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How to Promote Your Music Independently in 2024

todayJanuary 29, 2024 3

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A comprehensive guide for independent musicians

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, and we earn a small commission from purchases at no cost to you. We only refer products or services we know and trust.

 

Record labels have the power to push an unknown artist into the spotlight seemingly overnight, so it’s no wonder that many artists dream of releasing music on a label. Promoting music released on a record label will offer a few significant advantages: a larger budget, experienced team members, rock-solid distribution networks, and long-standing relationships with publicity outlets and influencers. After all, record labels are in the business of promoting records and music on all platforms. However, working with a label can also impose some negatives, such as not having as much creative or legal control over your music, brand and image, as well as significantly less revenue for sync deals, record sales, licensing, and streaming royalties. Because of this, many artists choose not to work with record labels at all, preferring instead to build out their own independent teams to further their music careers.

For information on how to build out a team to support your music, keep reading!

But how exactly does a record label promote new artists? And more importantly, how can independent artists use these strategies to promote their own music?

 

 

Let’s get started!

 

Collaboration and Expanding Your Networks

Collaborating is the heart and soul of the musical experience. Artists collaborate with other artists to find a wider audience, songwriters collaborate with audiences to tell stories, content creators collaborate with music fans to make incredible memes, performers collaborate with film makers to create iconic music videos, the possibilities are endless…

Collaboration is essential for building musical communities, which in turn has the power to influence culture, style, fashion, sports, and more. No matter how you look at it, the legacy of the contemporary music industry is built on collaboration. Artists who work together, grow together.

Collaboration means making magical moments with a special guest on stage, sharing a bill with another artist in your community, co-writing a song together or even contributing on another artist’s official release! Some creative collaborations are so successful that they spur new projects entirely, such as the bands Atoms for Peace (Thom Yorke & Flea), Audioslave (Soundgarden), Gorillaz (Damon Albarn), The Raconteurs (The Shins) and many more. However you decide to collaborate, you will almost certainly expand your audience and showcase your music to new fans. Here are five of the most successful collaborations in music history:

 

  • Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road”
  • Linkin Park & Jay Z – “Numb/Encore”
  • Jack White & Alicia Keys – “Another Way to Die”
  • Sir Elton John & Queens of the Stone Age – “Fairweather Friends”
  • Aerosmith & Run DMC – “Walk this Way”

 

 

While collaborations in the past have been limited to co-writing songs and live performances, we can now collaborate with anyone in the entire world through social media and streaming platforms. These platforms enable cross-posting, allowing your collaborative content to be shared with each other’s audience! Because of this, the ceiling for digital collaboration is limitless, and the only thing holding us back is our own imagination. Start by reaching out to the content creators you want to work with, or if you’re feeling bold, remix one of their posts and reach out to them that way, letting your content speak for itself. 

 

Content Strategy (Creating a Social Media Presence) 

Social Media is the door that can open up your career to the world. There is no better single strategy or tactic that has the power to propel you into being a household name more than the power of content and social media. All of us are glued to our phone screens and find ourselves scrolling into the abyss. Without getting too deep into this effect on society, it is crucial that you as a creator are able to make content that resonates with your audience.

And to those of you who are wondering, “I’m a musician, not a content creator”, just remember: finding your target audience, having a solid music marketing plan and having a strong social media presence are now a non-negotiable in the modern music business. 

You don’t need to become a content creator to make great content. Fantastic content, even if you only post a couple times a month, will still help you rank in the feed and keep your audience up to date about what you are doing.

Content can be divided into two categories: short and long. Short Form Content is less than 1 minute long and can be quickly or easily consumed. Short form content is best placed on platforms like Instagram Reels, IG Stories, TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Facebook Reels, Facebook Explore, Facebook Feed and can extend to written content platforms like Twitter (now known as X).

Long Form Content is usually videos or music blogs (like the one you are reading now) that take several minutes to consume and are usually more in-depth. Long form platforms include YouTube, LinkedIn Articles, Medium, Facebook Video, Podcasts, and more. Some people would argue that your albums are long form content and that every musician is a content creator. 

