Finding it difficult to get your music out there? Need tips on the art of music promotion? Then look no further, as I’ve just created a epic list of 86 music promotion tips just for you!
I’ve broken them down into different categories, so they should be easier to refer back to as needed. Be sure to bookmark this page for future use.
Before you get into it, two things:
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That said, here are 86 tips on promoting your music. Enjoy.
P.S. I’ll probably update this guide with even more tips in future, so make sure you’re signed up to the mailing list to get a notification of when this happens. And leave a comment below to add any other tips you feel are useful. I’d love to hear your view.
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General Music Promotion Tips
- Promote your music every day! Even if it’s only something small.
- Read up on how to effectively promote your music. Knowledge is power. This site helps. 😉
- Market your music to the right people. Target the wrong people and you’re wasting your time; they won’t listen.
- Get on established platforms (Youtube channels, radio stations, websites, magazines etc) which cater to your genre. They have trust and authority.
- Don’t sit on your computer all day adding people on Twitter. Build relationships with those who can get your music out there on a wider scale (see point above).
- Measure how much affect each method of promotion is having on your music career. If something isn’t working after three months, try something else.
- Find out where your target fanbase hang out. Only target these places with your promotions.
- Encourage word of mouth promotion.
- Use hype to get people talking about your music. Modesty has its place, but sometimes things need to be over hyped to get people’s attention.
- Back your hype up with quality music so people aren’t disappointed.
- Don’t be afraid to spend money to promote your music. It takes money to make money.
- Don’t promote too many freebies. You need your music career to be financially sustainable.
- Promote both online and offline. Don’t forget the second one.
- Be sure to have a clear brand and know what type of people you’ll attract with it.
Building Up Your Fanbase And Making Them Feel Special
- Offer fans something in exchange for their email address. Say a free song or two, or a 4 track EP.
- What makes you stand out from the thousands of other musicians already out there in your genre? Make it clear.
- Capture details of fans wherever possible. If you don’t, it’s too easy for them to forget about you.
- Communicate regularly with fans. This will keep the buzz around your name.
- A happy fan will naturally talk about you to others. This is free promotion, so do everything within reason to keep your fans happy.
- Create a members only area on your website and give fans access.
- Create a referral system. So every time someone they refer gets on your mailing list they get a freebie.
- Experiment with the styles of music you give to your fans…
- … but don’t alienate them. Always give your core fans your core product regardless of what else you try.
- Ask fans what they feel about things in your music career. Make them feel involved.
- Collaborate with fans. Some may do artwork and want to design with you. Others may want to promote you or take your pictures.
Tips On Communicating With Fans
- Don’t forget the people who already like your music. It’s easier to keep existing fans happy than getting new ones.
- Give fans the option of how to connect with you. Email, Twitter and Youtube are all good ideas.
- Don’t use too many sites to connect with fans. Use too many and it will get hard to keep up.
- Start a newsletter if you haven’t already. This is one of the best ways to communicate with fans and keep them updated with what’s going on.
- Don’t be scared to email your list. If you’ve something useful to say (useful to them), you should be emailing them weekly.
Street Team Tips
- Build up a street team you can call on to promote you.
- Treat your street team well as they can get you good results.
- Give your street team best practices for promoting your music or show. Good training is key.
- Give them rewards for hitting certain milestones.
- Measure their effectiveness by having a tracking system in place. For example they could give out flyers with their names on them, and mention those flyers need to be handed in at the venue for a free drink. Then at the venue you can count up how many flyers you got back.
Building A Promotions Team
- Don’t do everything by yourself. There isn’t enough time in the day.
- Don’t feel the need to sign to a record label unless there’s a good deal on the table. You can go independent.
- Don’t rely on family and friends to promote your music; it’s your passion not theirs.
- Look inside your own fanbase for team members. Here you might find low cost or free help.
- Sometimes it costs money to get people to help you out. If you need the help and it can get results, pay for it.
- If you haven’t got a big budget, use people on a ‘as needed’ basis. You don’t need to hire people full time.
