Self-Marketing on a Budget
Self-Marketing on a budget can be one of the most rewarding experiences as an Artist or Producer!
Not only will you learn so many new things along the way, the sense of achievement you feel when you finally reach those marketing goals yourself is indescribable, especially when you’ve done it all on a limited budget!
Before I get right into it, I want to make it clear that it’s always a great option to have a marketing budget before you’re ready to release your music.
Having a solid PR agent working for you is a dream, but unfortunately, not all of us will have the funds when we need them and not every PR Agency has your best interests at heart.
I’ve had many Artist friends put thousands into campaigns recently only to get really bad results from their campaigns.
With a lot of hard work and a good plan, you can successfully self-market your music/business or brand on your own with incredible results, not spending a cent and not even leaving the comfort of your home, or in my case sometimes my bed.
However, it does mean you will need to work really hard, that’s why it’s important to love the process and celebrate little successes on the way up!
Emailing blogs has been one of the main reasons why I’ve landed on many Editorial Playlists, building relationships with bloggers has been priceless.
For the past 4 years, I’ve managed to “Self-Market” myself successfully, most of the time without spending a cent. I’ve hit 1 million streams on Pandora alone, half a million on Spotify and have landed on over 15 Editorial Playlists on Spotify, Apple Music & Youtube Music using a combination of marketing avenues such as email, blogs, and social media.
Here are my top tips for marketing yourself on a budget using a combination of Social Media Platforms:
Blog features are the best way to reach a wide audience of potential fans and one of the easiest ways to self-market your music.
There are loads of A&R reps, Curators, Managers and Booking agents constantly scouting blogs for new and upcoming Artists, blogs are powerful! On average, for each of my releases, I aim to personally email around 100-200 blogs.
All of the contacts I made which helped me land on Editorial Playlists have come from finding me on blogs, some curators even happen to own a blog, so it’s always a great idea to network with bloggers.
Keep in mind when emailing blogs to always treat bloggers with respect, keep your emails short and polite, link your EPK (Electronic Press Kit) or give a very brief Bio, do not add any attachments and ensure you have linked your track on Soundcloud, Spotify and/or Youtube. Soundcloud is still a preferred platform for blog submissions.
It’s all about emailing! Email is still such a powerful tool when used correctly and is a great way to network.
TIP: Don’t send out mass emails to blogs, curate each email individually so that you address the blogger with their name if possible and ensure you have done your research so that your music is suited to the blog you are contacting. This is time-consuming, but your effort will be worth it! Nothing great comes from minimal effort.
IN-STORE SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS
Find your favourite brands or stores that have Spotify In-Store Playlists and email the company directly asking if you can get in touch with the Manager of the store’s Music Department or Music Team.
Don’t send your music link in this initial first contact email, just let them know who you are in a very brief email and tell them you have a new release that would really align with their brand/store and that you would love to speak with someone on their Music Team.
Once they have replied, usually they’ll CC someone from the team, that’s when you will reply and thank them for connecting you, then add your already released Spotify Link in your reply for their consideration.
This has been one of the ways I’ve successfully had my music played in major stores such as H&M and Zara world-wide
LOCAL RADIO STATIONS
Local radio stations usually love to support local artists and are commonly overlooked when it comes to free marketing!
You can call or email your local stations and find out which Radio Host/DJ or Program is best suited to your style of music and contact them directly with links to your music. Remember the rule! Always be kind. Short and sweet emails always work best. You can either type a short bio or link an EPK (Electronic Press Kit)
I like to call him the “Godfather of TikTok”, Michael Sanchez is someone who knows TikTok Inside out, He’s a TikTok Marketing expert and runs a great Facebook group. He’s always posting public tips on his Facebook for TikTok and Instagram and is worth following.
There are countless ways to market yourself on this app, whether you’re a Producer, Engineer or Artist!
-Collaborate with TikTok Influencers
-Distribute your music to TikTok
Similarly to TikTok, Instagram is a GREAT way to Market yourself. Posting high-quality content to Instagram has led me to secure many Brand Endorsements, Free Gear and Software as well as build an incredible network of supporters, fans and friends.
My top tips for Self-Marketing on Instagram are:
-Post top quality content once or twice per week, If you don’t have anything new to post, it’s better to not post anything at all and wait until you have something great to post. Posting less will not ruin your IG reach, in fact, posting less has many benefits! You can read more about this in-depth in my ‘Gram Fix’ eBook.
-Experiment with posting at different times, look into your insights and find out where the majority of your followers are located and identify the location of your target market, this will help when it’s time to post, you will want your target audience most active at that time to see your post
-Learn how to use Hashtags correctly, using a combination of smaller hashtags and excluding generic, overused and non-specific hashtags such as ‘Happy’ ‘Picoftheday’ etc Keeping your Hashtags extremely relevant and specific to your image/video will assist in making sure it isn’t flagged and gets funneled to Top Hashtags
-Ensure that you always interact with every single person who comments or follows your IG. Put some time aside when you post new content and respond to comments immediately, this will help to organically boost your post to more feeds and Hashtags. I always sit by my phone for the first hour once I’ve made a post to reply to all comments. Keep your comments genuine and interact with your audience as much as possible
Hope some of these tips have sparked some inspiration. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need some advice on Marketing Strategies.
About the Author
Noella Nix is a Music Producer & Artist based in Melbourne, Australia. She teaches Sound Production, Music Business & Social Media Marketing and has written 3 Industry eBooks. Connect on Facebook or Instagram