Well, believe it or not, there’s not a “best way” to get your music out to people. There are “ways” and there are “ways most suited to your style or audience” but there’s no secret-sauce solution to getting music heard.
First, it’s important to remember your music won’t be heard by loads of people to begin with – not unless you have support from a huge name, and they either take you under their wing, or support your music in a strong way – and even then it’s not always going to get you mega-bucks.
The main thing to note here, is this isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon. You’re playing the long game. Don’t forget all the people you thought were overnight success stories have probably been toiling away for ages to get to where they are. You maybe discovered them overnight, but their career likely spans way longer than you think.
Do you have an EPK? If you want to save yourself some frustration I’d suggest putting one together before you get in touch with people – it’ll help you massively once you start emailing.
Do you have a contact list for promotion? If not, start building one – you won’t regret it.
You’ll likely want to have a variety of socials and your website set up and working well, plus an active profile on places like Reddit or relevant forums and community sites if necessary.
You’re not owed anything by anyone, so make sure you’re nice to people. The industry can be full of douchebags. We don’t need another one. If you’re sending your music to people, make sure it’s prepped nicely and remember, there are some commonly accepted suitable ways to do so.
Because there’s no one-size fits all solution, you’re going to have to be diverse and cover as many bases as you can until some become apparently more effective than others. Submitting to a few blogs and shotgun-emailing a bunch of radio stations isn’t going to cut it.
Educate yourself and spend a bit of time learning about tips and techniques before you jump in and muck it up for yourself without realising. I would recommend a solid plan or strategy for promoting and pushing your music, otherwise you’re stabbing in the dark and could end up doing more damage than good.
Everyone’s music is different, although most of us fit a category which helps. You should think about your potential listeners and where they are. What do they like? What sites to they use? What do they expect? What social media do they interact with? How old are they? How do they discover new music? You should be asking all these quetions and more before going out there and promoting.
Also, how do you want to be perceived? How do you want them to “feel” about your music? What gut feeling will they have when they come into contact with any of your communication, music, visuals, sites etc? This is your brand, and you should be careful about how you try to represent it. You can’t define it – that’s down to your audience – but you can help influence how it looks, and you can decide how personal you want it to be. Think about all of this as you’re preparing yourself to get your music out there, and it’ll put you in the right frame of mind.
None of this is rocket science, yet people continually ask where to start or what to do – the problem is, you’re not going to get a checklist of things to do to get your music out there, and if there are such lists, they’re unlikely to yield anything worth talking about.
What works for someone else, might not work for you so you need to think about your own situation and what’s going to work for you. What can you achieve? What’s within your grasp?
I’m not saying any of this is easy. It’s not – it’s a long, hard slog for the most part. It’s grunt-work and endless, boring paperwork and spreadsheets (well, it can be anyway). It’s effort – but as someone said once, nothing with doing ever came easy, right?
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