Music Promotion: 33 Ways How to Promote Your Music Without Selling Your Soul

Alright, rockstar. So, you’ve poured your heart into your music, and now you’re ready to share it with the world. But… how? Good news! You don’t need a million-dollar budget or a deal with the devil to get your tracks out there. Let’s dive into the simple (and not-so-obvious) ways you can promote your music. Let the beat drop!

1. Social Media: Not Just for Cat Memes

If you’re not using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to share your tracks, you’re missing out big time! But remember, it’s not just about posting; it’s about engaging. Respond to comments, share behind-the-scenes content, and go live.

Fact: Over 50% of teens discover new music on social media. Tap into that demographic!

2. Spotify Playlists: The Modern Radio

Get your music on popular playlists. Reach out to curators, submit your songs via Spotify for Artists, and even consider creating your own playlists to showcase your tracks.

Fact: Playlists like “Discover Weekly” and “Release Radar” have made overnight successes out of indie artists.

3. Live Gigs: Old School, But Gold

Performing live lets you connect directly with your audience. Whether it’s at local bars, coffee shops, or music festivals, get out there and perform!

Fact: Ed Sheeran played over 300 live shows in 2009 alone before getting big. That’s dedication!

4. Collaborate: Two Voices (Or More) Are Better Than One

Collaborate with other artists in your genre or even outside of it. It’s a win-win as you both get exposed to each other’s fan base.

Fact: Aerosmith and Run-DMC’s “Walk This Way” collab in the ’80s is a classic example of blending genres and crowds.

5. Music Blogs and Magazines: The Hipster’s Guide

Reach out to music bloggers and journalists. Even in the digital age, a review or feature in a popular music blog or magazine can work wonders.

Fact: Blogs like Pitchfork and Stereogum have a massive influence on music lovers and industry folk alike.

6. YouTube: Not Just for Vloggers

Create a channel, post your music videos, behind-the-scenes footage, or even vlogs. Engage with your subscribers and always be authentic.

Fact: Justin Bieber was discovered on YouTube. Now, we’re not saying you’ll be the next Biebs, but hey, you never know!

7. Email Marketing: Newsletters Aren’t Dead!

Collect emails at gigs or via your website and send out newsletters. Share updates, new releases, or upcoming shows. Keep it personal.

Fact: For every $1 spent on email marketing, there’s an average return of $42. It’s cost-effective!

8. Music Distributors: The Digital Doorway

Platforms like DistroKid, TuneCore, and CD Baby will get your music on major streaming platforms, which is crucial for visibility.

Fact: In 2020, streaming accounted for nearly 85% of music industry revenue. Be part of that pie!

9. Band Website: Your Digital Home

Have a centralized place where fans can find your music, tour dates, merch, and more. Plus, you control the narrative.

Fact: Over 35% of fans go directly to an artist’s website after hearing their track for the first time.

10. Engage on Music Platforms: Join the Conversation

Platforms like SoundCloud allow fans to comment on tracks. Engage with them, start conversations, and build a community.

Fact: SoundCloud has over 76 million registered users. It’s a bustling community of music lovers!

11. Merchandise: Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve

T-shirts, hats, stickers – they’re not just for extra cash. They’re walking advertisements for your brand.

Fact: Band merch makes up a significant chunk of an indie artist’s revenue. Plus, who doesn’t want their logo on a cool tee?

12. Music Competitions: Put Your Game Face On

Joining contests can give you exposure, and even if you don’t win, you’ll get feedback and experience.

Fact: Bands like Bastille and musicians like Birdy got their start by winning competitions.

13. Networking: It’s Who You Know

Rub elbows with other musicians, producers, and industry pros. The music world is smaller than you think, and a personal recommendation can go a long way.

Fact: In many success stories, a significant break came from a personal connection or referral.

14. Online Ads: A Little Spend Can Go a Long Way

Consider investing in Facebook ads or Google ads targeting specific audiences. It’s all about getting your music in front of the right ears.

Fact: With just $5, you can reach around 1,000 people through Facebook ads. Targeted reach is powerful.

15. Remixes and Covers: Old Tunes, New Vibes

Doing remixes or covers can introduce your style to fans of the original song. Just be sure you’re adhering to all copyright laws!

Fact: Ryan Adams’ cover of Taylor Swift’s “1989” album introduced him to a whole new demographic.

16. Feedback and Improve: Keep Evolving

Use platforms like Drooble, where you can get honest feedback on your music. Use constructive criticism to refine your sound.

Fact: The most successful artists are the ones who constantly evolve, adapt, and grow.

