We did a piece a while ago that got some attention, about marketing tips for independent musicians.
That piece was overall tips for an independent artists career more than the music itself, so we wanted to write a follow-up for the music itself.
There are several tactics that we’re aware of that have proven effective in the past. Keep in mind these tips all work better the bigger your following. So cultivate that first by being visible and getting out there. Which brings us to our first tip in music marketing…
1. Play Shows
Play shows as much as you can and as often as you can. There is usually a promoter or two floating around most cities that are looking for an opening act, be available and be flexible. The best way to sell any product, music in particular, is for people to experience it.
2. Don’t just play shows, work the shows!
Don’t just play the set and leave, but do be too available either. Make sure that when you’re done your set you spend some time engaging with the concertgoers, get some shots for Instagram and make sure you’re tagging your new friends. With a bit of luck, this will help you grow your network and get more shares when it’s time to drop something new.
3. Time your album release.
Drop a single in week one, then in week two or three drops another single. Your iTunes album should look a little like this one from Said the Whale:
This works especially well for two reasons: 1. Potential new fans are more likely to listen to all available new songs as it’s not as big of a commitment as listening to a whole album. 2. New fans will quickly get a sense of if they like you and will start anticipating your next release.
Strategically releasing your songs also gives you some extra content/talking points in your social media – don’t forget to share!
4. Video Content is King of the Internet
Now it’s not always necessary, or possible to make a fully produced music video, but with a bit of scrounging a lyric video can be something that gives a song a serious boost online.
5. Find your social media platform.
There are lots of social platforms that work for bands, and it’s not always clear where your audience is hanging out online. If you’re starting out promoting your songs online utilize more than one platform and try to keep an eye on which one is giving you the best response and most exposure, then focus and grow on the one, two or three platforms that are giving you the best exposure. Also, keep in mind that if you’re integrating a platform like Facebook into your marketing it’s good to continue to cultivate that audience regardless of the other platforms that are performing well for you.
We almost included this in tip #4 – but it’s good advice even if you’re already producing a music/lyric video. Try producing video vlogs that engage your audience directly when releasing a new song – or approaching a release – you’re selling yourself and the more people that can make a connection with you the better chance they will connect with your music, and it’s always nice to say hi.