Top 9 Tips to Promote Your Music as a Music Artist
by Mary Woodcock & Jessica Brandon
Lil Nas X was an unsigned artist and later got signed as his breakout single “Old Town Road” went viral popularity on the video sharing app TikTok in early 2019. The collaboration of Billy Ray Cyrus with his song broke all records. His song stayed more weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts (19 Weeks at #1), breaking the previous record held jointly by Mariah Carey and Luis Fonsi. But this didn’t just happen from him sitting back and waiting for the track to pick up by itself. That’s where promotion comes in.
Music Promotion is what you need to do in order to get your music heard. It includes promoting it to radio, press, to playlists, to fans on social media and more.
Without promotion, the chances of making any waves with your music are seriously diminished. Whichever way you decide to promote your music, it needs to be done. You can’t just sit back and expect it to do well – no matter how good the song is.
If you were dedicated to doing it all by yourself, the advice would be to first and foremost do your research! It sounds obvious, but the amount of people who will speak to everyone in the hope something sticks is alarming. You need to find people who specialize in your genre, who also know other people in that area of the industry. Quality over quantity is key here! You should also do some research on who you’re sending your email to and try to personalize them, but we’ll get to that a bit later.
- Personalize your e-mail message
While self-promoting can get old quick, sending out your music to a plethora of different outlets never does. But make sure to personalize each email to the context of the platform you’re pitching to. Send a track or music video you’re really proud of to as many music blogs as possible. This doesn’t mean the entire album, and it needs to be genre-appropriate for the website. Do some digging on who you’re contacting, personalize your emails. There’s nothing worse than sending taste makers mass emails, they can tell and will definitely ignore you.
If you’ve spoken to them or met them in person in the past, that’s a great way to add personalization. If you mention that you met them at x conference, add some details about them if possible that will definitely raise your chances. The truth is that even if they don’t remember you or you only spoke very briefly, they’ll be less likely to ignore you by adding this information. It also shows that you really care about them and that they’re not just a number on your list of taste makers to email.
- What do you include in the email?
Your email needs to contain all the information they need and make them want to listen to your music, without being too long. Here are a few things I’d say to include that will make your email seem more professional: Add links to your music and social media in your signature. You can insert logos from social media and streaming platforms and hyperlink each one. Not only does this look very appealing, it makes it easy for them to find you and check out more of you, without clogging up precious space in the body of your email. Add a really nice press shot. Pictures speak a thousand words and it will give them a great idea of what your branding is like, plus it shows that you’re professional enough to invest in good-looking press shots.
- Following Up
I would advise that one email is NEVER enough. Again this probably sounds obvious but to get anywhere in this world you need to be persistent and remain passionate throughout. I’m not saying hound people every minute of the day, but there is a way of being persistent that highlights drive and will help your name stand out amongst the rest.
- Visualize Yourself as an Already Successful Artist
It is important to imagine your brand and social media as that of an already successful artist. It helps people buy into your story, helps industry people to take notice and ultimately it adds value. It’s not enough to just make good music, consumers need a brand to align them with, and fans need people to admire and so on.
- Choose what and when to post
Do not spam people or constantly self-promote, even to friends. It gets tiring. On a similar note, don’t post too often on social media. You may not want to sound or look predictable. This is annoying and will lead to a fast click of the unfollow button, but also don’t be too sparse. I know this sounds vague, but every artist and their fanbase is different. It’s about finding a happy balance and the rhythm of your followers. Gauge your insights through social media analytics to find out when the best times to post are, and what content of yours is most engaging.
- A New Mix for a Free Release
Now hear me out on this one… I don’t mean just give your music away for nothing as I hate that as much as the next person. However there are ways you can leverage your music to get something else in return. For example, offer to give a free download of your track to anyone who signs up to you mailing list. Or you can offer a free download to anyone who pre-saves you up-coming release and messages you with a screenshot to prove it. This means they get to talk to you and get a free download of a song. You get the exposure and the push in the algorithm from those pre-saves once release date arrives. Win-win right?
- Create unique merchandise
Utilize your cool designer friends or pay one who’s still in school (they’ll still be talented, but it won’t make you broke). Then, use that merch as incentives for fans, i.e, a free item for RSVPing or showing up to a performance first. For your merch designs, and all things marketing, find a good graphic designer. Even the most talented musicians need to have clean and effective graphic design in work and posts, otherwise they won’t be taken seriously and their credibility will go down.
- Find a good PR connect
While not every musician starting out needs a publicist, having a connection to the outside world and connections in the media are much stronger than word of mouth, and could help you get discovered. Contact friends in PR and go to networking events to accomplish this organically.
Music Gateway works together with music artists on the goals that you want to achieve. Whether that be streaming figures, radio plays or improvements across the board – they look at everything and build it up in a genuine & natural way. With more than 18 years experience and a wealth of ever-expanding industry contacts across DSP, Radio, TV & Online aspects they are well versed in cracking through with new names as well as the more well-known. Combined with the rest of the platform, it gives you many more tools and opportunities such as representing your music for placements across gaming, movies and TV. https://www.musicgateway.com
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