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By mastering these promotional strategies, you can ensure your music reaches its audience and leaves a lasting impact. | Photo:
By mastering these promotional strategies, you can ensure your music reaches its audience and leaves a lasting impact. | Photo:
Caolán O'Neill-Forde -

Break through the Noise: 10 Tips on How to Promote Your Music

You’ve written your masterpiece. Your music has been mixed and mastered and you are poised to conquer the hearts of the masses. There is just one problem – how do you get your music out there and into the ears of the many? How can your music change the world if the only people who get to hear it are a handful of your friends and family? In my experience, the type of personality that becomes a musician isn't always the same type that naturally knows how to promote themselves. More often than not, this is an area where the most talented musicians can fail. While it’s no easy task, here are some tips you can use to ensure that your music does not fall upon deaf ears.

1. Promote yourself during live performances

It might seem like a simple tip, but surprisingly, many musicians overlook it: when you perform live, make sure to clearly and frequently say your name. Remind your audience who you are and where they can find your music. While you don't want to interrupt the flow of your gig with long speeches between songs, remember that your audience is there to enjoy your music – let them know who you are! 

For smaller shows, consider using light boxes with your name and contact information, or for larger band performances, investing in a banner for the stage backdrop or having your band name prominently displayed on the drum set can make a significant difference. These small details can help you stay in people's minds longer.

2. Create an electronic press kit (EPK)

An EPK (Electronic Press Kit) is an online portfolio that showcases you as an artist. It includes press clippings, photos, biographical details, contact information and possibly audio and video recordings of your music. All of this information is combined into one easy-to-share link. EPKs make it easy for people who’d like to work with you to learn about you and get in touch. Providing a downloadable link for your EPK is preferable to an attachment, as I will expand below.

3. Email effectively 

This is a larger topic that could easily have its own article. I will include a short list of some important points.

  • Email list: As you collect email addresses from people in the music industry, both locally and internationally, compile them into an easy-to-access list. Spreadsheets are typically the best format since most marketing platforms use them. (What's that? Marketing and spreadsheets? Welcome to the dark side of the music industry!) In some cases, you can even purchase lists of industry contacts. Once you have gathered these names and email addresses…
  • Be personal: When it's time to send out emails, make them personal. No one likes receiving cookie-cutter, impersonal emails and it's a surefire way to be ignored. For example, if you're reaching out to a music blog, read some of their posts and reference something you genuinely liked. If it's a radio station or DJ, mention that you listen to their show and believe your music fits well with artists they feature. Be sincere and genuine to make a real connection.
  • Attachments: You are about to send your email and want to include some of your music. Instead of attaching files, provide a link. People in the music industry prefer not to download files from emails and if your music isn't easily accessible, you might be wasting your time!

4. Promote your video on social media

Social media is a very powerful tool for promoting your music. From TikTok to Instagram, it's crucial to post regularly. If your band already has an account but isn't active, start by increasing your posting frequency. You don’t have to go from zero to three posts a day immediately – aim for two posts a week and build from there. Ensure your posts are high-quality and relevant to your audience.

One last tip for social media: collaborate with other musicians. This is an excellent way to reach a new audience. When you work with other artists, their fans will be introduced to your music and you can introduce your audience to new music as well.

5. Music Videos

The idea that "if you book it, they will come" or "if you release your music, they will listen" has misled many budding musicians. To truly engage people with your music online and on social media, you need a compelling music video to extend your reach significantly. When creating a music video, consider the following:

  • The tone/mood of the song
  • The message of the song
  • Crucially: the budget

Music video budgets can vary widely, from a few hundred euros to hundreds of thousands. Choose what's best for you. In today's digital age, a creative video shot on a low budget can often outperform an expensive one lacking originality. If making videos isn't your forte, consider hiring a media team. Contact local film schools; you might collaborate with film students eager for experience.

6. Use a music distributor

Music distribution is crucial for reaching a global audience. By partnering with a music distributor, you can upload your music to various platforms (like Spotify and Apple Music), collect royalties (though don't expect Spotify to pay the bills right away) and gain valuable insights into your audience's demographics and location.

When choosing a distributor, consider factors like pricing, ease of use, and the platforms they support. With the right distribution strategy, you can achieve success and make a lasting impact in the music industry. There are many options to choose from, including DistroKid, TuneCore, CD Baby and Anti-Joy. Do your research and choose the best one for you.

By mastering these promotional strategies, you can ensure your music reaches its audience and leaves a lasting impact. Effectively harness your live performances, digital communication and self promotion to connect with countless fans worldwide. And if it all seems a bit too much, just start with one tip and work from there – but remember – none of this matters if your music isn’t worth listening to in the first place!

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