How to independently promote your music in 2021

Here, we look at eight ways in which artists can effectively promote their music in 2021, without being beholden to anyone but themselves.

Guest post by Janelle Borg of Amplify.You and Amplify.Link

Find out how to market yourself effectively as an independent artist in the current climate.

The internet has enabled artists to take control of their own destiny and grow at their own pace. 

It provided a space for artist-friendly tools and services to flourish. These tools and services empower artists to balance the artistic and the business aspects of their career, without having to become full-fledged professional marketers. 

Here at AmplifyYou, we’re passionate about helping independent artists amplify their careers. Here are a couple of tips on how independent artists can take their game to the next level and succeed without relying on a label and a big team to do so. 

What is independence in music in 2021?

First off, we need to establish that music independence is a spectrum that depends on six fundamental principles. The cornerstones of music independence are data control, financial clarity, financial agency, distributive autonomy, open education and artistic sovereignty. Each component is a scale (from 0-100) that isn’t mutually exclusive. 

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8 ways to promote your music independently

Distribute your music

In this day and age, having your music on streaming services and digital music stores is essential. Through DSPs, your music reaches global audiences and enables you to develop a strong online presence.

Distributing your music to platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and Deezer is easy. Sign up with a digital distributor such as CD Baby, DistroKid and TuneCore to get started. Pay them a small fee, upload your music, and let them handle the rest of the distro process. 

Sign up for an admin publishing service

Whenever we’re discussing publishing, it’s important to mention that publishing deals with a song’s composition. 

Unlike traditional publishers, admin publishing companies do not own your copyrights. They work with local PROs to track down royalties from all across the globe, get a commission, and pass the rest of the money on to you

Working with admin publishing companies such as Songtrust and Sentric is beneficial, as it enables you to rest assured that you’re getting paid every time your song is played on the radio, in an establishment, in a live setting, and so on. 

Amplify.link offers a wide variety of services to independent artists and DIY labels who want to up their game. Features include release links, bio links, Livestream links, bio links, merch integration as well as an in-built analytics tool. Amplify.link’s analytics tool empowers you to check metrics such as your fans’ geographical location, unique views and engagement, making it an important tool to add to your arsenal…especially when it comes to crafting marketing campaigns that actually work. 

Create an EPK

Think of an electronic press kit (EPK) as your CV. It’s the document that you present to those individuals in the industry that you want to impress. 

You need to make sure that your EPK includes all the important bits of information that will make you stand out from the thousands of queries these individuals receive.

An EPK should include your artist bio, press photos, reviews, links to your music, social links, performance calendar and contact info. 

You can use Amplify.link to create an eye-catching EPK. Use your artist profile to create a second bio link that can function as your EPK. It only takes seven seconds to make a first impression, so make this one count. 

Use social media to engage fans

You need to be “social” on social media. Therefore, instead of posting a constant stream of promotional material, you should invest your time in creating a social media calendar that stimulates conversation and piques your fans’ interest, 

TikTok has become the prime marketing channel for artists and has made household names of unknown artists. TikTok’s algorithm is artist-friendly and enables complete unknowns to go viral. Lil Nas X, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Claire Rosinkranz and Curtis Waters are just some of the artists who had their big break on TikTok. [Source: Fanbytes]

Get playlisted

The changing nature of the music industry has resulted in the rise of playlists as music fans’ favourite way to consume music. According to a Vox article, “artists generally see a boost of 50 per cent to 100 per cent once they get on Spotify-sponsored playlists; even after those spikes wear off, the artists often see a 20 per cent increase in their streams.”

Landing a spot on Spotify’s highly-coveted playlists isn’t the only way to increase your streaming numbers. 

Algorithmic playlists, such as Release Radar and Discover Weekly, are a good way of reaching people who are interested in your type of music. You can secure a spot on these playlists by uploading your songs early and engaging with the platform on a regular basis. 

You can now submit your songs to Spotify’s editors using Spotify for Artist’s submission tool. For the editorial playlists of other DSPs, you need to work with a distributor that has a direct relationship with their editorial teams to increase your chance of landing an editorial playlist.

Encourage your fans to add you to their personal playlists and to share your music with their friends. It’s an organic way of increasing your audience, and while it takes time, you’ll be playing the long game. 

Build your mailing list

Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels out there. There are 4 billion email users around the world, and 72% of people would rather receive marketing materials from brands through their email than as ads on social media. [Source: Spinx]

Building your mailing list might take time, but it reaps a lot of rewards. The people on your mailing list are engaged fans who are interested in your journey. 

Ensure that people do not opt-out of your mailing list by adhering to GDPR standards and offering value to your audience. Write about what you’re doing, what your upcoming touring plans are and offer a sneak peek of upcoming songs and merch.

Use analytics to your advantage

Analytics enable you to gain deeper insight into audience perceptions, motivations, and needs. Data such as geographical location, number of unique visits, and rate of engagement enable you to back your marketing efforts with cold, hard facts. 
Amplify.link offers next-level, real-time insights from combined sources. It allows you to get to know your audience without having to waste precious time and energy collecting data from different platforms.

Photo by Danny Howe on Unsplash

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