7 Music Promotion Tips for an Independent Release

Here are some of the best tips I found on the Shades of Solveig blog. For a more extensive list go to: http://www.shadesofsolveig.com/2014/08/07/25-music-marketing-expert-tips-for-indie-release/


The major outline here is:

i Be organised

ii Be creative

iii Be interactive and

iv Use appropriate media and tools


Below is a list of my favourite tips from Solveig’s blog, who they came from and their twitter handle.


Greg Savage (@DIYMusicBiz) on creating a buzz

The only thing I’d make sure to have in place is a buzz before the release. You work on the buzz months before the release, release a few teaser vids and coordinate with huge bloggers. I’d put more time into building the fan base and release the project on my site (short run) then out to CD Baby/iTunes etc.  I guess it’s all depends on the end goal. My main concern is covering the cost and profiting. Which is why I would release it on my own site first.



Christine Infanger (@NoraBarnacle and @ThirtyRoses) on creative promotion

I don’t think it’s as simple as focusing on the release day itself anymore. With respect to Noughts and Exes, when they released their latest record, they knew that as an indie band, the impetus was on them to drive traffic and create interest in the project. They created a lot of interest in a big release day concert, which sold out well in advance, but they also organized a flashmob for their song ‘Hearts,’ which was the first single off the record. The flashmob was the first ever in Hong Kong’s Times Square and they worked with the top indie artists in Hong Kong on it. They filmed it for the video, which went viral, and with that, the show, and the internet buzz about the video, the band had a #1 single. There’s so much more involved in a release now and bands have to be more well organized than ever before. The upside is creativity is limitless and bands should channel that creativity to maximize the potential of their CD release.

lgbt flashmob
LGBT Flashmob – New York City @LGBTFLASHMOBNYC



Aaron Bethune (@PlayItLoudMusic) on release strategy

  •  Have you made alternate mixes without vocals and a mix with just bgv’s (background vocals) for licensing and karaoke?
  • Does the artwork have a story that could interest media?
  • Are elements of technology incorporated in the album design as means of data collection and marketing tools? These could include QR codes and short links.
  • Have you considered releasing your album as singles over a period time and the full album with the final track? This is a great way to build and develop contacts and relationships with press,blogs, radio, etc… It gives you multiple reasons to talk about your music. By the time your album is released you have an audience and media ready and waiting.
  • If you are Canadian have you indicated the MAPL (CanCon) on the back cover?
  • As a means of music discovery, is your distribution company affiliated with a company like Shazam and able to register your tracks automatically or do you need to submit your songs directly to Shazam or similar?
  • Have you indicated who the copyright owners are with the proper copyright symbols to the master and publishing elements of each song?
  • Do you have an audience for your music?
  • Do you have a website?

Bob Baker (@MrBuzzFactor) on sharing the process

One of the biggest mistakes indie artists make is waiting till their new album is manufactured and available on iTunes before they even start to promote it at all. Ideally you want to build buzz prior to the official release date.

For me, the most effective way to promote a new album release is to share the creative process with your fans – no matter how small or large your current fan base is. That’s right, share the journey of recording your music and get people engaged. That means showing photos and video of you in the studio, letting people hear early demo samples of songs, and honestly reporting the joys and frustrations of the process.

In addition to that, ask for your fans’ feedback and direct input: Ask them to vote on album cover artwork or even submit artwork of their own. Ask them for their ideas on how to spread the word and how they can help. Yes, this takes a little bit of extra work as you create your new album. But when the official release date arrives, you will already have momentum on your side. And that will be a lot more empowering than asking, “So, what do I do now to promote this thing?”

Andrew Jones (@CheckeredOwl) on being organised!

You have to make a plan. Too many bands have a bunch of ideas about about marketing their new album with no real execution strategy. Whether your plan is to use Noisetrade, review blogs, YouTube or anything else, sit down with a calendar, assign tasks and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Be organised, use a diary!               Image sourced from hsb.nfsb.qc.ca


Tommy Darker (@TommyDarker) on using tools to promote your release

Use tools to build your business, don’t hope that tools will be the saviour of your career. Tools are just tools, they come and go. What tools could you focus on? At this very moment, a musician needs tools that will accommodate their artistic world (a website and streaming services), ways to communicate their art with their fans (social media channels, a blog and an autoresponder) and tools for conducting business (e-commerce platforms, DTF services, analytics).

