There is no argument that the internet has changed entertainment forever. Basically, before the worldwide web there was TV and radio. Independent artists who were not signed to a record label had to make physical copies of their music and hawk them around radio stations and record shops. Now however there are unlimited avenues to reach an audience: Youtube, Facebook, TikTok, Reddit, Spotify, iTunes and more.
Before you can think of reaching out, you have to prepare your most important tool, your website. This should be simple but interesting, easy to navigate, and potentially linked to everything else. A profile page with good photos, a music page with samples that can be played or downloaded, a page embedded with short music videos, upcoming events and gigs.
Above all it has to look professional, not like something knocked up by your 15 year old brother in between playing Call of Duty.
The next step in preparation is making a video. Yes, I know everyone has a decent mobile device that can record video and sound, but remember once it’s out there, it will never go away. Invest in some good equipment – nothing too elaborate, maybe hire or borrow just a camera with reasonable sound recording.
Not everyone will listen to it through the small speaker on their phone, most will use headphones or earbuds, expecting a good, full sound.
Posting a video on YouTube is easy and it’s free. The hard part is getting an audience for it, by links on your website, blog, and all your other social media accounts.
Most musicians are on a journey, starting at the bottom and working their way up the ladder to reach the level of success that they want. Writing a blog about that journey – where you came from, where you are now, where you are going – can captivate readers and draw them into your music.
You can update the blog every week with news about your latest musical achievements, your creative process, or personal stories about life as a musician. The idea is to create a relationship with fans and potential fans, by giving insights into your progress.
Facebook is changing, and in fact the whole social media landscape is in a constant state of change, but it is still used by billions of people on the planet and so has to be one of the key tools in your armoury. And even if you only have a small budget, it is worth considering Facebook ads, the reach is enormous.
Like a spider’s web, everything has to be linked. Your website must have HTML links to your YouTube videos, your Spotify playlists, your music blog and your Facebook page. Add in TikTok samples, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit, you can have a huge online presence. If you uploaded your music to platforms like Spotify, make sure you link to your playlist to acquire more playlist followers on Spotify.
And each of the platforms must have links to all the others so that anyone who visits one site can easily access any of the others.
Most online publications and music blogs are always happy to get free, unpaid guest content. To start with, you need an EPK, an Electronic Press Kit. This is a package with a brief bio, discography, latest news, your videos, and downloads of your best tracks.
The EPK can be a page on your website or have its own site, and again to get views on social media you must have links in whatever content you supply to the blogs, publications and newsletters.
There has never been a better time to promote your music. The internet has opened the world, and the only problem is choosing from the huge variety of available platforms and avenues. How can you not succeed?