For the explosive growth that we have observed from artists like Ice Spice, OMA, and Marc Rebelleit it is obvious that the platforms we need to focus on are:

  1. TikTok
  2. YouTube Shorts
  3. Instagram Reels

 

Collaborative Content

Making Collaborative content is sort of like agreeing on a digital alliance – you share a bit of your brand and your identity with your collaborator! These collaborations will work best when one of the artists has something that the other one doesn’t. For example, one artist is a piano player and the other is a singer, or one artist is a producer and the other is a visual/graphic designer! When making this kind of collaborative content, you don’t have to work only with other musicians. In fact, you might find the most success when you collaborate with artists or creators in fields that are significantly different from music!

 

 

Create a Narrative

Storytelling in music is one of the most underrated tactics for successful music promotion. If you can assign a compelling story to your music, you will find that your brand and recognition will soar. Take “Car Seat Headrest” for example, an indie artist whose tagline story is that they produced their entire first album in the backseat of a car, and so everyday the producer, Will, would stare at the back of a car seat headrest. Now that little bit of story is traded and talked about by fans discovering his output, making him highly memorable and no doubt contributing to their successful career.

 

Claiming your Knowledge Panel on Google

This is a top ranking location on Google that acts as a quick bio, will display your work and is a crucial step in building an online presence. Earning and claiming your knowledge panel on Google immediately increases your legitimacy as an artist. Your artist or band will need at least one music release distributed to begin the creation of a Google Knowledge Panel. Google will aggregate data and information about your art from trusted sources around the web, such as online record stores and digital reviews from trusted sources. A publicist can help place your name and music in those online trusted sources, which will contribute to your Knowledge Panel. An example of an accessible trusted source is your own website! Even creating an about page on your artist website will help Google index more information about you and generate a Knowledge Panel. The more trusted sources you create around the web, the quicker your Knowledge Panel will be generated. Other easily accessible trusted sources are YouTube, Medium, creating your own music blog and adding music to blogs around the web. 

 

 

Note that Knowledge Panels are automated and cannot be manually generated. However, once your Knowledge Panel has been created it must be “claimed”! To do this, simply log into your Google account and provide proof to Google that you are the artist or creative that has ownership of the Knowledge Panel. Once you have claimed your Knowledge Panel, you will have additional access to suggest edits to it, including changes to your bio and adding music links. Also note that Google reserves the right to reject your suggestions, if something you’re trying to change contradicts the majority of the information indexed from sources around the internet.

IconTry This!:

Once your Knowledge Panel has been created it must be “claimed”! To do this, simply log into your Google account and provide proof to Google that you are the artist or creative that has ownership of the Knowledge Panel.

This means that any change you want to make to your panel should be paired with changes across the web. Editing your bio on Google implies simultaneously editing your bio on every other platform you own (social media accounts, website, etc.). This becomes a challenge when you’ve been mentioned by platforms you do not own (such as independent media outlets). This is why it is important for independent musicians to decide what their brand and marketing strategy is before releasing their first album or song. Create a strong brand identity from the beginning to help create a homogenous story across all popular platforms. This involves making early decisions about how you handle your public relations and how you speak to your potential audience on your social media channels. 

 

How Do I Create a Strong Content Strategy?

I’m glad you asked! Here at the Indie Music Academy we have many resources available at your finger tips. Looking to enhance your storytelling ability? Try our staple “Music Selling Through Storytelling” course available here. Want inspiration for your next posts? Try our 365 Day Content Calendar for Musicians, giving you a year’s worth of ideas. 

Not ready for any particular training method? Dive into our Indie Vault for FREE and get access to the Spotify Playlist Marketing Gameplan. 

Whatever next step you decide to take in creating your content strategy,  make sure your ideas involve content you enjoy creating, as opposed to only observing the trends that are hot right now, because that will be the best way for you to keep up your output and create consistency. 

IconKey Takeaway:

Collaboration is essential for building musical communities, which in turn has the power to influence culture, style, fashion, sports, and more. Start by reaching out to the content creators you want to work with, or if you’re feeling bold, remix one of their posts and reach out to them that way, letting your content speak for itself. There is also no better single strategy or tactic that has the power to propel you into being a household name more than the power of content and social media. Fantastic content, even if you only post a couple times a month, will still help you rank in the feed and keep your audience up to date about what you are doing.

