Saying you need a record deal to launch an album these days is like saying you need a desktop computer to visit the Internet. Twenty years ago people would not have believed that you could have every song in the world in the palm of your hand or on your television, but here we are. Now it just takes a mic, a bathtub, a computer and few clicks to launch your record and make it accessible to people all over the world. But it’s also just as easy for your music to get lost in the shuffle and disappear into obscurity. The following tips are your best shot at making it in this ever-evolving music game and getting the airwaves bumping with your heartbeat.
Stop telling yourself you’re too cool to be on social media. Metallica used to encourage people to record and share their music on cassette tapes off the radio, after all. Your audience has been sharing and commenting long before you started promoting, so you have to go to them. But you can’t bank on being the next billionaire musician just because you join Twitter. You have to work hard on your social media presence to be as cool as Questlove or Yoko Ono, both of whom have over a million and a half followers.
Twitter is probably the best outlet for musicians. Instagram is great for your visuals, Pinterest is good for collecting your ideas, Snapchat is the place to insert some humor and Twitter is where you can join other musicians and fans to keep track of the pulse of the industry.
Get Your Website on Point
Once your social media is consistently getting all eyes on you, make sure there’s somewhere for them to go and listen to your music and get an idea of who you are. Whether it’s SoundCloud, ReverbNation or a WordPress website, there needs to be a central location for people to hear your songs, see your tour dates and buy your music. A Google search for “sell my music online” yields millions of results, ranging from the application to get on iTunes to sites that offer open market content sourcing to make some cash on the side. Do your research and find which one is right for you.
Be Present in the Streets
Even in these modern times, there’s still something to be said for guerrilla foot trafficking. Check local laws before you start plastering paper fliers anywhere because some city fines are unconscionable. Get creative and hit the pavement. Play on the boardwalk, on a corner downtown or in any popular public place.
But pulling off a public stunt isn’t easy. Dream up something eye-catchingly ridiculous like this stunt organized by Captain Morgan shooting a person out of a 25-foot cannon made by his wife. Wouldn’t you want to see that video? Another idea is to organize a flash mob of friends to dance to your song in a public place. Put together a barbecue at the local park where you can play and sell merchandise.
Get With Video
Video killed the radio star. Say this to yourself over and over. It’s your new mantra. If you want to sell sounds, you’ve got to push video. Whether it’s shot on an iPhone or a professional camera, people will relate to you better if they can put a visual to the sound, so you need to put your music on the YouTube and your website.