There are many options to choose from in promoting your act and music. So where do you start as an independent artist wanting to increase your profile?
The best ways for singers and musicians to promote their acts and music have changed and continue to change over time. Knowing the most effective up to date strategies for 2019 will save you a lot of time and money.
Here we take a look at how to promote yourself as a singer. We also reveal the best methods to get your face seen and your music heard by the public, plus outline some of the reason your music promotion might not be working.
How to promote yourself as a singer.
Singers – the best way to promote your act. There are numerous ways of promoting your act nowadays. An online presence is essential as your music is worthless unless there are people who can hear it. Here are the ways that will be the most effective in getting your act known to the general public!.
What is the best way to promote your music?
It’s not just a case of finding ways to promote your music, but of finding the very best ways to promote your music. You probably don’t have all the time in the world, so making the most effective use of the time you spend on your marketing and promo, is key. Which is why we’ve come up with a time-saving guide to the best ways for singers and musicians to promote their acts and music.
How to market yourself as a singer
How to market your music independently
As a singer, you can seek out management or an agent, hire a music promoter (at a great cost) or market yourself independently. Even if you do plan to fly solo, you can still get help from a studio, with an artist development package. That doesn’t mean you’re committed to them or contracted, but it does mean you get some professional wisdom, advice and input.
You can also learn the latest skills in digital marketing with Google Garage, a platform which provides online and face to face tutorials for free. YouTube and other websites also provide a wealth of information and guidance on general promotion and music marketing.
How can I promote my music independently to businesses?
Years ago independent music promotion was tough and expensive. Now we have the most amazing resources at our fingertips with practically no financial output. It’s never been easier to do your own promotion, so if you don’t have management or a label behind you, don’t worry.
Rather than focus all of your intentions on potential fans, pay a lot of attention on marketing your work to businesses. See if you can build relationships for sponsorship, performance opportunities and exposure. Do this by attending networking events where possible, but mainly via email campaigns targeted at event organisers and music-related companies.
How to promote your music successfully on the internet
And what’s the very best magical tool to use for your marketing? The internet of course. But use it shrewdly and carefully. Even though it’s a great way to go about your promo, you can still waste a lot of time if you don’t use it smartly. Also, remember that it’s hard to permanently delete anything online. So make sure your content isn’t anything you’d regret further down the line – especially if you make it big.
How can I promote my music successfully on the internet?
Build your own website, or even better, hire someone to do it for you. If you make your own, try a simple website builder like WordPress or Wix. If you try and code one yourself from scratch, it’ll take ages and you need a lot of well-honed skills.
Making your own on these platforms is completely free. But if you can, it’s worth buying a domain name. This avoids having the website name as part of your web address, and makes you seem more professional. It’s an annual fee to maintain the domain, but is usually inexpensive and some websites offer a package including the name and an upgrade to premium functionality.
Your website is your online base. This is where the traffic from all your social media sites should be directed. It is your main hub of activity and it will be where all news stories, photos, videos etc. will be located.
It will also be a place where you can sell merchandise and create mailing lists to keep your fans up-to-date with your goings–on via newsletters. Keep all the information organised and keep it updated. Do make sure you add links to it on all flyers, posters, mail outs and on your other online accounts.
Create your own platform
All the well-known websites in existence started somewhere. So why not start your own platform relating to your music genre. If you take this route you can’t make it exclusively about you or it will just appear to be your own marketing vehicle (so this shouldn’t be in lieu of your own website, but rather alongside it).
Get known as a popular site or platform and it will automatically draw attention to your act too. And if it becomes really big, you can make money from advertising and use this to fund more promo for your music.
Music marketing strategies 2019
How to promote your music on social media
Social media is your saviour, both in terms of time and money. It’s easy to use, accessible and gets you in front of an unlimited audience. Save even more time by downloading Hootsuite or a similar platform.
This will enable you to schedule updates and cross-post to all your accounts. And you will need a variety of accounts, given that this is such a crucial method of promotion.
How to promote your music on Facebook
Creating a Facebook page is essential for any act these days. It is the central hub of online activity and social networking. It is where all your photos, gig listings, news etc. should be going first.
You can link it to your main website and all your other social media platforms too!.
How to promote your music on Instagram
Upload all of your photos and videos to Insta. This shouldn’t be time-consuming if you’ve linked the account to your other social media channels. Make sure, as with all of your social, that you’re using hashtags to draw attention to what you’re doing. As you start typing a hashtag, Instagram shows you how many times that one has been used.
This helps you identify the most popular hashtags quickly.
How to promote your music on YouTube
YouTube has helped many unknown singers become household names. It’s how Justin Bieber got his big break!
Anything can be uploaded on YouTube: music videos, songs without videos, press interviews etc. If you have something recorded, it can be promoted to millions on YouTube.
