So, you’ve spent hundreds of hours working on your new single, making it sound the best it can be and putting nothing less than blood, sweat and (many) tears into getting it finished. You’re all set for the big release and excited about the reaction it’s going to get. But then you start to worry about how to promote your music.
This amazing music of yours might fall under the radar. And not get the credit it deserves. Too many artists finish their records and then release them without further thought. Missing all the opportunities they could have seized to make their material stand out from the crowd and increase their fanbase.
Remember, you have to have a decent-sized fanbase before you will get a record deal. The best way to do that is to spend some time self-promoting your releases. And showing the world what you are made of.
Before we look at how to promote your music independently, you should do some pre-release prep to make sure your release runs smoothly.
So before you release anything, sit down and do the following:
Write A Press Release
Make it short, sharp and informative with photos and social media links.
A press release will tell the media all about your release in an attractive one-page document.
Pick a release date that is 6 weeks in advance (this approach is used by leading music promotion companies and record labels).
There is little value in putting out your record the week after you finished it with no promotion whatsoever.
It will just fly by the wayside with the millions of other songs floating around in the unknown music realm.
Now that you are all prepped for your release. Let’s take a look at the best way to promote your music:
Do A Mini Tour To Promote Your Music
This is an artist’s bread and butter and one of the best ways to promote your music is to perform it live at gigs.
Set up a few local gigs over your 6-week pre-release campaign.
Be sure to take some copies of your single or some flyers with the download link on them so that people can pre-order them.
Always try and set up a pre-order function via your digital distributor if you can.
Hire A Promotions Company
This is the most obvious thing to do, but also the most costly.
Prices can range from £500 – £3000 for a 6-week promotions campaign. We are focussing on media and radio.
If you have the budget for it then shop around and find a promotions company. Choose one with a proven track record and a clear plan of how they will promote your music.
Build A Website/Mailing List
Having a professionally designed website with links to your music, bios, images and tour dates is essential for your online presence. However, building a large and dedicated mailing list is even more important. Make sure to include a mailing list sign-up form on your website so you can take advantage of email marketing and reach the inboxes of those most likely to engage with your music.
Additionally, regularly updating your website with new content will help improve SEO and increase your search ranking on Google. When someone gives you their email address it means they want to hear from you – sending them a message directly about something like a new release or upcoming tour is much more effective than relying on social media platforms which have limited reach.
Plug Your Music On Social Media To Promote Your Music
Social media is very powerful. If you are serious about your music, you should plug your new record across all social media platforms.
Post regularly about it with the relevant download links.
If you want to blow a small budget then turn one of your posts into a ‘sponsored’ post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
You can set your maximum price for the day. Also, you can ensure the ad specifically targets the right age groups. In the right locations and with an interest in your genre of music.
Run a sponsored ad campaign about a week before or just after your release date. And reach thousands of new potential fans.
How To Promote Your Music On TikTok
Create a hashtag: Create a unique hashtag that is related to your music and use it in all of your posts. This will help you to stand out and help people to find your music.
Post regularly: Post regularly to keep your followers engaged and updated about your latest music.
Collaborate with other creators: Reach out to other TikTok creators who have a similar style and collaborate with them to create content that features your music.
Use TikTok Ads: Invest in TikTok Ads to promote your music and reach a wider audience.
Participate in challenges: Participate in popular TikTok challenges to get your music in front of more people.
Engage with your followers: Respond to comments and messages from your followers to build relationships and encourage engagement.
Get Blog Reviews To Promote Your Music
Blogs are extremely powerful when it comes to new music. If you can get your new single reviewed by a major blog, then your profile will increase massively.
Remember though, only contact blogs that work with your genre of music as many of them are genre-specific.
Be sure to send them a downloadable link to your song and your press release. This is probably the most effective way of increasing your profile at no cost. So do your research and get mailing!
How To Promote Your Music On Spotify
Claiming your artist profile is the first step to promoting your music on Spotify. With its many opportunities for promotion, such as album visuals with Spotify Canvas, scrolling lyrics, playlist submission and algorithm recommendations, Spotify is the best streaming platform for artists looking to get their music out there.
If you claim your profile, you can submit future releases to be featured on Spotify’s playlists, as well as add merch, tour dates and customizations to your page. Canvas is another great feature that allows artists to include looping videos alongside their music. To truly maximize the reach of your new music on Spotify, it is important to have a plan in place for when it drops so that fans can listen right away.
If you’re looking to get your new track noticed, launching a pre-save campaign with a promo link is the best way to drum up excitement. Don’t be intimidated by Spotify—if your music is great and you have a plan for promotion, you’ll have no trouble finding an audience for your tunes.