- Use outsourcing websites such as Odesk. Here you can get people to design you logos, promote you online and more.
- Reward those you work well with and who give you good results. These people are hard to come across, so do what you can to keep them.
Using Collaborations To Promote Your Music
- Work with musicians bigger than yourself. This will help get you known to their fanbase.
- Collaborate with anyone who can either introduce you to their decent sized fanbase, or reward you financially (as long as they’re also good).
- Don’t work with non talented musicians. People will start perceiving you as being of a similar level.
- Whenever you collaborate with someone, encourage them to fully promote the song too.
- Do at least one new collaboration per month.
- Take your collaboration further than just doing a song together; bring each other in on gigs and interviews where possible.
- If you’re promoting a musician more than they’re promoting you in return, stop promoting them as much (or full stop).
- Make sure you’re credited for each song you collaborate on. This will allow you to collect royalties from it.
- Make sure you have your own official .com website. Or .co.uk / .ca etc, depending on where you’re from.
- Make sure you display social sharing buttons on your website. This makes it easier for others to promote you.
- Ensure your website is easy to navigate.
- Display all the most important information above the fold, especially your email sign up form.
- Give enough on your website for potential fans to get a good feel for you, then offer them more in exchange for their contact details.
- Be sure to sell things (music, tickets, merch etc) on your website. It takes time and money to promote your music, you need a way to make it back.
- Make sure you have an attractive looking website. I looked at some potential themes in previous guides.
Tips For Promoting At Gigs
- Make sure all your merch has your logo and branding on it.
- Bring a mix of cheap and expensive merch to gigs. So even if someone hasn’t got much to spend, they can buy something which will remind them of you in future.
- Give out a few freebies at events to build brand loyalty and stay in their mind.
- When on stage, mention that you’ve merch to buy after or during the show.
- Plug your merch and mailing list etc during the show, but do it in a fun way. Make sure it doesn’t sound too much like a forced sales pitch.
- Be sure to let fans know what other gigs you have coming up in future.
- Collect email addresses from fans at your gigs. Offer them a free download in exchange for this.
- Don’t always gig at the same venues, new venues will open you up to new audiences.
- Gig at least once a week.
Using Social Sites Effectively
- Make sure the branding across your social profiles are consistent.
- Connect all your social profile both to and from your main website.
- The whole point of social networking websites is the interactive element. If you’re going to use them, be sure to interact with others.
- If you’re going to use Facebook to promote your music, be prepared to pay if you want to reach all your page fans.
- Focus on using Twitter and Youtube before Facebook. These are easier to get up and running with.
- Use both a Facebook page for your group / band, and a personal page for yourself. While personal pages only have a friend limit of 5000, your posts appear in other’s feeds a lot more. This will help you reach more people in the early stages.
- Be sure to get videos of yourself up on Youtube. Fans love seeing visuals of you, allowing them to related to you more.
- Mix up the footage you share on Youtube. As well as official videos, use promo ones, interviews, sneak previews and the like.
- Don’t Tweet if you haven’t got anything good to say. Sometimes, less is more.
- Repeat important tweets throughout the day; different followers come on at different hours of the day.
- Use a image based social networking site. Both Instagram and Pinterest are good choices.
- Don’t auto connect your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Sending tweets to your Facebook audience doesn’t get much interaction.
- Make sure you give daily personalized social updates.
- Use automation where possible, but only if it’s not going to take away from the personal vibe of the community.
- Schedule some of your social updates in advance. This music promotion tip can save you a lot of time and effort (see point below for tools).
- Use both Hootsuite and Buffer in collaboration with each other rather than one or the other. Both do different jobs well. More details in my Hootsuite vs Buffer for musicians guide.
- Don’t feel you need to be on every social network out there. If you only like one or two, only use those.
- Even if you don’t use a big social site (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram), still register your page in case you decide to use it in future. You don’t want someone else to get your name.
- Link to any social profiles you have on your website, so ever if you don’t currently use them, people can join. This will give you people to message in future.
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So, what types of music promotion have you found works for you personally? Get involved and let me know in the comments.