These links can help you promote your music and find an audience.
Music Promotion, Marketing & Getting Heard Resources:
If you are using this page to help promote your music in general, there may be different strategies to use than those for a one event gig promotion. Promoting your music or musicianship as a professional is a long-term campaign and needs to nurture fan/music industry relationships.
The music industry is changing, in response to new technology. Jim Mawdsley of Generator summed it up well in a Youth Music blog. “The music industry, as we all know, has changed irrevocably over the last decade; despite what many skeptics say digital hasn’t killed it off but it has largely forced a reinvention by introducing new creation, distribution and consumption models.
“That elusive first ‘deal’ no longer exists – record companies and publishers are no longer the risk aggregators they once were. They are looking for young artists who already have cross-platform visibility, a fan-base and performance experience – those that are ‘industry-ready.’” See their video Artist Development – Getting Noticed.
The first steps in a career as a creative artist in the music industry is down to you to be ‘industry ready’. You need to get out there, perform and build a fan base. Many musicians are using the internet to create fans, get them to come to gigs and sell music online, cutting out the role of record labels.
A good article about identifying who your fans are and their different levels of loyalty are explained in Everything You Need To Know About Band Management Part 5: Fans. In addition to live music, an important strategy to gain fans is to let people hear your music for free. The internet is a good tool for this and there are many links below for that.
If you want to sign to a label to help your career, you need to think about how you let people hear your music online. In a LInkedIn discussion about breaking into the music industry, Peter Neefs, an executive producer at Free Lance said that record labels won’t touch music that has been posted on Soundcloud, YouTube etc because there are so many ways to download the music for free from social network sites. In addition, sales figures wouldn’t be picked up by chart compilers such as AC Nielson because tracks by artists without a label behind them rarely get registered for ISRC or ISWC codes. He advises artists to directly approach A & R managers at record labels. Sensible advice about placing your music with TV shows, radio etc can be found on this blog by Mark Alan.
The pros and cons of going with a label or not may be the subject of a future blog. In the meantime, more information about codes, royalty collection societies and record labels can be found on Bemuso.
If you research the advice links below, a consistent message about getting recognised is that personal engagement and networking is key to the success of promoting your work. Random/spam messaging can be annoying and counter productive. Understand your audience, research key people and influencers such as A&R managers, promoters and music journalists and target stories that will appeal to them. It’s not all about you. Engage with peer social media posts to develop networks. They can help you later.
In a blog ‘Voluntary sector marketing myths‘ Zoe Amar says, “You won’t reap the full benefits of social media unless you use it to have conversations with your stakeholders. This is particularly true of Twitter. Social media expert Kirsty Marrins advises charities to follow the “rule of thirds”, ie one third of your tweets should be used to push out your charity’s content, one third to engage in conversations, and one third to share content from other useful sources.” This is good advice for any profession using social media, including musicians.
OTHER PEOPLE’S ADVICE AND LINKS:
Music/Artist promotion 7 chapters, by Alex Pollock, in blog format giving advice, examples and practice ‘work sheets’, about:
- Identifying Your Target Audience
- How to Network in the Music Industry
- Find Followers
- Social Media Strategy
- Email Marketing
- Making an ‘Electronic Press Kit’
- Getting paid Gigs
How to get more gigs as a performing musician A podcast by Tiffany Goodman, veteran booking agent, that helps you learn about
- The importance of video in your marketing
- Tips for building a presence with photos, a website, and social media
- The difference between a manager and agent
- Tips for cold calling and using your network
- How to develop and maintain an agent-artist relationship
- And much more!
Getting taste makers to share your music is a a good strategy. See Tippers Network below on the `Organisations section, and their tastemakers
There is nothing like live music to create a fan base. Gigs and touring are really important. Generator have a very good information page about playing live and how to get gigs. Generator have all sorts of other good advice about training for musicians and the music industry, preparing artists to be ‘industry ready’.
If you want to tour and expand your fan base, this blog gives advice on types of emails you should never send to venue managers.
Tips on Sharing Your Success – a Youth Music blog with a download of 20 questions to ask yourself about what you are doing, and tips on how to present what you say so that you can share your successes and tell your story well. The blog is aimed at music educator professionals sharing best practice but is transferable to building any business brand.
Bemuso is an excellent resource for indie artists and has thorough and good advice about how to promote yourself as a DIY independent musician, with good tips on using social media and music websites.
Songhack helps artists “hack the music industry”. It’s a consumer guide to over 100 digital products and services targeted at musicians. Songhack features news, resources and coaching content to help musicians make money.
BBC advice for unsigned and undiscovered musicians. Starting out, Recording, Playing Live, Getting Noticed and Online Promotion, Getting the Right Deal for You, Useful Links.
BBC Introducing Masterclass video clips 2013. Dozens of 1 – 2 minute interview clips of great promotion and music industry advice from artists and professionals e.g. Gig exchanges – invite a similar band from a town some way away to play with you, and you play with them in their town.
