show, the fact they’ve met you in person will definitely make the interaction more memorable resulting in a direct link between you and them.
3. Collaborate with Other Artists
Collab bro? You probably should. This is a useful way to see how other musicians work, experiment with new ideas, and you’ll probably pick up some handy production/workflow tips along the way. If you’re working with a rapper or singer this process will help you work quickly, settle on sounds and elements rapidly and strip back your production style if need be. From a manager’s point of view, this is a great way to connect with other artists and scout new talent and will all contribute to expanding your network and collaboration experience. Additionally, when promoting your collaboration there will be not one, but two or more artists pushing out your new project. This will help build your existing fanbase whilst making a lot of noise on social media.
On the flip side of this, if you don’t have anyone to collaborate with start creating some free remixes – or if you’re a manager, suggest it to your artist. Don’t wait to be asked to do it either. Contact the artist or label directly to see if they can send you the stems or just chop up the existing track. Alternatively, search the web for samples and acapellas, there are a wealth of places they can be found and downloaded online (if you need a hand with this, check out our list of 7 Essential Resources to Download Free Acapellas. These remixes are useful to give away as freebies to your fan base and may end up doing the rounds on the club circuit. Who knows, maybe the artist you’ve remixed will even share your track or make it an official rework.
4. Send Demos
Sending demos will help you convert new audiences into fans and encourage existing publications and artists to share your music. Depending on what you want to achieve, there are a number of different ways to approach this.
If you’re looking to gain more views and exposure, send tracks out to blogs and online publications. Music bloggers are always on the hunt for the freshest new music so make a list of the websites you’d like to be featured on (both big and small) and do some hunting for their submissions email, or the email address of the writer or editor. Keep in mind, including artwork, a press shot, your social links and a bio with some info about the track/project is going to increase the chances of getting featured as the blogger will already have all the relevant information they need. You never know, the music may reach the ears of an influential force in the industry and end up featured on tastemaking YouTube channels, highly streamed SoundCloud profiles and websites which receive lots of hits.
If you’re looking get beats released on a new label, do the same but make a nice neat folder of the tracks and zip it. Make a list of your favourite labels, do some hunting on their socials for a contact email and get busy. Including some information about the tracks, and if applicable, recent releases, DJ sets, remixes and other upcoming projects will help. Alternatively, sometimes sending a private track along with a message on SoundCloud can be a sure way to get heard. It’s not just artists and labels who are looking for demos, lots of DJs appreciate exclusive tracks to play in their sets. Many of these will have regular radio shows and club residencies so even sending a mix their way isn’t a bad idea to get yourself or your artist on the airwaves/next lineup.
5. Music Education
Learning from someone who’s marketed their music before and had great success doing it is a fantastic opportunity to utilise. Here at Point Blank we recently launched a new line of Music Industry Courses, including a BA Hons Degree in Music Industry Management, which focuses on everything from setting up a record label and planning and executing live performances and tours to negotiating music industry contracts and deals, marketing music and artists and more. As a Point Blank student, you’ll be able to meet and network with all our students including music producers, DJs, singers and songwriters, attend our industry networking events with pioneers of the music scene, and receive tuition from our industry expert lecturers. Point Blank Music School consistently houses the next generation of talent, and you could play a key part in their journey. If you’d like to bring your music marketing knowledge up to scratch head here to see our full range of courses.
In addition to all of the tips above, remember, when marketing music don’t be afraid to do things differently. Be creative, whether it’s in your artwork, marketing strategies, or even the way you release music. This will stand out to everyone around you and set you aside from the rest.
If you’d like to learn more about music production and sound engineering, DJing, singing & songwriting, radio broadcasting and more, we offer courses in London, Los Angeles, Ibiza, Mumbai and Online. Got any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us.
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