Independent artists have more opportunities than ever before to launch their own career without the backing of the majors or a big budget. While we are seeing more and more unsigned artists breaking through off their own backs, many promising new artists out their simply don’t know where to start or how to maintain a successful promotional campaign.
It should go without saying, but first and foremost, making great music needs to be your primary focus. You can follow all this advice to the letter, but if your track, EP or album isn’t well-written, tight instrumentally and professionally produced, you’ll fall at the first hurdle.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at the best ways to promote your music independently in the modern music landscape.
You can watch our Unsigned Advice video or read on to learn more!
Build a website & mailing list
Creating a slick, professional website as a base for your online presence is vital, but perhaps even more important is building a large & dedicated mailing list.
Your website should obviously include links to your music, bios, images and tour dates, but make sure to also include a mailing list sign up form. Email marketing offers direct access to the inboxes of people most likely to engage with your music.
If a fan gives you their email address, it means they want to hear from you, and a message direct to their inbox about your latest release or upcoming tour is much more likely to reach them than a social post that can be restricted by a platform’s limited reach.
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.
There’s an insurmountable amount of advice out there on how to manage your social channels, and things are constantly changing across every platform. Look through some of these helpful resources for more info on how to run and make the most of your social media presence.
You can’t afford to ignore streaming and playlisting. Playlists across Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and other platforms reach hundreds of millions of listeners across the globe, racking up billions of streams. Getting your track into a popular playlist can help you rack up thousands of streams. That’s not only great awareness but also royalty earnings in your pocket.
While getting your music placed on curated playlists is great for awareness and credibility, being placed on algorithmic playlists like Discover Weekly can make a big difference to your stream count. So it’s worth persusing all possibilities.
Get press & blog coverage
If your music featured by music publications, whether that’s mainstream mags or niche blogs and webzines, those placements can help build hype and give you the credentials to take your music career up a level.
Hiring a professional PR executive to handle your campaign is generally the best way to get great coverage. But this isn’t always affordable or possible for a new artist with a limited budget.
Do-it-yourself PR is an option for artists without a big enough budget. But it’s important to approach blogger and journalist in the right way. Firstly, you’ll need to create an electronic press release. This should contain all the essential info about you & your music. The resources below offer advice for musicians who want to take PR into their own hands.