Are you itching to take your career to the next level, but just can’t seem to get enough traction on your progress? Smart and effective marketing can help get you noticed and give you and give you an easy advantage in the music industry.
It’s not good enough to be talented and keen. You also need to let the world know who you are and what it is that you do. This is where the best marketing tips for a singer can make the difference between you being an unknown and attracting a sizable fan base.
Read on for hints and advice that’ll help you to spread the word about your music, both near and far.
Best marketing tips for a singer
While marketing and PR may not come naturally or feel entirely comfortable, they will have a huge impact on your reach as an artist. It’s remarkable what a successful campaign can do. And there are many singers who have relied on great public relations ploys and smart marketing to keep their careers afloat.
How do musicians market themselves?
There are two options when it comes to your marketing as a musician. You can either do it yourself or get someone else to do it for you. The former option is entirely possible, no matter your previous experience. There’s so much you can pick up from the internet – and from this article! And with wide access to apps, social media and tech, almost all of it will cost you nothing.
Music marketing companies
If money is no object, or if you’ve already done the groundwork and feel you need to bring in a marketing professional to take you further, you could consider a music PR agency or promoter. But be very careful to have a clear understanding of what you’ll get for your money and a watertight contract. You could also pay for a PR/radio campaign.
But if you plan on doing it yourself, you’ll find our 15 best marketing tips for a singer, invaluable.
How to market your music independently
#1 Know your audience
Defining your audience will help you to decide on your marketing strategy. What age groups are you trying to attract? Local, national, global? As an example, are you aiming at a young demographic interested in pop culture and movies, or a more sophisticated easy listening music focus? Create a ‘persona’ – what interests, lifestyle, purchasing power would describe your target audience? Watch trends on social media and research and follow other artists. When you know what your audience likes you can create the content they want to see and the music they want to hear.
#2 Pitch your music
Many singers and musicians find this quite difficult but it’s important to send your music to blogs, playlists, press, local radio, agents and entertainment venues and bookers. Find contact details for music magazines and journalists who write about your style of music. Write a press release and artist bio, try to make it appealing and different so that you stand out, then follow up with an email. Good videos and photos help to define your style.
Music marketing strategies
#3 Share your music
Digital technology and streaming platforms such as Spotify, Amazon, Apple and many others will reach large audiences. Research which platform is most suited to your genre, for example, Soundcloud is great for electronic music and remixes. The more platforms you’re on will mean more exposure. Ask your fans to share, and then ask again, sometimes a reminder works. Share to entertainment sites and pages.
#4 Sign up to live music stream platforms
Everyone is doing lives. And there are many ways to do it, such as the usual Facebook, Instagram and YouTube live. Advertise in advance, to let your followers know that it’s happening. Get others to share your post where possible. You could even run a competition during the event, to attract more viewers. In addition to the mainstream social channels, there is also a large selection of streaming platforms. Being active on these will boost your marketing and keep you connected to fans and your audience.
Social media music marketing strategies
#5 Post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok
Marketing strategies for musicians can be confusing. Bands, record labels and fans all use Instagram and Twitter, but with so much competition for attention on these platforms, you need to plan to stand out. Paid ads are one way to reach more people, but other tools such as hashtags and Facebook groups will get you free exposure. Cross promoting with other musicians can go a long way, and if you’re touring, use the local group pages and links. Make sure your socials have interesting content and are kept active and updated.
#6 Use a scheduling tool to target set times of day
Posting to so many sites so frequently can soon become arduous. Especially if you want to target particular times of day (which you should, to get as many eyes on your posts as possible). Do a bit of digital research to find out when your target demographic is likely to be peaking in their online activity. The pre-schedule posts to match. This saves you having to set reminders for these times, and will take care of the posting if you’re busy. It also enables you to cross-post on various platforms and create a posting plan.
The best music marketing campaigns of 2020
Some singers and bands disappeared off the radar in 2020. But others showed adaptability and altered their approach ta gain even more fans. Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Kitchen Disco may have been a way to cheer up the public and have some fun, but it’s since led to albums and now a national tour. While bands like The Lottery Winners set to work creating unique homemade music videos that won the hearts of millions.
#7 Establish goals
Write down an action plan to include short and long term goals. Short term goals can include releasing new music, videos or an album by year-end. Study the market and work out steps to achieve longer-term goals. These may include playing at a large festival, landing a set number of followers or collaborating with one of your musical inspirations.
