Promoting Music: A Beginner’s Guide as an Indie Artist

Reading time: 3 min

This blog post has been written by Droptrack, one of Bridger's partners.

Promoting yourself is often the most difficult part of starting out in the music industry. Once you’ve edited your tracks to perfection and hit Publish on the streaming platforms, you still have to market yourself and get people to listen to your songs. As an independent musician, you might not be fond of the business-related aspects of getting your music heard.

Even if you are extroverted, other things might be preventing you, like the costs related to promotion. While it is true that music promotion can be expensive, you can actually get a good-sized following these days without resorting to spending much money on promos. Marketing yourself does not have to be expensive to be effective, especially in the digital age. Here are some ways you could reach your audience today without breaking the bank.


Give things away for free

If there is something everyone loves, it’s a freebie. Whether you’re giving something away as part of a package, a contest, or as a reward for participating, a free item will always be a hit. You can include a free t-shirt with every purchase of your album, for example, or give your fans free access to exclusive music by participating in a contest.

You can even expand this to include concerts or live experiences. Give away backstage passes, VIP meet and greets, seat upgrades, tickets to the soundcheck, and exclusive access to live songs. Consider doing ‘freemium’ offers as well; give away an EP for free, but have a paid version that has bonus features or items.


Link your name with similar, larger acts

From opening for a bigger band to collaborating with a well-known artist, many indie artists have launched careers because they used the power of association. If you are still working up the courage to ask a bigger artist to work with you, or if you’re waiting to be the front act for someone, you can use other ways of getting people to associate your name with similar artists.

Park your van or truck across the venue of a similar act; make sure your name is displayed prominently on the sides of your vehicle. This will help you get on the radar of people who already listen to your type of music. If possible, hand out flyers as well!


Find your tribe and make connections

In independent music promotion, it is better to have 300 loyal listeners than 3,000 casual fans. Find your fans and make sure you get their contact information; send them e-mail newsletters or text blasts about your upcoming gigs. When you are performing, interact with them; have meet and greet sessions before or after your event, or host free or inexpensive after parties. Reward your listeners for taking the time to listen in person.

When you have a solid base, no matter how small it is, you will be set to grow your audience. Your first fans are your advocates; if you’ve developed a good enough relationship with them, they will be willing to help you with promoting your music. They can put up flyers, share your advertisements online, or get other people to listen to your music.

Always remember those who help; send thank you notes and heartfelt letters of appreciation to listeners, music journalists, interviewers, promoters, or whoever helps you promote your music.


Identify a cause you believe in and align with it

People love artists whose works come from a higher perspective. The musicians whose music endures have substantial lyrics and beautiful arrangements. It doesn’t matter if the track is rap, country, pop, alternative, or rock; people love music that speaks to them on a deeper level.

One way you could do this is by getting to know which movements and social issues you feel strongly about, and writing songs about these. It is important that you care for the cause you align with; otherwise, music fans will sniff out your phoniness in an instant.

De quoi dois-je me souvenir ?

Promoting music as a new artist will take a lot of effort. If you’re willing to put the work in, cultivate relationships, and get to know yourself more as an artist, you’ll surely reach your tribe in no time.

Make this process even quicker by using the internet. You can get on a platform that helps you reach industry influencers and playlist curators, like DropTrack.

At DropTrack, we offer music marketing services and we get your music heard by the industry influencers who matter. Our AI-powered promotion tool and industry connections ensure your tracks reach the right ears. Get in touch with us!

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