Ultimate free music promotion tips and tricks
Are you struggling getting your music heard? Are you looking for more REAL plays, likes, reposts and followers for your music but don’t have a promo budget?
Don’t worry – here is help!
While promoting music with a budget can save you time and open up doors to many effective paid promotion channels (think online ads, sponsored posts or reposts, radio promotion, etc.), there are still lots of effective promo tactics for your music that won’t cost you any money.
Time is money – also in music promotion. If you don’t have money, you can make up for it with time to invest into your music promotion for great results.
Generally, most music promotion takes place in a spectrum that ranges from ‘investing time’ on one end to ‘investing money’ on the other end. For most music artists, it’s going to be a mix of investing some budget and some of their time. But if a budget is out of question, you can accomplish a lot by making up for it with clever investments of your time.
Why does all of this matter?
Your fuel for growth are listeners! Period.
No listeners, no growth. The more listeners you reach, the more success you will see and the bigger and faster your fan base will grow.
So, let’s roll up the sleeves and get started:
1. Post your music e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.
We see a lot of artists who post their music on SoundCloud and maybe YouTube and then call it a day. This may work if you have a promo budget that allows you to channel all your traffic to these two platforms.
But without a promo budget, a different approach may be more successful: post your music everywhere! The bigger the net, the more fish you will catch.
Don’t just limit yourself to SoundCloud and YouTube. Instead, post your tracks on all platforms that allow you to upload your music directly and include links to your download gate or music store. SoundCloud, Youtube, Audiomack, Hearthis, Musical.ly, Vimeo, Bandcamp, MixCloud or Fanburst are all good options to consider. All of these have sizable build-in communities, which is critical as this is the audience you want to reach.
It takes a lot of time to maintain artist profiles on all of those platforms and upload your music (it’s investing ‘time’ vs ‘money’ again) – no doubt. But even without a budget for paid promotion of your music on these platforms, the fact that it’s there increases the statistical probability of organic fan discovery – and that’s exactly what you want.
There are also some tools to make publishing your music on these sites easier. For example, our free SoundCloud-to-YouTube converter automatically takes your SoundCloud tracks, turns them into videos, and uploads them to YouTube for you. Takes you only seconds and covers two of the biggest platforms already 😉
2. Never forget about the most important one-on-one promo channel to your fans: email
It may sound old-school, but the most powerful and direct channel you have to reach your fans is email. Every fan on your email list shared their email address with you to get your music – so give it to them!
Sending a newsletter for each new track you release is one of the most important free promo activities to get your music right in front of a captive audience. Platforms such as Mailchimp let you send up to 12,000 emails per month for free – that’s a lot.
Make your fan emails appealing for your fans to increase your promo success. Are you sending a free download? Then make sure to include “Free Download” in your subject line. How does your cover art look? Make sure to include a large, prominent version in your email.
Include direct links to your track on SoundCloud, YouTube, etc. Fans should be able to play your song with one click and get to your download page or music store with just one more click. You can also link to your Hypeddit download gate which combines music player and download in one page (shameless plug! ;).
The most amazing thing about email marketing is that it gets more powerful which each release IF you keep your email list growing. That’s another great use of Hypeddit download gates (another shameless plug! 😉 since you can exchange downloads in return for fan email addresses.
Focus your efforts on building your email list early on so that you have a chance to elevate your fans to superfan status. Keep collecting email addresses and cultivate your fan relationships by emailing your fans what they care about: your music.
3. Trade promo support with other artists
This one is extremely powerful and overlooked by so many artists. It could make a real difference for you.
We talked about email newsletters to your fans for your new releases above. How excited would your fans be if you included a second track from another artist in your email that is similar in style to your sound? And how amazing would it be if that second artist included YOUR track in their newsletter to their fans?
Teaming up to co-promote music is easy and adds instant scale to your promo campaign. Find an artist in your genre whose music you love and who has an online presence that is similar to yours (that means similar follower counts, plays, email list sizes, etc.). If you love their music, chances are your fans do to – and vice versa.
Now just trade promotions. Include tracks from each other in your newsletter emails. Repost each other’s tracks on SoundCloud. Repost each other’s tracks on Hearthis and MixCloud. You get the idea 😉 All of this doesn’t cost anything (except time) and helps build great relationships with other artists. And who says you can only do this with one other artist? Find a whole community of artists to join in and promote each other’s work. This can be pure magic!
4. Submit your music to hundreds of music blogs and influencers
Music blogs and other curated music channels, especially on SoundCloud or Youtube (think Trap Nation) can turn talented underground artists into mainstage stars. They are incredibly powerful. That means getting your music in front of these curators and influencers is a must for every artist promoting his own music.
Now, the chances of getting featured by one of the more powerful music curators and blogs is very small. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go for it.
There are different philosophies on how to approach these channels to get your music heard by their A&Rs. If you are trying to get featured on a few, selected channels that are perfect for your niche, then it might be best to invest time into building a personal relationship with their team to capture attention.
If your sound is a little more mainstream and could work well on a lot of blogs and curated music channels, then you might go for quantity in your approach. Send your music to hundreds of relevant blogs, and your chances of being picked up by a few of them is going to be higher.
That might seem like a daunting task. How are you going to find all those blogs and channels, figure out what music genres they cover and how to contact them? Well, luckily, we have a tool for that as well 😉 Our submission tool makes it easy for you to send your music to hundreds of blogs in just a few clicks and track their feedback.
5. Post more music
This one sounds really simple – but it isn’t. Making music takes time, effort and creative energy. But quite obviously: the more music you release and post, the more content you have online to reach listeners and fans.
Similar to tip #1 above (post your music everywhere), producing and releasing more music follows the logic of casting a wider net. It’s easy to imagine that an artist who puts out great music once a week will grow much faster than another artist who puts out the same great music, but only once per month.
In this case ‘more is more’. Just make sure you watch your quality. Don’t sacrifice the quality of your music and productions by creating more of it. Be smart about what you produce. Not every track has to be a new, original song. You can mix it up with DJ sets, new edits/remixes of your existing tracks or remixes of other tracks (stay clear of copyright violations on this one).
Are you doing all these tips and tricks already? If not, then go for it. It will help you get your music heard and it will grow REAL plays, likes, reposts and followers for your music. It will cost time and effort – but it’s free and works even if you have no promo budget.
These 5 tips and tricks are only the beginning. We will keep this going to build the ultimate resource for free music promotion ideas for you.
How are you promoting your music for free? Leave us a comment below. We would love to pick up the best ideas and include them here for our artist community.