5 ways to break into the music industry

As a musician, in a market that is often described as “saturated”, it’s easy to feel defeated before you’ve even begun. No matter how good your music is, if you don’t promote it cleverly it will get lost. While social media can be a great way to get started it is definitely not the only way and there is a range of tips and techniques to help you maximise your musical presence and potential.

1: Use social media

79.5% of Internet users worldwide are active on social media so using social media platforms wisely is of the utmost importance when self-promoting.

Comment on other people’s social media posts
Keep the comments on other music-related pages concise and relevant and do not spam thoughtlessly. This will help your name gain traction and will bring traffic to your sites.

Post on your own profiles consistently
Whether you are writing a blog, a Tweet or a Facebook post make sure you are consistent with your communication. Link your accounts so one post reaches all ensuring your music reaches the maximum number of people with the greatest ease.

2: Keep your finger on the pulse

Search for the newest platforms and Apps on which to share your music
By regularly scouring the App store and the 2nd page of Google for search terms like finding new music and music discovery you may just come across a gem.

Analyse each platform
Keeping track of your different music apps and platforms is important too. As best you can, it’s important to track each one by checking their analytics you will learn which ones are reaching the most people and, most importantly, have the highest levels of engagement.

3: Reach out to radio stations

Radio airplay is still a great way to get your music heard. Many national and local stations have shows set up specifically to showcase new talent. If you do, reach out professionally. Make sure your promo CD is polished and ready to be heard. Send it to all the directors of the stations you are interested in being featured on and keep track of you you’ve sent it to.

University and community stations are often a great way to start out and often lead to being played on bigger commercial radio shows as they want to see signs of effort and a career progression. Their decision to play your music may well rest on how much radio time it’s had on smaller stations rather than the quality of the music itself.

4: Blogs

Other people’s blogs
Having your music featured on a well-known music blog can lead to short-term growth in listeners. Do some research into which blogs often feature music of a similar genre or style to your own and reach out. Again, keep it professional: include links to your social media accounts as well as polished tracks on reputable platforms like YouTube and SoundCloud.

Start your own blog
Having your own space to document your musical journey is a great way for interested parties to track your progress. Update it consistently – begin slowly rather than hitting the ground running by posting, say, monthly. If you find you have a lot more to say then increase your number of posts but don’t over-commit. You could post links to what you’re listening to as well as your own musical process: new tracks, rehearsals, gig schedules.

5: Mailing lists

Email is a great way to grow your fanbase and reach out to your listeners. An opt-in mailing list means you can keep interested parties in the loop and ensure they are aware of new tracks as and when you release them. Growing your mailing list is straightforward: when you meet people who seem interested in your music simply ask them if you can send over a sample via email. When you do, ask if they would like to be added to your mailing list. You could also include a signup form on your website, social media pages and at the end of each blog post you write. As your mailing list grows, so will the number of people your music reaches.

Additional tips

With all of the techniques and platforms above, there is a number of golden rules to follow.

All of your communication — whether an email, a social media post or a blog — should be branded. Keep this simple and consistent. Use the same avatar on all of your sites and platforms and make sure you cross-link these. Don’t forget to include the links to your various online platforms in your email signature and at the end of blog posts as well as a sign-up form for your mailing list.

While many of these techniques are free, it is useful to put aside a small amount of money each month for marketing. Paying for music promotion is a guaranteed way to get more listeners. There are a number of services available and it is worth choosing one or two to get your music heard.

Search Engine Optimisation
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is another great way to draw traffic to your sites and, again, attract new listeners. It involves using keywords and terms that mean your website ranks higher up on search engine results. SEO is an often-overlooked way to maximise the chances of your music — rather than someone else’s — being heard.

Chris Grayston Guest Blogger The Shortlisted Magazine

© The Shortlisted – 2018

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