Top 18 Ways to Promote Your Music in 2015
Effective Music Marketing Techniques
By Donavon Parker
For Questions: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2015 by New England's Best Artists & Donavon Parker
Table of Contents
One of the biggest misconceptions held by unsigned artists is that great music will always find its way to the masses. McDonald's, Papa John's and Subway do not make the best burgers, pizza or grinders, but they are most recognizable brands because they do the best job of MARKETING and PROMOTING their product. Your music is also a product and with every successful business venture, you need good branding.
If you want to be a successful music artist today, you have to understand the importance of marketing your music and the ways you should promote your music. The two biggest mistakes, I see unsigned artists make today is not understanding the numerous ways they should promote their music, so I decided to write "Top 18 Ways to Promote Your Music in 2015." There are links to radio stations, music awards, music venues and a list of music magazines to help you promote your music. I wanted to create a book that is clear, concise and affordable. Directly adding music awards, radio stations and venue listings would have added almost two hundred pages. This would have increased the file delivery fees and made the cost of this book a lot more expensive. To avoid this, I added a link to these listings. You can also find additional resources on our website New England's Best Artists.
"I found out your website page from Google and it truly is pretty informative. Hey thank you for writing this kind of an informative blog post." - furnace change out - April 19, 2014 7:14 AM
Above is a comment left on our website that illustrates the importance of having a real web presence online. As you can see, this person found our website via Google. Most of our website's traffic comes from Google or Yahoo. According to Alexa, Google is the number one ranked site in the world and Yahoo is ranked fifth. Without a website these people would not have discovered our brand. Imagine opening a business and ignoring the biggest markets. Doesn't that sound insane? Many musicians are ignoring a major way to be found; they are losing out on potential fans because they lack a website.
Many music artists think a Facebook or Twitter page is all they need. Facebook and Twitter are extensions of your web presence, while the focal point is your website. Social media websites can and will change their policies to financially benefit the company. Facebook is aggressively started enforcing their policy of only allowing people to use their birth names. I know several musicians who had their Facebook pages deleted. Some completely lost touch with people who supported their music. If they also had a website, people would be able to Google their name and connect with them again on their social media network of choice. Without a website, they may have lost that fan for good. Having a social media account is like renting a hotel room, while having a website is similar to owning your own home. Your friends know exactly where to stop by and reconnect with you.
We've heard many musicians’ voice concerns about the cost of maintaining a website and the time it takes to create a website. There are several companies that allow you to build a website for free. We used a free website builder to create a site for New England's Best Artists. We only spent twenty dollars a year to register the domain name. You do not even have to know code. All you do is drag and drop, what pictures and texts you want on your website. If you want to learn a little code to add some unique features to your website you can learn some basic code at Codecademy.
(#17) Cross-Promote with Others
Cross-Promotion is something many music experts suggest when it comes to artists building their brand. My suggestion is to go a step further and cross-promote with other types of artists. An example of this is a spoken word poet in Chicago and an R&B singer in Boston cross-promoting each other's brand. A CD insert or flyer is made with the spoken word artist's information (website & social media accounts) on one side and the R&B singer's information on the other (website & social media). When one artist hands his CD to a potential fan, he is also cross-promoting the other artist. Another example is a painter cross-promoting with a classical musician or jazz music artist. It is a great way of promote your brand in other cities, states and countries. The key is to find an artist that is in a different genre, but whose work is of interest to your fan base.
(#16) Music Awards
Have you ever watched an awards show, heard a list of unfamiliar bands and search for their music out of curiosity? Some fans discover new artists via music awards. In fact, it is one of the secret methods used to build a fan base. There are hundreds of music awards you can use to gain more exposure for your music. I have not notice a list anywhere online, so I created "The Ultimate Music Awards Directory."
Newspapers are another medium some unsigned musicians completely ignore. If you are doing a local show, charity fundraiser or community benefit let people know by using your local newspaper to spread the word. Some newspaper directories you can use are List of Newspapers, Refdesk and 50 States.
In the '70s, '80s and '90s, television was one of the most popular ways people discovered music. Shows like Soul Train, Alternative Nation and Rap City were a great platform for people to locate new music. The internet has caused a decrease in the number of people who consume music via traditional television, but it is still a great way for musicians to get potential fans to hear their music. Today artists can gain major exposure on shows like American Idol, Rising Star and The Voice. There is even a reality show contest dedicated to hip hop in the works entitled One Shot. You can find registration details on their website. If you do not want to go the reality television route, you can promote your music on IndiMusic TV or The Cool Tv. There are also television opportunity listings for independent musicians listed on Blazetrak and MusicGorilla.
(#13) Music Podcasts
Music podcasts are another great means to gain more exposure for your artistic creation. Most podcast producers love great new music and are completely open to playing unsigned musician's music. You can use music podcasts directories such as PodBean, Podbay, Podcast Directory and National Public Radio Podcast Directory to find podcast shows in your genre that are looking for independent artists to showcase.
Music magazines were such a huge way people discovered music in the past. The internet has had a huge impact on this particular industry. Many magazines have shifted from being paper printed to being more web based. Other magazines have been forced out of business. Despite with trend, some fans still discover music through magazines. As an unsigned artist, you should market your music using this medium. You can find a list of music magazines in the next section.