When you have finished the creative process of making new music, then next hurdle is how to promote a band – and in the modern age how to sell music online as well. In this article I hope to give you some idea of the process that is involved in this. To become part of the wider music community and get people to listen to music you have made. It is vital that you learn the tools of the trade in music distribution.
First things first: audio samples. “You’ll have to give your new music away at the start,” says author Sean McManus. “Put audio samples on your music website or at least have the facility to hear listen to music directly. People won’t buy CDs or download music unless they have a clear idea of what to expect from them. The thing about posting audio samples is that people will listen to music once, think ‘that’s nice’ and move on. People will download audio samples and listen to music frequently if the new music is a good match for their taste. These are the listeners most likely to download music and who you want to sell music online to. There is no way – in this world, or the next – that new bands will sell CDs on the basis of lyrics and photographs.”
“If people rediscover your audio samples in their iPod or hard drive months later, make sure they can still track you down. Make sure your artist name and track name appear in the appropriate tags of the audio samples, and put your music website address in for the album name. Try to put your website address in the filename too.
Get your new music into a box. We all like to think our new bands are special and unique, but that’s a hard sell. Don’t be afraid to put your new music into an appropriate category (rock, pop, folk, electronica etc) and to spread it far and wide all over the web through music distribution channels and music websites (like Songeist.com) These are good at pointing listeners in the right direction when they’re looking for something new.
“While music community sites play their part,” says McManus, “it’s easy to get lost in a vast catalogue. Build your own music website, promote it and attract a following. (Research how to promote a band online) Buy your own domain name too – when MP3.com changed ownership, lots of bands saw their online presence vanish overnight. They had no claim to the website hosted by MP3.com they had spent years promoting.” If you’ve got your own music website domain name, you can always change where it points to later, and keep ownership of the incoming visitors.
When people arrive at your music website, you’ve still got to encourage them to stick around to listen to music. Think about what your angle is. What do you write about? What kind of mood do you create? Why are you different? Make sure you do some thorough research on how to promote a band.
Ask listeners to write reviews of your new music. Get them to post reviews on the music community sites that accept reviews and ratings, and put reviews on your own music website. If you get press coverage, use it! It adds credibility to your music website.
Build a music community. People will keep coming back to your music website if they can meet like-minded people there and talk to them as they listen to music.
“Whether you want listeners to pay you directly or a major label to shovel money your way, you’re being paid for a service,” says McManus. “So attend to enquiries promptly and maintain good relations with your customers. It’s easier to sell a second album to people who bought the first than it is to find a whole new audience for the new music. Think of ways to delight your listeners: offer a 14 day guarantee on CDs to stimulate sales (the EU distance selling directive grants this to online shoppers anyway) and send fans a new audio samples on their birthdays.”
Don’t wait for success to happen to you. Build an audience for your new band. “Whether that’s a substantial mailing list, email list or gig audience, it doesn’t matter.” Says McManus. “As long as it’s people who have asked to hear from you and are likely to buy your album, it’s a valuable asset. The best way to grab a record company’s attention is by becoming successful independently.”
If you’re in the business of gigging, put information for people who might want to book you on your music website. Publish the kinds of events you’re happy to play and provide a phone number for more information. Again, be business-like.
How to promote a band has a lot to do with image, but some music websites put this before the new music. Don’t forget people are there to read about you, listen to music, see your photos and interact with you. They’re not usually there to watch a 5 minute animation before they can do any of that. The easier your site is to use, the more likely it is to sell new music. Simplicity pays.
Take cash at gigs and in local record shops, cheques by post, credit cards when you sell music online. How easy can you make it for customers to buy your album?
If you’re trying to get the attention of music journalists and record labels, the best way to do this is by getting a personal introduction. Meet people at concerts, industry events and through fan events for similar bands.
Not everyone will like your new music, so concentrate your energy on finding those who will. This applies to listeners, journalists and record labels equally.
Again, take initiative in educating yourself on how to promote a band. If you don’t take your new bands music website seriously as a business opportunity, it’s always going to remain a hobby.
By musikschule from Pixabay