Upcoming artists or Independent artists have more opportunities than ever before to launch their own career without the backing of the majors or a big budget unlike the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
While we see more and more unsigned artists breaking through off their own backs, many promising new artists don’t know where to begin or how to maintain a successful promotional campaign.
It’s a digital world now where your audience are everywhere and easily accessible, so it’s easier to promote, gain audience and push your songs across platforms.
Social media is an essential tool for musicians, and it’s often the starting point for new artists. It gives fans easy access to your bio, tour dates, music, photos, videos, and contact info. With more modern platforms like Instagram, twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, it’s in your best interest to form a presence across the board.
The crazy thing is, artistes’ dream of getting massive amounts of publicity and everyone knowing their names, but being an emerging artist can be tough but does your work answer these few questions
What’s your target audience?
What are you putting out?
What’s your stance on criticism?
What story are you telling?
What’s your plan for a fan base or the future?
Are you ready for the fame and publicity?
Do you have any background knowledge of the world?
If yes, let’s go further.
Many musicians have extreme talent but don’t understand how to properly communicate with their fans via social media or promote their work.
An important not is, nobody will promote your ‘stuff’ better than you. You may have help from friends and family but nobody will do it better than you.
On that note, here are five ways to promote your music on social media:
- Make it personal
Fans want to see what’s going on behind the scenes and feel like you’re speaking with them personally. Talk in a conversational manner, post pictures because being relatable will resonate with your followers. If your content is personal and genuine, your followers will feel more connected to you and the meaning behind your music.
- Play live often, make an impact and be memorable.
Upcoming artists often focus their promotional efforts heavily toward the digital space (which is understandable and should make up a major part of your promo campaigns). However, never underestimate the power of live performance.
Gigs and tours offer an invaluable way to connect with fans in a way you simply can’t do online. Get booked at nearby venues, nearby party, lounges, hangout spots, etc., play awesome sets for local music fans and you’ll quickly develop a strong, new fan base. But remember, you have to make them remember you, so be memorable…
- Develop an engaging social presence
The promotional power of social media is no secret. Developing and maintaining a consistent, interesting and engaging presence across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even less obvious platforms like Snapchat, is essential. Also, try and keep your profile handles consistent to make things easier for people searching for you online.
- Build relationships
Cultivate close relationships with the people on your contact list by first reaching out to them and complimenting them on their work, then send a link to your song asking for criticisms especially and hopefully distributing to others.
- Participate in community and charity events
Participate in community activities you strongly believe in, be available at events whether you performing or not. Make your presence known on social media too
- Devise a publicity stunt
Devise a “publicity stunt” – a sneaky, crazy, or daring activity – that gets press people to take notice and write about you. It doesn’t have to be negative so it doesn’t put your ‘not started career’ to bad start
- Make your posts interactive
Social media is a terrific platform to interact with your fans. A new popular method of engagement is asking your followers to interpret your music and inviting them into the creative process. A method like this empowers your fans creatively, and it makes them feel involved with the music, rather than being solely a consumer. You could create something engaging too so as to make your increasing fans feel included in your work of art.
- Speak with genuine excitement
This sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many bands don’t speak with genuine excitement. They speak with an apathetic tone (and grammar), such as, “here’s our new single. Hope u like it.”
On the other hand, some speak with too much excitement, like, “OUR NEW SINGLE IS OUT NOW!!!!! SHARE IT WITH ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!!!!!!!”
There’s a sweet spot in the middle, but again, it should be genuine. You wrote a song, recorded it, and should be thrilled to share it. So communicate that in a post. “We’re so excited to share with you our new single, “XYZ.” This track is personal because [insert reasons here]. You can download it below! Let us know what you think”
- Post in moderation
Don’t drown your followers with contents. Post something different everyday not the same music video posted over and over and over. Don’t drown your followers in content they really don’t need in their news feeds but don’t be silent! You don’t want your fans to forget about you. Try to be active in your branding by sharing positive, engaging content.
- Know your audience & focus on your niche
Thriving music subcultures exist in all corners of the world, some huge and sprawling, some small and dedicated. Finding, knowing and exploiting your musical niche is key to your promotional campaign.
Know where and to whom you market your music can make all the difference.
If your music has more widespread appeal, start locally. People generally want to see an artist from their area succeed. Take advantage of this mentality and grow your fan base close to home before expanding nationally or even globally.
- Surround yourself with a strong team
There can be huge benefits to surrounding yourself with a great team of like-minded people. If you have a team of well-connected individuals who are passionate about your music all working in your interest, it stands to reason that your chances of success will increase.
If you can put together a team of friends who’ll help you free of charge, or for a cut of eventual earnings, great! But sometime, you’ll need to acquire the services of professionals to help give you the edge in the competitive music market. Whether that’s a PR person, a radio plug or promoter/booker, there’s nothing wrong with accepting help.
It’s also a good idea to get yourself of a great manager. Again, make sure they’re passionate about your music and believe in you as an artist. A manager who’ll go above and beyond for you is worth their weight in gold.
- Music videos
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to creating a video for your latest release. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something creative that speaks to the audience or one which they can relate to will have the opportunity to go viral.
An exciting, interesting and original music video has the potential to go viral online, even if the track isn’t a hit.
There are lots of music videos that gained online traction because of its content, they had something unique and intriguing about them, whether that was a deeper underlying message or a quirky theme.
Investing thought, time and effort into your videos has the potential reap huge rewards.
Promoting your music independently may be easier than ever before, but it’s still a huge challenge and a long step to get heard.
Patience they say is a virtue.