 

Have a Music Marketing Plan

Many musicians will be looking for the catharsis of releasing their music, specially on platforms like Spotify. They provide a sense of finality and achievement and even kudos amongst your listeners. But, most of the time, once your song is released on these platforms that is all you have left: finality. That’s it. The interest in your story (from a cynic’s perspective) ends once your song is out. That’s the big climax so to speak. Acts with a big budget to continue promoting their releases live with a tour and with ads and media outlet placements and sync placements get to continue the buzz… But, if you’re an independent artist how do you keep that buzz going? This is where having a strong marketing strategy is essential. 

We’ve already talked about two essential components in your marketing strategy above: the power of collaboration and the power of a strong content strategy. Now, let’s look at some other opportunities and routes you can take when promoting your music. 

 

Submitting to Sync Agencies

Sync agencies, or sync agents, are companies that aim to submit your music to producers of television and film. More specifically, a sync agent will send your music to a music supervisor, who is the person on a production team of a tv show or movie with the responsibility of choosing the music used in that production. Sync agents spend years developing and maintaining relationships with music supervisors and a good sync agent will be someone who is well connected in the TV and film industry. In exchange, that sync agent will take a % of the negotiated deal, if they are able to secure a song for a project. This deal is called a “Sync License” (the “synchronization” of music and visual media).

When a song is “sync’d”, the new piece of media generates a new copyright of the merged audio and visual media. Additionally, every participating songwriter in the piece of music must approve the sync license before it can be issued. This means that producers and music supervisors are usually looking for “pre-cleared” songs, i.e. songs that already have their publishers’ and songwriters’ legal consent to be used in a sync placement. A sync agent can help you pre-clear your song for sync, as well as manage the licenses and procedures involved in sync deals.

Landing a sync deal can be a huge momentum push for your music as your song becomes instantly recognizable. Think of the kind of exposure you could receive from television shows such as “Malcolm in the Middle” (They Might Be Giants), “South Park” (Primus), “King of The Hill” (The Refreshments), or “Friends” (The Rembrandts). Landing a television or film placement can also generate a significant amount of income, from a few hundred dollars for a small placement, to several hundred thousand dollars for an artist whose music is being used in a big budget production.

 

 

When you are considering your music for sync licensing, you will submit your music to either a music library or a sync agent. A music library is sort of a catch all, pre-cleared catalog of music in a particular style or genre. Music libraries tend to focus on instrumental music, including genres like lo-fi and jazz, which are widely applied by commercial productions. A sync agent works directly with filmmakers and producers to pitch the perfect song. You can also learn how to build relationships directly with music supervisors yourself, so you don’t have to worry about a sync agent getting the placements for you. This route takes an understanding of how music in the TV and film industry works, but you can learn what you need to know in The Artist’s Guide to Music Licensing.

Remember: securing sync placements for your music is a powerful way to expose yourself to new fans, but this strategy is only really effective when paired with other tactics, like the ones mentioned in the rest of this post. You want the new fans to have somewhere to go after they hear your song. You want to take them on a fan journey. It’s not enough to just get exposure if you don’t already have a way to capture their fandom into your own musical ecosystem. 

 

Run a Mailing List

Running a mailing list is precisely the kind of marketing tact we mean when we say “capture their fandom”. Ideally, you want to communicate with your fans on and off social media. Social media is ruled by algorithms, which decide the fate of your reach. Having a mailing list allows you to bypass those algorithms and reach your fans directly in their inbox. It’s an essential part of what we mean by “creating a fan journey”.

Your social media accounts should have “a way into” your music eco-system and the beating heart of said eco-system is your mailing list. A fan who discovers your song on a big sync placement or a viral video will look you up. And then you should give them the option to become a subscriber with an enticing offer. If you want to learn more about creating a fan journey, then check out the Indie Vault, where you can learn more in our FREE music marketing workshop (mini-series). 

 

Distribution

Music Distribution is the physical and digital movement of music to stores and streaming services, such as Spotify and Apple Music. There are many services that will complete the digital distribution to these platforms. The Indie Music Academy officially recommends CD Baby or TuneCore, but there are many distributors out there. You should choose the one that works best for you. If you decide to use TuneCore, then click here to use our affiliate link for 10% off.

