In our would of digital evolution, we are forced to find new ways to promote our music consistently. The days of passing out CD's and spamming random people's inboxes are long gone. But perhaps we have been looking at music promotion the wrong way this whole time. Perhaps we should look at how to promote our music through a different lens. Here are a few paradigm shifts that may alter your perception behind music promotion. No longer will you see likes and followers the same.
1. Music promotion is a skill not a task
Before you go beating yourself up about low Youtube views or tanked Spotify spins, remember record labels have publicists who promote their artists on a mass scale. Since you are independent, and can't operate on that level yet, you must understand music promotion is a professional skill. A skill that is, taught, learned, practiced, and mastered. So with that being said, take a deep breath and relax.
2. The psychology behind music promotion
There are thousands of ways to promote or, solicit your music. From Instagram shoutouts all the way up to Billboard radio pitches, the ways are plentiful. But the "how" in promoting your music is not what matters the most. What matters the most is the "Why". Why are you promoting this particular song? This is not a question of reflection. It's to get you to understand who will be listening to your song and why.
Let's say you just broke up with your boy/girlfriend, and you were inspired to write a breakup song. You would want your fans to think the reason you created that song was to relate to the same type of heartache they went through. Kinda like Adele. It would be really weird if Adele said she wrote her music just because she wanted more followers. When your song reaches the right person for the right reason a fan is born.
Remember, people get married to music. People party to music. People tie life events to songs in ways that become more sentimentally valuable then a "follow" could ever mean. Why not your song? Why not your song be the next song someone embeds into their life. When you begin to understand the psychology behind why people listen to certain songs, it will be easier to connect instantly. Fans will say, "I listen to your song because it reminds me of my brother." or, "Your song keeps me motivated while I study".
Which brings me to my last point. If the song you are picking to promote doesn't feed a listeners "why?" You are just like a restaurant serving undercooked burgers expecting them to come back. Feed the "why" in your listeners and watch the fans beg for more.
3. Be consistent with your music promotion
Think about this for a second. When in your life have you ever not seen a Mcdonalds or Coke Cola commercial? You would say, "I've seen Mcdonald and Coke Cola commercials all my life." Why? Because corporations spend millions of dollars each year to keep their ad in front of you.
Not because they don't think you know who they are, but because they want to penetrate your subconscious. When promoting your music you must find a strategy and stick to it. Whatever you do, rather it be posting on social media every day or email blasts every Friday. Nothing will happen if you don't consistently keep your song in people's ears. In fact, if you feel a song is not worth pushing longterm, don't even start. Rethink your strategy and come up with a new plan.
It's better to lay one brick perfectly every day than it is to try and build a perfect wall in one day. Why? Because in one year you'll have a perfect wall. Each post, music video, upload, shoutout, retweet, feature, etc is a brick that represents your music career. If you have gaps, miss-aligned bricks, and chipped corners, people will notice you don't care for your music career. Find what works for you. If that's running a meme page and attaching your music to memes, then do it daily and lay them perfectly.
How to challenge yourself. Start with a seven-day test. It will not be easy. But If you pick a music promotion strategy and implement it for seven days, you will see the difference. Each day you must do the same thing just once. Reach out to a DJ, submit to a blog, whatever you feel is the best route. At the end of the seven-day test reset it for a fourteen-day test. Again you will be doing the same promotion tactics daily regardless of the results. After fourteen days go thirty, then ninety, then a full year. Keep going until it becomes a daily subconscious routine. If you miss a day you must go back and start again.
4. Commit to your music promotion strategy
Commit to your strategy regardless of what results you see in front of you. The hardest thing to do is to keep going when you see no outcome of your efforts showing. However, there is a scientific secret that will surely restore your thoughts of wasted efforts. Newton's third law says, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". This doesn't just apply to physical matter this also applies to digital matter and energy as well.
Meaning, no matter what you do, email, shoutout, press release, radio interview, that action will come back to you in some way shape or form. It may not come back in the exact way you expect or put out. But it will surely come back in some way shape or form. This means you should always know that with every effort you put in, there is a nonvisible reaction making its way back to you. It's like filling your car tire up with air. You don't need to see the air to know it's blowing the tire up. Keep filling your music career with commitment and watch it blow up.
5. Execute your music promotion campaign
Effort is applauded, execution is worshipped. Get it done at all cost. If you've worked up a nice buzz and fans are anticipating your new release on a specific date, don't disappoint. Often artists will mistake "Grinding" for execution, and those two couldn't be further apart. You can grind all night to create the perfect marketing strategy but If you never execute your plan you're just losing sleep. Don't mistake tons of effort posting, and dming as "Getting things done". Make sure what you are doing has clear cut results and an expected end.
If you want your song to land on major blogs, commit to researching and finding the proper way to guarantee your placement. It feels better sending your feature link from World Star to your best friend rather than to talk about it. To go a little deeper we need to understand what music promotion execution looks like. Campaign execution is essentially following through to a deadline placed for the end of a songs promo run.
Let's say for six months you decided to post five Instagram promos per week, and a Toc Tok video every Wednesday about your music. It is now your personal responsibility to stick to that regimen at all cost. All of your effort and imagination need to go into pulling that campaign off. If that means you need to sit and brainstorm different types of posts in advance, then do it. When you execute your music promotion campaigns you begin to show your fans they can rely on you.
Music promotion conclusion
There is no right or wrong way to promote your music. There is no official way of promoting your music either. And not everyone will join your wave. But for the ones who do you must cherish them. Cherish them as you would gold and diamonds. Considering, your fans will be your means of support one day. A thousand real fans can support a healthy lifestyle but you must consider your fans "why", stay consistent with them and let them know you are committed.
So go ahead, use your imagination. Create a marketing plan full of shoutouts and playlist placements. But make sure you follow through because execution is worshiped.
Written by WillIG @vsowill