There you have it, future superstar! 16 ways to get your music into as many ears as possible. It’s a grind, but remember, every superstar started somewhere. Now, go on and make some noise!

17. Guerrilla Marketing: Think Outside the Box

Ever thought about hosting a flash mob or a surprise mini-concert at a local park? Unexpected promotional tactics can create a buzz around your music.

Fact: U2 once did a surprise concert on a rooftop in LA. It became one of the most iconic moments in rock history.

18. Get on Podcasts and Radio Shows: Let’s Talk About You

Pitch yourself to be a guest on podcasts or local radio shows. Sharing your story can make listeners more invested in your music.

Fact: Many artists gain significant traction after appearing on popular podcasts or radio interviews.

19. College Radio Stations: The Unsung Heroes

They might not have the biggest reach, but college radio stations are always looking for new music. Plus, they have a dedicated listener base.

Fact: Bands like R.E.M and The Pixies owe a lot of their early success to college radio plays.

20. TikTok Challenges: Ride the Wave

Create a fun challenge on TikTok using your song. If it catches on, you can see a massive surge in streams and followers.

Fact: Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” became a sensation largely because of TikTok.

21. Offer Exclusive Content: For Your Super Fans

Consider offering special content, like unreleased tracks or behind-the-scenes footage, to dedicated fans or subscribers. It incentivizes sharing and word-of-mouth promotion.

Fact: Beyoncé once dropped an entire secret album with videos, catching even the most dedicated fans off guard.

22. Attend Music Conferences: Learn and Network

Events like the ASCAP “I Create Music” EXPO can be goldmines for learning and networking. You never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn.

Fact: Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas once attended such conferences before they hit the big time.

23. Licensing Your Music: TV, Ads, and Films

Consider getting your music licensed for commercials, movies, or TV shows. Not only does it pay, but it also exposes your music to a broad audience.

Fact: The band Snow Patrol’s song “Chasing Cars” got a massive boost after being featured on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

24. Publicity Stunts: Go Big or Go Home

While it’s not for everyone, a well-thought-out publicity stunt can generate a lot of media attention. Just ensure it aligns with your brand.

Fact: Lady Gaga once arrived at an award show in a giant egg. Talk about making an entrance!

25. Get Reviews: They Matter

Reach out to influencers, bloggers, or YouTube music critics and ask them to review your music. Their feedback can be invaluable, and their endorsement can open doors.

Fact: A review from Anthony Fantano on “The Needle Drop” YouTube channel can significantly influence an artist’s popularity.

26. QR Codes: Make it Easy

Use QR codes on posters, flyers, or business cards. Fans can scan and instantly access your music or website.

Fact: QR code scans have surged in recent years, with a 28% increase in 2020 alone.

27. Open Mic Nights: The Stage is Yours

It might sound basic, but open mic nights are a fantastic way to test new material and gain new fans. Plus, they’re usually free to join.

Fact: Many famous artists, including John Mayer and Tracy Chapman, started their journey at open mic nights.

28. Busking: Street Beats

Take your music to the streets! It’s not just about making a few bucks; you never know who might walk by.

Fact: Ed Sheeran, B.B. King, and even Justin Bieber were once buskers.

29. Music Apps & Forums: Join the Conversation

Engage on apps like Bandsintown, Last.fm, or forums like Reddit’s r/Music. Being active in communities can organically boost your visibility.

Fact: Several indie artists have gone viral just from a single Reddit post.

30. Be Consistent: Keep the Momentum

Whether it’s releasing new music, posting on social media, or gigging, consistency is key. Your fans should always have something to look forward to.

Fact: Taylor Swift released six studio albums in just under six years at the start of her career, helping her maintain momentum and fan interest.

31. Virtual Concerts: Go Digital

In an increasingly digital world, hosting online concerts or joining virtual music festivals can expand your reach globally.

Fact: Post-COVID-19, many artists, big and small, turned to platforms like Twitch and YouTube Live to connect with fans.

32. Cross-Promotion: You Scratch My Back…

Partner with other artists, brands, or influencers for mutual promotion. It’s about expanding your reach to relevant audiences.

Fact: Rapper Travis Scott partnered with Fortnite for a virtual concert, exposing his music to millions of gamers worldwide.

33. Free Downloads: Hook Them In

Consider giving away a track or two for free in exchange for an email address. It’s a great way to build your email list and introduce people to your sound.

Fact: Radiohead once let fans pay what they wanted for an album. It was a risk, but it paid off massively.

Remember, music promotion isn’t just about one big break. It’s a combination of persistence, networking, and a bit of creativity. Keep pushing, keep evolving, and keep the faith. Your audience is out there waiting to discover you!