Let's hear it for the independent artists working diligently to get their music heard.
Being an independent musician isn't all sunshine and rainbows like most people think. Yes, you get to use your originality to create intoxicating melodies reminiscent of a piece of yourself that you can share with the world – but you're also a business that now has to attract an audience with your appeal. It's a hard line of work but done right, it can be advantageous.
We're here to take some of the pressure away so you can focus on making feel-good vibes the world can relate to. Here are our top 10 ways to promote your music in 2023.
1. Make Phenomenal Music True To YOU
Here's the catch: You don't need top-of-the-line studio equipment to do that! Instead, be resourceful of what you have access to and release your music in a way that's consistent with you. Social media can be a double-edged sword, and as of late, it has made some musicians feel as if they need to create in a capacity that may not be authentic to their workflow. Many times, musicians feel the pressure of dropping every month or week to keep up with others' creation calendars – and lucky for you, you don't need to!
Yes, dropping and posting regularly can help you to stay relevant. But, at the end of the day, you want to find what works for you so your longevity outweighs the rest. So, place your focus and care into the sound and styling of your music and create pieces that you think will resonate with your niche. A wise person once said that if you make your hook first in the process of your creation, consider that your first verse. Then go back and revisit what will be your hook because that's how you make the ultimate catchy anthem.
2. Know Your Audience & Niche
Your music doesn't have to fit into one scope. What's amazing about today's music culture is the flourishing music subgroups that exist in all corners of the world. Better yet, these sub-genres are taking off and can help you better target your audience.
Whom you market your music to can make all the difference, and at the risk of sounding like captain obvious, if you're a rock band, play venues that welcome rock musicians. This way, you can find your way into the rock community and further build a fanbase of fans who want to hear rock n roll.
Remember that a music genre doesn't always describe a niche. Your music may appeal to people on a wider spectrum; in this case, all it takes is starting in your city! Most people will want to see an artist from their hometown blow up, so remember to show your city some love before expanding internationally.
3. Be More Than A Musician
There are layers to every musician that goes beyond the melodies you share with your fans. Share your stories and be authentic. Right now, everybody is looking for someone to relate to. With social media often being a highlight reel of people's lives, musicians need to show that they're human beings first and foremost.
You can post about what you do away from music, tell the story of the songs you create, and give a glimpse into behind-the-scenes footage from your latest and greatest creations. However much insight you choose to expose to your audience is up to you, but at the end of the day, make sure you're comfortable, and it comes from a place of authenticity.
4. Sign Up For Artist Services
Apart from music distribution services, which send out your release to all of the various platforms on your behalf today, most of these large music streaming services have their own platforms built specifically for artists like you.
What's great about these services is that they'll allow musicians access to a range of features and benefits within the platform that are exclusively created for artists using and releasing music.
Check out examples like Spotify for Artists, Apple Music for Artists, Amazon Music for Artists, Deezer for Creators, and YouTube for Artists – and if you haven't had the chance to sign up yet, here's your friendly reminder!
5. Build An Enticing Presence On Social Media
The secret is out. The power of a good social media marketing strategy is not to be taken lightly as a musician. You want to ensure you're developing and sustaining an interesting and appealing presence across Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and even less obvious platforms like Snapchat, so your followers can find even more of you after discovering your music – or better yet, discover your music on it.
You don't need to be on every social media platform, but it's important you take a chance to showcase your brand on social. Keeping your social media handles consistent across all platforms is a huge help when it comes to making it easier for people to search for you online.
Another pro-tip: Put multiple-link landing pages like Link Tree in your social media bio! This allows your followers to browse through key pieces of content you choose to showcase.
There's plenty of advice out there when it comes to monitoring your social channels across every platform. Research helpful resources for more information on how to make the most of your social media presence.
6. Build A Website & Mailing List
Social media is a great asset and has done wonders for careers. But what if a social media platform just ups and disappears one day? Would you want your only way of communication to be within that app? Well, the internet is here to stay through its evolving phases, and your professional, brand-reflecting website should include links to your music, bios, photos, and tour dates. Now here's where a mailing list comes in handy too. A newsletter is one of the best ways to communicate with your fans and build a great rapport with them consistently.
Having this option attached to your website ensures that when people leave your site, they'll return! Swapping an email address for a freebie is great; your audience will love that you're giving them something in return while staying in touch.
7. Score Some Press & Blog Coverage
Don't underestimate what the power of a good press release can do for your song! If your music gets featured by music publications of any kind, those placements can aid in building hype surrounding your release and offer up the chance to take your music career up a notch.
If you have a budget to do so, hiring a professional PR executive to handle your campaign takes this off your plate and can allow you to reach outlets you may not normally be able to get in contact with. However, a do-it-yourself PR approach is doable but keep in mind that it's key for you to approach bloggers and journalists in the right way.
This is where the next tip comes in handy…
8. Create An Electronic Press Kit
As we just mentioned, getting your music into the hands of music publications is key. However, you'll also want it to get into the hands of booking agents too. An Electronic Press Kit, or EPK, will help you stand apart from the rest with your professionalism and brand crammed into one link or file.
Packaged in one place, an EPK is like your expansive business card that makes it easy for music industry professionals to access and review your work. If you're ready to take your career to the next level, then an EPK is most definitely for you. Make sure it's strong and brief and has the following few elements: artist bio, photos, music videos, your music, notable moments, and contact information.
9. Give Your Fans & Fellow Musicians A Chance To Duet Your Work (And You Can Do The Same)
The duet feature on TikTok and Instagram is considered an extremely powerful tool that has the potential to generate virality for creators of any scope and style. We're sure you've seen some of your favorite artists and up-and-coming creators hop on this wave. That's because it allows you to collab with some of your icons in the comfort of your home! This also means that when you give the opportunity to your fanbase to do the same with your songs, it will reach an even wider audience. The unique power of the duet feature is the ability to convert this cross-platform engagement without relying on heavy budgets and expensive marketing campaigns – leaving more money for you to put into recording music and filming music videos.
10. Plays Gigs & Make Meaningful Relationships
Do you remember your first concert? How about your favorite concert? Chances are you do, and you probably get a rush of nostalgia that comes along with it. Attending live concerts, showcase, and/or festival is a liberating experience, and the people in the audience are looking to find their new favorite act. This is a great way to make impactful connections with fans you already have and new fans you'll gain from these shows. Work on a memorable live show that will rope fans in! After you've dominated locally, you can focus on a more widespread approach and continue to build from there.
We hope this list can help point you in the right direction regarding what to focus on in 2023. Remember, we want to hear what you've been working on. BuzzMusic will forever be the home of independent music.