New ways of touring Jen Long of BBC Introducing talks about new ways to tour, especially reaching young people who can’t get in to over 18s venues. (The latest BPI research shows that 13 to 19-year-olds are the second biggest recorded music market after early 20-somethings, so it’s good to find ways to let them see you live.)
Music Clout is a website with lots of advice on promotion and advancing yourself in the music industry. You can upload your artist profile and find opportunities for your music. You can find listings and submit music and info to Licensing opportunities, Record Labels, Blogs, Press, Management, Festivals, and Radio and Contests etc seeking new artists.
All things Busking – tips, articles and lists of busking festivals to get yourself out there.
Berklee Music College have various free video lessons on music business, promotion and careers.
Music Promotion Lots of blogs with advice on music promotion.
JamMob has useful blogs about music marketing. It has various categories such as concert promotion, social media, radio, mobile marketing, publishing and more.
Short BBC video by music industry experts ‘Making the most of Online‘ – talking about the importance of an online presence as an artist and building a strategy to present yourself well.
Great advice on how to use social media to promote organisations/projects. Similar to the handbook above, also by SoundDelivery.
The importance of a good personal photo for your various social network profiles is explained here.
Top 4 Social Media Marketing Fundamentals for Indie Musicians – a blog from Think Like A Label, ‘a resource for musicians and their people’.
YouTube. Video sharing. The second biggest search engine (after Google), so a very important tool to tell your story, and easier for viewers to understand your message than text. See YouTube tips and tutorials e.g. why it’s so important. Another useful blog: The Musicians Guide To YouTube Marketing.
Vimeo Video sharing – Upload, share, connect on your TV and phone, sell your work.
Soundcloud. An online audio distribution platform which allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings. SoundCloud enables anyone to upload, record, promote and share their originally created sounds across the internet, in a simple, accessible and feature-rich way. A good way to get feedback on music you are producing/remixing. Twitter: @SoundCloud
Bandcamp is “perhaps today’s most essential web service for independent bands and musicians.” At the heart of Bandcamp is a simple, utilitarian premise: Allow fans to listen to your music for free, and enable flexible, reasonable pricing for music purchases. Bands have the option of collecting email addresses, set fees or pay-what-you-want amounts in exchange for their music. You can also sell merch. It’s the quickest way to a free band website. Bandcamp gets 15% of music revenue and 10% of merch.
Mixcloud‘s mission is to deliver great radio, for everyone. They describe themselves as “Re-thinking radio, joining the dots between traditional shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes. Still curious? Check our FAQ, Team page. Upload your own music, interview your band etc to make a small radio show.”
Audioboo allows people to record and upload audio that can then be shared via other social networks. Audio can be recorded and uploaded straight from your phone or computer, allowing you to become a “social reporter” at events – where a group of people interactively and jointly contribute to some form of reporting, in text, photos, images or video. An example of Audioboo at work is Zoe Ivory from the Big Lottery talking about the importance of blogging. Twitter: @theboobot
Facebook. Social media site to share information with friends/fans. It is an important tool to let potential customers know about what you are doing. You can create an event page and invite friends who can then invite their friends. It can be interactive and updated as news develops about your event. Facebook tools:
- Creating a Fanpage on Facebook A guide by SoundDelivery.
- Band Profile – an app to upload music onto Facebook.
- Bandsintown Facebook app that tells you when bands you like on Facebook have up and coming gigs. Good to join as an artist or promoter.
- Five Common Facebook Mistakes A Facebook page set up as a shop front for yourself or your creative business is a very different beast to your personal page. Here’s how not to wind up your ‘fans’…
Twitter. Social media site for short blogs of up to 140 characters. Useful to link to your more detailed story on another site.
DeCloudr is a web app that converts your Social Media followers (i.e. Facebook, SoundCloud) into Twitter followers by means of offering a Follow for a Free Download. Build your DeCloudr profile, upload your tracks and send them to your SoundCloud or Facebook followers and watch the Twitter Followers come flooding in!
Blogging – opinion pieces, behind the scenes, what’s happening. They give more information than Facebook or Twitter. Lots of tips about blogging can be found on these links: basic blogging and blogging resources. Youth Music has written 8 Top Tips for Writing Excellent Blog Posts. A blog with 10 tips on how to become an influencer, as a ‘taste maker’ and opinion former – How to become an online ‘influencer’.
Linkedin is a network for professionals to interact, get advice and support and make connections and endorsements. Useful for musicians and the music industry. Check out the range of groups with mutual interests e.g. Music and Entertainment Professionals. The groups have lots of discussions and you can ask questions and receive advice from experienced peers.
Addthis. Merge tag tools for sharing – allows readers to share your music/story/campaign with their friends by connecting your posts to other sites. Add ‘follow’ and ‘share’ buttons to your social media sites.
Hootsuite is a tool that allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. Control all of your accounts on the move with the mobile version. You can set up times for posts to be released, so that a social media campaign can be coordinated to ‘amplify’ your story at times most likely to be read. Twitter: @hootsuite or @HootSuite_Help
GigaTools manages your gig promotion publicity across several social media sites. Designed for artists, DJs, bands, labels and agents to manage, promote and share their upcoming gigs online. A little like Hootsuite.
