Everyone has heard of the 'starving artist' who is determined to get as much exposure as possible while paying low or no money. When you're this desperate to get your talent heard, amazing things can start happening! As starving artists, musicians often become very dedicated and creative when it comes to their crafts. Over the years, many starving artists have created methods that you can be inspired by, duplicate, and even build on how to get your music heard with no money needed to invest! Here are 5 free online and offline methods that you may want to consider for your music promotion plan.
Social Media Marketing for music is very common these days on sites like Facebook and Twitter. With social media, there are millions of people discussing thousands of topics every single day. The trick with sharing your music on social media is to share it in conversations and groups that are very relevant to your songs. If you're looking to get heard on Facebook, try searching for and joining Facebook groups that are related to unsigned music or your genre. After introducing yourself and sharing some small chat, post your music to a community where people are already discussing similar topics in order to avoid seeming like a random pest. If you want to promote a song on Twitter, use the search function to find people publicly discussing a topic similar to your song and naturally add yourself and your music to the conversation! Communities like forums and blogs with active comment sections are also good places to throw in some self-promotion. The key online is to NOT be a shameless self-promoter! These days, everyone is being a bit too shameless by just leaving music links without trying to build any personal connections. The best time to mention your new song in a social media setting is after you've built a rapport and have already caught people's attention by simply being personable.
Live performance opportunities don't always have to be about opening for a big-time artist, going on tour, or paying a registration fee to perform at a local music conference. Regular performance opportunities come along very often in life because people are always gathering for social events. The trick is to make it known that you'd like to perform as soon as you hear about it. Whether it's a family event or a free open mic, you can hone your performance skills and get your talent on the radar of a few new people by being very proactive and securing small performances! Performing at low-key events are a great way to start building an audience and getting referred to for more performance opportunities (well, if you sound good). So many opportunities in the music world have started from conversations along the lines of "Wow, you sound pretty good! I have a friend in so-and-so who may be interested in a band like you for such-and-such!" Once you start building your experience, people who can vouch for your talent may even start referring you to people they know for paid performance opportunities.
Whether you are online or offline, people who have things in common love to share and receive information. As an indie artist, you should always be excited at the chance to share your music experiences and hear music from a fellow artist. Not only will you gain a new listener by sharing your music creations with a fellow artist, but you can learn valuable information about how the music world works! People you meet through networking can often share ways they've succeeded and failed with getting their music out there. They can introduce you to even more music ears and possibly new friends to share music tips with. Networking can even help you grow and learn things about your creative and performance techniques! Everyone who does music that you meet or have a conversation with doesn't need to become your best friend, but a lot of the more successful artists today have hundreds of associates who have helped them grow along the years of their career. No matter if it was a brief meeting or a full-on collaboration, your networking contacts will become grow and become stronger with the more people you build a connection with.
Everyone loves free stuff. Do you know a somewhat distant relative with a birthday coming up? Give a gift and throw in your CD for free. Getting rid of junk in a yard sale or on Craigslist? Throw in some free CDs. Going to an ugly sweater party for Christmas? Pass out your CD of Christmas covers. In the early stages of your music career, the focus should be less about making a profit and more about getting heard and noticed. Do you ever wonder how major labels break new artists? They plan to lose money on advertising for the purpose of exposure and getting a list of fans for that artist that they could possibly sell merchandise to later. The marketing plan for an established artist is way different than the plan for a new artist on the scene. Think like an artist that a label wants to break. People are far more likely to take a chance on someone they've never heard of when the chance won't cost them anything. Don't worry about the big bucks now. Worry more about getting your latest CD heard and loved.
Want to figure out how to get your music heard by industry professionals? There are many outlets in the music and entertainment world that actively accept submissions from indie talent. While a lot of them have submission or registration fees that can range anywhere from 5 to 100 bucks, there are plenty of outlets that accept music submissions free of charge. These opportunities often include college radio, community radio, indie magazines, blogs and music libraries. While some outlets receive so many submissions a day that they might not see yours, others pride themselves in listening to every submission they receive. At the very least, you can get a song of yours heard by a music director or an A&R for one of these outlets as long as you submit according to their particular rules. For example, some opportunity outlets prefer emails with songs as attachments, while some will only accept physical submissions by snail mail. The good thing about these listeners is that if they like you, they'll share your music with their network of even more listeners that could become your newest fans. Get connected with submission opportunities like these HERE.