As a producer, singer, composer or musician of any sort, your main goal is to create music — and that’s no easy task — you’ve probably spent thousands of hours perfecting your craft, then had to come up with an unique concept or style for a particular body of work, spent some more time perfecting it, and you probably even had to connect with other people to do it — maybe with a vocalist, an instrumentalist or with an engineer — and now you are finally ready to share it with world! The problem is… How?
Some years ago, the only viable way to spread your music was to take it to a label. You had to pray that the right person in the right mood would take a listen, but most of the times you wouldn’t even get any feedback. The curators dominated the music industry, and they had to like you for you to get spins, a deal, gigs, etc. But the massification of the internet led to the tools we own today, and we started to reach the audience directly. The audience itself became the curator. As years passed, it became increasingly more difficult to get a push from those curators — nowadays you can’t just upload a video on YouTube and hope that it gets shared and that it breaches out of your direct circle — You’re risking that all those hundreds (thousands!) of hours won’t provide the well-deserved and desired return.
Have A Plan
This sounds kind of vague. If you’re not a genius marketer, and you don’t know influential people in radios or on websites, what can you do? First, dedicate some hours per day or per week to contact people, to meet people, to send emails, to make some phone calls, etc. I know you’d rather be rehearsing for your gigs, but if you skip this step you might not have any! I always start with the budget, as it helps me to be realistic about my plan of action. If you have $10 000 to spend, maybe you can shoot a video, run some ads on Facebook or YouTube, pay for some spins on an internet radio or even get a banner on Spotify. What if you don’t have any money? Well, you can still get a decent promotion: Pick up that phone, write an Electronic Press Kit and maybe enlist some of your greatest fans (your mom, your best friends, your girlfriend, your older cousin as your fake manager, your dog, etc.) to your team.
Enlist and engage your most active fanbase: I can’t stress this enough. Think for a second? Why wouldn’t your garner the potential of those who already like you? Those who purchase your music? Those who buy your concert tickets? Turn them into preachers of your art, and in return, give them access to your music sooner, private concerts for free, a closer contact to you, etc. Contact with your fans directly, make them feel appreciated, because, well, they’re your clients, right?
Contact websites and blogs: Don’t shoot hundreds of copy pasted emails to huge websites with millions of visitors; try to develop a relationship with the people behind those blogs & websites. If you’re a not very well-known act, aim for lesser known websites that have a dedicated fanbase that covers music like yours. Leave the house: No, really, leave your house from time to time, maybe even during the day. Social media made it look like we can reach out to anyone and be heard, but the truth is, real-life relationships still carry a lot more weight than virtual ones. Do you want to perform in a specific place? Why not start as a customer and get to know the manager? Call ahead and follow-up: Let’s imagine you want a particular radio station to play your single. Instead of just shooting an email, take the time to make a phone call first. This way you’ll know who to send it to, and the person responsible will probably remember you and give your email some attention. Don’t forget to follow-up with a phone call or an email a few days later.
Basically, you‘ll think like a business. That’s basically it.