A major challenge for musicians is how to get their songs before their desired audience and on the lips of everyone. It is one thing to have a good song, and it’s another thing to get it across to the right consumers and promote your music career.
Releasing a good song and having a good voice is not an automatic ticket to getting it on everyone’s lips and in their homes. The majority of musicians are either following the old ways of marketing their songs, are not even doing it enough, or are not even doing it at all.
The Basics of Promoting Your Music Career
How and to whom you market your song will determine if you will be going far in the music industry.
The illustration below sums up the basics of music career growth:
- Bad song + Bad marketing = negative
- Good song + Bad marketing = negative
- Bad song + Good marketing = positive
- Good song + Good marketing= positive.
Are you are planning to record your song? Ask yourself the following WH questions:
- Why are you doing this? Is it to make money, or are do you enjoy making people happy through your songs?
- What kind of songs do you want to release?
- Who is your target audience?
- How do you intend to promote your music career?
Once you have satisfactorily made up your mind on the What/Why/Who and How? You can then take the next steps.
6 Tips To Promote Your Music Career
The following points will help you find the right answers to the questions above.
Know your Audience
Who is your target audience? Imagine being invited to perform at a wedding ceremony. Because you want to be popular at all costs, you refused to mention that weddings are not your area of specialization. Then you ended up singing a burial song at a wedding event. That doesn’t sound appealing, right?
Don’t assume you can perform everywhere and start accepting all sorts of invites. Understand the message that your music is passing and identify those that’ll resonate with that message. If you know your audience, it will help you stay within your niche. Conduct researches to know how your competitors are getting the attention of their audience.
You can’t call yourself a club singer and carry such songs and vibes to the church or mosque. Neither can you call yourself a gospel singer and carry such songs to a club where people are ready to vibe.
“Who do you”?
When you are not consistent, your audience will lose interest in what you’re doing. If they don’t see your commitment to your music, they will see no reason to commit themselves to it. Remember that hundreds of musicians are emerging every day.
To promote your music career, don’t just show up often. Show up as often as you can with quality songs. Never allow the quality of your songs to drop. Your audience is always expectant after the first hit/gig. Be sure not to disappoint. People don’t support what they don’t think is serious.
It is annoying when you release a hit song and then go silent for months. There’s always a chance that the next time you show up, your audience would’ve moved on or your fan base would’ve dropped. Then you begin to lament that people are not supporting your career. How do you expect people to support a career that you abandoned for months?
This is one important factor in the music industry. Being humble may be hard, but as hard as it may seem, it is very important to remain humble as it will always speak for you even in your absence. Humble people always get to do things seamlessly.
Don’t wait until the situation makes you humble, it might be too late to redeem yourself. No one wants to relate with a proud person, not to mention when you are a musician. You are open to trolls.
If after your first gig, you start seeing yourself as a Badoo (in Olamide’s voice) to the extent that it starts reflecting in your words and attitude, record labels will start rejecting you. No one will want to sign you up for bigger gigs for fear that you may soil their reputation with your attitude. No organizations will approach you for contracts and your pictures and name will soon be pulled out from concert lists and billboards.
Be teachable and open to corrections. Acknowledge that there is room for improvement. Don’t assume to know it all; you are heading nowhere if you begin to exhibit the “I don’t care” or “I know what I’m doing” attitude.
Avoid looking down on anyone or underrating them. As a musician, know that it is very easy for pride to set in. While trying to be humble, don’t throw away your self-esteem. Remain confident but avoid validating it to others because it might be seen as pride if you overemphasize it.
NOTE: People are watching.
Build A Standing Relationship With Other Related Businesses
As a musician who needs to make a name in the industry, you must have a sound relationship with other people who are into other related businesses. If you develop a good relationship with a DJ, he/she can easily be convinced to play your songs at events.
If a good number of DJs can play your songs at every gathering they attend, in no time, your songs will begin to go viral and you might soon start receiving invites.
If you are operating as a live band, visit places where you know people are always present and would love your song. It could be hotels, clubhouses, recreational centres, and parks. Meet with the organizers or managers. Sell your band to them, and always remember to tell them what they stand to benefit from it. When your relationship with these sets of people is smooth, it will become easier to promote your music career to a larger audience.
You can also organize a concert if you don’t get invites from outside. Use your concert as an opportunity to know other new bands. Attend conferences and concerts too, that way you’d meet other artists and leverage on the opportunity.
Don’t just stick to the larger conferences, also look out for smaller ones to attend, and connect with upcoming artists like yourself.
Have Another Job
It is advisable to have other source(s) of income if you are an upcoming artist, even as an established artist. To make money from your music career, you need money. You may not have people who are willing and ready to sponsor you, so it’s best to have something else that fetches you money. Not everyone is willing to make sacrifices, so be ready to be your biggest sponsor.
Read also: High income freelancing skills for beginners
You can’t just go into the music industry without a plan. Know what you are producing, who you are producing for, why you are producing, and when you will be producing. Also, decide on how you want the pre-production, production, and post-production package to look.
Ask questions. Do your research. Study people and events to learn from their mistakes and their successes. If it’s something that has never been done, then try to weigh the probability of it being successful. Get people’s opinions on it, and speak with experts before diving into it.
Use social media
The world has gone digital now. This is the fastest medium your fans get to connect to you and you to them. Your social media shouldn’t be for chatting alone. Your bio on every of your social media pages should be able to convince viewers who visit your page. Be intentional and consistent with your posts. Instagram is a major platform that music artists use to promote their songs, thanks to clips, reels and stories. Follow artists with a good fan base and see what they are doing differently.
Read also: Social media platforms for marketing
Remember that success in a promising career comes with its challenges. Be prepared and surround yourself with positive minds.