You have probably heard of most of these tools on this list. But it’s easy to forget that their are many resources at your disposal, which are also often free, that can help you market your music.
Here we will explain why each online tool is important and some great ways to use them.
For the average musician, a mailing list is the thing that put you in the back of the room on your semi-professional merch table. Most people don’t encourage fans to sign up and most fans probably don’t even know that you have one. What’s worse is you probably rarely use it and probably only send out one newsletter every few months.
But you really should know that your mailing list is one of the most important tools at your disposal. Although social media can be great, not everyone can keep track of their feeds all the time. Platforms like Facebook are making it harder to get your information out there if you don’t pay for it.
A newsletter is free advertising and let’s you target your die-hard fans with meaningful information. You really should use it and probably send out at least 1 newsletter per month. Do not underestimate the power of a newsletter and the fact that you can reach your biggest fans with the click of a send button.
Remember, Facebook and Bandcamp are not websites. To be honest your amateur, unmanageable and hard to navigate website is not a website. Yes, I said it! Artists are underestimating the power of websites just like newsletters. Your fans really want a single hub where they can access everything such as your music, videos, gigs and more about you. If you make it easier to find you then it is easier to follow you!
Indie on the Move
This is a great tool for travelling artists. Cutting through somewhere on tour and need to find a local venue within 30 miles that hosts live music? IOTM is for you.
Their database of venues is massive and covers the whole of the United States. It allows you to search by city or within a radius of a zip code. Theirs also reviews on the venues by artists who have already played the venues. They’ll tell you how management was, the payments, if the room fit their style and more. It really is invaluable.
Facebook should be used by every musician. It will work for you if you let it. But it’s just not as effective as most people want it to be. Half-assed posts, status updates at the wrong time of day, posts that go on and on, over-posting, and inviting people from across the world to your show in LA are just a few mistakes people make everyday. You need to research the best practices on how to make Facebook for you.
Now Instagram exists, artists don’t see the value in Twitter. Seeing as Instagram is basically twitter with the added bonus of pictures. Twitter appeals to the older generation and you can still find more success using it over Instagram.
The key to Twitter is tagging. You should not only tag fellow musicians and venues your’re playing at, but use hashtags that apply to your gig and city that you are in.
Instagram can be one of your best tools especially if your fans are a younger audience. You may want to use it as your main social media platform. Fans love photos. But they don’t like ads.
Don’t just constantly post posters of your upcoming shows and things that look too polished. Be creative, promote yourself while capturing the essence of the organic nature of Instagram. Remember, the best thing about Instagram is that you can share everyday things that you do with fans such as what you ate, studio clips or pets.
YouTube is a great marketing tool. It is basically a audio/visual business card. It gives people a 3-dimensional idea of who you are and what you do. You should upload and share videos often. Vlogs and behind-the -scenes videos are a great way to start.
Bandcamp is a platform for artists to share and sell music, offer free download codes and create widgets for your own website. It is constantly evolving in ways to help artists have more control over how they can share their music. They also curate and promote music on the platform which encourages customers to discover new music.
SoundCloud is where fans and artists alike can go to find and listen to new music. It also offers the option for fans to comment on songs and share thoughts on songs such as a favourite lyric or verse. With these exchanges of ideas and opinions, SoundCloud is probably considered one of the first music crowd sourcing platforms.
This platform is about exposure and offers a simple strategy. Simply upload your song, offer it as a free download in exchange for the downloader’s email address and build a fanbase. Artists love this because just like SoundCloud, it allows you to control the exposure of your music while also building fans for a newsletter.