The music industry is a notoriously tough nut to crack. But, there are lots of ways to get your music, and your name, known. Here are just 10 ways to promote your music without hurting your budget.
Join a few social networks
Social networking is key to most industries now and music is no exception. Go back to the future, as this may come as a surprise to you but MySpace has recently come full circle from Mr Timberlakes new design. The new Myspace music is a dedicated place where only musicians can sign up and share their music! This is where fans go to browse for new music, so it’s where they’ll find you if they like your genre of music. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you promoting on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Just don’t spread yourself too thinly or you won’t have time to do it properly.
Put together a press release
While you may not make it into NME or Rolling Stone magazine when you’re just establishing yourself in the music industry, you might find interest elsewhere. Do you have a quirky story about how your band started? Have you written a song about a local personality or landmark? Do you have an important gig coming up? Put all the details – remembering the five Ws of Who, Why, Where, What and When, and send it off to media in your area.
It might sound obvious, but some of the world’s biggest stars started their career on You Tube, so it shouldn’t be ignored. Justin Bieber caught the attention of record labels after singing Alicia Keys’ Fallin in one of his early You Tube videos, while rising star Sophie May Williams, who Will.i.am has said he wants to work with after she failed to win a place in The Voice final, has versions of Michael Jackson’s Billy Jean and the Shirelles classic Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow on the channel.
A virtual gig
Billed as a Skype for bands, Stageit.com is a great way to perform live to an audience or listen and watch music you enjoy. You can broadcast your very own gig from your kitchen or your living room, giving your fans a front row seat.
When it comes to music marketing, it’s not all about discovering new platforms. Adding to an old favourite can be just as useful. The BandsinTown app is a must-have for your existing Facebook page. It’s a handy and stylish way of displaying all your gig dates. Soon your fans and friends will get used to checking there when they want to know where you are going to be next.
Sell your merchandise
Do you already have t-shirts or posters printed? Then you can sell your merch directly to fans online rather than just at your gigs. Dizzyjam is just one service that allows you to build a free store so you can sell all your goodies. After all, what better way to promote your band’s name, then have your fans wear it?
Find some mentors
Join some music forums. Which ones you choose will depend on the genre of your own music and what you like yourself. Now get stuck into the conversation. That way, you’ll meet lots of artists who have been there, done that. You’ll find they have lots of tips they have picked up along the way about marketing your act and building your fan base.
Keep it consistent
If you’ve joined Twitter, but days go by without you communicating anything to your fans, they will soon learn it’s not worth logging in to check if you have any updates. Even if you haven’t got time to tweet every day, you can take advantage of services like Hootsuite to schedule messages to go live every so often, making sure you’re in regular contact with your fans.
Offer a guest blog
If you’re passionate about a new band, a change that should be made to the music industry or have some advice you want to share, then you could offer to write a guest blog. Target the most popular music blogs online and that way, readers will soon associate your name with being an opinion leader in the music world.
Get yourself known
Take some time to write a list of all the key promoters, the movers and shakers in your area. Then, interact with them as much as possible. Follow them on Twitter, befriend them on Facebook, add them to LinkedIn. Start a virtual conversation with them, engage them with your opinions, comment on what they post, and they are much more likely to listen to what you have to say when you want to showcase your own music or invite them along to a gig.
But, if you don’t want to do it all yourself, professional help can be worth its weight in gold, saving you time to concentrate on your music. However you do it, there are lots of ways – both free and paid – to get your music out to your audience. You just have to choose what works best for you.