The Ultimate Music Promotion Guide 2020

December 21, 2019

WHY WOULD I NEED TO PROMOTE IN THE FIRST PLACE

This is what separates music newbies from music industry experts.

 

Before I get too deep, I want to share a piece with you.

 

There's a 61% chance you might relate to it, but a 100% chance you will learn from it:

 

Let me tell you a story. There once lived a musician, let’s call him Arthur. Arthur was an independent artist and would hit the studio (his mom’s basement)

 

Every day for about 4 or 5 hours at a time he made making mind-blowing music to shake the game. He has dreams as big as the planet.

 

arthur
Disclaimer: Arthur is fictional, and this is a random stock photo.

 

Not before long, Arthur managed to create his first-ever album from scratch!

 

His eagerness to promote his track to the world filled him with excitement as he published his music, hoping that millions of people would resonate with the music.

 

He goes on a streaming platform, clicks ENTER on his keyboard and finally, the track is up! He kicks his feet up and lays back in excitement.

 

He decides to take a break and let the streams/plays grow.

 

 

Picture Of A Man Crying As He Has No Music Streams On His Song
Arthur is sad due to having no streams. Quite a tear-jerking turn of events.

 

Some time later Arthur notices that the plays didn't budge even a little bit. What is going on here?

 

Don’t be Arthur. Your music deserves much more than that.

 

See, the issue with Arthur was that he just expected people to listen to his track just because it sounds good. The game is not that simple.

 

The way this world operates right now, you are going to need a little more than just that to break into this competitive war-zone called the music industry.

 

Even if you just like making music for its own sake and not for money, It is much more rewarding to know that you have a group of fans who enjoy listening to your work. The money also helps :)

 

 

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT...

Consider this:

That Awesome Feeling When The Royalty Payments Come In
Average, yet successful artist getting their royalties. Woo hoo!

 

The days of being a broke, struggling artist are way behind us. This electronic age has given great opportunities to an artist (such as electronic music promotion).

 

Artists can now propel their musical careers to brand new heights and break past previous boundaries.

 

Just look at Drake for example:

 

Drake has earned millions of dollars through streams and will continue to make more money, even from tracks released years ago.

 

Although we can't expect to get to the level of Drake so quickly, even if we can only get a piece of that pie it will all have been worth it.

 

Drake has over 28 billion Spotify views, bringing in $112'000'000.00 in revenue (for those too lazy to read it’s 120 million). Even if you could only have 0.5% of this number you would still have made over $500'000.

 

Not bad, and that was just Spotify. Add Deezer, Apple Music, Youtube, etc to the mix and you now have a huge amount of income!

 

Now let me bring you back to reality before you start dreaming about what kind of car you would like to purchase with your Royalties.

 

You are not Drake, and neither am I (although I kind of wish I was).

 

Graph Showing Drake's Streaming Revenue
 Comparing Drake and Tyron's royalty earnings.
Sadly, Tyrone doesn't earn close to that in real life.

 

I just wanted to show that it is not impossible to earn income in the music entertainment industry. There are a few other alternative ways of getting monetized through your music!

 

(Discover the other options on making money through your music by checking this out: https://blog.boostcollective.ca/distribution/make-money-from-your-music )

 

 

"I DON’T HAVE MONEY TO PROMOTE MY MUSIC"

It’s okay. You don’t need $100,000 press releases, all you need is some passion and a little bit of creativity.

 

If you are willing to exchange hard work and time, you do not need to pay to promote your music. Not a bad bet, eh?

 

In fact, we have courses about in depth promo on Spotify and SoundCloud!

 

That being said, you will have to not rely on a huge amount of money spent on ads, but instead, a lot of your reach will have to come from music networks and groups of listeners.

 

This can be amplified by having a bigger Network in the music industry.

 

Since you are a digital artist in the digital age, social media must be leveraged for full effects.

 

Picture Of A Hand With A Phone Using Instagram, Facebook and more!
Often times your best opportunities come from connections to other people, not your skills

 

An artist should ask themselves, “where to promote my music?” and plan it out before they hop into the promotion! If you fail to plan you may as well plan to fail.

 

 

"I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO PROMOTE MY MUSIC"

Promotions are like real estate: location matters!

 

Many artists believe that to grow they need to contact the highest number of people possible, which is not completely true.

 

you need to make sure that the ones you can reach will take action and interact with your stuff. If not, just go find some scissors and cut 'em off!

