So you’ve made your masterpieces! This is it, you’re ready to get your music out there into the world. You want fans, you want contacts and you want people to listen to your music. So what steps do you need to take to adequately promote your music?

Demos

Demos can be a great way to get your music heard. Put your music in a .zip file or on a CD and send it out to people. Promoters, radio presenters, bloggers and reviewers are all looking for new music to listen to and promote via their various media outlets. There are people out there who are more than happy to wade through 15 awful demos to find the one good’un to put on their blog or show. It’s a good idea to start local, find an “introducing” or “new music” show and introduce yourself as a local musician, they’ll at least give you the time of day. Be sure to check out Music Industry tips on submitting demos regularly on sites like Zedara.com

Read the Right Books!

Donald Passman’s “All You Need to Know About the Music Business” truly is the ultimate guide to how the industry works, and will help you through the ins and outs of a confusing sector in which to work and achieve success. A must read for any music maker or somebody who wants to make a living in the industry.

Gig

gigGigs are fun! But more importantly for you, they have people at them. People you can not only play to, but meet, talk to and hey, it may even lead to more gigs. The most successful musician I have ever met and come into contact with recently had a Number One album in the UK. No coincidence that the year before this he played over 300 shows in 365 days! Find the time to get out there as much as possible, and play for free if you have to, you will eventually be rewarded.

If your music isn’t easy to gig (electronica etc.) try and find a way, or at least a way to play a stripped down set or even a DJ set. It’s all about getting your name out there, and gigging is the best way for musicians.

When you are at a show, it is vital that you make contacts. Leading me nicely to my next point…

Network and Promote (effectively!)

networking for musiciansIt’s all very well getting yourself exposed to as many people as possible, but it’s very important to make the most of it. By networking I don’t just mean talking to people and swapping business cards (though I do recommend it). I mean making a lasting impact on people in the industry or even just enthusiasts. Get in and amongst the people attending the gig and you’ll be gratified with fans, and ultimately, sales!

Promotion is the Holy Grail. At shows, be sure to have fliers and even business cards. Be original, use a QR code or an impressive band photo in order to stand out, think of how you can make your physical promotional material have the “purple cow” factor.

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Use the Internet

Music, like anything else, is at everybody’s fingertips nowadays. Utilise the huge amount of tools the internet has given us. The big sites are Facebook and Soundcloud, but there are tons more ways to show people your music. Why not start a wordpress blog? Or even your own site, a once alien concept which is now made easy by companies like1and1. Start a mailing list to keep your fans hooked in!

Soundcloud is my favourite place to put my music, and to get talking to others. A music site as popular as that quickly becomes a hangout for label reps, promoters and all sorts of other muso-types! Promoting your music socially really is a must if you don’t want to get left behind in the race to get noticed.

Conclusion

As with any form or promotion, you need to position yourself in the best places you can in order to be seen, and often that just means being (metaphorically) in as many places as possible at the same time. It isn’t easy and you’ll need a slice of luck to become big and gain a following, but by persevering and being visible in as many places both online and in the real world gives you your best chance of popularity.
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