Hi. It’s Jilli. I think by now you all know it’s me, but I kind of like the ring of saying that. Any who, the music. Let’s talk about that. You have a great song or album, but outside of your car or immediate circle, who is listening? What is your approach, exactly, to get the music heard?
Many artists feel like if they advertise their music on social media that that is enough. They share their music links and from what I have seen on my own personal news feed, it gets overlooked. Unless of course you are already established, then it get shared a ton, but when you’re an indie artist, not so much.
In addition, when sharing your music amongst your peers and “friends”, you must remember that they are not always going to support you. That’s the harsh reality of it all, really. I always advise my clientele that they need to reach outside the box. Get yourself a fan page, officially, if Facebook is your medium, and target certain demographics that would be your audience. It is important for you to know who your audience is so that you can cater to them. A country singer is not going to advertise blindly to a heavy metal group of fans, that is not their audience, and they would be wasting their targeting dollars on the wrong fan base.
Social Media, while widely popular, isn’t the only way to get your music heard. Some people still believe in “Gorilla Tactics” which is printing out flyers and information about their music and putting them up anywhere they can. This can work, sometimes, but you must be careful about non-soliciting type stores or areas. But you can always ask if you can place a flyer on a community board or advertising board. No harm in that.
Other ways to get the music heard? Song Licensing. I have spoken about this in previous articles but just think about it for a moment. If you submitted for an opportunity and by chance it fell upon the right ears, and got selected for licensing, then more people would hear it. Radio should not be your only goal. Music Licensing can prove to be a very lucrative move for your career, placing your song in the ears of thousands of listeners whether by commercial, movie, or other opportunity. Point is, don’t focus on just one avenue for your music to be heard.
Are you performing anywhere? If yes, where? If not, why not? You are just starting out. I respect you all for where you want to go and how hard you are trying to get there, but let’s be honest. Unless you are coming out of your bedroom as Madonna or Elton John, you cannot expect to be paid like them. You need to perform at open mic nights, look around your local bars and lounges, clubs, etc. There are many advertisements for local talent to come and perform. This is how you gain a local fan base. And when you do perform, make sure you have a way for people to keep in touch with you and your music. Business cards, postcards, merchandise such as pre-loaded USB drives or CDs, download cards, anything really, as long as it keeps your name in their mouth, and I say that in the most polite way. And when you do perform at these venues, be respectful and engaging so that you can be invited back for future performances.
Music Conferences are also an incredible way to gain exposure, meet with like minded people in the industry, perhaps perform some of your songs, and gain connections. Networking is key in this business so use your Google and look up Music Conferences in your local area. They exist, trust me. And if you needed to drive a bit to get there, or pay a bit to get in there, it will be worth it.
In the end, there are always going to be multiple platforms for your music to be heard. But you need to do the legwork and make it happen. So many of these artists believe that a record label will come calling or that they will become “instafamous” from their Instagram accounts. I wish that could be case for many of you, but, um, it’s not. To put it lightly, it takes investment on your part to have others invest in you and that my friends, is the plain truth.
Love you all and always in your corner. – Jilli