Have you ever released a song, or mixtape, or album that just didn’t get as many listens and downloads as you wanted?
Does promotion often feel like running your nails on a chalkboard?
We come across great artists all the time; the problem is that most of the time they are hidden in all the clutter. But why is this? Why do artists that make great music get overlooked?
No matter how great your music is, your promotion will always fail unless you avoid these 10 common mistakes:
1. You have bad graphics and visuals. A lot of promotion is visual. If something looks appealing, people tend to gravitate towards it. If your album cover looks like it was just thrown together with low quality graphics, it will actually prevent people from clicking on it, which means they won’t even give your music a chance.
2. Your live show needs work. Performing is a huge part of promotion. Unfortunately, most artists fall short in this area. Putting on a great live show will surely make people excited to see another one! Most artists make a ton of money touring and, honestly, if your live show isn’t that great, you’re really hurting your promotion. Be sure to rehearse as much as possible and maybe even hire an artist development coach to help you.
3. Your social media names are all different. When you search your name on google, what comes up? If your social media name looks anything like @Ibe_chilllin345, good luck getting people to find you. The more “searchable” you are, the easier it will be to find you. If your name is Lyrical Monster, then your social media names should be @LyricalMonster all across the board. You get the point.
4. You spam. Let us make this clear since many artists fail to understand the meaning behind this. Any time you send someone a link to your music, or tag someone that you don’t know in your Facebook status, or comment on someones status with a link to your music link, or send a random person a message with a link to your new music video, you are SPAMMING. We know that you’re just trying to get your music out there, but shoving your music in random people’s faces isn’t the way to do so. Imagine that you’re walking down the street, and all of a sudden someone pops out right in front of you. You’ll either get scared and back up, or you’ll get pissed and tell the person to watch where they’re going. Or imagine you’re having a conversation with your long time friend, and someone rudely interrupts you and starts trying to sell you something. That’s exactly how you look when you send a random person a link to your music. You might think it’s promotion, but is your promotion really effective if it makes people want to block you? I don’t think so. It’s called social media because you’re supposed to be social, and quite frankly, blindly sending someone a link to your song isn’t very social. Plus, so many artists spam nowadays that people completely overlook it, so stop doing it right now. You’re wasting your precious time. Instead, you should remember that people want to discover you themselves. Therefore, all you have to do is get your music in places that they look for it. Pretty simple right?
5. You over-hyped a previous release and now no one wants to listen to your new stuff. Have you ever heard of the boy who cried wolf? The boy in the forest would yell, and tell everyone that there were wolves. They would run to save him, only to find out that he was playing a prank on them. Until one day, he really needed their help and they didn’t come to save him because they thought he was pranking them again. Well, when you promote your song like it’s the best thing since pizza, and then people listen to it and it’s really not that great. When you finally release that amazing song that you’ve been waiting for, it’s going to be harder to get people to listen. This is why you should never put out music that you haven’t gotten feedback on (behind the scenes). AND you should never over-hype your music by using words like “hit song” or “best song out.” Let the people be the judge.
6. You’re only promoting online and aren’t making a real connection with your fans OR you’re only promoting in person and aren’t reaching the online audience. The best promotion happens when you make a true connection with your fans. An email or a tweet isn’t nearly as effective as an in-person connection. Both online and street promotion are necessary when trying to build a following. If you’re hiding behind a computer screen or are always in the studio, you might make some progress. However, eventually you’re going to have to get out there and meet people. Also, if you’re one of those artists that meets new people but doesn’t do the whole “social media thing,” you’re actually missing out on a huge (global) audience. I suggest going out to events in your city (and surrounding areas). Bring business cards and merchandise and start chatting it up! You can also build your online fan base in person, just make sure you get everyone’s contact info.
7. You didn’t promote long enough for people to catch on. Wendy Day once told me, “Promotion can take 12 weeks before you even start to break the surface.” However, many artists get tired of promoting their own records after only one month. That could be because they aren’t fully utilizing all of their options for exposure. Or, maybe they got tired of their song? However, by not taking the time needed to really get some traction on your record, you’ll fall into the never ending circle of releasing song after song after song without much results. Try putting together an effective promo strategy before you release your music.
8. You’re promoting the wrong song. This is pretty self explanatory, but very common among indie artists. The key to this is to record a ton of music before you decide to release your next single, and be sure to get as much feedback on your records as you can (before you release them) so that you can let the people decide what song will get the best results.
9. You don’t know your audience. Is your music for everyone? NOPE. Just like you wouldn’t promote a country record on a heavy metal station, you have to aim your promotion at people who would be more receptive to enjoying it. Most artists don’t have a clue on who they are trying to reach. They don’t even put any thought into it. It’s like shooting a gun with your eyes closed and expecting to hit the target. It’s not likely to happen. Therefore, you need to know what and who you’re aiming at.
10. You don’t ask for help. The fact is, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Sometimes you have to give people a little nudge in order to get them to do what you want them to do. If you want people to retweet your song, ask them. If you want them to hit the share button, personally ask them to share it! If you want them to re-post your album cover on Instagram, give them an incentive and ask them to do it. You shouldn’t be the only person promoting your music, your fans are your street team!
Are you looking for promotion for your music? We can help you put together a strategy that will get RESULTS. Contact us for more info.