Ok, excuse the lame blog title.
Once you have an new music or a tour booked and ready to go on sale, it’s time to start promoting the crap out of it. Easy enough, right? A quick jump into the sea of promotion will lead you to one very true realization: THAT SHIT IS EXPENSIVE. Chances are, you don’t have a deep bank account supporting your new release… and if you’re reading this you likely don’t have a label with a massive budget either.
Luckily, it’s a pretty great time to promote your project through some free options. Make sure you’re utilizing every single one of them before you go spending all of your money on Facebook ads, an expensive publicist, or radio.
Here are some free promotional tools we’ve found particularly useful in the past year:
Pandora AMP Campaigns. If you have any sort of listener base on Pandora, this can be a huge help in driving listeners and clicks. We use them mainly for tour dates, but they have featured track campaigns that we’ve tested out as well
BandsInTown & SongKick. You must use BandsInTown AND SongKick to promote your tour dates. Both platforms have their pros and cons, but since nearly all social media platforms (and now Spotify) have an option to link tour dates via one of these sites, you have to have them up there on both.
SmartURL. Smart URL essentially allows you to house multiple links within one simple landing page link. It then can give you analytics for click through rates. This is great for a new release so that fans can then choose which platform they’d like to listen on (and you don’t have to link them all in one massive social post).
Eventbrite. This is a fabulous tool to either sell tickets (small fee on sales) to an event or collect RSVPs through free tickets (totally free!).
DoStuff Network. You’ve almost definitely heard of this event listing/promoting site - they have one for lots of great cities -- Do615 (Nashville), DoNYC (New York), etc. It’s free to list your event and they have a great app with a respectable user base. I also recommend posting your tour dates on other local event sites, which you can find by googling the city + events. The top places people search should pop up first!
NoiseTrade. Want to give away a free song to jumpstart your release cycle? NoiseTrade is the place to do it. They have a great user base that is open to discovering new music.
Email! Remember when I said you need to have an email list?? This is when that comes in super handy. We get great conversion rates from our emails since we stick to the point and don’t send them too often.
Facebook Live. Use this before Facebook buries it. For now, Facebook notifies all of your fans when you go live, so this is a fantastic way to spread news, answer fan questions, or debut a new song. This is as direct-to-fan as it gets. We have our artists on a fairly regular live schedule & they are never just spouting out information. There is always a song involved or some sort of fun interaction for the fans.
Fans! Last, but absolutely not least -- let your fans help you out! Even if you only have a handful of loyal fans, they usually love the opportunity to help spread the word. Maybe this is printing posters, maybe this is creating an official fan club/team, or maybe they can just help you with social media promotion. It’s really up to you and what you need. In return, you can offer them tour tickets, merch, a google hangout, etc.
REASON TO IGNORE THIS ADVICE: You’ve got buttloads of money. Definitely use that. I mean, do this free stuff too, but money certainly helps move things along if you have it.