April 19, 2024

DIY Marketing: How to Promote Your Music as an Independent Artist

As an independent musician, you're responsible for booking your own shows, networking, recording your music, and promoting your art. Over the past few years, I've grown my skills in marketing music and art effectively through my participation in Youth on Record and its fellowship program. Learning to market your art is such an important tool as an artist. It’s a way to get more people to see or hear your art. Here are some resources on how DIY marketing can help you reach more people and get your music heard. 


Crafting Your EPK

Your EPK serves as a digital showcase of your musical identity, a gateway for industry professionals and fans alike to immerse themselves in your artistry. Here's what your EPK should include:

Musician Bio: Your bio should encapsulate your journey, influences, and the essence of your music. Keep it concise yet captivating, offering a glimpse into the soul behind the sound.

Music: Showcase your musical creations with tracks that exemplify your unique style. Whether it's singles, EPs, or albums, let your music speak volumes.

Photos/Videos: Visuals are great tools for storytelling. Include photographs and videos that capture the essence of your performances and personality. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a well-crafted video can forge an emotional connection like no other.

Contact Information: Make it easy for industry professionals, booking agents, and fans to reach out to you. Include your email address or phone number, and any relevant contact details.

Social Media Links: Your social media presence is your digital stage, offering a platform to interact with fans and expand your audience. Include links to your various social media profiles, spanning from Instagram and Facebook to Twitter and TikTok, ensuring effortless connectivity across all platforms.


Leveraging Social Media

In today’s digital age, social media serves as an invaluable tool for musicians looking to expand their audience and build a fan base. Here are some tips for leveraging social media to showcase yourself as an artist:

Live Streams: Break down the barriers between you and your audience with live streams. Whether it's an intimate acoustic session or a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your creative process, live streams foster real-time engagement and foster a sense of community.

Merch Giveaways: Who doesn't love freebies? Organize merchandise giveaways to encourage engagement and acknowledge your devoted fans. From autographed albums to exclusive items, giveaways are an entertaining and impactful method to express gratitude and spark excitement. 

Show Announcements: Keep your fans in the loop with timely show announcements. Whether you're playing at a local venue or embarking on a nationwide tour, utilize social media to spread the word and drum up excitement.

Concert Photos and Videos: Capture the magic of your live performances and share it with the world. From electrifying stage moments to candid backstage snapshots, concert photos and videos offer a glimpse into the experience of your shows. 


Online Press & Radio

Getting media coverage is a great promotional tool and helps build social capital. Venues and media outlets look for the press when considering your work. This is why artists and labels spend lots and lots of money on music publicists. But there is a lot you can do on your own. Thousands of music blogs around the world accept submissions for review. But it can be daunting to know where to begin. Start by identifying where other artists in your scene are getting their music reviewed. Also, submit to your local press, and any local media where you are touring. It can be helpful to use Google or Chat GPT to identify the right media outlets for you.

College and independent radio is a great way to build a fanbase locally and on a wider level. Most major markets have independent stations that dedicate some time to local music. In Colorado, Indie 102.3, The Colorado Sound, and KGNU all accept music submissions. Additionally, there are countless online radio stations that will play your music. You just have to do some research. There are online databases like radio-locator.com and radio.streamitter.com that can help find the right stations for you.


Building Your Fanbase

At the heart of every successful music career lies a loyal fan base. Here are some tips to develop and foster your fan community: 

Collect Email Addresses: At live gigs, seize the opportunity to connect with your audience on a deeper level by collecting email addresses. Offer incentives like free stickers or exclusive content in exchange for sign-ups, laying the foundation for direct and personalized communication.

Email Marketing: Once you've compiled a list of email subscribers, utilize email marketing to stay connected and engaged. Whether you’re announcing upcoming releases, sharing personal anecdotes, or offering exclusive discounts, email marketing offers a direct line of communication to your most devoted fans.


Playing Live

Nothing can replace the raw energy and intimacy of a live performance. From local gigs to cross-country tours, playing live not only allows you to showcase your talent but also fosters meaningful connections with your audience. Embrace each opportunity to step onto the stage and let your music resonate across vast distances. 


Be Authentic

In the fast-paced world of music promotion, authenticity reigns supreme. Your journey as a musician is a deeply personal one, and your authenticity shines through in everything you do. Whether you're sharing new music, engaging with fans on social media, or performing live, always be yourself and stick to your artistic vision. After all, the best music promotion strategies stem from a place of genuine passion and excitement. 

In conclusion, as you start your musical journey, remember that success isn't just about talent—it's about strategic promotion, authentic engagement, and dedication. By making a great EPK, taking advantage of social media, and staying true to your authentic self, you'll not only captivate audiences but also grow your career as an independent artist.