Most of today’s music marketing strategies are focused on dominating social media and DSPs. While these strategies aren’t without warrant, many artists forget the importance of IRL music promotion. If you’re serious about your career as a musician, it’s best to do a combination of both.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most effective ways to promote your music without social media. Let’s dive in!
7 Ways To Promote Your Music Without Social Media
Without delay, here are 7 ways to promote your music in person. Digital marketing still has a place, but these networking strategies will effectively expand your reach as an indie artist outside the digital space.
Make An Eye Catching Poster
Give Something Away
Head To An Open Mic
See Other Shows
Take It To The Streets
Collaborate With Other Artists
1. Make An Eye Catching Poster
Making posters is one of the oldest forms of promoting your music that still remains an effective strategy today. When crafting your poster, make sure it conveys your artist brand and has built-in features like a QR code that any passerby can use to check out your music.
You can also opt for a non-traditional poster. Perhaps you put up a page with your most heart-wrenching lyrics in bold with no additional explanation and a QR code. Or, you can craft a poster stating the types of people that may like your music! Get creative with your poster positioning too – Posting outside of music venues is always a safe bet.
2. Give Something Away
It can be hard to get people to listen to your music without them already knowing your name, so get creative! Maybe give away some free tickets to your next gig, or pass out personalized stickers that will get people curious about your music. Visibility is incredibly powerful, even if it's on a small scale.
3. Head To An Open Mic
Open Mics are an awesome way to scope out your local music scene, get involved in the community, and practice performing! You can find these events online, or even ask your local coffee shop if they would be willing to let you host one for the community.
When attending these events, take care to stay for everyone’s performance, purchase drinks or food from the venue and chat up musicians after the event has ended. You’d be surprised how quickly your network can grow just by attending these events.
4. See Other Shows
One of the most obvious ways to promote your music in person is to put on a DIY show. However, getting people to go and bring new fans to your show is another ballgame. Luckily, there are ways to work around this. You can help bring in a draw for your show by attending other artists’ sets.
This won’t just help bring in future fans, but each show is an excellent networking hub for musicians. Take your time to enjoy the music, but don’t skimp out on the chit-chat afterward.
5. Community Radio
It’s true that radio doesn’t have the same promotional power that it used to. Believe it or not, there are still avid listeners to community and college radio stations. This is an excellent opportunity to reach a whole new audience that you otherwise might not have access to. Radio listeners are likely to be true music lovers, so you can count on earning a couple of dedicated fans through this method.
Seek out local and college radio stations and pitch your music in a short and sweet email. Many small stations have an email catered specifically to submissions available on their website. Try to listen to the broadcasts you’re pitching to figure out the vibe of the station and increase your chances of getting placed.
6. Take It To The Streets
If you need some practice before putting on your live show or just want some live feedback, why not busk in a popular part of town? This can be incredibly daunting at first, but once you get past the initial fear of performing on the street, you’ll be able to connect with new fans directly.
You can even collect tips and put it towards your music. Just be sure to check your city’s street performance laws. Some may restrict busking to certain areas or require a permit for popular locations.
7. Collaborate With Other Artists
There’s nothing like the power of cross-pollination to amplify your career to new heights. Work with other artists as much as possible, even if you don’t have the end goal of formally releasing a song together. It’s great practice for future creations and will undoubtedly help you grow as a musician and boost your network.
You can find other artists online or seek out jam sessions in your area. Open mics and local gigs are another great way to meet musicians that may be interested in collaborating. Remember that when it comes to music, it's all about crafting relationships. Any marketing strategy that uses this as a foundational principle is bound to help you grow.
There isn’t one right way to find your footing in the music industry. Hopefully, these strategies will help you find ways to promote your music in person and build your audience, but don’t be afraid to come up with your own ideas! Have fun building your network while finding your fans.