Updated: Jan 30, 2022
Every independent artist needs to promote their music.
It is not always easy, especially when you are competing with mainstream artists who have more money and resources at their disposal.
However, there are many marketing tricks that can help you compete with the big guys!
Here are 10 of them that every indie artist should know about:
1) Build a website for your band
One of the most effective marketing strategies an independent artist can implement is to build themselves a website. A website dedicated entirely to your music provides you with many opportunities for promotion, including embedding your music on the site, displaying album artwork and offering additional information about yourself or your band that may be unavailable anywhere else online.
2) Create an email list
An email list is a powerful marketing tool that you can use to engage with your listeners. Not only will it help promote new releases, but also let fans know when you are coming back to town! It’s important not to spam people though, so make sure you keep the frequency of newsletter blasts appropriate. If someone signs up for an occasional email update and then receives one every day they are going to unsubscribe immediately. Also consider adding links throughout your site where people can sign up easily instead of redirecting them off site or asking them for their details.
3) Share your music on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter
If you want to spread the word about your music, there's no better way than sharing it on social media. The more people who see your posts and like or share them, the higher chance you have of getting new listeners as a result. If someone sees multiple shares/likes from their friends they are much more likely to check out what people are talking about so make sure that when you post something online it is clear with an image or link directly related to your music/artists page!
4) Use YouTube as a promotional tool for
As the second largest search engine in today’s digital age, YouTube is an excellent platform for bands and musicians to present themselves. By uploading videos of your work onto this website you can reach thousands of viewers who might not be familiar with your music otherwise. Uploading good quality footage will only help drive more traffic to you which allows people to become aware about what they are looking at instead of spending their time on a video that does not have high-quality sound or visuals. In addition, if people find a song they like on YouTube it makes it easier for them to discover other material by going through related content as well as searching the band name directly from within their browser which builds brand awareness across multiple channels including Google Search.
5) Give away free downloads of your songs in exchange for people's contact information
This is a really easy way to get people to start following you on social media. All you have to do is email all your fans, asking them for their contact information in exchange for having the opportunity of getting free downloads of your music.
People are very likely going to give away their phone numbers or emails just because they love listening and downloading good music! Give it a try!
6) Create a Spotify Playlist
A great way to get your music in front of a new audience is by starting a playlist. If you have been working with an artist or manager, they can help you create this list and then share it on their social media accounts. You want to make sure that the title and description are catchy so people will be intrigued enough to check out some tracks from your catalog! Also, once someone clicks through and listens — give them another reason for why they should follow/subscribe as well (i.e., tell them what’s coming up!)
7) Go Local
It's always better to play local shows than not, even if you don't draw very well. A lot of bands make the mistake of never playing their hometown or city they grew up in because it seems useless ー but that's exactly where people there are most likely to see your band for the first time ー and buy merchandise! - The more familiar faces at your show, the more money you'll be able to generate over time just by sticking with what works ー which is why staying consistent helps so much. - There are also many other ways musicians can push themselves locally besides simply performing live too ー like sharing tracks on SoundCloud (or Bandcamp), posting videos on YouTube, actively engaging fans/friends via Twitter.
8) Pay for PR Campaign
This is a great way to get the word out about your music. For example, if you were on tour and "My Band" just got off stage at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN - hire someone to write an article for Music City Mix which includes all of your social media links so that when people click on it they go directly back to your pages! This helps with branding and audience development.
9) Create and monetize your own artist website
Create a website for your music. Your band’s name, tour dates and links to all of your social media channels should be prominently featured on the site. This will give you another place online where people can learn about you as an artist and buy your music if they like it - one more opportunity than just Facebook or Instagram! You don't need to hire someone to build this type of website either; there are many free options available that allow you set up a nice looking site without breaking the bank including Wix and Weebly. To monetize your new website, plan ahead before creating it so that any ad revenue goes straight into promoting future tours and buying gear (or whatever else is important).
10) Collaborate with Independent Artists
In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, it has become extremely important for artists to collaborate with other independent artists. Doing so can allow both musicians to gain exposure through social media and build a stronger fan base in the process. It is also an excellent way for new talent to be discovered by established acts looking to add fresh faces onto their rosters of collaborators.
Marketing is an extremely important part of the business side of music. It's easy to get lost in what you're doing as an artist ー but if you fail to market yourself, no one will know who you are or care! - Use these tips and tricks (and more) for your upcoming projects; they'll make a huge difference!
This article was written by Charles Vallena, music expert & author at Guitar Junky.