The internet has changed the music industry for good. Technologies like file sharing, streaming, social media and eCommerce are giving artists more opportunities to expose their music to larger audiences and increase their fan base. The downside of having so many options is that figuring out how to promote your music online can be challenging.
That said, promoting your music is essential if you want to reach a wider audience and build a successful career.
How to promote your music in 8 steps
01. Create a music website
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Wix offers seamless integrations with BandsInTown or Songkick so you can promote your shows and sell tickets directly from your music website.
Sell branded merchandise by adding an online store to your website.
Include industry essentials like an EPK (electronic press kit). This password protected page is the easiest way to give labels, press and other industry heavy-weights the most pivotal info about your band.
Try these totally customizable templates that come ready-made with everything you need for a professional looking music website.
02. Use music streaming services
Most major music streaming services have artist platforms that offer exclusive features and benefits to musicians. If you're serious about releasing music, signing up for an artist platform is a great way to get your music heard by more people and to promote your career.
No list about music streaming services would be complete without mentioning Spotify. One of the biggest mobile and desktop apps in the world, Spotify has almost every recorded artist in their libraries. With their Discover tool for finding new artists, your channel might get connected with bigger names that play similar music.
Another huge streaming platform is Apple Music; in fact, it is known for hosting the largest online music library in the world. Similar to Spotify, it goes one step beyond being the online home for your digital music collection, helping users discover new songs based on what they are already listening to.
One artist service you may not have heard of, but no less valuable, is Last.fm. This platform is one of the easiest ways for new fans to make your music their latest obsession. Add your music to Last.fm, and you will be added to playlists with bands that your fans already love (making you extra cool by association).
03. Promote your music on social media
Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to promote your music to a large audience. When you use social media, you can share your music with your followers, connect with other musicians and get your music featured in playlists.
A good rule for any social media platform, from TikTok to Instagram, is to post regularly. The more you post, the more likely you are to be seen by potential fans. However, don't just post anything and everything. Make sure your posts are high-quality and relevant to your audience.
A great option for promoting your music is to create a YouTube channel. Justin Bieber, and The Weeknd have one thing in common: they were both discovered on YouTube. If you are itching to get your music to the masses, a YouTube channel is an inexpensive and relatively simple way to get started.
Twitter can also be the perfect place for music fans to find their next favorite band. Give them the opportunity to find you first by using popular hashtags like #music, #rap or #jazz the music style of your choice when tweeting out new songs.
Another option you may not have considered is Reddit. You may not know this, but many of the viral things you see online made it to Reddit first, and that’s why musicians need to familiarize themselves with the Reddit Music thread. The grassroots-style community for content sharing allows musicians to get a genuine feel for how their music is being perceived by audiences, but be careful, the hardcore users can be harsh on noobs. Just be respectful and authentic and you’ll make it just fine.
Additionally, on TikTok, be sure to create an Artist account for better discoverability on the platform. On your account, you can also add an Artist tag under your account name, this makes it clearer for prospective new fans that you are an artist. You can read more about Artist Account to Boost Discoverability on TikTok for details including a New Release feature and “behind the song”.
A final word of advice on social media: collaborate with other musicians. This is a great way to reach a new audience. When you work with other musicians, their fans will be exposed to your music, and you can expose your own audience to new music, too.
04. Create a press kit
An EPK is an online portfolio of information about you as an artist, including biographical details, press clippings, audio and video recordings of your work, photos and contact information. EPKs are an easy way for people who’d like to work with you to learn more about you and how to get in touch. They help you land gigs and collaborate with other musicians.
An EPK is an effective tool for artists who want to make a name for themselves in the music industry and get their music out there.
05. Get coverage from music blogs
Music blogs long ago surpassed magazines like Rolling Stone as the authorities on the best of what’s next in the music world. This means finding the best musician websites or popular music blogs to post about your latest music, hype your next show or even review your album will earn you some serious street cred, and some genuine new fans. If you are a DJ, it is also worth exploring how to create a DJ website.
Many bloggers have their email addresses or social channels listed on their posts, so try reaching out to them with a short intro and a link to one of your songs. Start by researching popular music blogs in your area and send the bloggers your EPK with a good professional email intro; a post on a blog in your town or city can help you generate a devoted local fanbase. The best blog for your music will differ from genre to genre, but Pitchfork, Stereogum, DatPiff and The A.V. Club are some great ones from the ‘music blog big league.’
06. Make music videos
If you aren’t finding much success with some other routes presented, music videos are a great way to visually represent your music and get it out into the world.
When creating a music video, start out thinking about the tone and mood of your song to decide what kind of feeling you want your video to evoke. You can also think about the message you want your video to communicate. Of course, one of the most crucial deciding factors is the budget you have available; music videos can range in price from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
Here are some additional tips for creating music videos:
Work with a filmmaker or video production company. They can help you bring your vision to life and create a high-quality video that will impress your audience.
Use a strong storyboard to plan out your video. This will help you stay organized and make sure your video flows smoothly.
Shoot your video in a variety of locations and with different camera angles. This will help keep your video visually interesting and engaging.
Creating a music video can be a lot of work, but it's a great way to promote your music and connect with new fans.
07. Get a great team to help you
A great team can help you with all aspects of promoting your music, from booking shows to managing your social media. Although it can be tempting to go solo, finding the right people can save you time and energy so you can focus on making music. They can also help you connect with the right people in the music industry and introduce you to potential collaborators, promoters and label executives.
When you are first starting out, you can try finding friends who will help you out for free. But the music market is competitive, and as you begin to gain traction, it’s a good idea to hire professionals who will be there for you full-time. Having an established team to help you launch your career is an invaluable asset.
08. Play live often and promote your shows
One of the main reasons you got into music in the first place was to play in front of a crowd — so make sure to do that often. Playing live is a great way to connect with your audience and build a fan base, as well as help you get noticed by booking agents and record labels. You can also get real-time feedback on your music and improve your stage presence.
Help ensure that your next show is played to a packed house by promoting your shows on ticket purchasing channels like Bandsintown and Songkick. With location based targeting, Bandsintown lets site viewers discover the best shows in the area. As an added bonus, connecting your Bandsintown or Songkick accounts to your music website automatically updates any new tour dates and allows ticket purchasing on your website without lifting a finger.
If you're serious about your music career, then you should make it a priority to play live as frequently as possible. It's one of the best ways to get your music out there and to connect with people who love your music.
How to promote your music FAQ
How can I promote my music to go viral?
There is no surefire way to make your music go viral. However, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances:
Make sure your music is high-quality
Promote your music heavily
Get your music featured in playlists
Get people talking about your music