As a musician, in a market that is often described as “saturated”, it’s easy to feel defeated before you’ve even begun. No matter how good your music is, if you don’t promote it cleverly, it will likely get lost. While social media can be a great way start (see below), it is definitely not the only way, and there are a range of tips and techniques to help you learn how to get your music heard on the Internet and in offline areas as you maximise your musical presence and potential.
How to get your music heard on the Internet
We’re going to start off by describing some of the best ways in which you can get your music heard on the Internet and digitally using channels such as social media, Facebook, Soundcloud, YouTube and other platforms.
#1 Utilise social media effectively
79.5% of internet users worldwide are active on social media, so using social platforms wisely is of the utmost importance when self-promoting.
Interacting on social media
When interacting with other musicians and music lovers or contributing to the conversation on music-related pages/groups, keep the comments concise and relevant — do not spam thoughtlessly. This will help maintain your reputation and may help to build your following.
Posting on your own profiles
Whether you are writing a blog, posting a tweet or composing a Facebook post, make sure you are consistent in how you communicate.
Rather than linking your accounts, so one post syndicates to all, look to diversify your posts across different platforms. Focus on the strengths of each and aim to add value and think: Why would a Facebook follower want to follow me on Instagram — What is in it for them? Whilst you might just want a follower to help get your music heard, think what’s in it for them too.
While social media platforms are known to use algorithms which can choke your post-visibility, this approach will help to expand your reach.
#2 Be seen on blogs and websites
Get featured on music blogs and websites
Having your music featured on a well-known music blog/website can have a significant impact on your fanbase and how wide a reach your music gets heard on the Internet. However, before you reach out, research which blogs feature music of a similar genre or style to your own.
Again, keep it professional — include links to your social media accounts as well as polished tracks on reputable platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud.
Interested to know more about placing your music on music blogs? Take a look at our in-depth guide: How to Get Featured on Music Blogs!
Start your own blog
Having your own space to document your musical journey is a great way for interested parties to track your progress.
You can also cover wider topics such as your chosen music genre and artists which inspire you — featuring upcoming artists can help with cross promotion and may lead to future collaboration opportunities.
Update the blog consistently — begin slowly — posting, say, monthly or fortnightly. If you find you have more time to invest, increase the frequency of posts, but be careful not to over-commit.
#3 Use email for reliable outreach
Email is a great way to grow your fanbase and and reach out to your listeners who want to hear your music online. An opt-in mailing list means you can keep your subscribers in the loop and ensure they are aware of new tracks as and when you release them.
Growing your mailing list is straightforward: when you meet people who seem interested in your music, simply ask them if you can send over a sample via email. When you do, ask if they would like to be added to your mailing list.
You could also include a sign up form on your website, social media pages and at the end of blog posts — offering an incentive, such as an exclusive track/remix. As your mailing list grows, so will the number of people your music reaches.
#4 Create a YouTube channel
Many modern artists were first discovered on YouTube, with Justin Bieber being the most famous example. You don’t need to be Stephen Spielberg to upload videos, sometimes the rawer the better!
We’ve put together extensive guides on how you can get your music heard on YouTube. Here’s some recommended reading to get your started.
- How to start your own YouTube channel
- How to get an official artist channel on YouTube
- How to upload your music to YouTube
- Using YouTube as a singer
#5 Upload your music to Apple iTunes
Whilst iTunes isn’t as popular as it used to be due to the surge in online streaming, there are still millions of music fans using the service to hear music like yours.
And don’t think you need to be a professional singer or musician to get your music heard on iTunes… it’s not the case at all!
Here’s what you need to know:
#6 Get your music heard on Spotify
Talking of streaming services, did you know you can get your music heard on Spotify too… and again, you don’t need to be professional or signed up to a record label to do so.
Spotify is the fastest growing platform for modern music lovers to hear new tunes. If you’re not on there yet, get to it now as it’s a great way your music can be heard on the Internet.
Again, here’s some advice from our in-house experts:
#7 How to get your music heard on Soundcloud
Soundcloud is a huge community of artists. Not only can you get your music exposed online, but you can also connect and collaborate with other musicians to help with cross promotion.
If you’ve not got a Soundcloud account yet, here’s the link to sign-up. There are some excellent guides and tips on the Soundcloud blog to give you a head-start.
Get your music heard live or offline
#8 List your gigs on event websites
If you are already performing live in venues, then make sure that your upcoming gigs are listed on the popular event listing platforms.
Two of the more popular are:
Both of these websites let users find gigs in their local area, meaning you can get exposed to potential fans who will be open to hearing your music live.
#9 Reach out to radio stations
Radio airplay is an effective way to get your music heard. Many national and local stations have shows set up specifically to showcase new talent.
When contacting a radio station, reach out professionally. Make sure your promo CD is polished and ready to be heard. Send it to decision-makers at the stations where you are interested in being featured and keep track of those you have sent it to.
You may benefit from first reaching out to university and community stations as this may lead to airplay on bigger, commercial radio shows. The decision to play your music may well rest on how much radio time it’s had on smaller stations.
Caution: Shameless plug ahead! Continue reading below.
#10 Perform frequently in the right places
Little will gain you more attention than performing live. Whether busking, performing at open mic nights, playing festivals or entering competitions; playing live makes it easy to connect with new audiences.
For best results, focus on playing to larger crowds and in places where your musical style will be best received. If you are busking, concentrate on areas where there is a high volume of foot traffic and enough space to draw a crowd. Wherever you choose to perform, make it clear who you are, so your audience can find and connect with you afterwards.
Additional Tips for Getting Your Music Heard
Alongside the techniques above, here are a couple of golden rules to follow:
#11 Focus on your brand
All of your communication should be branded!
Keep this simple and consistent. Use the same avatar on each platform and social media profile (consistency increases the likelihood of being recognised and remembered) and don’t forget to include links to your profiles in your email signature and at the end of blog posts.
#12 Put some money aside for marketing
While many of these techniques for learning how to get your music heard on the Internet and offline are free, it is useful to put aside a small amount of money each month for marketing.
Paying for music promotion is a guaranteed way to get more listeners. There are a number of services available and it is worth choosing one or two to get your music career moving.
#13 Create a buzz about your music
If you’re just starting out in music, building up a fan-base will be essential to your future success. By building up a community of people who love your music, they can organically help you get your music heard by even more people.
But you will need to give them a reason to support you and share your music – this is where you will need to create a buzz.
Read this blog post where we explain how you can create a buzz for your music, and get it heard even more than before.
Have we missed anything? We would love to know what you do to get your music heard. Let us know in the comments below.