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How to Promote Your Music Like a Major Record Label

by Jul 14, 2022Music Business

Indie Artists:

Today, savvy and smart Indie artists coordinate highly effective music promotions with no music labels behind their backs; and they are doing this exceedingly well with almost the same results as those of established Record Label companies.

We will be discussing creative ways to promote music as an Independent artist and still get even better results than the big money labels.

How Labels Promote their Signed Acts:

Recall, there are quite a number of important steps to be taken whenever you are releasing new music, for an established label these will include:

  1. Employing the services of top-notch graphic designers to design professional-grade Music art
  2. Send the song to streaming platforms either directly or via the services of a Music Aggregator
  3. Contact Radio Stations to inform them of their act’s upcoming release
  4. Set a date and exact time for dropping the song proper
  5. Commence a coordinated Marketing campaign to promote the single/album/EP via expensive media tours, photo sessions, meetups, and Album/Single listening parties.
  6. Employing the services of Digital Marketing and PR firms to create the right buzz for the new sound.
  7. Plan a World Tour in major cities around the World to further showcase their Act Internationally.

How to Effectively promote Yourself like a Label:

Sadly, you do not have the luxury of going this expensive route simply because you don’t have the financial muscles to make that happen.

So the question now is this:

How do I promote my new single as the Labels do especially on a budget?

Tips on How to Promote even while on a Budget:

1. Sign up with an Aggregator:

Again, if you’d want to get your song to the libraries of Digital Streaming Platforms (except Soundcloud, Audiomack, Reverbnation, etc.), then you will require the services of an Aggregator.

I always recommend Distrokid, for the following reasons:

  1. It is cheap- at $19.99 an Artist can post unlimited songs on over 30 Digital Streaming platforms for a period of one year.
  2. Its value-added services like the seamless integration with services such as Spotify, Twitch, Tidal; YouTube and Audiomack
  3. Prompt resolution of technical issues
  4. User-friendly Interface

The Service is only lacking in its earnings reportage, though it gives you a detailed breakdown per service, I find the report not too detailed and somehow not accurate.

Other than this, Distrokid is still the most user-friendly and cheapest option in the market.

2. Connect all your accounts with the necessary Integrations:

Distrokid makes this process quite seamless.

Here you can easily get your Spotify account upgraded and Verified as an Artist, Connect your Audiomack account, Integrate with Twitch so you get paid as Gamers use your music content, and more.

3. Create a Free Musixmatch Account:

Record Labels make their signed artists stand out via the inclusion of the lyrics of their songs on Social media (Instagram Stories), Spotify, Boomplay, etc.

Though you can manually do this on Boomplay, you are limited on other platforms because this courtesy is only extended to signed Artists.

To cut to the chase and still be within the same level with signed acts, this is where musixmatch comes in.

With a free account, you can upload your lyrics to Streaming platforms that allow lyrics. One other cool thing about this tool is that- you can signup as a Publisher and get paid for your songwriting contributions.

4. Create a Wikipedia Styled Profile to trigger your Google Knowledge Panel:

One sterling thing that separates the signed acts and Indie acts is that the former own Wikipedia pages that are recognized and referenced by Google, which in turn triggers their Google knowledge panel.

I know many will ask – What’s a Google knowledge panel?

It is simply the snippets of important info about a person as routinely compiled and served as a Search result when users look for information about a person.

The Good thing is that you don’t need to be signed for Google to recognize you.

At the last count, I have created Wikipedia profiles and personal profiles on blogs that triggered the Google Knowledge panel of little-known acts.

See some samples of profiles we created for other Artists below.

If you are serious about your career and your image as an artist, then I’d strongly recommend you get a Google Search Friendly profile fixed for you.

Good thing is that we offer the service.

For more information on this- Talk to us or send us an email at gbedustreetmedia@gmail.com.

5. Start a TikTok Challenge:

TikTok is gradually relegating Major Labels to the background since its integration of music streaming and discoverability on its platform.

Though recent algorithm changes might suggest otherwise.

However, it is a known fact today that labels now rely on viral music moments from TikTok as a yardstick in signing new label acts.

This is why initiating a TikTok Challenge makes a lot of sense, especially right now!

6. Use Snap Ads:

I discovered the potency of Snap ads while testing it out for a single I recently promoted for an Artist.

The ads platform might not be as robust as Facebook in terms of detailed targetting, but again the beauty lies in its simplicity and efficacy.

The Swipe up feature brings in higher CTR and greater ROI than Facebook ads, especially when promoting music on the app.

7. Facebook/IG ads still work:

Yes, the days of maximizing profit with a $5 ads might be gone because Facebook’s CPM is through the roofs.

However, its ROI is really sizable if you understand how to run an effective ads campaign for your music.

Growing your handle should also be a long-term goal for any advertising campaign you embark.

Ensure you create high-quality and engaging content to keep your fans glued to your page as well as win over new converts who’d love your style and music.

Facebook through its Blueprint Learning platform has made it relatively easy for anyone to gain the requisite skills that will enable you to scale up your business through ads and other business tools Facebook offers. See this page to learn more.

8. Shoot a pocket-sized Music Video:

I have seen simple, not well-thought-out music videos blow up on social media – TikTok, Facebook, and even Twitter.