ReverbNation – Similar to Hootsuite but designed just for music. It can update all of your online profiles with new information from one central location and track stats from all of your social media sites. Reverb Nation also gives you multiple ways to sell your music, from linking to your offsite shop on your Reverb Nation profile with a free membership to having your music on iTunes and Amazon in exchange for a nominal membership fee.
Digital toolkit – websites for modern musicians seeking to promote and distribute their music, or for music entrepreneurs looking to develop their businesses.
Help to make and post videos onto YouTube.
How to convert audio files to video to upload to YouTube.
Dorset Gig Guide The Dorset Music Guide aims to be the definitive destination for Music related News, Reviews and Events Information for the wonderful county from which it takes it’s name. Twitter: @DorMusicGuide
Lemon Rock. A site that automatically finds your location (it asks for your permission) and then gives a local gig guide. Register your gig.
South West Music Services This is your portal to concerts, gigs and other music related events in the South West of England. If you would like a reciprocal link please get in touch. Bands, Jazz, classical and more. Register your gig.
Gig Guide provide information on Gigs, Live Music Venues, Wedding and Function Bands, Music Festivals and a host of other music related businesses in the UK. Register your gig.
Music Glue has event listings and offers services to support gigging artists. Register your gig.
Vocalist Gig Guide Add Your Gigs FREE to our online Gig Guide. Amateur to Professional Solo & Duo Singers, Vocalists, Musicians, Songwriters, Venues, Pubs, Clubs, Covers & Original Acts.
Bandsintown Facebook ap that tells you when bands you like on Facebook have up and coming gigs. Good to register as an artist.
The Showcase music industry directory is a great resource for finding expertise and facilities to record and show your music at its best. E.g. Rehearsal Rooms, South West Recording Studios (also other regions), mobile recording studios, studio equipment hire and recording services such as producers/engineers/programmers, mastering, post production, packaging, design and printing – lots more.
BandName Worldwide search and registration of band names. Why Register? Establishing prior usage is a key component in protecting your name and avoiding unwelcome legal challenges. The Worldwide Registry notifies artists and labels where potential territorial name conflicts exist and registers your historical claim to ‘name’ usage.
Showcase International music directory. Find contact details for a vast range of specialist suppliers to the music industry – concert services, venues, equipment, recording studios, music business services, media, musical equipment and musical equipment hire.
Apply to play at Festivals A blog by Sentric Music with contact links to apply to over 20 UK music festivals. Festival experience is something record labels look for before signing you, as do some grants such as The Momentum Fund from the PRS Foundation to help emerging artists get to the next level.
Music for Youth is a national music education charity providing free access to performance and audience opportunities for young musicians across the UK through its annual season of festivals and concerts.
Tippers Network UK new music tastemakers recommending new music and artists. A public list by Generator. The contributing tastemakers are here. Check out their interests and try sending appropriate tastemakers your music and information about you as an artist. Twitter: https://twitter.com/GeneratorNE/lists/tippers-network
The Unsigned Guide. Online music industry directory full of contacts for UK venues, producers, gig & festival promoters, record labels, music publishers, distributors & loads more! Twitter: @unsignedguide
The Youth Media Agency is the National home for UK Youth Media: raising the profile of, and supporting over 300 exciting media platforms. They deliver campaign and media training, working with 16-25 year olds.
Urban Street Online service focused in the promotion and marketing of individuals and organisations providing professional musical services.
Tribe of Noise conects musicians online with businesses around the globe in need of original, all rights included music.
Independant Record Labels These record labels are distributed by Kudos Records. There are quite a few! They may be interested in your music. Find out if they record similar styles of music to yours. Find out about their A & R managers and contact them.
List with links to lots of record labels, compiled by NUMU.
Play Music is a hub for emerging musicians in the UK. PlayMusic selects up-and-coming artists to showcase their music through a series of live and studio sessions. They are a part of PlayNetwork who create in store digital environments, including background music for major retail brands,
cdbaby. Independent music store, distributor, CD duplication service, advice, blogs.
Getting yourself heard. This page has a list of online music databases that are largely free of charge. Note that many of the sites provide a specialized service or focus on a particular music genre. Some of these operate as an online music store or purchase referral service in some capacity.
A list of Internet radio stations in the UK. Go to home page for the rest of Europe (over 4,000 radio stations listed by country or genre). Send tracks/blogs/press releases to stations to promote your music. Be selective and target stations that play your style of music.
Comparison of streaming media systems – Tables that compare general and technical information for a number of streaming media systems for both audio and video. Tools to show your work at its best.
Public Relations companies – a small directory of PR companies to help tell your story. There are many others. As well as telling your story yourself, using B Sharp’s publicity guide, PR companies may have good contacts and many social media followers and influencers worth paying for. Choose one that is well-connected to the music industry.
A complete B Sharp music resource menu can be found in Links to Progress your Music Interests and Journey. If you know of other links that could be added to this list, please reply below.