One of the greatest and most frustrating things about music is that there are hundreds of ways to successfully promote it to new ears. Some methods cost money, while other methods are free and just require a bit of luck and dedication.
Are you tired of trying the same old ways of promoting your music to no avail? You may be posting on social media, but people rarely see it. You may try to send your music to playlists, but the songs don't get heard, or the playlists are too small to make a difference.
You may have tried your luck with Facebook ads, but found it to be too complicated. You might have tried music submission services like SubmitHub but found that your song didn't get much publicity. You may have taken a risk on a promotion company package, but found that it did next to nothing.
These are all the types of problems I've faced myself when I release new music and try to find ways to get it out there for new people to become fans.
The music marketing world can be a tough place! But I, along with some other musicians in my network, have succeeded when thinking outside of the box when it comes to music promotion. Here are some tips that may get your creative wheels spinning!
While it’s an expensive and difficult process to get airplay on major radio stations and shows, there is still a lot of opportunity for receiving airplay and royalties from smaller stations.
Independent online shows, college radio stations, and college radio stations often offer independent musicians and artists a chance to submit for continued airplay.
In order to receive airplay from these companies, your music needs to be professionally mixed and mastered, as well as edited to exclude any profanity or obscene lyrical content.
Your song submissions for radio should also have edited ID3 tags that clearly label the artist name and song title. Songs submitted with the wrong format make it so that the DJ has to do more work in order to add your track(s) to rotation, possibly causing them to pass on your submission.
To increase your chances of being seen among other submissions from other artists, try providing your submissions digitally and via snail mail to show how serious you are about getting your music heard.
For local major radio stations, you may be able to get some publicity with interviews, local contests, and local events that feature musical talent in the area. Stay connected with the radio stations that fit your music genre and check if they have any collaboration opportunities.
If you're in a popular city, you may find local workshops with hundreds or thousands of songwriters gathering to learn from each other and network. Depending on your networking and talent levels, you could connect with people who could link you to a paid gig or a marketing opportunity.
You can find beneficial songwriting workshops through companies like ASCAP and schools like NYU. Programs like these are often welcoming to almost anyone of age who has the money to cover the fees.
Community centers, churches, schools, and even some businesses like to promote local businesses in certain areas, and you may find some luck with marketing and promotion if you’re in the right spot and leaving the right information with the right people.
Just like community events are great for networking, they are also great for getting the news out about upcoming shows, releases, and other newsworthy events in your music career.
To make the most out of these boards, try to be the type of person who is looking for help and is willing to give help, instead of the type of artist just looking for a handout.
For example, if you’re a local pianist looking to get visibility and gigs, consider visiting churches in your area to see how their announcements system works. You should also try to offer something of value to the church as well.
Many people think that print media is dead, but it has a pretty strong cult following and could be the perfect out-of-the-box way to market yourself as an up-and-coming musician.
Many genre-specific magazines accept submissions from independent artists in the form of physical and digital mail. According to research, print media is still thriving, with Forbes reporting over 60 magazines were professionally launched in 2020.
The great thing about print ads and PR opportunities is that you get the chance to be far more disruptive and draw eyes to your music brand.
Magazines often give independent artists a stylish and eye-popping advertisement opportunity that attracts potential fans in a way that is not possible with the ad blindness that occurs online.
TV/News outlets have online and offline methods of promotion available to independent artists if they get creative enough to reach out.
For offline press methods, consider reaching out to your local news network to see if they have any opportunities for collaboration with independent talent.
Local news may be willing to cover your gigs or have a performer come in live for an interview or performance if you have a musical portfolio (EPK!) that is impressive enough!
Popular podcasters who host on platforms like Spotify, Youtube, Podbean, and Anchor.FM can give you an impressive amount of listeners to your music if you are able to get your music placed in the background or in the forefront.
The most popular podcasts include celebrity gossip and sports talk. While music-centric blogs don’t account for one of the top categories in podcasts, the good thing is, a huge chunk of podcasts use music as a part of their podcasting content, even if only in the background or as an intro.
This creates an opportunity for independent artists to be featured and get exposure in a variety of niches online. Unlike other outlets, podcasters usually don’t need much information when submitting their tracks for a chance to be featured. They are most interested in the track itself!
I've found a large amount of success from creating podcast intros for people, and my voice and name have been heard by thousands thanks to the influence of the podcast host!
DJs have tons of different options when it comes to finding new and undiscovered music that has been released to the world. There are thousands of songs being released daily, so the best DJs are constantly scouring some of the best music resources for songs to add to their sets.
I've come across many DJs who have a personal site where they collect unsolicited submissions from artists that are trying to promote their new music.
DJs also use services like DropTrack, which provides a similar type of service where bloggers, A&Rs, and similar individuals can accept submissions from artists, musicians, and labels.
Most popular in the EDM and Pop genres, channels on YouTube that have secured a large number of subscribers in their network are an amazing method of getting free music promotion.
Due to the sharing and viral potential of each new song featured thanks to the use of the top 2 song uploading platforms, independent producers and artists that get a chance to be featured on channels tend to receive a much higher amount of song exposure with promotion channels in comparison to other outlets.
Because of the great amount of exposure, the competition is very steep; you will need to have an utterly amazing song in your arsenal to win the attention of these song channel owners.
As you can imagine, since the songs on these channels are so popular, the amount of music makers submitting to these channels is also extremely high. I managed to get a placement years ago at Majestic Casual, which has over 4 million subscribers looking for new music to discover.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her recent collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page. As an Amazon Associate, Yona Marie earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon and other affiliate products are recommended to genuinely help readers and keep this site up and running as well.