Many indie acts went from little-known upstarts to mainstream acts by a simple music video shoot with a cellphone, no props, no video vixens, no expensive costume just mere tact and grit and the desire to push against the odds.

Today, you can edit videos, add motion graphics and put some finesses to your music videos with both free and paid tools like Vista, Inshot, and inVideo.

If you have the budget I’ll recommend inVideo for its robustness and the overabundance of easily customizable drag-and-drop templates that can make your competition grin with envy and respect.

Remember you are doing this like the big labels, so add some touch and class to your video by employing the right tools to make it happen.

9. Get your Song curated into a highly coveted Playlist:

Getting featured on a prominent Playlist on either Spotify, iTunes./Apple Music, Audiomack, etc. can transform your public perception as an Artist.

If you are finding it difficult to get featured, then I bet you should create one yourself.

You can see this article where I discussed this in full – (How to Create a Discoverable Playlist for your Single).

10. Start a mini media Tour:

Though the preserve of the Big Labels, you can start a mini media tour even on a budget.

This media tour will take you around a handful of Radio Stations within your locality, You can also contact new media practitioners like Vloggers whose primary niche and content are music-oriented, Talk to Podcasters, and even Bloggers (yes you heard me, blogging is still working).

Schedule an Interview with them, where you get to talk about your music, your brand, and your latest single.

Do You want to get on a mini media tour?

Talk to us let’s get that fixed for you? Talk to Us

11. Get Collaborations and features:

Getting big features might not work at this time, notwithstanding you could still give it a shot.

Utilize the power of social media to get to your favorite big act, trust me they were once upcoming acts like you.

So shoot your shot and you never know they might just love your style and personality.

Also, look around and socialize with acts that are within your current status or slightly above.

Collaborate with them, you can get new fans who love your music and vice versa.

12. Organize giveaways and Create an Email List:

Lead acquisition is one of the goals of savvy and big labels, though most do not see the gains of employing this method when creating promotions for their acts, and this is where you come in as an indie artist.

As an upcoming act, you will need to learn skills that can 10X your returns as a musician.

Email Marketing is one of them.

Did I hear you say email? Yes Email.

Have you wondered why every big website and service like Facebook, Spotify, Twitter, TikTok, etc. always requests for your email address during signup?

Well, let me crave your indulgence by letting you understand that email marketing albeit cheap and considered dated, has the highest returns on investment even ahead of social media.

So get on the trend right now by building a list. and one of the surest ways of doing that is through a well-coordinated giveaway where you collect emails of participants for future marketing.

Ensure you giveaway something of value so you could get their email in return.

To get your leads acquisition started on a zero budget, consider making use of a free and all-in-one marketing suite from system.io

One of the best features of this SaaS tool is its simplicity, not forgetting that it packs a punch in terms of giving you value.

From;

  • Email Automation
  • Free Landing pages
  • You can start a Newsletter
  • Create a Free Blog
  • Collect emails and
  • Create Sales funnels

The most endearing part of all these features listed above is that it is FREE!

Other solutions with this kind of feature like ClickFunnels (which is amazing too), are way too expensive and have no free forever plans like Systems.io.

Start your email Campaign and leads your acquisition journey as a rockstar for Free.

13. Start a Website:

This is huge and achievable if you sincerely understand the importance of having one.

Building a highly responsive website these days does not require overly proficient tech skills because of the array of tools (free and paid), in the web development world for non-techies like you.

The next question is this- Why should you own a website?

The reason is quite enormous but let me summarize it by saying –

  • you will need a website to brand yourself and increase your visibility and acceptance
  • owning a website allows you to sell your music, branded, merch, and show tickets and gives you more access to make more money.
  • A website can also allow you to gain more insights as it concerns your fanbase by measuring stats and metrics which you can collate through lead acquisition.
  • On this website, you can add your voice by including a Blog.
  • In the event of major labels looking to make you sign the dotted lines as one of their acts, having a website can place you on their radar with the ease of accessing verifiable information that pertains to you and your brand, which the website made quite easy for them.

If you are overwhelmed, just hire a pro to get it done, look at job marketplaces like Fiverr, here you can hire a good web designer for less and get a good job done for you.

You can also reach out to us, we can help you design an Artist website that will have cool features like

  • an e-commerce store to allow you to sell branded merch (t-shirts, caps), show tickets, etc.
  • A blog so you can lend your voice on issues pertaining to the industry and mostly your brand

Chat with us or send us an email at –gbedustreetmedia@gmail.com

List of Indie Artist’s Best Practices:

  1. Never engage in streaming fraud
  2. Avoid patronizing third-party ad companies that promise increased streams
  3. Utilize the power of TikTok to get more engagement
  4. Use Snap ads to gain more visibility for your song
  5. Avoid copyrighted materials from free audios, beats, etc.

Are you an Independent Artist looking for ways to handle your career as a mainstream Act?

Talk to us. let us help you with some of the activities you consider monotonous and boring like:

  1. releasing new songs
  2. promoting the single
  3. uploading music to your streaming accounts
  4. writing press releases
  5. and many others:

Chat with us or shoot us an email at gbedustreetmedia@gmail.com

Written By chinemere onuekwusi

Chinemere Onuekwusi is just a dude who writes on pretty much every topic that relates to small business, blogging, Music, Films and conscientious issues. He enjoys reading, traveling and he's a helluva technology enthusiast.

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