#8 Create merchandise
Create a brand that suits you and promote and establish it among your fans. Think about setting up an online store. Merch can include signed posters, albums, notebooks, stickers and phone cases. One of the best ways is to design T-shirts featuring your picture, name and brand. Fans will be supporting and advertising you at the same time.
Record label marketing strategies
#9 Define your USP
You may take for granted the things that make you, you. But record labels know the power of this aspect of your branding. Check out competitors to see what makes you different or unique. Then harness it, using your image (clothing, logos, graphics and makeup).
#10 Create a budget
Record labels are always thinking about money – both making it and spending it. And when it comes to their marketing, they’ll always ascertain how much they can and should spend for the desired outcome. How much money are you willing to contribute towards promoting your music and getting your name known? You need to calculate your budget realistically and plan accordingly. It helps to keep a spreadsheet log of outgoings and earnings. Even if you don’t hire a marketing professional, you are likely to need to pay for aspects of it. Such as digital advertising, flyers, posters and merch.
How do you market music in 2021?
#11 Create a website
2020 became all about the online world. And while 2021 will see us getting back to face to face interactions and live gigs, the world has changed for good. This means that your digital presence has never been so important. A good, clear website will reach out to new fans and allows you to shape your identity as an artist. It is much more comprehensive and informative than social media profiles and posts and can provide revenue streams. And it is a starting point for those searching you on Google (remember, not everyone uses social media).
Make your website distinctive and easy to use, tell your story and showcase your best music. You can create a colour palette and choose fonts to make it interesting. It’s also helpful to include reviews and recommendations from venues and people who have heard you perform. Brands like Wix and WordPress enable amateurs to build their own sites, with no experience and with zero cost. It is better, however, to buy a domain name. This isn’t expensive and looks more professional. It also reserves the name, so that no one else can use it.
#12 Feature on, or create, music podcasts
Starting your own podcast or vlog is an effective way to promote yourself online. You can record episodes, upload them and submit them to your feed, website and social media. Being featured in someone else’s podcasts is a great idea to reach new audiences. Send off some emails, or PMs to podcasters whose work you enjoy. They will often be seeking interviewees or new musicians to feature. Just be sure to aim your requests at a suitable level. https://openmicuk.co.uk/advice/how-to-make-a-podcast-as-a-singer-musician/
Music marketing tips 2021
#13 Create an email list
Invite all your social media followers to sign up for your email list. As an incentive offer exclusive content and early updates on new releases and upcoming shows. Promote your email through your website. Research shows that email is a more effective way to acquire customers than social media as most people still use email daily. Email marketing software such as MailChimp can save time and help you format a slicker looking newsletter.
#14 List your shows
Whenever you are booked to perform, list the details on all possible platforms, pages and groups. Keep your fans updated and ask them to share. Advertise and promote constantly, venues will note your commitment which should stand you in good stead for future bookings. Don’t sit back and wait for your events, music releases and work to be marketed by others, get on it yourself and it will achieve results.
#15 Promote your music with a live event
Live events are back for 2021. And fans desperate to attend in-person music gathering are filling their diaries and snapping up tickets. So ride this wave and get booking yours now. There’s never been a better time to plan a launch party. Hiring a venue and providing food and guest performers to promote your new release is another way to spread the word, particularly if you can persuade some influential contacts and industry professionals to attend.
Your marketing work can be slotted in around your lifestyle. While it may seem like an undertaking it can be incorporated into other tasks. For example, get into the habit of coming up with social media content while on the bus, creating videos during your practice time, planning your strategy while in the shower and pinging off some emails while you catch up on your favourite TV show, you’ll have plenty of these tasks covered before you know it.
- How do musicians get noticed?
Social media is one of the best ways to get spotted. But to stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to have a good voice, a striking image and plenty of charisma. Even then, there is a certain element of luck involved. By promoting yourself continually you can increase your chances.
- What is the best way to promote a song?
Follow all the tips in this article, and create a launch event for your single. If you can’t do this in a physical venue, do it live, via an online platform. If you are planning an in-person gig, invite all of your friends and still live stream it, to reach a wider audience.
- How do I make my song go viral?
Your song will need to be catchy – crafting a killer hook and chorus will help with this. You want to create an earworm effect. Adding in a unique dance move may also help – remember Gangnam Style?! It didn’t become internationally famous purely for its sound. Or make a super creative video.
Do you have any other best marketing tips for a singer? Is there anything we’ve not listed here that worked well for you? Let us know in the comments section.