One of the most challenging tasks as an independent musician, band, DJ, or producer is learning to navigate the waters of music promotion. Without a label doing the heavy lifting, it’s your job to grow your fanbase and make your sound known. However, learning how to promote your music is a feat that is easier said than done!
Promoting your music as an independent musician, DJ, or producer must be strategic. Sure, there are some musicians that seem to get lucky and have a track go viral. Or others that get their music into the hands of the right person at the right time. But know that those success stories are usually the exception, not the rule. Achieving recognition for your music should be carefully planned and requires patience and time.
How to Promote Your Music: 6 Effective Tools You Should be Leveraging
In this guide, we’ll explain the following tools for music promotion and how you can use them effectively to make your music and beats heard:
- Host a pre-save campaign
- Secure SoundCloud premiers with genre-specific publications
- Collaborate with other artists
- Share your music with fellow artists
- Offer free downloads on SoundCloud
- Connect with music journalists
Strategy #1 – Host a Pre-Save Campaign
The best way to promote your music to your fans is by asking them to pre-save it on their preferred platform ahead of release day. This way, your song is already guaranteed a spot in someone’s library and has a jumpstart on earning royalties.
However, simply asking fans to pre-save the track isn’t always enough. The trust is people constantly look at opportunities with a “what’s in it for me” mindset. Unless they’re a diehard fan, they are probably going to keep scrolling.
You need to offer your fans incentives to pre-save your tracks to Spotify, Apple Music, etc. To do so, consider hosting a giveaway that those who pre-save your track can enter. Feature.fm is one tool that can be used to create pre-save campaigns to host giveaways with your social media followers. You can giveaway your branded merch, free downloads, cash prizes–whatever you prefer, really.
Strategy #2 – Plan SoundCloud Premieres with Genre-Specific Publications
Partnering with a publication that caters to the audience in your genre to premiere your track early can be rewarding.
Typically, the agreement will look like you giving the publication permission to upload your track to their SoundCloud profile at least a day in advance. Although their upload may gain the majority of the traction for the new release (rather than yours), you can reach an entirely new fanbase.
To get started on a SoundCloud premiere, you will either need to reach out to a publication yourself or discuss this option with your management/publicist.
Strategy #3 – Collaborate with Other Artists
What better way to promote your music to a new audience than collaborating with another producer? Working on a track with another artist ensures both of your fanbases will intersect and could mean countless new listeners for you.
In most cases both producers working on the collaborating will have similar music styles, so the chances of their fans having an interest in what you release will be high. If you don’t yet have someone in mind you’d like to work with, you should work to expand your network. This can be done over social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Twitch, or in person at events.
Strategy #4 – Share Your Music with Other Artists
Having other DJs and producers in your corner is a great tool for music promotion. Be sure to send your artist friends your new tracks as they come out. If they like it, they may feel compelled to reshare it with their audience on social media. Or, they may want to download it and use it in a future DJ set.
However, don’t expect your friends to download and support your songs if you aren’t doing the same for them…it’s a two-way street! Be receptive to music from fellow producers–offer feedback, share it with your audience, download it, and play it in your sets. Be genuine as you foster these important relationships, and the people you keep in your circle will return the favor.
Strategy. #5 – Offer Free Downloads on SoundCloud
This one may be more for the DJ and producer community, but musicians and bands might find a way to use it too.
If you’re wondering how to promote your music the sneaky way, this is it. Make your track downloadable on SoundCloud for free and promote it on your social media as if you’re offering an amazing gift to fellow DJs (but you are…your music is that good!).
Not only will others see you as generous, but they will now have your track downloaded to their library of music to play at their next gig. Who knows whose hands your song could end up in and what stage it might be played at? Don’t forget to stress the part that the download is being offered at no cost, it’ll drive the hype!
Strategy #6 – Connect with Music Journalists
What’s the best way to promote your music? We believe securing press coverage for your new releases will yield the best results when it comes to brand recognition.
Having your music featured in any news publication is a big deal, but it’s not easy to do, especially without a publicist. Therefore, you’ll need to build relationships with music journalists yourselves. When the time comes for a new release, put it on their radar and discuss options for publishing on their magazine or website. Journalists get dozens of emails and messages each day, and forming a real relationship with the person behind the writing will surely count for something.