Physical distribution (printing vinyls and CD) can be an important part of your music promotion efforts, especially if you want to do a free + shipping campaign in exchange for your fans’ email addresses or their support on platforms like Patreon, for example. 

 

 

For physical distribution you will need to work with a manufacturer & distributor. There are many manufacturers that provide a competitive price for indie artists to print their own vinyls and CDs. When it comes to distribution, you might need to do some of the distribution yourself, depending on your budget, like selling your vinyls at gigs. Distribution for an indie artist often comes at an unachievable cost. So for the purposes of getting your promotional plan ready for this year, we will focus on digital distribution. 

 

Claiming Your Artist Profile

Once you’ve chosen your digital distributor (CD Baby, TuneCore, etc.), uploaded your music and it has been successfully processed by these digital stores, you will be able to claim your artist profile on some of these platforms. This will give you access to customization and analytics for your releases. This includes uploading profile images, an artist bio, managing team members, viewing your streaming data, as well as adding in merchandise and concert dates. 

Many times your distributor will send music to services that you didn’t know existed! DistroKid, for example, sends your music out to 25+ services and stores and they are adding new ones all the time. These streaming services are going to be how many of your new fans will discover you, so it is crucial that your profiles on these platforms have the same branding, which is why one of the most important things you can do when you distribute music digitally is claim your artist profile. And while you may not need to create an artist profile on every account, you definitely need to maintain your profiles on the big 5: Spotify for Artists, Apple Music for Artists, Deezer for Creators, Tidal for Artists, and YouTube for Artists

Once you have claimed your artist profiles, you should upload a profile image and an up-to-date artist bio. On some services you can add a photo gallery (Spotify) and even answer Q&A questions (Apple Music). Make sure that all of these services and stores have the same branding as your social media profiles so that your online identity is continuous and consistent across all of your digital platforms.

IconKey Takeaway:

Make sure that all streaming services and stores have the same branding as your social media profiles so that your online identity is continuous and consistent across all of your digital platforms.

The biggest asset of these services and stores are their analytics platforms. You should be checking these platform’s analytics fairly often to learn about your audience and help you make informed decisions with real time data. You should also make sure that links to these services and stores are properly displayed on your social media platforms, so you can easily direct new fans toward their streaming service of choice. You can use a platform like ToneDen to create a landing page with links to all of your primary streaming platforms (useful when sharing your song directly with fans via email or WhatsApp). You can also use Instagram’s built in link tree to include your most important outlets directly in your IG bio. 

If you’re releasing music for the first time, you won’t be able to claim your profile until after your release for most of these platforms. Spotify does have a way to circumnavigate this. You can reach out to their customer service directly and let them know you’re trying to claim your profile prior to your first release, and they will be able to help you. 

Final note to add to your distribution checklist: remember that distribution, even with the fastest distributors, can take several business days to each platform (and there are many platforms out there). So give yourself plenty of lead time ahead of your release (at least one month). 

 

Hiring a Publicist

Traditionally, the publicist is a team member who manages an artist’s relationship with the press – today this role has expanded to include any person who works with you to help your music gain the attention of new fans. A publicist will work with you to secure media publicity, such as radio play on FM and SXM radio, as well as magazine coverage from reputable sources such as Pigeons and Planes, Live for Live Music, and so many more. However, a publicist can help your music land in places you would never expect, and their contacts go beyond traditional media. For example, publicists are also very well connected with influencers, creators who showcase new music or hosts of music related podcasts. Publicists can help you land your music in non-traditional locations such as Bandcamp weekly, underground radio stations, and help your song become a trending sound for content creators.

 

 

Publicists will work with you to create a captivating biography and description of your work and then send those stories out to their connections. However, publicity is not guaranteed! If anything, your story and angle will depend as much on you as it does on your publicist. Before working with a publicist, you will need to do some soul-searching and find out what really makes you special. “What is your angle?” With so much going on in the world, why should anyone pay attention to you and your music? “What do you have to say to the world and why?” A publicist can help you get the word out, but why shout if you have nothing to say?

