Coming into the music industry as an indie artist is not what it used to be. To some extent, it will always be the same. You’ll be working on demos, trying to get good reviews and album sales wherever you can find them, and probably playing as many local gigs as you can book and fit into your schedule. That’s the grind, and it’s one of the most beautiful and genuine aspects of the music business. It also represents the basic struggle to get your name out there, and this is a process for which some new strategies have emerged.
We’re talking about marketing, and while the grind can still be effective in a local environment, or with a particular online audience, there are a lot of newer ideas that up-and-coming musicians would do well to pay attention to. Not all of them are necessarily feasible for indie artists, but here area few ideas that are inspired by more established acts who have aced music marketing.
Make Social Media Your Day Job
We’ve seen artists emerge and become stars largely because of social media. Names like Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, and Charlie Puth certainly come to mind. But if you’re looking to emulate those artists, you’re pretty much hoping for a viral YouTube hit. That’s something you can’t get just by working hard. But a closer look shows that there are also a lot of indie artists emerging via social media.
The specifics of how different artists are pulling it off don’t matter so much as the fundamental idea of focusing on creative engagement with fans. Indie artists should use live shows, album covers, merchandise, and any other means necessary to promote their own social media channels, and then use those channels to provide attention-grabbing updates and opportunities. You never know what exactly will hit, but the more active you are the more likely you are to catch on with a larger audience.
Explore A Gaming Partnership
This is an unusual idea and one that won’t always be an option, but it’s something that’s come to light thanks to the efforts of classic rock groups to stay relevant. Games based on pop culture have become big hits on online casino platforms, and bands like Guns N’ Roses, Jimi Hendrix, and others have been used as the backdrops for arcade slot reels. That may sound oddly specific, but the truth is that it helps these bands to potentially reach millions of new fans with their music and aesthetics.
As an indie artist, you probably can’t latch yourself onto an established gaming concept like this. The whole point is to attract fans, and you can’t do that if you’re not known. What you can do is attempt to partner with a game developer who might be at a similar stage in their career as you are as an artist. Games need music, and if you can do some interesting soundtrack work it can expose you to everyone who ends up downloading or playing the completed game. It’s different, but it’s definitely worth a shot.
Take Advantage Of Streaming
This is probably the most obvious point in the post, but it’s one that every indie artist should hear repeated over and over again. The point was made well in another article providing general tips for indie musicians, and it explained that there are tons of streaming channels that make it free (or cheap) to post your music and potentially make your way onto public playlists. You never know how much you’ll be listened to, but if you have completed tracks, it’s foolish not to put them on every streaming service you can. GR