How to promote your music independently
As a new independent music artiste who wants to promote your music, Finances are often tight and the possibility of getting shows and performances is even tighter. This leaves the internet as the artist’s best and most affordable bet for promoting and getting his or her music in front of new audiences.
Where does the artist begin?
Define your brand to promote your music
When a person decides to become a music artist, having a defined and identifiable personal brand becomes critical. This is because the general public connects with you based on your branding.
While some artists choose an alias, such as No. 1 African Badgal (Tiwa Savage) or Mr Steal Your Girl (Trey Songs), others prefer to give their fanbase a name, such as Rema’s Ravers.
A personal brand is defined not only by the names of fans or aliases but also by the overall experience of being around that artist, from the way they dress to their stage set-up to their persona. If I walk into a concert hall without knowing who the performer is and hear strange Afrobeats music, see a huge teddy bear on stage, and see sexy ladies dancing, I will scream REMA!!! Even before he steps onto the stage.
This begs the question, what should the overall experience with you be like? Are you a stage master like D’banj, Burna Boy, or Tiwa Savage? Can you communicate with people’s souls like Asa, Brymo, or Joe?
Whatever you do, don’t go for a personal brand or persona that you can’t keep up with; instead, play to your strengths and highlight the qualities that people admire about you. Your brand or personal brand should stem from self-awareness and knowledge. Take your time developing it.
Recognize your target audience.
Though music is created out of love and passion, it is still a business, and selling what people want to buy is always a winning formula. Does this imply abandoning originality? Without a doubt, no. You never know what people will fall in love with until you give it to them.
As a result of this, to promote your music, here are my two recommendations.
- Take a winning formula and add some of your originality to it.
- Make some experimental music now and then and see how people react to it. However, separate your audience and see if it only gets you a new set of people or if your old ones also love it. That should help you decide what to do next.
After producing your music, music distribution has now been made easy. Pick a distribution platform and get your music on as many streaming or buying platform as you want and have a release date. Also, work at getting your music on different playlists on these platforms to have a better opportunity for new people to discover your music.
Create a SmartLink or Fanlink with links to the platforms your music can be found. Include this link in the bio of all your social media accounts.
Social Media & Content Creation
As an independent music artist, social media is the biggest weapon in your arsenal. You do not have the finances of the big labels so go hard!!! Run ads, work with influencers and blogs, do publicity stunts if you have to, and just get the attention you need to drive people to your music.
Warning!!! Not all publicity stunts are good for your career or the type of brand you are trying to build, so be careful and creative about this one.
Be a content creator, it is not the age of making one music video for one song, make several videos, make it fun, and get people involved infact Blaqbonez it!
Leverage on TikTok’s virality, Instagram’s interactiveness, Twitter trends etc
Basically, go hard or go home!
Investing in Running Ads
The importance of running ads can not be over-emphasized as this is the most inexpensive way to promote your music. This is also a way to get new followers and keep a record of interactions over a period of time. These people can also be retargeting.
Let your “hook” be “hooking”
It is called a hook because its function is to catch fish. As a music artiste, you are a fisher of fans and your hook is how to draw people in. Make it so catchy and memorable that people have no choice but to sing along and keep singing. Throw in some popular catchphrases, say something that appeals to people’s sentiments, Say something controversial to get people to do their responses to the song, make it easy to sing along to etc
A few examples
- If I broke na my business – Folake for the night
These are lyrics from Pheel’s Finesse and we all sang along to it, I didn’t even realise it was a full song until a while later. It sounded like cruise we could all relate to so it went viral.
2. If I get caught cheating, that don’t mean I don’t love you (i need emojis to scream for this part)
This is from If get cough cheating by Dvsn. This song is so controversial that it has sparked debates after debates on shows and podcasts. It also has so many female and male responses and versions. Do a song that will create free press and interviews for you.
3. Laslas na everybody go shop breakfast…I need igbo and Shayo o
Laslas by Burnaboy didn’t even need a lot of promos because we can all relate to “chopping breakfast” which means getting heartbroken in the Nigerian parlance but the twist of “igbo and shayo” as the cure for it is unprecedented.
This may not be healthy but how can a breakup song bring so much joy, even for those of us who don’t do igbo and shayo? Ask Burna
Crazy lover by Ash Hamman – This has somehow managed to make women feel like queens and supreme divas who will be loved no matter what.
Feelings are very important. Your hook must make people feel voraciously.
If it is popping online, radio stations will play it!!!
Payola can be a thing when you want to promote your music but no radio or TV show wants to miss out on playing the songs on everybody’s lips.
Imagine a song being used popularly for TikTok videos and Instagram reels and a radio DJ will not play it because of payola or it will not get on a chart show? That is impossible, do your homework with social media and great music and the rest will be a little easier.
Keep your eye on the analytics and numbers
In any form of marketing, numbers and analytics are the way to know what is working. Keep checking your social media and streaming analytics, identify periods where there is an unusual amount of increase in traffic and replicate whatever you did for that to happen.
Warning; Common sense should apply to this, there are some campaigns and stunts that should never be repeated, if it is one of those, you should have planned your spinoff so you can leverage it over and over again. Being perceived as a nuisance can take away from your brand.
Don’t lose your USP
Your USP is your Unique Selling Point and never lose sight of it. This can be your voice, specific genre, or fashion. Whatever this is please keep it intact and grow with it.
Thank you for reading. Do leave a comment or question and share it with a friend this will be useful.
If you need help promoting your music and brand contact us.
Article by Folasade Abimbola Founder Prime88 Concepts