Music Promo : There are very few artists who are relatively comfortable with never selling or having anyone ever hear their music. The innovative musician PJ Harvey notoriously said she would not exactly be bothered if no one heard her music, and contemplated recording an album only to hide it away for no one to hear. She just wanted the satisfaction of creating it for herself alone.
Regardless, making music is the main portion, but this HAS TO BE accompanied by music promotions, unless you find comfort in just making music and calling it a day.
Unfortunately, music promotions are difficult, arduous, time-consuming, and intensely headache-inducing. There are formulas, sure. Nab together a press kit. Build a social media network. Press an album, build a bandcamp page… etc. These strategies are staples of modern music, and there will come a time when they may be less useful. The constantly revolving nature of the Internet makes music promos a tricky subject to place any cohesive and long-term stamp on.
But if you’re here there are probably one of two main concerns for you. 1) MAKING IT 2) MAKING MONEY
They typically come in hand. And using some of the products we have tried and recommended on several articles (including one of our favorites for artists trying to make it the Music Marketing Manifesto… like for real, it kicks ass.) You’ve got to use something like this to nab insiders tips and tricks, build a fanbase, and hopefully, make a living. I mean, that’s the goal, right?
Music promotions begin with an audience, though. Before going too far, you have to know if people like your music. This sounds like such an obvious and peculiar aspect to mention, but it still amazes me how many bands and artists develop these somewhat huge marketing campaigns, only to realize that no one really likes their music, and no amount of marketing smack downs will result in success. Sure, music is subjective, but quality is a standard. But the bottom line is, if you are struggling to find even a modest little audience (without a single dollar invested in marketing!) you may want to turn to making better music (or finding a part-time job).
Now that the mean part is out of the way, we can focus on expanding outward. You can obtain a middling audience by contacting marginally popular blogs to review your album. Perhaps contacting some indie labels for feedback, or sending songs to friends. You can further that by posting on Facebook, developing a YouTube account, and trying to reach people easier. It bears repeating- if you are failing to find people interested, the bottom line is that your work just isn’t up to snuff and some more work on your craft would be time well spent.
If you managed to find an audience, you are already beyond the vast majority of bands who can’t craft a melody to save their lives. You can write a hook! People will listen to whatever experimental hipster odyssey you are developing! Congratulations! Now, you can actually begin the music promo aspect of your now-confirmed career.
A music promo, as a noun, is a sort of press kit of information about an artist. It collects history, genre, releases, pictures, awards and of course, the music itself. In the mid-century, press kits were regulated in formal packages for DJ’s on the radio from record labels, and have steadily involved including a more digital package. The music promo can be physically, and it certainly will help allowing your work to stand apart, but it can also be digital. With a low budget, you can build a website, build a bandcamp page, build a Facebook, build an email, and support all these sources with consistent content. This is your music promo, evolved from the gift basket strategy of decades prior.
The main thing to keep in mind as you build your music promotional strategy is that you do not want to promote innately bad music and you want to KNOW YOU MARKET. Things like the Music Marketing Manifesto can help you out with that. With that said, establishing a modest audience on your own merits is incredibly satisfying. Than you can take that next step in building your music promo plan, sending it out in the world, and hoping the returns make you the next Coldplay.