 

To keep things simple, you need to make sure that the ones on the receiving end of the promotion are the ones that would further click on your page and check out everything else you have to offer.

 

Here is a simple demonstration:

 

Unsatisfied emoji with text "your music + Related(dish) Audience = No Noticeable Difference
It's meh. It doesn't have results good enough to mention. This should only be the starting point
 
Thumbs Down and Garbage emoji used to represent the wrong strategy for music promotion
These promotions aren't cheap! They also aren't effective if it's not properly targeted.
 
Heart and Flying Money Emoji used to confirm that your music paired with the right target audience results in many fans
This is the sweet spot. Once you're here the results will prove itself.

 

Now that we have that foundation, we need to know exactly how to find your target audience and where they can be found.

 

Social media is king when it comes to promoting. Since you're using the king platform it would also serve you to use the king site: Facebook.

 

There are over 2.45 billion users. That's right, billion with a "b". That is more than 7x the population of all America!

 

Let's get into the fun part now: Networking. This is the building block to your future as a successful artist.

 

 

the benefits of network promotion

Picture this: You are out by the lake and you decide to go fishing. You grab your net, your raft, and head towards the big deadly sea (the local fishing port).

 

As you're enjoying your time fishing, you turn your head and notice a huge fishing boat with a team of multiple men. They are out catching hundreds of trout at a time with their gigantic fishing net.

 

They catch 200 in one swoop, and you’ve been out there for hours and only managed to catch 20.

 

You would have to work for either for 10 hours longer to 10x harder just to compete.

 

You look back at yourself and your small number of fish caught and realize one thing: You’re working very inefficiently.

 

 

Analogy for music networking. You on a small raft and a network on a yacht boat.
 Let's not laugh at the poor guy. He's trying his best with what he has!

 

In the fishing scenarios there are two main things to consider:

 

  1. The bigger the net, the bigger the haul
  2. The more people working, the less individual effort needed to be put in

 

That story of fishing is important when you relate it to your music and promotions. The idea is for your music to be shared by others, and to have more potential listeners (duh.)

 

With a growing network, your streams will grow and so will its potential revenue.

 

 

wondering "HOW TO PROMOTE MY MUSIC ONLINE"?

If you already know how to promote music, taking it online will have no learning curve.

 

If you are starting fresh you’re in luck, it is a lot more simple than it seems. Knowing how to promote music online is like riding a bike, once you get the hang of it then it becomes easy riding.

 

There exist many techniques out there, but some are more tailored to you than others. Sometimes you should test them to see what generates more positive results!

 

Here's a technique that if done correctly can make your plays increase by a lot, while also building strong fans.

 

This does require a little bit of ingenuity and one needs to be careful with it, however, the rewards are phenomenal.

 

It is called the PLAYLIST BOOSTER METHOD - Essentially allowing you to get some playlist promotion.

 

Some can even say it is the best way to promote music on Spotify with no budget because it is a very targeted promo, while not being overly intrusive.

 

avoid this at all costs possible!

Please for the love of everything good in the world, don't decide to hop on the internet and mass-spam your links!

 

That is quite possibly the most unattractive thing in the world of online music promotion.

 

Firstly, people don't want to see it, secondly, it's not a good look on your page and thirdly you are spending a whole lot of time when you could be out testing more productive ways to promote your music.

 

See, the main problem with this is that people won't click. We don't live in a time where seeing a SoundCloud link is as enticing as it used to be.

 

This is not necessarily a bad thing though, because it sets the standard between good and bad online music marketing.

 

 

Man holding up a hand sign. Man is saying what not to do sarcastically.
If you look in the dictionary for the word "waste" you're gonna see a random SoundCloud link.

 

Now that the bar is considerably higher, the effectiveness of top music marketing campaigns on social media will be far more effective in contrast to these lame cheap tricks that never work.

 

We will get into exactly how you should do it in a masterful way, here is a link to a resource which shows good ways to promote music through social media content rather than direct links

 

Somebody once said never to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig. Before anyone takes offense, just know that I'm not calling anybody a pig.

 

You have to appreciate the phrase when you look at it in comparison to promotion in the music industry.

 

You can't make somebody go like your music if it is not their tastes, so instead of trying to do that, just go to people who naturally would have a liking towards your tracks

 

 

why a "win-win" situation is ideal

Steve Coveny, a famous author who writes about getting things done effectively and successfully says that one of his goals is to think win-win.

 

This essentially means that both parties come out of the exchange having benefited from it.

