For all the many bedroom musicians out there looking to get their start, we’re here to talk about effective ways to promote your music in the very early days of your career.
There’s no doubt that professional public relations services can be extremely helpful to new artists, and we certainly can’t dismiss that option.
But whether or not you’re currently enlisting the help of PR pros, there are many other supplementary efforts that can get your work listened to by many more people.
Only after getting a significant number of listens can you figure out who makes up your audience and how to appeal to them in the future.
Of course, everything starts with the music, and if you find that you’re still trying to work out which genre you’d like to work in or what your sound really is, then it could be worth your time to sit down and answer these questions.
Generally speaking, the more amorphous your music is, the harder it will be to market. But if you already have a strong vision of what you want to make, you’ll have a much easier time explaining your style to labels and potential fans alike.
Make your music accessible
Having ideas for lots of different songs is all well and good, but unless you get them recorded, there just won’t be any way of sharing those ideas with the general public.
Think back to the first encounters you had with some of your favorite songs and artists. That music was accessible, whether it was on the radio, in a music store, or, if it happened over the last few years, on a streaming service.
Sure, you could upload tracks to a private server and share individual songs with friends, hoping they’ll somehow catch on much more widely, but today especially, there’s no real excuse not to post your music on public-facing platforms.
Now we will look at a few different options for posting your music online, starting with free options.
SoundCloud and YouTube
Both SoundCloud and YouTube have been popular standbys for small-fry musicians for years. YouTube in particular lets anyone with an account post content, and if that content catches on with viewers, then the algorithm will do a lot of the promoting for you.
SoundCloud, on the other hand, is specifically geared toward, well, sound. The site has thousands and thousands of voiceover tracks and music tracks, which listeners can access free of charge.
SoundCloud has also gone back and forth on premium accounts services that remove upload limits and other restrictions, but if you’re only going to be posting music, it’s unlikely that you will ever hit those limits anyway.
Either of these platforms would be a great choice for a young musician trying to get their music out there. Of course, streaming services offer their own benefits, and that’s where we’re headed next.
Music streaming services
You already know that music streaming services are one of the most popular ways to listen to music today, no matter whether you’re looking for old classics or exciting new singles.
These services most often charge a monthly subscription fee for access to their entire libraries, though some also offer free accounts that include advertisements.
But what about for musicians? Sure, artists signed to very big labels don’t need to worry too much about the details of getting music on these services. It’s the label’s job to take care of all that.
However, young, unsigned artists are all on their own. How can they, how can YOU get your music on services like Spotify and Apple Music?
Well, there are many third-party services now that solve that exact problem. Companies like CD Baby and Distrokid all but guarantee that your music will be placed on streaming services, in exchange for a yearly cost.
Prices vary, but there’s no doubt that it’s worth making your music accessible by putting it on all the major platforms with the help of one of these companies.
No matter where you live, we can guarantee that there are people nearby who find a lot of new music by going to local shows.
When you’re just starting out, the idea of getting out there and performing can seem both intimidating and difficult.
But you don’t need to start with the big rooms. Even going out for open mic nights at local bars is a decent way to gain some attention and show off your skills.
Getting in touch with other artists who are already established is another great way to find a spot on a billing.
Once you’re on stage, it’s up to you to give a memorable performance that could lead to even more shows and maybe even a record deal down the line.
Find music producers you trust
Finding music producers in your community shouldn’t be too difficult, especially if you’re active in the local music scene.
There are so many producers today, and they’re all motivated to promote themselves as well as the artists they work with.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of music producers out there today, both big and small, who own their own studios, and some of them may choose to help you out with a project even if you don’t already have a massive following behind you.
It’s worth it for a lot of producers to invest in new talent that they strongly believe in. Almost always, a producer’s job is not to dramatically change your sound but simply to sand off the rough edges and refine what’s already there.
This is why we want to encourage you to explore your options with different producers. Not every producer will share your tastes and not every producer will understand your sound, either.
But if you manage to connect with even just one producer on an artistic level, the possibilities for collaboration are nearly endless.
If you’re lucky, you may even get signed to that producer’s very own label and reap the benefits of a promotion machine that’s already in motion.