One of the key problems of the music industry today is that talented artists need to exercise creativity that stretches beyond their respective instruments to get themselves discovered in such a fiercely competitive and fickle landscape. In a 21st Century landscape built on branding and interconnectivity, it can be difficult to build an audience without becoming marketing machine. Fortunately, the act of promoting yourself as an artist doesn’t have to be a slog, and the process can really help your natural creativity to shine through.
Although the internet is full to the brim with songwriters, composers, and musicians, there’s still plenty of room for creatives to shine whilst showcasing their work–provided they’re ready to undertake a little creative marketing.
While artists can build an online presence that can help to nurture an audience that can be kept aware of live events, EP and LP releases, and different forms of merchandise launches, individual instrument players can also use online tools to establish a brand of their own online and reach the ears of A&R staff around the world.
Regardless of whether you’re a band that’s accumulated 1,000,000 Twitter followers or you’re just starting out in playing the clarinet, there are plenty of ways in which artists can build a sustainable online presence that can help to ensure their growth in one of the world’s most volatile industries.
As a musician, you’re likely to already possess a flair for creativity. With this in mind, let’s take a deeper look at how you can let your natural talent shine through in promoting yourself online:
Know Who Your Audience is
To creatively market yourself as a musician, it’s essential that you reach your audience in an effective way. This means you’ll need to know who your audience actually is. This involves creating an audience profile by looking at who follows you on social media, who engages in your work, how old they are, and what their interests are.
Of course, you’re likely to have followers from all walks of life, but to strategize the building of your online presence, it’s essential that you discover the most dominant form of fan and keep them in mind when marketing yourself.
The great thing about securing a following online is that the internet is awash with big data and analytics that can help you to know who is watching your music videos, sharing your content, interacting with your website, and following you on social media. With these audience insights, you’re capable of gaining a strong idea of who you should seek to cater to and what kind of content they would like to see.
Make Yourself More Accessible to Followers
For better or worse, promoting music is a far cry from what it was a couple of decades ago. Today, for any musician or band that’s interested in building an audience of dedicated fans, social media is essential.
The star of performing arts in the 2020s has become TikTok. The platform serves as an endless stream of engaging video content that can keep users glued to their screens for hours. This means that you have the opportunity to find new audiences and appeal to individuals as if you have a brief audition that can be recorded and played to millions of people.
The reason that TikTok prevails over other forms of social media for musicians is that the platform prioritizes short-form video over images and text. This means that you can whittle your performances into 20-30 second highlights and share them to a targeted audience that fits your ideal profile.
TikTok has also proven that it can cater to all genres of music, and has been responsible for producing unconventional stars in the past, with Nathan Evans, a Scottish sea shanty singer racking up 1.7 billion views and 1.4 million followers for his catchy shanties.
As the data shows, TikTok can be a bustling hub for musicians, with many users eager to follow musicians based on the platform. With 36% of respondents declaring an interest in streaming events, and 33% stating that they ‘love’ to support local artists or go to gigs locally, there’s a large audience that can be accessed on the network.
Naturally, there are other platforms that you should optimize in order to let your creativity flow into short social media video snippets, and the likes of Instagram reels and YouTube shorts can also help to draw in big crowds for your efforts with the right use of targeted hashtags catered to your audience.
Build a Symbiotic Relationship with Your Audience
Another point heavily linked to social media involves tapping into the power of your audience and building loyal online communities.
With this in mind, it’s worth reserving time to forge one-to-one bonds with your followers. This involves replying to their messages, commenting on relevant posts, and starting discussions with your community on a regular basis.
By taking a genuine interest in your followers, you’ll not only be rewarded with greater loyalty and more word-of-mouth promotion, but you can also gain comprehensive feedback for new ideas and suggestions about what you can do, cover, or perform.
Building rapports with your audience can also help you to grow your presence online in an organic sense through curated content. This means that you can keep your social media account active without having to create your own posts. Simply share, comment, or repurpose the mentions, pictures, and memes you receive from your fans and use it to keep the discussion flowing.
On a fundamental level, the music industry cares for musicians that have already built something of an audience to begin with. This means that the difficult part is already complete and the artist that they’re looking at signing has shown that they can build their popularity online. This means that setting the foundations and caring for your presence online sooner rather than later can pay dividends later on in realizing your long-term ambitions.