Thanks to the advancements of modern technology and the increased usage of platforms like social media and video sharing services, music artists have an easier time getting their talents recognized by the public. That’s great news for independent artists who don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy of major labels, as musicians like Chance The Rapper, Trash Talk, Jane Weaver, and the late Nipsey Hustle have proven that success is possible on your own.
To reach that level of success, however, indie artists have to be more determined than ever to promote their brand and their music. Not to mention, with millions of talented musicians around the world trying to be the next big superstar, indie artists looking to make it in the biz have to stand out from the crowd. Below are some successful strategies to consider:
Create Quality Music
Before you begin marketing yourself as a musician, you have to have a product that audiences are eager to listen to. That means investing a lot of time (and unfortunately, money) into the creation and development of your songs. Write quality content by working with experienced writers, select the most effective beats, and work with skilled producers and engineers to produce a quality album, ep, or mixtape to share with your audience.
Book Local Gigs
Before trying to gain worldwide recognition, it’s a good idea to start with your hometown. Winning over the hearts of your community can propel your music career even further. So, once you have enough songs to perform, start booking gigs in your area. You can visit local cafes, sign up for open mic nights, compete in talent shows, and even try to book a gig as an opening act for a popular performer. The more audiences become familiar with your work, the more inclined they are to purchase or listen to your music when it drops.
At these local gigs, you would also be wise to ask if you can set up a small area to sell your singles, eps, or mixtapes. You can purchase a custom 10 x 10 tent with a table that has your CDs, flyers, and postcards to hand out at the event. This gives you a chance to make some sales while also connecting with your audience on a personal level.
Create a Website
Having a strong digital presence is imperative to building your brand as an indie artist. The first step should be creating a professional yet engaging website for your followers to access. The site should be well-designed and easy to navigate. It should include a short bio, photos, any videos you’ve recorded, clips of your songs, social media pages, information on upcoming shows, and a link to purchase your music. Your website should also include a signup widget for an email or an SMS messaging list so that you can stay connected to your fans on more personal platforms.
Get Active on Social Media
To further connect with your target audience, it is essential to have a few social media accounts. You can use these platforms to cultivate stronger relationships while also promoting your brand. You can upload clips of your latest songs, comment and respond to followers, share information about upcoming shows, upload photos from your set, hold Q&A sessions with your target audience, host contests or giveaways, and share stories about personal interests.
If you really want to generate buzz about your music and expand your reach as an independent artist, you should definitely be focused on getting playlisted. There are major music sites like Spotify and iTunes where artists can get their songs added to popular playlists for millions of users to access and listen to. Submit an unreleased track to the music curators for consideration and one day you find your song playing alongside some of the greatest musicians of all time.
Gain Media Attention
Now that you’re starting to gain some traction in your local community and on digital platforms, you’re ready to take it up a notch and gain media attention. Booking interviews with some of the industry’s hottest bloggers, music publications, and radio stations will attract larger audiences.
Independent artists don’t have the marketing power of major labels backing their music. This essentially means that they have to work ten times harder to get their brand recognized. While it can take a some time, energy, and money, as long as you’re determined to keep investing in marketing avenues such as those provided above, you can reach the level of success you always dreamed of.