Learn How to Promote Your Music Online

Follow These 10 Smart Steps to Get Your Music Heard

Young man playing acoustic guitar
Compassionate Eye Foundation/Justin Pumfrey/Getty Images

You know you need to do online music promotion, but the number of options available to get the job done can be downright overwhelming. This how-to guide will walk you through the steps you need to follow to set up an internet music promotion strategy that works for you. There's no single blueprint that works for everyone, but these steps will help set you off down the right path.

10 Smart Steps for Online Music Promotion

  1. Get Serious About Promotion: The kiss of death for online music promotion is the thought that all you need to do is throw up some online profiles and wait for the fans to start pouring in. There are way, way (way) too many internet music promotion tools available for you to enter this process halfheartedly. Nor can you allow managing your internet presence to become the only thing you are doing with your music career. Decide up front that you're going to put some time into developing a strategy and that you're going to resist the urge to lollygag around on Facebook all day and pretend it's work. Ahem.

  1. Find Your Fans: With so many promotional tools out there, you can be sure that your fans are not on all of them. Because you need your online music promotion work to be manageable, you need to be selective about the sites you use, and at the top of the list should be the sites where people like your fans congregate. Indie rockers needn't post their vids all over World Star Hip Hop and mainstream country artists shouldn't try and blow up on Pitchfork. Not sure where your fans are? Well, where are you? Chances are, your own net habits are a good guide.

  2. Develop Two Strategies: When we talk about internet music promotion, we're really talking about two things - getting reviews and other coverage on blogs and internet magazines, much like the promotion you would get in print media, and your own promotion work that involves interacting with your fans, usually using social media. You need a different plan for each. But more on that below...

  1. Strategy One - Online Media: Contrary to popular belief, getting actual coverage - reviews and interviews - for your music online isn't much different than it is in the print world. In fact, it may be easier. You need some music, a press release and a database of contacts. That last one is the trickiest part if you've never done any promo before, but there's no mystery. Set aside an afternoon, make a list of sites/blogs you like and create a spreadsheet that contains the contact info for them. It's not glamorous, but it's a good time investment. Now, contact them, make a pitch and start the dialogue. More info below.

  1. Strategy Two - Fan Interaction: This is the part where you start to use social networking sites. Remember when you found your fans online, way back in step two? This step is also where you'll use that info. Give your fans something of value while social networking,  let them in on the recording process, tell them when you're writing new songs and so on. They will enjoy hearing about your day-to-day life every once in a while, but remember to deliver the goods as well. More info below.

  2. Make Online Promo Part of Your Daily Routine: Set aside some time each day to manage your online presence - just don't make it your whole day. You might want to use a post scheduler to write social media posts that will go out throughout the day or over several days. Then set a time to interact with the responses your fans will send.

  3. Get More Info About Contacting The Press:

  4. More Info About Social Networking Sites:

  5. Have a Website: Don't forget to create and maintain your own website! There's no substitute for having your own website to control your message and create your image. 
  1. Engage Your Fans With Freebies and Newsletters: One way to further engage your fans - and to gather more info about them to you can target your promotion strategy - is to give up some goods in exchange for the 411. For instance, offer a free download in exchange for signing up for your newsletter. Depending on how you structure your newsletter sign-up, you can get email addresses, favorite websites, geographic locations - a veritable marketing info jackpot. Plus, your newsletter is one more tool to keep your fans in the loop. 

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