Today, labels increasingly look for self-sufficient, multi-talented artists who have growing fanbases and can create a buzz using unique branding.
So besides making mind-blowing music, you need to be able to promote yourself as an artist.
Yes, promo takes time, effort and planning – but don’t panic. You’ve got this! In fact, you can rely on that same drive, determination and vision you used to create your music to masterfully market yourself too.
But self-promotion is not one-size fits all. It should reflect your unique personality and brand. So before you even begin, consider how you want to promote yourself in a way that feels natural and authentic.
YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are just some of the ways you can plug yourself on social media, so also consider which ones work best for you.
Importantly, promoting yourself should never feel forced. Whatever you decide, always promote your new music and gigs – and build connections with your fans.
Get our free self-promotion guide
Our free guide is brimming with top tips on how to promote yourself and includes advice on:
• Finding your own voice and promoting in an authentic way
• Staying up-to-date with your scene and the wider industry
• The best self-promotions books, articles and podcasts
• Building an email list
• Creating an EPK (that’s an Electronic Press Kit)
• Using social media as your self-promo machine
• Tools to help you manage your online promotion
And much more – so check it out!
How to write an EPK (Electronic Press Kit)
In-the-know bloggers and media. Music industry types. Even curious fans. All of them should want to know more about you. So a solid electronic press kit (EPK) is a must when it comes to promoting yourself.
Your EPK should give a complete overview of what you and your sound are about – and why people should care. It should be easy to understand, up-to-date and professional. So no typos! Make sure you include:
A short biography – including your contact details
Your bio should be engaging and comprehensively communicate the key things about you as an artist, without rambling on. Don’t miss out on opportunities because someone couldn’t find you – include your contact details!
5-10 high-resolution photos. Include logos if you have them
These should be professional photos of you and your band – so selfies won’t cut it. Give a vision of you as an artist. Have a few different options including vertical and horizontal shots, colour and B&W, as well as high-res for any print publications.
Links to your site, social, music and videos
This is your chance to give direct insight into your music. In addition to your site and social channels, it can include things like live recordings too.
Recent press cuttings
If you’ve got’em, use’em. A few recent pieces will do and can include things like gig reviews, blog features and of course, publications and press.
Performed on the must-be-seen stage at a well-known festival? Been nominated or even won an award? Charted on radio? Brag about all of it here.
Posting on social media
It can be tricky since you’re trying to gain and retain people’s attention without annoying them. But somewhere between being a ghost and being human spam is the accepted frequency for posting on social.
Post consistently enough that you’re in the minds of people and giving them valuable fresh content – like your latest releases, a Q&A live-stream or upcoming gig dates. If you’re forgetful or short on time, use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. These scheduled posts should be in addition to your real-time, spontaneous content.
Another great way to build consistent engagement is to have weekly post types, like #ThrowbackThursdays – or create your own.
Check out our free self-promotion guide more insight to social media success.
Along with Spotify playlists and SoundCloud premiers, YouTube is key to getting your new music out there. Just ask Justin Bieber – and any number of other artists who have made it by winning over fans via their YouTube performances.
So whether it’s broadening your fanbase, attracting industry attention or getting sync deals to use your music in an ad, it’s something you need to use to promote yourself.
YouTube for Artists allows you to create a dedicated channel for your music. It also provides resources, tools, and news. As an artist, you can offer premieres of your new tracks before their release.
Find out more about using YouTube to raise your profile in our free self-promotion guide.
These days, if you want to reach significant numbers of fans on Facebook and Instagram, you normally have to use their paid advertising services. If you use them the right way, this type of social advertising can be incredibly effective and gives you a good return on the money you invest.
When you’re starting out on Facebook / Instagram’s Ad Manager – experiment with a small budget when you’re announcing something big like a new release, gig or tour. You’ll need to:
• Determine what your priority is. Driving streams on Spotify, for example.
• Have a clear objective in mind such as selling tickets for your gig.
• Think about who to target – their age, location, existing or potential new fans.
All this information is powerful because you can use it to sell products, build an email list or even decide which direction to take your music next.
Remember to check out our free self-promotion guide for more advice on mastering social media advertising.
Use your network
Not a writer or photographer? Use your network. Maybe you have a skilled friend who can help. Or swap your musical talents in exchange for writing or images. But don’t cut corners. You EPK matters because it represents you, so you want it to impress.
We’ve got you. Head over to the spinnup blog or download our free guides on a variety of useful topics.