Promotion is a huge undertaking, and can be as big a job as you want it to be. The more you put in, the more you will likely get out of the process.
[I cover how to get through to DJs, journalist and blogs effectively in my *How To Start Your Own Record Label* course]
If you have money to spend, you may wish to pay a PR company to run a campaign for you – so you will need to approach them about your release, and provide them with the release date, any other relevant dates, as well as artwork, promo audio files, and a one-sheet. Most should also ask for artist bio, pictures or your EPK (Electronic Press Kit).
[I cover everything that you should have in your EPK (in detail) in my *How To Start Your Own Record Label* course]
In my experience, PR companies are pretty useful for getting DJ feedback, and getting your music into the hands of the people who may support it – and some are pretty good at getting blog and magazine coverage – but these days, when everyone is promoting something, you can never be guaranteed coverage, and so convincing those who like the music to support it is another thing altogether.
I have various methods of promotion which I like to employ, but some of the things you will probably want to do are:
- Emails to any relevant contacts you have. Know any DJs or radio hosts who will support the music? Know any fellow producers who may include it in a mix? Know anybody running a blog? Send them the music!
- Artist newsletter – do you or the artist in question have a newsletter? It’s probably going to be a solid source of sales or interest if so.
- Social Media posting – something of a no-brainer these days, but with everyone constantly connected to their networks, whether on a laptop or phone, it’s well worth mentioning your release when and where you can. It’s worth considering a schedule for posting things, so you don’t peak too early with your posts, and there is lots of information over the best types of post and when best times to post
[I provide a guide to social media posting for labels and releases in my *How To Start Your Own Record Label* course]
- Targeting blogs is a long and drawn-out job, but spending some time getting to know bloggers, commenting on blogs, and building up a rapport with blog owners so that they are interested in your work can be very worthwhile in the long run.
- Finding journalists that have posted about similar music, and letting them know you think they might like your stuff is a good idea – but be careful when emailing them
[I provide effective templates for emailing your release promotion out in my *How To Start Your Own Record Label* course]
- Audio samples – uploading clips to Soundcloud and Youtube is a good start, and you may wish to consider making one track available for free download. Again there are many ways to do this (and collect email addresses, or likes or more)
[I cover loads of tips on where and how to put your music up for free download (and gain followers and likes) in my *How To Start Your Own Record Label* course]
- Mixes are a good way to provide something that people want to post about, and you can include your own tracks in the mixes, so that people hear them in the intended context.
- Video content is something else that blogs like to post about. Getting a music video made can be a complex procedure, but if you know somebody or have the means to create one yourself, then it can be a great way to spread the word.
[I provide a big list of popular youtube channels, what they cover and how to submit to them in my *How To Start Your Own Record Label* course]
- Forums are possibly not as frequented today as they once used to be, but other alternatives such as Facebook or Soundcloud Groups, Twitter and Instagram hashtags or Reddit subforms are often a good way to capitalise on an audience expecting to hear or see your sort of posts. Just remember to be courteous, and play by any rules set out. Newcomers to groups are not always welcomed if they’re only around to self-promote.
[I provide a large list of forums and places you can post about your music in my *How To Start Your Own Record Label* course]
- Offline promotion methods are abundant, and can take the form of anything really, from postcards or business cards, to giving out CDs in the street or numerous other marketing techniques. Being inventive and original as well as keeping your offering visually interesting or attractive is key.