5 Free And Low-Cost Strategies To Effectively Promote Music
Everyone wants to promote their band, however, being able to afford the traditional forms of marketing is often beyond the means of many musicians.
Fortunately, some of the most inexpensive forms of promotion are also oftentimes the most effective.
By Oscar Collins from CD Baby’s DIY Musician blog
How to promote your band without breaking the bank
You want an affordable way to promote your band, but you don’t have it in the budget to pay for the standard marketing strategies. Fortunately for you, expanding your fan base is easier than you think. It’s less expensive as well.
With a little help from social media, your local community and even other bands, it’s possible to promote your music. A grassroots approach will save you money while boosting your band’s visibility.
So where should you get started? The answer is an arm’s length away.
1. Leverage your social media accounts
It’s essential to concentrate your efforts on more than one social media platform. Your Twitter account can help, but Instagram has more than 1 billion users worldwide. By leveraging all of the social media accounts at your disposal, you’ll extend your reach to a broader audience and increase your presence.
Here are a few examples:
- Host live streams on Facebook like mini-concerts, Q&A’s or playthroughs of your songs
- Grow your audience on TikTok, a music-focused app that’s famous for dance challenges and lip-sync videos
- Start a Twitter account to regularly promote tour dates (when gigging is possible again) and engage with fans in ways you can’t on other social media platforms
- With Instagram, you can create 15-second “Reels” that are cut to one of your songs, a popular new rival to TikTok
- On YouTube, you can upload music and clips from shows and events and even host live streams
The goal is to tackle social media from various angles so that you can build yourself up. But be warned — it’ll take at least a few months to see your follower count rise. Patience and consistency are key.
Aim to upload a few posts each week. And don’t hire a dedicated social media manager unless you really can’t keep up.
2. Work together with other bands
You and your bandmates need to make an effort to connect with other bands. It’s always smart to build relationships with “co-workers” who could help you if needed.
Major cities like New York and Los Angeles have many artists who’d like to pursue similar goals. Even if you don’t live near a major metropolitan music hub, it’s still important to collaborate. In doing so, you’ll both appeal to each other’s audiences.
There are a ton of ways to utilize this method. You may want to collaborate on a song or show. You don’t have to make music or tour together either. Instead, you could think about ways to support each other’s promotional efforts.
A few posts and shares on each other’s social pages could lead to new fans for both bands. Swap songs on your featured playlists. Do your best to make connections with other groups near you.
3. Volunteer to assist others in your community
You’ve no doubt heard it before: “I used to know him when he was still playing drums in his garage.”
Everyone loves an underdog, and your community will lift you up if you take the right approach.
So what’s the best way to help out (and get helped in return)? Why not schedule an afternoon where you cook a few hot meals before you deliver them to a local organization? You can also include a flyer with details on how to download your music.
It doesn’t really matter which efforts you decide to pursue. Whether you want to teach music to local kids or play a concert to raise money, it’s beneficial to become more active in your community. Your time makes a significant difference. Plus, you’ll have a chance to speak directly with those who could improve your career.
You shouldn’t have to spend a dime on this method other than a few minimal promotional costs. It’s a surefire way to connect with your closest fans — your own community. Reach out to a few groups to see if they’d like to work with you.
4. Organize a street team
A street team always works as an effective and cheap way to advertise your band. You probably have fans who’ve been with you for a while. They’d jump at a chance to work with their favorite band. Why not enlist them to promote your music and tours around their hometowns?
Record labels and new bands love street teams, as they offer free ways to canvas any city in America. There are several methods street teams use to put your name out there.
They could attend local shows where they’d hand out information to other fans. They may also rely on social media to send out updates. Be sure to work alongside your street team to ensure they have the proper resources. They’ll work on their own schedules, but you can still offer a little support to make their jobs easier.
5. Get a little more creative with your merch
Your merchandise doesn’t have to be expensive. With certain tactics, you can make t-shirts, mugs and buttons for less. Ask a local artist to come up with one or two designs you can use for your products.
Once you’ve managed that area, use an online merchandise website to put together orders. You could even make your own DIY merchandise if you want to save some cash. Either way, it’s important to get creative.
Your band should employ a few different methods to sell your merchandise effectively. Be sure to plug your products whenever possible. Have you played shows over live streams recently? Don’t forget to advertise. You can also start a giveaway to promote your band on social media.
In any case, it’s vital to ensure your products are accessible and eye-catching. People love new clothes, but only if they’re interesting.
Use these ideas to catapult yourself to stardom
Almost all bands start small. Before you release a record-charting album, it’s essential to use grassroots ideas to promote yourself.
Oscar Collins is the managing editor at Modded. He writes about cars, fitness, the outdoors and more. Follow @TModded on Twitter for more articles from the Modded team.