 

Submitting to Editorial Playlists

Spotify & Apple Music

Submitting to Spotify and Apple Music Playlists can help ramp up your monthly listener count and help you get exposed to new fans! To submit to independent playlist curators it is imperative that you conduct thorough research on which playlists you want to be added to first or use a trusted broker.

The challenge with reaching out to playlisters yourself is that you will easily get lost in a sea of submissions. Most legitimate playlisters out there will already be associated to a trust broker, won’t give out their contact details publicly and will only connect with artists using a third party service

Another reason to use a trusted broker is that they will have pre-vetted the playlisters for you and made sure that their playlists are followed by real humans. 

 

 

There is a risk when using catch-all platforms such as SubmitHub as well, for the very same reason: there’s no guarantee that you won’t be placed on a bot-riddled playlist. Being added to one high-performing playlist is far more important than being added to several small ones. 

If you’re looking for a service you can trust, don’t worry, you’re already in the right place. The Indie Music Academy offers a 100% Organic Spotify Playlist Promotion service that allows you to connect directly with the best and most engaging influencers on the platform. 

Remember, even if you use a service like ours, it is still useful to conduct your own research and find out which Spotify editorials are ideal for your release and which are the most popular playlists. After claiming your artist profile, you’ll be able to submit individual releases to Spotify editorial playlists. You can include these playlists as ideal placements in your pitch to Spotify, which will show that you’ve done your research and know your audience.

When you’ve submitted your music with enough lead up time, you will get prompted to pitch to Spotify’s editorial playlists from inside Spotify for Artists. You need to complete your pitch at least 2 weeks before your release date, otherwise it won’t be considered for editorials, hence the month long lead time you should allocate for your distribution. The longer the lead time you can give yourself the better, as this will give you more time to put your music marketing efforts into action. 

IconQuick Tip:

You need to complete your pitch at least 2 weeks before your release date, otherwise it won’t be considered for editorials, hence the month long lead time you should allocate for your distribution.

 

Bandcamp Weekly and Daily Radio

Bandcamp Daily is a fantastic editorial playlist that rotates every day across many different genres. If you have your music uploaded to Bandcamp at least 8 weeks before your release date, you are eligible to submit your music to Bandcamp’s signature editorial publication, Bandcamp Daily.

Bandcamp Daily is a playlist that “exists to shine a light on the expansive world of music that’s on the site, and focuses on emerging artists right alongside established acts.” To submit, contact bandcamp as early as possible via a submit form and answer a few questions about your upcoming release. You must submit your music at least 8 weeks before its release date and you must submit your music on Bandcamp. Do not send links to your music on any other platform!

In your music submission, include a story or an interesting angle for your release (include that in the “about this album” section. Do not submit a press release or a link to another site to read about your music. Bandcamp receives about 1,000 pitches a week for music submission, so make sure you take the time to follow all of the submission rules for consideration. Learn more on Bandcamp’s official Artist Guide.

 

Other Successful Music Promotion Tactics:

Advertising

Running ads on Meta (Facebook & Instagram) is a fantastic way to grow your followers on your artist page, promote a merch sale or a live show, and place eyes on your new music! A strong ad can drive new people to your artistry online and is an essential ingredient in a label-backed album release campaign.

 

 

So, how do you go about this without a label? Well, luckily there are a few resources available to you at your finger tips. The Indie Music Academy offers a complete and comprehensive guide to advertising in our Spotify Growth Formula program! Check it out here!

If learning how to advertise isn’t for you, we also have a done-for-you agency service, where you can grow your streams and followers (with real humans) in as little as 3 days – with zero work. 

All you have to do is submit your songs and any visual assets that you have (live videos, photos, logos, music videos, etc. ), and we’ll do the rest. And what’s best, if you don’t have any visual assets (and are essentially starting from scratch), we’ll create them for you! You can check out our agency service here.

Advertising using Meta platforms is a great way to grow your streams, but also followers, streams per follower AND playlists that you get added to. It’s a far more comprehensive and longterm way to grow your presence on these platforms because the listeners who click through on your ads are already highly engaged people who have already resonated with the content they’ve seen on social media. This is a very different type of listener to one who’s pressing play on their favorite playlist when you happen to have been added to it. The highly engaged listener is far more likely to stream the song in full and then add it to one of their own user-made playlists. 

