In today's day and age, just about anyone can learn to make music, so long as they have access to a computer, a DAW, and potentially some instruments. However, learning how to make music and make it in the music industry are two completely different things. The latter is crucial is you hope to make a career out of your artistry.
Fortunately, we've put together a comprehensive guide on how to get your music heard in 2023 and beyond. Below, we'll outline the importance of learning how to market your own music and share some actionable strategies to help you grow your brand.
Why Is It Important to Market Your Own Music?
Marketing your music is the way your music gets heard. When you listen to your favorite artists, you're not just a fan of the music itself - in many cases, you could be a fan of what the artist represents based on their branding, personality and other factors.
People don't automatically care about someone who has learned to make their own music. It is up to you to create that value and package your music in a way that connects with potential listeners.
The Oversaturation of the Music Industry
As of 2022, it's estimated that approximately 100,000 songs are uploaded to streaming platforms every. single. day. It's genuinely not personal that your music isn't automatically picked up by the Spotify algorithm or lands immediately on editorial playlists. With the current level of music industry saturation, it's somewhat unreasonable to expect your music to be heard without putting effort into external promotion.
In order to get your music heard, you need to drive traffic to streaming platforms using tools like social media and playing live gigs as outlined below.
How To Get Your Music on Streaming Platforms Like Apple Music and Spotify
If you want to get your music heard, the first step is to make sure it's being distributed properly. This means getting your music up on popular streaming platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, and Amazon Music. To do this, you can use an online distributor like Distrokid, CDBaby, Amuse, or Tunecore.
These services either charge a regular upfront fee, fee per release, or a percentage of your artist royalties in order to distribute your music. Once your music is successfully distributed to the major streaming services, it's time to put our marketing strategies to good use:
7 Strategies to Get Your Music Heard in 2023
Start successfully promoting your music with these several strategies:
1. Invest in Your Social Media Channels
Love it or hate it, social media channels are hands-down the most effective free way to promote your music. Apps like TikTok have dismantled the idea of who the ideal popstar should be and frequently help new talent find their big break.
Even if you don't go viral, posting on your social media channels is guaranteed to help you find new fans and connect with existing fans. It's one of the few free ways to find an audience and network with other creatives today. Plus, any record label that's worth their weight will most likely require some form of social media presence, so finding your voice online is a worthy investment for any serious musician.
2. Collaborate with Fellow Independent Artists
One of the best ways to get your music discovered and find new listeners is to collaborate with your fellow musicians. Doing a formal collaboration automatically places your material on both artist pages, leading to automatic cross-pollination. Working with your fellow artists also provides you with the tool kit you need to successfully collaborate with others.
3. Consistently Put out Great Music
Easier said than done, but you want to make sure the music you're putting out is polished, crafted with intention, and has a unique voice. The best way to win over a fan base is to create something people can truly resonate with often. Note that songs will never market themselves, but marketing on its own is not going to help you build a music career. Half of the battle is getting people to engage with your art, the other half is having amazing music.
4. Define Your Target Audience
Your music can't be for everyone, and it never will be. So many artists make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone and in effect, appeal to know one. Start to notice what sorts of artists your music sounds like. Take note of what your top listeners are interested in, even if those interests don't directly align with music. Having a tight understanding of your brand will only make it easier for you to succeed as an independent artist.
5. Play Live Gigs
Playing live on your own or with other musicians is one of the best ways to network and market existing and new music. Independent musicians might not have show opportunities right out of the gate, but you can certainly start small by playing at small venues with other bands, or simply opting for open mic nights. Experience is experience.
6. Support Other Industry Professionals
To get love, you have to give love. As a new artist, it's important to support other musicians, music influencers, and similar artists to create a community. Remember, at the end of the day, finding fans is about building relationships. In a lot of ways, you get back what you put in. Take time to engage with other artists' creations and the same will come back your way.
7. Connect with Influencers, Radio Stations, Bloggers, and Any Other Online Music Community
While not as prominent as they once were, music blogs can still help you get your released or unreleased music or music videos in front of new listeners. Most importantly, curators of culture usually have strong relationships with those across the industry, so if you can make a good impression, you're bound to boost your career prospects. You can also reach out to local radio stations or streams, even if it's just for feedback.
How to Get Your Music Heard FAQ
Still struggling to get your music heard? Use these commonly asked questions and answers to help you propel your journey as an artist.
How do I attract listeners to my music?
Attracting listeners to your music involves putting yourself out there, releasing music and content frequently, and doing your best to network with other artists and industry professionals. This process isn't for the faint of heart and can take years to gain significant traction.
How do you get your music heard by record labels?
These days, record labels don't just want a promising artist, they're looking for a promising fan base. It's up to you to build up your social media profiles and create a genuine buzz across different platforms. You know you're ready for record labels once they reach out to you organically.
How do you get your song heard by an artist?
You can't guarantee whether or not your song will be heard by a particular artist. However, you can use tools like "Duet" on TikTok or hashtags to help target your music in artist's direction. Even if the artist themselves doesn't see your song, this might put you better in line with their fan base.
How can I make my song popular?
You never know what song will become popular on major streaming services, but the best way to increase your likelihood of getting your music heard by more people is to focus on organic promotion. Doing so can help you get your music featured on a prominent playlist and score you some fans along the way.
Making your music is the fun part, marketing it is a different process entirely. Use these actionable tips and strategies to get your music heard by more listeners.