How can I promote my music? That might be the most common question I ever hear from upcoming artists. As Vice President Operations & Marketing at Rexius Records I often get the question how a band can “break”. Actually when speaking to people in the business no one really knows! Not the major labels and not the independent ones. The artists? No way! Managers? Are you kiddin me?
Unfortunately I don’t believe there is a magic recipe to break an artist, it is different from time to time. Especially now when there are million ways to promote your music. By the way, how do we measure success? Spotify plays? Nbr of gigs in a year? Revenue? But for sure there are good ways to promote your music to increase the probability of success and bad ways.
Let’s start with some bad ways to promote your music:
Bad ways to promote music
These are some of the most common mistakes that I see upcoming artists do when promoting their music:
Release one single per year. You might have the argument that your music writing takes time and you focus on the quality. Of course it does, but if you won’t release anything your fans will tire and forget about you eventually.
When you finally release your single, you don’t mention it to anybody before it is time. And when you do, you make one update on facebook and expect everybody in the world will listen to it. This happens all the time and I can see why. In the studio and in the artists’ life everything revolves around the release, it is easy to believe it is the same for all the fans. It’s not!
When making an update on social media you spread the same messages in all your social media platforms.
When getting help from a record label or a professional, you lay back and think that they will take care of everything. Today all artists work extremely hard, and to think you will get all the help you need from a record label you are wrong. Take advantage of this instead and stay in control.
One person in the band is responsible for everything; all the promotion activities, social media updates, administrating all the rehearsals. Sooner or later there will be a fight because he needs to do everything or he will tire and nothing will happen.
Everything is adhoc and you don’t follow a plan. If you are not organized as a team and you will never go far.
It is all about me, myself and my band. If you never network and speak with other artists in your genre you will never get any help either. You need to give before you receive is a truth in the music business.
You believe that you are a photographer, graphic designer, mixer, masterer, recorder, sound engineer, promoter and think you are a pro at those things.
Good ways to promote your music
You are constantly working on new content to share. It can be videos, singles/EP/Albums, artist pictures, lyrics, artwork, news. And you should reuse your content up to 3 times. One time before it happens, 1 time when it happens and then one time after it happened to remind them. So for example with a cover image of your upcoming single you can share the cover art in the making, the finished result and then the last update could sound like “if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the upcoming artwork for our new single”.
Know what content to use in which channels. Here’s a small guides what to share in the most common content sharing platforms for artists, like facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc.
Build a buzz before your release:
Plan your release and build up the buzz a long time before the release itself. Rub the message into your fans without being spammy. But don’t say the same thing twice. Say it with different content. Always use relevant and interesting content. However if you believe that all your fans will remember your release after just one facebook update then you are wrong. I know that you know this already but here are a few ideas to get your imagination going. Share stuff like:
- Photos from latest gig. You’ll have a lot of photos and release them small bunches
- Blog posts from your webpage.
- Live blog from your tour
- Professional videos and photos
- Personal videos and photos from studio sessions
- Behind the scenes videos / photos when recording / shooting video.
- Press from blogs, newspapers, famous twitters.
- Other artist that your fans may like
- Ask your fans for ideas
- Stuff fans have made for you
- New merch in your webshop
- Dates, info.
- Upcoming gigs
Make a plan and handle your release as a project
Yes we all know that musicians may not be the perfect project managers. But in fact if you take everything ad hoc you will not get the results that you would like to have. If you’re not a project manager then you should at least use this simple table to plan your release. If you would like something more advanced (but still simple) a great project management tool is Asana that we are using at Primus Records.
|Example: Post press photos on facebook||friday 20 Jan||Band member||everyone share the video|