If you are deliberating on how to promote your debut or wondering how to make your next self-promo campaign more successful than the last, we have collated 10 of the best ways to get your next indie release noticed in 2022.
From increasing your presence on social media to getting into the good books of playlisters, this one-stop guide will put you on the right path from unestablished to one to watch.
How to Promote Indie Music
1. Do Your Research
Forget what you have heard about it isn’t who you know; it’s what you know. Knowing your niche and your audience is one of the biggest hurdles for artists to overcome while getting to grips with self-promotion.
Make the most out of the thriving sub-cultures around the globe, and remember, the niches aren’t solely defined by genre. When you are starting out, your best bet will be to keep it relatively local; give music fans the chance to champion an artist from their local town or city.
2. Create a Website
If you want to leave your amateur status far behind you, invest in a professional-quality website to bolster your digital presence. Your website should include all your social media and streaming links, a well-written bio, press shots, past or present tour dates and release info.
3. Sprawl Across Social Media
Establish a presence on all social media platforms, yes, that includes TikTok; it is as close as we can currently get to the Myspace days in 2022. Unlike on Facebook and Instagram, newly registered users have just as much chance to go viral as users with millions of followers.
Get creative with your posts, and give your followers, regardless of how few, something to get excited about. Whether that be teaser clips from an upcoming video, footage of you playing live, or pictures of cats on amps, give your audience something to connect with.
4. Discover your Local Radio Hosts
If you have tried submitting your music to BBC Introducing in your area to no avail, check out your local and niche-specific internet radio stations. Their reach may not be as wide, but they will have an audience to promote you to. Additionally, getting any airplay under your belt is enough to boost credibility for further press, radio and playlist opportunities.
5. Find Independent Playlisters
Even if getting on an official Spotify playlist is the dream, set your expectations a little lower when you are unestablished to have a better shot at landing a position on one of those multi-million-listener playlists.
Look through Spotify to find playlisters you think you can impress; once you have found them, make a friendly introduction to the playlisters via social media or email (if you can find their contact details).
6. Submit Indie Music to Blogs
Just like being playlisted and featured on a radio station, getting featured on indie music blogs is a great way to tap into existing fanbases and gain some critical acclaim. Some music fans still religiously follow indie blogs and online magazines to find out about new talented artists, and blogs are always looking for more content. In the run-up to every new release, craft an electronic press kit (EPK) and start firing it off to indie blogs that feature unestablished artists.
7. Get on the Live Circuit
Promoting music by playing live will always be fundamental to the success of an indie musician. This modern age has just given us more ways of doing it, such as in the metaverse or via live stream.
Daunting as it may be to make your stage debut, getting on the live circuit will give your fans and your soon-to-be fans a real chance to connect with you. And remember, networking at gigs is just as crucial as killing it on stage – there is no telling who may rock up to a show, but there will almost certainly be someone in the industry – in some capacity – present.
Touring the smaller venues with hack promotors and depressingly sparse audiences may be a drag initially. Yet, once you have a reputation for being a killer live band, you won’t have to wait much longer for the better gig and festival slots outside of your hometown.
8. Make Your Releases Visual
With enough originality, a massive music video budget becomes unnecessary. Even if your music video only gets a few streams on YouTube, you can add teaser clips to your reels, stories and newsfeeds to build hype around a new release.
On the other hand, there is always the chance of the music video being more popular than the track itself. For the best chance of success, allow the visuals to contextualise the lyrics or go with a quirky and share-worthy approach.
9. Build a Mailing List
Once you have got a few loyal fans, keep them in the loop by creating a mailing list and regularly using it to promote your new releases, tours, merch drops and news. To build your email list, give your fans a reason for joining it, such as exclusive access to tickets, singles and merch drops. Mailing lists for indie musicians may sound outdated, but they have one major advantage over social media marketing. Once someone subscribes for updates, they are much more likely to receive them as there is no algorithm which decides what to quash and what to promote.
10. Promote Indie Music with A&R Factory
A&R Factory was founded in 2012 by a team of award-winning music industry veterans with the sole aim of helping new artists get in the ears of fans and in the books of the names that matter. Along the way, we became one of the most acclaimed indie pop music blogs.
We run a range of artist development services, from one-to-one sessions on up-to-date self-promo tactics to promoting artists on our top UK music blog to providing courses on music marketing to bespoke PR packages.
With our affordable rates to fit into the budgets of every indie artist, paired with our extensive collective experience in promoting indie music and our passion for grassroots music, expect your expectations to be exceeded.