How to promote your music as an independent artist in 2021


As an independent artist and newcomer, getting the ball rolling and getting your music out there can be pretty difficult. Promoting your songs and your personal brand can be a full-time job in itself. Not to mention, if you are a songwriter as well and you are producing your pieces, it might seem you do not have enough time to do it all. However, suppose you are at the beginning of your music career. In that case, there are certain things you can do to promote your music effectively without spending too much money or feeling overwhelmed with everything. 

There are many independent artists who haven’t signed with a record label and have managed to become successful. For some artists, being their own manager is the preferred way, as you are not limited in creativity and can create your sound without adhering to the requirements of a record label. However, this doesn’t mean signing with one is not advantageous. If this is your goal, it is necessary you build your brand, create a music portfolio and curate an online presence – both on social media and on streaming services.

So, if your personal brand as an artist is clearly defined from the beginning, promoting your music won’t be too difficult a task. Here are a few tips on how to get your music out there and grow your fanbase:

Curate your online presence

This isn’t a secret anymore. The digital environment is almost entirely integrated into people’s lives nowadays. With so many people using social media networking sites, it is of the utmost importance people can find you on them. But it isn’t enough to only have accounts on social media platforms. Once you do this, it is vital you create relevant content that shows your style and personality. Furthermore, it is imperative you remain consistent. This means that the visual and audio content you post is matching, and the appearance of your social media accounts clearly show who you are and is consistent with the type of music you create. 

What’s more, it is vital you post on a regular basis, even when you do not have new music ready. This helps you stay in touch with your audience and attract new fans. For this reason, your social media accounts should be engaging and interesting. For instance, you could do live shows on Facebook and Instagram where you can sing and speak with your audience. Giving your fans the chance to interact with you and ask you questions is an effective way of consolidating the connection between them and an artist they admire. Staying present in the online environment is vital for upcoming and independent artists. With networking sites being so interactive, you can make use of this feature to promote your music and connect with your audience. The secret – or not so secret anymore – is to be consistent and engaging. 

Be present on streaming platforms

For any artist or band, whether they are newcomers with a relatively small fanbase or well-established and known globally, independent or with a record label, being on streaming platforms has become a must. Music streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube Premium, Amazon, or Apple Music, are subscription-based and the preferred option for consumers thanks to their convenience and user-friendly interface. Since their emergence, people didn’t have to download their favorite music anymore, as you can simply search for your loved artists and bands. 

The usage of such music streaming platforms is in constant increase in the last few years, with 400 million subscribers worldwide in 2020. For this reason, as an independent artist, it is imperative you create playlists and release any new singles on one of those platforms. Depending on your budget, it is recommended to be present on more than one, as not everyone uses the same, and your goal is for your music to reach your target audience. Apart from increasing awareness and becoming more discoverable, being on music streaming services helps you financially through royalty income. 

Send out demos

It is crucial you do not underestimate the power of having a PR strategy. For artists that have a limited budget, it is understandable they cannot afford to hire a specialist in Public Relations. However, there are certain things you can do on your own to promote your brand. While creating a solid online presence is vital, you should consider sending out press kits. You can tailor and create your press kit that shows who you are as an artist. For the PR packages you send out in physical form, it is essential you use packaging that matches your personality and the appearance of your album or demo. For instance, if you have a colorful palette, you could use craft ribbon to wrap up the press kit, containing your bio, promotional photos, and any press coverage you might have, besides your audio content. Regardless of the type of music you create, it is vital you are consistent in how you promote it.

Know your audience

Having a clear understanding of your target audience or niche is one of the most important aspects of effectively promoting your music. This way, you will be able to curate your online presence on streaming services better, as there are many established artists and bands that can make it more difficult for upcoming artists to be discovered. So, if you know your audience well and comprehend the algorithm, you have more chances of being on relevant playlists and getting known.   

In addition, if you know your brand well and trust the music you create, your current fanbase will see this, and it will bring more listeners. When you have found your niche, you are better prepared to promote your music as you know for sure that those people will want to discover more of you. Apart from being present on social media and streaming platforms, a way of reaching them is by doing live shows. If you are an up-and-coming artist, it is essential you start local and perform at relatively small venues that are suitable for the type of music you play and where your audience will attend. This means that if your genre is indie, you might not want to perform in a place that is known for metal bands.

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