 

Digital and Physical Radio

Depending on where you live, physical radio is definitely still a viable outreach platform! Almost entirely dominated by college radio programs, these stations change out their program directors and radio hosts every year, meaning they are always looking for and accepting new music! Even if you just send an email, it is a good idea to start building those relationships with people who will undoubtedly continue to be players in the music industry after college and beyond.

Some radio stations are so successful that they operate a video show to accompany their normal broadcasting. NPR’s Tiny Desk, KEXP Live, and The Echo Sessions are three fantastic opportunities to perform to their global audience!

There are also numerous digital radio stations that are worth reaching out to! Bandcamp Daily Radio and Amazing Radio are community supported playlists with diehard listeners who will go out of their way to experience new music.

 

Physical Promotion

Physical promotion is the oldest form of promoting a show, event or release. These days, physical promotion doesn’t hit quite as hard as it used to, but can still be a useful tool in your tool kit. Examples of physical promotion include handing out flyers and putting up posters, painting your logo on the sidewalk, promoting your event on a billboard, and organizing a street team (a group of people who ‘hit the streets’ promoting an event or a product).

 

Publicity Stunts

Bands have been pulling PR stunts for decades to garner name recognition and sell tickets. One of my favorite PR Stunts was performed in 1972 by Alice Cooper where he hired a billboard truck to carry a billboard of himself, fully naked except for a snake wrapped around his private parts. The truck was instructed to break down while circling one of the busiest intersections in London, Piccadilly Circus, causing national outrage and news coverage on all the major networks. By the end of the week, he had sold out shows all across the UK.

 

 

Publicity stunts now a days are often included in your content strategy to maximize their potential to go viral. PR Stunts are best when the concept is disruptive without being offensive, memorable without being divisive, and highly unique!

 

Podcasting

Being featured as a guest speaker or a host on a podcast is a fantastic way to connect with audiences who may not have otherwise been exposed to your music. Podcasting can be a great way to create deeper relationships with your fanbase, especially if you are a strong speaker and a conversationalist. The best part about podcasting is that you don’t even need to talk about the music – in fact the best way to promote yourself on a podcast is to talk about anything but music!

Some fantastic Music Podcasts worth checking out:

    1. All Songs Considered – the week’s best new music discoveries, including conversations with emerging artists, icons and more.
    2. Questlove Supreme – a fun, irreverent and educational weekly podcast that digs deep into the stories of musical legends.
    3. Switch on Pop – A podcast all about the making and meaning of popular music. Musicologist Nate Sloan & songwriter Charlie Harding pull back the curtain on how pop hits work magic on our ears & our culture.

 

Giveaways

Running giveaways can be a great way to engage your audience, especially if it is to promote a live show or album release. Giveaways can be a bit of a double edged sword however as they will attract people who are not necessarily invested in your music or art and only interested in the product you’re giving away. A lot of YouTube channels do this. The most successful campaigns usually give away a product connected to their brand. A gaming channel would give away a console, a music studio might give away a free mic and an artist might give away a VIP experience to one of their shows or their merch.

 

Community Building and Livestreaming

One of the best ways to promote your release is simply to be an active member of the community. How can you expect people in your scene to support you if you don’t support them? This means showing up to your friends’ shows, to creative hang outs, jam sessions, and album release parties. After all, it’s the golden rule: do to others as you would want them to do to you! Community building also translates to the digital realm – you should be focusing on creating a fantastic community with your content and engaging with your audience as much as possible.

 

 

The best way to translate community building into the digital realm is through livestreaming. It’s one of the best ways to engage with your audience in real time around the world. Livestreaming has the perks of live performance, but with out the geographic limitations. The beauty of this kind of performance is that it doesn’t have to be limited to your music. Yes, you can perform covers and originals, but you can also stream yourself playing your favorite game. This will be an easy and natural way to show off your personality. Your personality will feed into your story. And when your audience falls in love with you and your story, they’ll go searching for your music themselves. If you’re looking for inspiration on this front, check out what The Longest Johns are up to on YouTube. 

