Biggest Question: I recorded an album, how do I promote it?

Music Promotion - Fliers - A-432
Photo by K.G.23 - Fliers

Want to get your new album out there? First ask yourself these questions.

Here is a question I get asked all the time.

I released an album how do I promote it?

Before you think about how to promote it, make sure you have these basic things set up.
Without them, you may lose people from the very beginning.

Do you have a website?

Start with this, a website. One place to send people. It makes it easier to find you.

Even if you have a Facebook page, twitter account, soundcloud page, a YouTube channel, hell even a pinterest board. You should be using those places to promote your website, where your albums are.

Why you ask?
Because it's the internet. There is no timeline on the internet. 

Think of it this way. Months later people hear about you from someone, they hop online to look for your album, and if you only promoted it on a social channel, they will have a harder time finding it.

Create a post for your album on your website.
That means more than just showing it on your homepage or albums page. Create a post on your site that has it's own URL you can link to.

This will be your "landing page", a place that you will send everyone to get the album from anywhere you post about it.

Why? You don't want to make people look for it. If they see it posted somewhere all they want to do is -- Listen to it and get the album. So make this post accomplish just that.

It should have a embedded player or a video, a description and download links. Remember, you want this link to be there for people to get it even months later.

If they want to hear more, then they can search your site for more music after that. All you want do is to get this album to them right now.

Do you have, at the very least, one song available for an email download?

I know a lot of people are against free email downloads but, once you build a loyal fan base in your email list, you can continue telling them about your music releases in the future by sending them an email about it.

That way you don't have to start from the beginning next time.

It may take a little while, but when growing your email list you can use it find your fans on facebook.

Is it available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon etc...?

This is a really simple thing to do these days on your own. There are a number of sites you can use that are relatively cheap to put your album on music streaming apps and stores.

I know there is an argument about streaming services too, not paying enough, blah blah blah...

But you know what? It's where people listen to music, and if yours isn't there are they gonna forget about you? Maybe? So it's silly not to have it there.

OK. So, how do I promote it?

There's no one size fits all thing you can do to promote your music from the ground up. You just try everything, see what people respond to then focus on that. Learn from it.

Start Locally

Easiest method is not to worry about getting it to the world. Play a show, sell your CD. Duh.

Another thing you can do at the show, just hand out a printed card with a website link to where they can download it. The URL you posted, or a short URL to make it easier. 

Sure you can tell everyone to go to your website at the show. But the next day, they might not remember. Then they clean out their pockets and there's your card to remind them.

Seems stupid but makes sense right?

Fan pages everywhere

If you haven't already, make a Facebook page, YouTube account, Twitter account & instagram specifically for your music. Keep those updated & keep posting/creating content.

Just like the distribution channels above, create all of these because you don't know where people might be hanging out.

Should I advertise?

Short answer - Yes

Long answer - Not right now. Concentrate on getting in touch with people on a natural level. 
Figure out what is working and what isn't based on the things we talked about here, before throwing money at it.

Advertising can open up a whole new audience but if you don't know what works first it's a waste of your time and theirs.

Plus, like I said before, this is the internet. You can promote your album at anytime. Advertising it to new people later is OK. It's just as new to them later on as it is if you started today.

Does this seem overwhelming?

Does this seem like a lot of work? Well yeah, sorry but it is.

Another thing you can do is, pay someone who understands how to market things. Not a promoter. Someone who has ideas on how to alternatively market your stuff. 

We all know someone like that from my experience. Someone that seems to know more about this stuff, ask them to help.

Or if you want to go big scale find a promotion company. Like us! :)

A musician's greatest enemy is anonymity. It is ridiculously hard to get people to just listen to your music. But with the internet it's a lot easier to try. 

If you don't have the time, you'll spend more money not being able to understand the way to promote your music than someone who does.

Things people think they should try, but really shouldn't

Here is a list of things people also ask they should do. I usually answer no.

Shopping a record deal? Not yet. 

The internet works for record labels too. 

If you don't have anything I mentioned set up. You shouldn't be wondering how to shop your albums to labels. First thing they will do is look at your online influence. If you don't have one, then they won't be interested.

Have a contest? Nah. 

Aside from the fact I personally think they are corny. They are a pain to set up and manage.

And consider this, if no one participates it's embarrassing and makes it look like you have no fans. And on the other end no one wants to be the first to participate for fear of being the only one, which is embarrassing for them. 

But that's just my opinion. Tell me if I'm wrong. I'm willing to listen.

Contact music blogs? I guess if you wanna.

You can try, but again, unless people already know who you are, why would they take the time? Think of all the bands and promotional people that contact them. It's pretty hard to compete. 

Focus on your audience first, they are far more likely to share it with people.

Put your music on a USB? Ok grampa.

People still mention this one, like they think this is a good idea?

One question. Have you bought one from a band? No? I rest my case. 
People have phones that play music now. Make it available there, like we talked about earlier.

If you want to sell physical items, it's hard enough trying to move CD's these days. For the price get shirts printed instead, it's cooler than USB drives.

This is all just stuff off the top of my head. I cover more about subjects like these as they come up. 

Based on a conversation from - r/marketing
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