If you haven’t signed up for Spotify Premium yet – what are you waiting for?! Sign up now to enjoy unlimited ad-free music, anywhere!
Get On A Playlist
This is the new modern way of getting mass exposure. Getting on a Spotify playlist is big business and can break an artist.
It’s not easy trying to get on a playlist but it’s worth the effort.
First of all, find a popular playlist that is similar in genre to your music. Then find out who the playlist curator is and send them the link to your music and a copy of your press release.
You will increase your chances of being playlisted if you have more than 250 Spotify followers and you have an artist-verified status from Spotify.
An alternative approach is to create a playlist of well-known songs. and then slot your single in the middle of the playlist.
TIP: you don’t have to be subscribed to Spotify to have an artist profile with them.
Approach Your Local Media To Promote Your Music
The local rag love a local success story!
Reach out to the editor or entertainment editor and send them your press release. Also, send your single and ask for an interview. Even better, ask for a featured article on the run-up to your release date.
You will be surprised at how many local newspapers support local independent artists. It’s a great way of getting the local community behind you.
Get A Remix Done
A couple of years ago I ran an online remix contest for a single.
I had hundreds of entries. I picked 5 winners and made a special remix EP out of it and released it.
Turns out that one of the dubstep remixes by producer J.G.F got playlisted on some of the most popular mainstream EDM TV channels. This thrust my profile as a vocalist into the stratosphere.
Getting a remix done can bring in new potential fans. Also, it can generate another stream of income for you and promote your music.
You could always post an advert on Мusic Gateway to find someone to remix your single!
Surround Yourself With A Strong Team
Rather than going it alone, having a great team of like-minded people to help promote your music can bring huge benefits. By having a group of well-connected individuals who are passionate about your music and working in your interest, you may be able to increase the chances of success. If possible, find people who will help without charging or taking a cut from future earnings.
However, if needed, don’t hesitate to hire professionals such as PR personnel, radio pluggers or promoters/bookers for an extra edge in the competitive music market. Additionally, it is beneficial to have an artist manager who is devoted to you and your work; this type of person can be invaluable.
Know Your Audience & Focus On Your Niche
Finding the right audience for your music is essential to success. There are various musical subcultures around the world, both big and small, so it’s important to identify which one best suits your sound. If you’re a metal band, make sure to perform in metal venues and join a metal community; if you’re a rapper, look for rap venues and join rap communities; and so on.
However, niches don’t always have to be determined by genre – if your music appeals to a broader audience, start locally. People often want their local artists to succeed, so take advantage of this mindset and build up your fanbase in your area before expanding further out.
Get A Video Done
My clients often ask me whether they need a music video to accompany their single release. In an ideal world where money grows on trees and flows out of taps, yes you should.
But with the average video costing £1,500 – it’s not always possible. But there are many alternatives.
You can get a lyric video done. Do an improvised low-budget ‘mime along’ video from your bedroom. Do a ‘live’ unplugged version of your song or get an animated version done.
Having a video will give you more options and help promote your music.
Target Online & College Radio Stations
Whilst you could spend thousands on hiring a radio plugger to get you on the radio, you might want to start small.
It’s very difficult to get on national radio. Unless you are killing it on regional and online radio. Thousands of online community and college radio stations support independent music.
Directories like the Unsigned Guide list all of the good radio stations. So take a look and send your new single en masse.
I did this a couple of years ago and ended up being invited to sing live on both Croydon and Wandsworth community radio stations. Both had thousands of listeners – plus people can log on anywhere in the world to hear you!
Submit Your Song To BBC Introducing
If you are based in the UK then BBC Introducing is worth a shot. BBC Introducing is responsible for discovering and supporting many of our biggest stars. Including George Ezra, Jack Garratt and Viola Beach.
Simply sign-up and upload your song(s) which will be sent to a BBC radio DJ in your local region.
The BBC guarantee that your song will get listened to. And, if the DJ likes it, then it could get playlisted on BBC radio and lead to national BBC Radio 1 coverage. Which would certainly put a rocket up your music career!
Check out our article about BBC Introducing to learn more!
Don’t underestimate the unconditional support from your friends and family. Make use of their enthusiasm and ask them to spread the word. It’s free promotion after all!
Finally, as a music producer who has worked with many artists, both signed and unsigned. If I could offer any words of wisdom, it would be to release songs as regularly as you can to engage your fanbase and attract new fans.
The more material you have, the more fans you will attract. Now go and start preparing for your big single release!
If you have great music, then work with us, one of the best sync licensing companies and music licensing sites in the world. Our mission is finding the perfect music for our clients, let’s work together.