Original Article Found In Landr
It’s a lot of work. But with the right plan you can grow your music on your own terms and share it successfully in a way that fits your vision.
Making strong music promotion part of your music marketing plan includes online tools like digital distribution, social media and email, as well as traditional means like live shows, press kits and mailing lists.
How to promote your music independently:
Make good music
Write a music press release
Build a fanbase
Share your music
Share on social media
In this simple music promotion guide you’ll learn the 6 steps to build an effective music promotion plan on any budget.
1. Make good music: You need great tracks first
Let’s get this out of the way right now—if you want to do good music promotion you have to start with good music.
It can seem like promotion muscle is all it takes to push a track to the top. But if the music you’re promoting doesn’t have something to offer to listeners you won’t get anywhere.
Do your best to make your music as compelling as possible before you start your promotion.
That means take your time to produce great tracks, perfect your mix and master your music to create your final product.
When you’ve finished tracks you’re proud of you’ll have the confidence to set goals and promote yourself enthusiastically online.
Making the best music you can is a commitment to your fans and listeners.
2. Release your music on streaming platforms
The advent of streaming platforms changed the way most people listen to music—and it changed the way artists promote their tracks.
Today, having a plan for promoting an upcoming release and existing catalogs of music on streaming platforms is critical for every artist, big or small.
That’s partly because revenue from streaming platforms is one-way artists can monetize their music with song streams, merch sales and concert tickets.
But, these platforms are also hubs that fans flock towards to find new music—whether that be through playlists, music journalism or algorithm recommendations.
Each platform has its unique quirks for finding success—but there are few things in common between them.
For example, each platform will have an artist profile that you’ll need to claim and fill out.
And, to get your music on any and all streaming platforms you’ll need to choose a distribution service provider.
Let’s dive into the specifics of promoting your music on today’s major streaming platforms—Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal.
How to promote your music on Spotify
Out of all the streaming platforms, Spotify offers the most opportunities for promoting your tracks.
From experience enhancements like album visuals with Spotify Canvas, to scrolling lyrics to playlisting submission and its revered algorithm recommendations, Spotify excels at offering promotion tools.
Once you get your music on Spotify, the number one thing you need to do to start promoting your music is to claim your artist profile.
By claiming your profile you’ll be able to submit upcoming releases for playlisting on Spotify’s own playlists and you’ll be able to add merch, tour dates and customization to your profile.
You’ll also be able to use Canvas —Spotify’s visual album art tool that allows artists to add custom looping videos that show while a song is playing.
Promoting your music effectively on Spotify means having some kind of plan to get your fans listening to your new tracks the moment they come out.
Drumming up excitement is always a good idea and it will also help the algorithm pick up your new track sooner—so, the best way to do that is by launching a pre-save campaign with a promolink.
Check out our past writing on promolinks and pre-save campaigns if you’re interested in running one!
Spotify doesn’t have to be an intimidating platform—if your music is great and you have a plan to promote your tracks, you’ll have no problem finding fans to love your music.
How to promote your music on Apple Music
Apple Music is the other major streaming platform and while it doesn’t have nearly as many promotional tools as Spotify, it’s totally worth keeping in mind as you plan your releases and promote your tracks.
Again, the first step to success on Apple Music is claiming your Apple Music for Artists profile—this will allow you to customize your profile, add a bio and custom artwork.
Once you get your music on Apple Music and claim your profile you’ll also have access to a handful song sharing tools like a special Twitter link that’ll share an in-feed player and a player that you can embed on websites.
Unfortunately, Apple Music does not offer an option to submit your music for playlisting directly—you’ll need to have relationships with their curators to get a placement.
So, you’ll either need to have built up a significant following or have a public relations agent working to get the attention of these curators.
Outside of Apple Music’s own tools, you can always funnel people towards your streaming profiles with a promolink that lets fans choose their streaming service and quickly find your tracks.
Of course, like any streaming platform, uploading consistently and growing your fanbase of monthly listeners is key for growing your streams and increasing your chances of getting playlisted or recommended by the algorithm.
Just focus on making authentic good music that your fans love and streaming platforms will have to pay attention to your tracks!
How to promote your music on Tidal
Tidal is the third most popular streaming platform—but interestingly, it’s known for paying out the best rates per stream, so planning to promote your music on this platform could be lucrative.
Much like Apple Music, Tidal doesn’t doesn’t have very much in the way of promotional tools compared to its competitor, Spotify.
But claiming your Tidal for Artists profile once you get your Music on Tidal is definitely an important first step since you’ll be able to add a level of customization to your artist page and you’ll have control over your bio and artwork.
Aside from the handful of customization options Tidal offers, your best bet for promoting your music on Tidal is to include links to your Tidal page as part of your release plan.
So, make sure to include Tidal in your promolinks and let your fans know where they can stream your tracks.
3. Write a music press release and reach out to playlists and blogs
The music media is a powerful force in music promotion.
Coverage from even a small music press outlet can do a huge amount to bring your music to a wider audience.
It’s the same with playlists. The biggest ones have hundreds of thousands of followers and daily listeners.
But trying to find coverage is hard and getting tastemakers interested in your music is an intimidating task. But it’s worth it for the huge amount of traffic they can generate.
Here’s how to get started finding out where—and how—to reach out.
Who to contact
Music blogs are some of the most influential tastemakers out there.
Look for blogs that are posting tracks and artists like yourself and find out how to contact them.
Streaming playlists are another major player. Playlists aren’t exactly media outlets, but they’re still key platforms for promotion.
You can’t exactly submit directly to the big branded playlists, but there are tons of user generated ones that can help you move up the ladder and get noticed by other curators.
Just be wary of playlisting schemes that offer fake streams in exchange for payment—using this kind of service could result in your music getting taken down, banned from streaming platforms and even legal action.
Just stick to traditional promotional methods and identify legitimate playlists to shoot for, then contact the curators who manage them.
How you contact your industry connections is just as important as who you reach out to.
There’s a lot of do’s and don’ts when it comes to reaching out for coverage, but in general you will benefit from adding an electronic press kit to your website.
Find out more about how to promote your music with blogs and playlists:
4. How to build a fanbase for your music
The ultimate goal of your music promotion is building a fanbase.
You need to connect with the people who will support your music by streaming tracks, buying merch and attending shows.
But building a fanbase from scratch is difficult. You’ll have to use all the tools you have at your disposal to get fans on board.
Use traditional methods
There’s lots of great ways to promote your music that have been around for ages. Press kits, mailing lists and tours are all effective tools for growing your audience.
Get into the real world
Events, live music and person-to-person networking are absolutely essential for effective music promotion.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in promoting your music online. But if you forget about real life you’ll miss important ways to build your audience.
Own your space online
Your band website is your music’s home online. It’s the one place you control how your fans interact with your content completely.
Don’t let the opportunity go to waste, find out how to build an effective band website.