 

Think of it as promotional karma, you get what you give. You better be prepared to give quite a bit in the game of social media music marketing.

 

the more you give the more you get and inversely if you aren't providing the value you aren't going to get him anything you back

 

You scratch their back, they scratch yours. That is the formula for creating a big network in simple terms.

 

When it comes to promotions, sometimes it's a wonderful idea to promote the works of other artists within the same industry on your platforms, because then later once you have a track that needs to be promoted they can scratch your back in return.

 

Free promo for everyone!

 

Be careful: you don't want to always be giving out free artist promotion on your page because it can start to be a turn-off from your hardcore fans.

 

picture of 2 men taking hands with text "mutual benefit"

Great deals. Why? Because your music career is a business, don't forget that ever.

 

Done with correct timing and frequency, you can not only help yourself but you can also help other artists expand their reach.

 

Some of the best online music marketing techniques are the ones with most people positively impacted.

 

Everybody wins! Looking back to your previous social exchanges, do you feel that the other party benefited as well?

 

 

best places to promote for real results

Read this word very carefully: Niche.

 

Whether you are marketing your brand, solo track, beats, etc. There is going to be a common theme in your works.

 

Discovering this is crucial while pursuing free music marketing strategies. As an artist, you understand your music and its genre/culture best.

 

That being said, doubling down in your niche and ignoring anything irrelevant is a great way to start things off.

 

For some key insights in niche networking, check out a guide we made for artists such as yourself, you will gain a deeper understanding of the best places to promote music.

 

Once your target audience is decided, you need to go out there and expand your music throughout that niche, networking is one of the critical ways to market your music.

 

 

the true benefit of being in a niche

In most aspects of life, less is more. That also applies here too.

Magnifying Glass hovering over text that says "Niche"
Look for your ideal niche and lock down!

 

When you make music you may have various styles, genres, samples, instrumentals that you incorporate which is a great thing! Any artist that can mix different art styles can produce great tracks.

 

From a promotional standpoint though, it can get tricky to market everything though, so it is advised to promote your main sound.

 

 

Picture of Bruce Lee behind CD players and a mixer.
"High kicks, then High hats" -Bruce Lee (not really).

 

Too much variance in promotions/networking and you will not be able to have any kind of heavyweight presence in any specific field.

 

You want to be the Mike Tyson of your genre, so it is important to keep focused.

 

 

Picture Of Mike Tyson holding a bird.
 Awwwwh, what a cute pigeon. Mike on the other hand...

 

Imagine if Iron Mike spent 50% of his time boxing, and 50% running a pigeons vet hospital. Sure, he would enjoy it both quite a bit yet he would not have become the champion in his field.

 

It is critical to think of your music as a business, you really should be going with your strong points and trying to avoid your weak points.

 

There's a famous principle called the 80/20 rule, which essentially means that 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions

 

If you can cut out the 80% and move its energy towards increasing the 20% that is productive you'll be able to get so much more return on your investment. All gains baby!

 

Here is an example: if you make EDM music it doesn't make sense to be promoting your music to Indie/funk pop listeners. It just won't bear considerable results for you.

 

A wise old saying states "a man who chases two rabbits ends up catching none." You don't want to be that man who goes hunting and has no rabbits to show for it.

 

 

RE-POST NETWORKS

I'm going to save you a bunch of meaningless hours DMing random people to give your music a shot.

 

Repost networks are pretty much gold when it comes to promotions.

 

You can get beautiful results with only a little effort, the idea is that your network can push the reach of your tracks and get it to the ears of a huge amount of people in one quick swoop.

 

In a decent repost network, there could be 100’000+ total followers combined, and if your track can be heard by all those people imagine what that can do to your streams and followers!

 

MAJOR TAKEAWAYS FOR EXPERT-LEVEL PROMOTION

 

The biggest take-away from this is that musicians are not strictly musicians, and you must think of yourself as a music business, you are managing your own music marketing service.

 

You need to be able to adapt and grow your set of skills beyond simply creating the art if you want to succeed in this game.

 

Are you ready to succeed with your music? 

 

The competition is extremely tough so you must be able to get through to get high rewards from your efforts.

 

Boost Collective Logo
 
At Boost Collective, we specialize in providing high quality tailored courses for music artists.

 

Thank you for giving this a read and if you enjoyed it please check out our other blog articles! There's so much information out there for you to learn, we are so happy that you could learn from us :)

 

 

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