How to promote your music on Sound Cloud
Sound Cloud allows unsigned musicians to share their music across all social media platforms. It can be embedded into your profiles so people can hear your music on your page and share the links on their own.
How to promote your music on Twitter
Twitter has many ways of helping promote your act. Using hashtags is a great way to get your act ‘trending’, which increases your visibility to fans by the keywords you have hash-tagged.
You can send tweets to like-minded professionals, who in return can retweet you to all their followers. It’s a great way of getting widespread exposure and making contacts in the industry.
How to promote a singer
So what’s hot for 2019? Well, word among digital marketing gurus is that Twitter is losing ground and Instagram is gaining. Facebook is still the number one method for singers, as it provides such a variety of functions, allowing you to showcase music, videos, live stream and create events all in one place.
Marketing strategies for music artists
How do you write a music marketing plan?
To create a plan you’ll need to establish your goals, branding and available tools – especially your budget. It may help to download and use a template if you’re new to creating marketing plans.
If you’re a group or a band, then use each other’s strengths accordingly. Separate out tasks from your marketing plan among you – many hands make light work.
Music marketing campaign
Building a mailing list and create regular content for it
A key part of your marketing campaign should be building your own mailing list. But how do you collect this information and where should you store it?
Here are our tips for creating an effective mailing list:
- Add a button on your website, blog and social media channels to ‘sign up’ for updates.
- Use an online tool such as MailChimp, to collate and maintain your emailing database. Through this you can also create attractive newsletters and e-updates, then send them to all, or part of your list, in just one click.
- Be imaginative with content and keep sharing it. This can be from any of your channels and be written, visual or audio. By getting yourself out there frequently, you’re reminding your audience that you exist as an artist.
- Create a lead generation offer. A good way to do this is to offer free music, in return for a sign-up to your mailing list. This is a common approach used across all industries – you’ll have noticed how often you need to input your email address to sign up to websites and when buying things. Make sure you have an opt-out box too though. This will help you stay GDPR compliant.
- You will need to be familiar with the basic principles of GDPR. There are laws surrounding people’s data (including email addresses) so make sure you don’t do anything illegal.
- If you have a blog, vlog, podcast or YouTube channel, ask people to subscribe. This will enable you to direct mail your content to them.
How can I promote my music in 2019? Don’t just talk about yourself
Another way to attract listeners and watchers is to cover more ground. Talk about other artists you like too. You could even set up interviews, share their content and write (positive) reviews. Bloggers are known to do a lot of this kind of reciprocal work as it helps to build each others audience. If you help promote someone else, they’ll probably do the same for you. And you’ll get the attention of their fans in the process.
Here are more top ways to promote your music this year, including non-digital methods…
Top ways to promote yourself as a singer in the music industry
Local radio is a great way of getting your music known to people in your local area. This is where your initial fan base will be located until you can start hitting gigs in other areas of the country.
Getting interviews on here is a great way to spread your news about any new gig dates or EP releases. It will also give you the opportunity to play your music to the listeners. If it all goes well, you could get interviews on there more frequently!
Universities and colleges
Universities and colleges have people who listen to all kinds of music. They are your best bet for trying to promote your music to. Students are more likely to go along to gigs for unknown acts if they are local.
Head to the student unions to distribute flyers and promote the gigs verbally to the students. Universities tend to have radio stations too, so approaching these would be a good idea to get on their airwaves.
Word of mouth
The more people who you get to your gigs, the more likely they will be to talk about you to their friends. Put on a good show and engage with your fans and it will only enhance your reputation with them and the likelihood they will bring more friends with them to your next show.
Keep the audience happy by interacting with them in person and online as often as you can!
Giving the local newspapers or magazines your press releases for your new EP or gigs is a good way to get exposure. Universities tend to have student papers as well, so approach these to try and get any interviews or reviews of your gigs and EP’s.
Making good connections with the local media could lead to larger publications taking notice!
Shooting a music video to accompany your songs can then be placed on all your social media sites. The more professional and interesting the video is, the more likely it is to capture the viewer’s imagination.
This will increase the amount number of comments and shares the video receives. It could prompt interest from the local press and may even spread far and wide across the Internet.
Giving your demo to fans
Handing out your demos at gigs is a surefire way to get your music heard. It worked for the Arctic Monkeys, so it can work for you. Fans love new music, especially when it is free as they are more inclined to give it a listen. They can then pass it on to friends who can get a chance to hear your music.
Only give away good music though. It might seem counter-intuitive, but don’t see it as an opportunity to pass on your weaker work.
Last but most certainly not least, perhaps the most important way to market and promote your music, is to get out there and do it. The more people see and like your stuff, the more you’ll be known.
Aim for events that are renowned for spotting new talents, such as festivals, competitions and gig hot spots.
What will you do today from these lists to promote your act and music? We hope you’ve been inspired and encouraged that this is something you can do yourself, at home, using the tools you already have at your disposal.
