How to Promote Experimental Music — A Guide

Where to start when promoting experimental music

Experimental music is often misunderstood by many people.

A large number of labels, promoters, and journalists think that experimental music is only the music of the most recent trends. Their idea of what experimental music should be is usually fairly shallow — they don’t really get the aesthetic, nor the music itself.

On the other side, experimental music fans don’t really understand what to expect from their favorite bands and they don’t understand the way an average song is produced.

So, how do you overcome these two challenges in order to promote your music?

The answer: You have to do it yourself.

Time, talent, and experience

Unless your music has become critically popular, it will take a significant amount of time, talent, and experience to achieve substantial awareness. More effort will be needed to develop a solid following.

However, you can always start now and begin creating a buzz around your work

Market yourself

Market yourself

The amount of time you’ll need for promoting your music is up to you — but the more time you put in the better.

There is not just one avenue for promotion, there are many steps one must take as an artist.

First things first: establish an online presence.

If you don't have social media, a website and a place where people can hear your music online (Soundcloud, Spotify) you'll need to get that in check.

Create the buzz

In the age of web 2.0, people now have access to your music or your album online, whether it’s on iTunes, Spotify, and others.

When they discover your music, you want to give people the biggest opportunity to share it. So how do we do that?

There are different places to get your music online and use social media to spread your music. Here are some examples:

Facebook

You can share links on Facebook, tell your audience that you have a new album, and ask them to share it with their friends. You can also like pages that play your music.

You can post your music in experimental music groups and see how people interact with it!

SoundCloud

SoundCloud is one of the best platforms for independent musicians because you can upload your music, as well as ask for fans to rate your music.

You can comment, like and follow other peoples work which will increase the odds that they are following and liking your work!

Twitter

Twitter isn't normally thought of as a great place for musicians however if you already have a following on here you should definitely take advantage of it. You can tweet out links to articles you've been featured in.

Tumblr

Tumblr is another good place for independent musicians. You can share links on Tumblr, ask your audience to share your music on Tumblr and get fans to follow you. It also has quite a niche audience, so if people really like you there, chances are they'll be your fan forever.

High-quality photos and artwork surrounding your music

Is your band dark, edgy and mysterious? Your artwork and photos better scream that aesthetic as well as the way you play your social media game.

Reach out to artists online whose visual art you think really describes your music and ask them if you can collaborate with them. This way you are not only promoting yourself and your music, you are helping others get exposure for their art.

In the end, developing a community around your music is the best way to see it succeed.

Reach out to bloggers

Reach out to bloggers

You can promote your music by approaching your favorite bloggers and musicians in your area. Or, if you’re lucky enough to be in a city where there’s a big experimental music scene, you could aim for that.

If you have a budget you may want to consider PR (public relations), which is really just the most effective way to advertise. PR is much better than traditional advertising because you are not promoting yourself, you are finding others who will write about you and promote you.

And when you work with a good PR agency, they can help work with the third party that is promoting you to ensure you get a quality piece of press.

Our company helps pair artists with music blogs with 10,000 - 100,000 views per month and works with writers to help craft sound and solid narratives to tell your story right. These articles (not to mention the SEO benefits from them!) are a surefire way to get exposure.

Other creative methods

Start a workshop

If you are a freakin' genius at playing an analog synthesizer while looping a sitar triggering reverse-samples of jungle creatures, then show it off!

You can offer a workshop where you can show other budding electronic musicians how to loop wildlife sounds while playing the sitar with your toes.

These workshops could garner you respect within your local community and make all the people who recognize your talent follow your work and want to spread the word about you.

Live stream

Make a video and stream it on YouTube about the process of making a song. Many fans will be curious to know HOW you are making your music. It will satisfy the curiosity of many and may be even more popular than the music itself.

Organize a free concert

Playing live is always the key to people's hearts. If you blow someone away playing live, chances are you'll have their respect for life. One way to do this is to organize a free concert for all to come and see (and make sure to film it so you can upload it later).