As you see, I don’t mention names of specific tools. Today’s tools are created by private companies that may cease existing anytime (see MySpace) or change their field of interest (Google has changed too many times) and become irrelevant. But the notion is there, musicians should use what best serves their current needs. A final side-note: most artists see this plethora of tools and get overwhelmed. My advice is: always simplify things, know what you want and use the tools that directly serve your goals.

soc med.jpg

Go social!         Image sourced from http://www.goimplysocial.com

Wade Sutton (@Rockettothesta1) on developing personal relationship with your fans

I think it is important to remember that the people spending money to purchase your CD are probably going to be your “Super Fans”. That is a very special group of people and should be treated as such. Try to find a way to engage those people on a personal level. If they comment on the CD on social media, it is vital that you take the time to respond to every one of them. Or e-mail them. It keeps them in that inner-circle of fandom that helps pay your bills.


Another key theme that crops up in Solveig’s blog is the creation of newsletters/mailing lists as a marketing tool. I’ll be looking closer into creating an online mailing list using MailChimp in a later post.


– Sandy (sandypower@outlook.com, @sandypower89)


7 Music Promotion Tips for an Independent Release

Artist/Audience Relationship Survey

Hey, everyone.

This post links you to an artist/audience relationship survey I have made to find out a bit more what you think about the way modern musicians interact with their fans and how they appear in the media and online.

Click the link below to start the survey:

Artist/Audience Relationship Survey

Image taken from andrewsfamilyhousing.com


I’ll be back to talk more about music promotion tips, using a mailing list and much more soon.

-Sandy (sandypower@outlook.com / @sandypower89)

Artist/Audience Relationship Survey

What is Marketing? An Overview

As someone who is selling their music and related merchandising, it is important to have a basic understanding of how what you do to engage with your potential customers, affects current and future sales. One important aspect of how you learn to engage with potential customers is to have a basic grasp of marketing and processes involved in this field.

marketing one
Image taken from http://www.pinterest.com

According to marketing consultant Eric Davies, marketing is ‘the identification and anticipation of customers’ needs and the profitable satisfaction of those needs’. Therefore, we need to IDENTIFY customer needs, SATISFY customers through our product or service’s benefits, PROFIT from customers in order to survive and thrive as a business and ANTICIPATE customers’ buying habits and changes needed in our products/services, based on customer behaviours and attitudes.


market 2
Image taken from carptoons.com

There are four variables when considering market/business performance. These are: Business share of the target market, customer rating of product/service performance, asset productivity and employee productivity. Focus on improving these marketing areas has been shown to improve business performance. This is not to dismiss other areas of business management, such as operational management, financial management and human resources management, which also need to be addressed.


The four big ideas in marketing, according to Davies are:

  1. Exchange – People obtaining what they want/need through exchanging with others.
  2. Promise – By creating and maintaining a relationship with a customer, the seller makes a promise based on the performance of their product or services, and in turn the customer promises to meet their own commitment, usually through some form of payment.
  3. Matching – Where the customer’s needs are met through the product/service’s benefits.
  4. Customer/Marketing Orientation – Putting customer needs at the heart of the business’s strategy.


Image taken from joyreactor.com

If you wish to be successful and profitable through your utilisation of marketing orientation, there are five key behaviours you will most likely have to display.

These are:

  1. Market sensing – Finding out customer needs through marketing research and keeping track of changes in these needs.
  2. Quality focus – Constantly trying to improve the product/service in order to compete with the rest of the market, also monitoring the competition and what they are offering and changing our own product/service to our advantage.
  3. Internal Marketing – Essentially creating an ethos of customer satisfaction throughout your business, not just in your marketing department. Staff should be able and willing to serve the customer.
  4. Adaptive response – Flexibility within different market conditions and with different customer needs. This includes the broader Political, Economic, Social and Technological, or ‘PEST’ factors, that impact on our customers and competitors.
  5. External Relationships – Not focusing solely on internal business matters but also communicating with the outside world and gaining essential information in order to improve product performance. Mangers must identify and focus on Key Account Relationships, or ‘KAR’s, such as the relationship with main customers or distributors/retailers. (Davies, 2012)


market 4
Image taken from punch.photoshelter.com

Marketing was developed as a strategic response to intensified competition for customers. It is a simple but fundamental concept when approaching the directing of a business. In order for your business to operate at a successful and profitable level, you must understand customer’s needs and adapt according to these.(Davies 2012)

market 3
Image taken from http://www.cartoonstock.com

As a musician, this does not necessarily mean changing your music to satisfy a market, but through looking at successful marketing campaigns and trends in the music industry, you may get a better idea of what current markets are. This can extend to the way you release, what kind of merchandising you might offer and how to stay in touch with your fan-base. You can then refine what you are offering by utilising analytics and conducting further marketing research. Find further marketing information in Davies’s book ‘Successful Marketing in a Week’ (Hodder Education, 2012). I will look at various data collecting outlets, including mailing lists, how they work and how to start one, in later posts.


– Sandy (sandypower@outlook.com, @sandypower89)

What is Marketing? An Overview