Reasons your music marketing and promotion might not be working
Here are some of the most common music-marketing mistakes, and how you can avoid them:
#1 Only using social media for music marketing
Social media sites offer a unique platform of communication between musicians and their fans. Artists can share videos, reviews, and information about future gigs to keep their followers excited about their work.
However, while Facebook, Twitter and Instagram might be great tools for keeping your existing followers up-to-date, social media has limited potential to expand your fanbase. People tend to ignore the advertisements littering their social media feeds, and funnel their attention towards the profiles that they already know.
Therefore, it’s vital that you explore alternative avenues of music marketing, rather than relying on social media alone to introduce new people to your music.
Furthermore, when it comes to business communication with labels, promoters and journalists you should use more formal platforms, like e-mail or telephone. Not only is this more professional, but any respected influencer will be bombarded daily with Facebook messages from wannabe artists — messages which they probably ignore.
#2 Outsourcing to automated marketing services
You’ll encounter plenty of companies offering to undertake your music-promotion, however, the services they provide aren’t necessarily as effective or professional as they claim.
Many of these commercial marketing providers rely on automated programs that simply churn out generic, impersonal e-mails to influencers — which are normally discarded as quickly as they are sent.
These blanket marketing tactics from third-party companies are a waste of time and money; you’ll have far more success-and control if you handle your own music promotion by approaching potential contacts directly.
#3 Cold-calling and mass e-mails
Nothing will irritate a music professional — and encourage them to black-list you — more quickly than receiving an impersonal e-mail from an artist ‘reaching-out’ to multiple contacts in one go. Mass emails seem lazy, and influencers won’t believe that you have a serious interest in working with their brand or company.
A far better approach is to first conduct some research on the individual you intend to contact, and then find a way to embed this research in the message — so it looks like you’ve got a genuine, considered interest in their work.
For example, if you’re reaching-out to a particular music blog, you could mention some of your favourite artists previously featured on the website. They’ll appreciate that you’ve spent some time getting to know their work, and therefore be more receptive to writing about you.
If you do insist on sending the same e-mail to more than one person, be sure to utilise the ‘BCC’ (Blind Carbon Copy) function, so the list of recipients isn’t visible on the message itself.
#4 Not making yourself stand-out
It’s no secret that the music industry is incredibly competitive: there are thousands of talented individuals fighting for attention from the public and industry professionals. So, establishing your own unique image and sound is one of the most vital aspects of the self-promotion process.
Don’t be tempted to try and imitate the career of already successful artists, or consciously make music which seems to fit the established pop mould. Copy-cat tactics will not only diminish your creative freedom, but also make you indistinguishable from the masses of other artists chasing commercial success in this way.
#5 Targeting the wrong audience
Music promotion is most successful when it has been tailored specifically towards a target audience.
So, first you must identify type of person you think is most likely to enjoy your music, and then consider the best way to reach these potential fans. Instagram might be a great platform for communicating with millennials, but radio and print will be more effective for reaching older generations.
#6 Inconsistent music marketing
Most artists recognise the importance of self-promotion at certain points in their career, such as before an album release, however music-marketing should actually be a constant consideration. Fans can be fickle, so if you’re not consistent with your promotion you’ll quickly lose their attention.
Regularly update your social media pages with relevant, shareable content to keep fans updated on the latest developments in your career, and never stop looking for opportunities to generate exposure.
Appearances and collaborations with other artists, reaching out to bloggers and promotional offers on your music are all great ways to sustain the buzz around your work between major events — like an album drop or tour.
#9 Paying for fake followers, likes or views
Beware of the websites making grand promises to get you hordes of new followers. If it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is: the thousands of followers and views they’re selling are likely fake, and a total waste of money. Record labels expect artists to have a real, significant online following before they’ll consider offering them a record deal, and they’re experts are sorting authentic fans from the fake ones.
If you’ve got a hundred thousand followers on Instagram, but only two comments on each photo, it’s obvious that you’ve paid for fake followers. Spare yourself the expense and disappoint by focusing on raising your profile genuinely, rather than forking out for useless fakes — or you’ll risk being seen as unprofessional and desperate.
- How can I promote my art?
If you’re a singer or musician – or you know one – you have a perfect opportunity to promote your art and an album. Original artwork makes for an ideal album cover, material for flyers and posters. There are no royalties and your promo work draws attention to the art and music at the same time.
- How do you promote your first EP?
Getting your music out there for the first time is hard, but well worth it. Follow all the tips we’ve given. Send your first EP to music bloggers to review. Arrange a giveaway and set up social media accounts to live stream gigs and get the best possible coverage.
- How can I promote my record label?
Promoting a label involves many of the same marketing activities. You may also want to partner with local businesses to assist in promotions. Defining your genre and brand will be important in creating your identity as a label. You’ll also need to create logos and graphics for use on your channels.
What do you think are the best ways for singers and musicians to promote their acts and music? Tell us about them in the comments below.