Promoting your music today is convenient but not free from challenges. The former is true because you have all the power you need at your fingertips with social media and smartphones. The latter is also true because of the saturation of independent artists online.
With all that content out there, it’s hard to sift through it to get to your niche audience. Sometimes, it requires money that you don’t have. So, to help you, here are 10 cheap ways to promote your music.
1. Keep It Old School
It never hurts to sprinkle a little bit of nostalgia into your promotions. Do the best thing for your band and add a little old school promotion.
Put your music out on vinyl or cassettes in limited stores. Look for places that appreciate your genre of music and offer free samples. Consider offering memberships to clubs that will buy your music earlier than before.
There are platforms on the internet today that are tailor-made for this task, such as Patreon.
2. Use Social Media to Promote Your Music
Social media is the biggest marketing tool in the world today. It’s perfect to build a community and share information that you need widely circulated with the least amount of effort.
Plus, it’s free to promote anything under the sun. If you do need to spend to promote something or widen your circle of followers, the fees are usually meager.
All in all, if you have the right social media skills, you can promote just about anything.
There are hundreds of free tutorials online that you can use to strengthen your social media presence. All you need to do is to create the right type of music and share the right link. That’s easier said than done in some respects.
However, it’s much more convenient than arguing for a contract or hiring a company to market your music. Promoting your music online has never been so easy.
3. Use Cross-Platform Promotion
Using just one form of social media is too limited today. There are different types of audiences on all platforms, and different platforms suit different content. You won’t be updating your status on YouTube, and you won’t be posting a story on Twitter.
Also, it’s highly unlikely that someone will install an app just to follow your account on that platform. To get the best audience interactions from all platforms, it’s good to be present on all of them.
4. Contests Can Bring More People to Your Shows
Organizing a contest is a fun way of bringing more people to your shows. To build a bigger audience, you may need to give them some incentives to bring their friends.
Having contests that offer rewards for bringing a lot of people to the show is great for increasing audience numbers. The prizes can range from an item of merchandise to free backstage passes.
5. Play a Free Show
This is perhaps the least expensive option on the list because it requires no money at all. If you play a free show, you’ll be more likely to get a bigger crowd. And you’ll be more likely to impress far more people with your talent.
The best part about free shows is that they can take place anywhere where crowds can congregate. These can be in parks, town commons, coffee houses, etc. In an era where ticket vendors can charge huge fees, this will be a treat for music lovers.
6. Go on Radio and Podcasts
Radio is still thriving, for some odd reason. It’s just transitioned to a new medium now called podcasts.
Some podcasts are gaining a lot of traction with the youth today. Some prefer them to television and syndicated talk shows.
Try to go on these radio shows or podcasts to promote your band. Play a few tunes and talk about your journey. You won’t need to prepare much for this at all. All you need to do is show up, talk, and play!
7. Go on Tour
Every artist has to go through this sooner or later. Opening up for a more popular band is a cliché in the music world. However, you have to do it to get more fans.
Of course, most people will be waiting for the main act. However, right in the middle of the crowd, you may end up inspiring a few new supporters.
Plus, you won’t have to work on promotion or rehearse new songs for these concerts. You can play your greatest hits and just sharpen your skills. You won’t have to spend much at all to get free publicity.
8. Don’t Discount Genre Specific Festivals
The major music festivals around the world are for the big wigs. You’re not quite there yet. So, you should seriously consider genre-specific festivals. Sure the audience is much smaller, but it’s also much more involved.
However, when you need to build your audience, you need to carve out niches for yourself. Don’t hesitate to play a few songs here and there at festivals where you’re preaching to the choir. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll get noticed in the unlikeliest of places.
9. Host a Vlog
Vlogs are so common online now that they’re cliché. However, the thing about clichés is that they’re effective. Vlogs that document your story and your interactions with fans or even the troubles you face will be popular.
They are great ways to make yourself more relatable to your fans and gain a lot of empathy. It’s been shown that through Vlogs, creators and musicians can build a loyal community of fans. It has been found that through vlogs, fans relate to them on more than a professional level.
You can decide how to share your life with your fans. For example, you can roll out weekly or daily videos. You can share updates on different social media platforms. You can share stories, etc.
It doesn’t have to be a professionally produced segment. On the contrary, people like the untouched feel of vlogs because they feel so natural. This way, when fans feel more involved in your life, they’ll gravitate to your music more.
10. Build a Community of Fans
Nothing is more beneficial to your band than your fans. To promote your music, you can count on them to spread the word.
We’ve already discussed social media campaigns and asking your fans to share your videos. However, some campaigns can go even further. If you remember, in 2018, there was a whole battle between the YouTube channels T-Series and PewDiePie. Fans of both channels spread the word and tried to compete with each other.
It was their marketing and efforts that led to the impressive battle between the two raging on for close to two years. This is what fans can do for their stars. If you have even a small community of fans, but they’re mobilized, you can do wonders.
So, when you build your community of fans, be involved with them. If they see that you care about them, they will care about you.
Ready to Go?
Using these marketing tips will not cost much, or in many cases, at all. Use them to promote your music and gain a wider audience. Who knows, one of them may just be your lucky ticket to the big time!
If you have a bit of cash and want to jump-start your music career, try our Spotify Playlist Plays service. Just load up a playlist with your band’s songs (and maybe some songs from your favorite performers or influencers) and we’ll do the rest! Playlist Plays will increase your song streams/plays as well as increasing your Monthly Listeners count.