In the past, carving out a successful career as an independent musician was often difficult. However, due to the growth of the internet and the rise of social media, that is no longer the case. There are a host of online tools that allow independent artists and bands to grow their fanbase.
If you’re an independent act looking to grow and gain a following in 2022, then we have some useful advice on how you can promote your music over the next 12 months.
Use Social Media to Engage with Fans
Sure you use your Twitter account to post about your new single or upcoming show, but that will only get you so far. To truly capture fans attention, you need to engage with them directly. Fans want to know you are genuine, and not just using your social media to promote yourself.
By enhancing your social media interaction on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram can leave a lasting impression on potential fans. As an independent act, you’re just one of thousands in a similar position, so by interacting with fans is likely to leave a lasting impression.
You can interact in a variety of ways. From simply liking a tweet, responding to comments, to answering questions in video form.
The Importance of Playlists
Much like being playlisted by major radio stations in the past, having your song on influential and popular playlists can be very effective. Digital streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer are filled with playlists for every style, mood, genre, and beyond. Whether you’re an independent R&B songstress, an emerging metalcore band, or a lofi hip-hop producer, there is going to be a playlist out there for your new track.
The downfall of being an independent act is that you probably don’t have the financial support others do to automatically be placed on key Spotify playlists. Nevertheless, there are ways to get noticed and included on these playlists.
Use a Playlist Promotional Service
If you’re looking for assistance on getting on to relatable playlists, then using a playlist promotional service (like Moonstrive Media) is an ideal starting point. In short, these companies work with independent acts to organically push their music to playlist curators. Also, some promotional companies provide other services such as online advertising management, music marketing, branding and identity, and public relations.
By being included on several playlists, along with other factors, you could trigger the Spotify algorithm, leading to further exposure.
Use ‘Spotify for Artists’
On Spotify, some of the most influential playlists are Spotify’s own curated playlists. While it can be difficult to be included on these, it is possible. For starters, ‘Spotify for Artists’ is a great tool that allows you to pitch your forthcoming single release to Spotify’s editorial playlist curators. While playlist inclusion isn’t guaranteed, it’s a great opportunity to use your marketing skills to sell yourself to influential playlist curators.
Regularly Release New Music and Play Live Shows
Even though using social media and being included on playlist are significant to growing as an independent artist, it is important to not lose sight of who and what you are - a musician. While you might have your latest track included on various playlists, you need to maintain that momentum. This can be come in the form of regularly releasing new music and playing live shows.
Music fans constantly want something new, so if you’re able to release new music regularly, you’re going to gain the support of those listeners. Those same people can then come out and see you perform live.
Playing shows is the bread and butter of any independent band or singer. This is where you can truly capture people’s attention and showcase your ability. An outstanding gig can leave a lasting impression on a fan, who will continue to support you and help your grow in popularity.
Don’t Forget About Traditional Media and Websites & Blogs!
Although many independent artists are able to organically grow a following through social media and playlist inclusion, it is important not to forget about how important traditional media such as newspapers and magazines can still be. Many publications are decades old and are established and recognisable brands. So if you’re able to be mentioned, or even featured, in a magazine or newspaper, then it is a great opportunity of major exposure to potential new fans. The same can be said for radio airplay. If you’re played on a radio show, then people are going to hear your music who might never have heard of you before.
Likewise, these media outlets have a strong online presence, both through social media and their own websites and blogs. If you’re able to have your new video, or upcoming tour posted on a relatable and noteworthy online source, then it simply increases peoples awareness of who you are. Furthermore, you can let people know about it through your own social media.
Network with Music Industry Experts
Much like working with playlist promotional services, reaching out and networking with people involved in the music industry can be beneficial. For example, someone with a public relations background would be perfect to help push your song to magazines, blogs, and websites.
Have an Electronic Press Kit (and a Website)
When it comes to promoting yourself digitally, having an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) is an ideal way to push yourself to media outlets. An EPK should consist of your music, a biography, hi-res photographs, videos, press quotes, social media links and contact details. In short, it should pack everything people need to know about you and your music.
Likewise, having a website is ideal. You should consider this as your main online home. The place where fans can directly find out about you, your music, your social media, tour dates, music videos, and more.
If you’re serious about turning your hobby as a musician into a career, it’s important to remember to stay professional. Sure you can have fun with fans on social media, but being unprofessional can have a damaging effect. This is same when networking with industry insiders. For example, a basic e-mail to a magazine or blog with just a Spotify link and no information won’t get you noticed.