You can also use soft promotional techniques when livestreaming, like for example using instrumentals of your tracks as the background music for your stream. This will get the most engaged viewers curious about where they can find that music. They might be even more surprised and happy when they find out it’s your music. 

If you’re someone who is comfortable speaking in front of a camera, livestreaming is for you! There are a few technical tasks you’ll have to pursue in order to successfully livestream, but you can build as you go along.

To begin, here are the 3 essential tools you’ll need:

  1. A laptop that can support a streaming software such as Stream Labs or OBS studio (any new device should have enough processing power to do this). 
  2. An internet connection. Essential in the modern era, eh? You can use platforms like Restream or StreamYard to broadcast to multiple platforms at once (YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, etc.) 
  3. A webcam that can transmit you in HD to all the potential new fans waiting to meet you. Hint: the best HD webcam lives in your pocket everyday – your phone! There are apps that allow you to turn your phone into a webcam (look into Elgato for a good place to start). 

The two best places a musician can livestream on are YouTube and Twitch. These platforms already include streaming categories for music and they’re filled with viewers who are looking for the next musical act they can follow. You can also consider doing more low-key streams (without much live editing on programs like Stream Labs) directly to Instagram or TikTok. Streaming is a great way to bump up your reach as the algorithm responds well to regular livestreams and also pushes livestreams beyond your follower sphere. 

 

Concerts and Live Performances

Performing live is the most sure-fire way to create fans and build a community, because it allows for real interactions between your audience and your music. To learn more about how to get started performing live, including how to sign with a booking agent, check out this article here!

 

Merchandise 

It is important to remember that the creation of physical goods such as vinyls, CDs and merch takes up storage space, which is an additional cost for an independent musician. You might want to consider using print-on-demand services such as TeeMill in order to save on the upfront cost. 

 

 

Merch is a great way to engage your audience and promote your brand. It really helps people start to identify with your artistry when they see others wearing your t-shirt design. It’s also a great way to unify a crowd at a live performance. Moreover, it’s a great way to generate additional income that you can re-invest into promoting your music. 

 

Conclusion: Is It Really Possible to Promote Your Music Independently in 2024 (Without a Record Label)? 

 

 

Yes! And a thousand times yes! As we’ve detailed in this article, there are countless ways for an independent musician to promote themselves. One of the biggest challenges is knowing which tactic to choose, which path to take… This is where having a team can really help. Surround yourself with friends who are willing to join you on your journey. If you’re in a band, get the whole band behind the promotional tactics for the year. If you can, find yourself a manager that is interested in working with you from the start and help you grow and flourish as an artist. This manager could be someone who’s still studying the music business and is looking for a project to sink their teeth into. Remember, a good manager will grow with you and help you make all those connections along the way. A good manager is your friend.

Here are a few more tips to help you on your way:

  1. Focus on your strengths.

    Make a list of your talent stacks and all the things you’re capable of. Start with those when developing your promotional strategy. 

  2. Tell a story in everything you do.


    From your social media content, to your PR stunts, to the way you answer interview questions on a podcast, no matter what promotion you’re running, build a story into it. Make it a good story and make it an honest one. The best stories are often connected to our own life experiences. 

  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 


    Every musician to ever attain any kind of success has always been part of a team. This is where we here at the Indie Music Academy can come in. If you feel you need to extend your musical family and enhance your promotional team, reach out to the us. We’ve got an array of different avenues you can take on your path to musical independence. We have courses that can up-skill you on various musical arenas, and we’ve got services that allow you to outsource your work, freeing up your time to do what you do best: make music. 

  

Want to learn more about the music industry and how to promote your music? 

Check out the Indie Vault to get a free copy of our Spotify Playlist Marketing Gameplan and free Music Marketing Workshop.  Click the link below for access!

The Indie Vault

Inside the Indie Vault, you’ll have complete & unlimited access to Essential Music Industry Contracts, and our music industry resources such as the Spotify Playlist Gameplan & our Music Royalty Collection Guide

Get Free Access

 

 

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How to Promote Your Music Independently in 2024





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Written by: dev

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