Places to Promote Your Music & Yourself As a Singer Read more: Places to Promote Your Music & Yourself As a Singer
Although record labels were once the dominant power in the music industry, the availability of recording software and the power of Internet marketing has since enabled independent musicians to release their own music CDs and to market their musical talent without having to sign a recording contract. Major labels may have the financial clout to gain valuable exposure for their signed artists, but they also make creative demands of them, and take a sizable cut of the financial proceeds. As an independent artist, promoting yourself is time-consuming and done on a much smaller scale, but what you lose in financial backing, you make up for with creative control of your material, and the hands-on approach can be artistically rewarding.
Maintain a presence on social networking sites. Make regular posts to announce CD releases and live performances, then add audio clips and gig photos to your profile page. Most sites allow you to paste in third-party players that allow visitors to play a selection of your music while they browse your pages. Use this to your advantage by encouraging listeners to paste the player's code onto their own blogs and social networking sites.
Contact online CD distributors and have them stock your CDs. CD Baby is the most visible of those that carry independent releases, and it conducts all sales transactions for you, in return for a registration fee and a percentage of each CD sold. Other sites are genre-specific and will only carry your music if it fits in with their niche, so be prepared to have your music reviewed before placement. The upside to this is that much of their website traffic generated includes fans of the genre, so the chance of sales is greater than it might be on a site that accepts everything.
Put together a website dedicated to your musical activities. If you're looking for session work as a singer, add several diverse audio clips that showcase your ability and versatility, and make sure that links to online retailers that carry your CD are prominently displayed. To encourage interaction and return traffic, update the site regularly with quality content, and add a newsletter sign-up form so that you can grow your mailing list.
Perform live at every opportunity. As well as helping you perfect your vocal skills, there's still no better way to promote your music than playing it in front of a live audience. Despite the growth of music downloading, people at shows often like to take home a physical CD as a souvenir of the performance, so make sure that you have an attractive CD display box at each venue, so that you can capitalize on the excitement created by your performance.
Submit your music to music review sites. Getting glossy magazine coverage is difficult, especially for an independent musician, but it can be done. Try contacting individual reviewers, rather than blindly sending in CDs to the magazine's editor. If you can develop a little rapport with a contributing writer, there may be more of a chance of landing a review. Don't forget to contact online magazines and blogs who cover music in your genre. Their audience may be smaller, but the competition will be less intense, and a good review can yield valuable quotes and testimonials to add to your website.
Submit your CD to independent radio stations. Commercial radio stations don't usually consider submissions from independent artists, so target college, Internet and public radio stations that cater to your genre. Before sending out CDs, contact the music director of stations and ask if you can send a CD to be considered for airplay. If you get a positive response, make sure that you include a bio and a one-sheet with a information about song themes and styles. Mark the envelope "Requested Material" and address it to the person with whom you corresponded. Follow up by checking the station's playlists and whenever you receive airplay, send a note of thanks to the station contact and announce the airplay on your social networking sites.