Your band is a well-oiled machine, owning stages (when they reopen, not long now) and recording studios alike. You have the songs, the mixed tracks, the image and the determination.
As you’ll know, reaching a wider audience and creating an impassioned fan base is imperative when it comes to monetising your music. Upping streams, luring new people to gigs and shifting merchandise can all be the result of a smart and effective marketing campaign.
Marketing your product would traditionally be the role of the label, where a dedicated team of PR agents, social media gurus and digital marketing experts would propel your track to the masses. With major labels currently spending anywhere from $500,000 to $2,000,000 to break a new artist mainstream, marketing is a costly yet important aspect to building your band business.
Huge artists like Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper and Nipsey Hussle carved a career without a major label. The DIY ethos is still strong in 2021, and marketing your music independently is a viable, worthwhile option. The first part to starting a strong independent marketing campaign will be to ensure your business - your band - is working to its full potential, with each member fulfilling a role and working to their strengths. Have a member always scrolling their Instagram during writing sessions? Meet your new social media guru!
Arguably, the most important aspect of your release campaign will be securing that much coveted attention from the press. Without a label, getting your music into the ears of the right people can seem difficult and having to pierce through the clandestine white noise may feel like a daunting, impossible challenge. Getting your next hit onto the radio playlists, getting mentioned on the popular podcasts and being written about in blogs would normally be the responsibility of the digital marketing expert, but it can all be achieved independently.
Further down is a list of some of the current music blogs reviewing and reporting on new music you can send your tracks to. Some have associated genres which will dictate their interests and audience, helping you to reach more reciprocal listeners faster. Not utilising blogs may not harm your chances at being the next Chance the Rapper, but positive feedback never hurt anyone and who knows, one or maybe ten of those readers may turn out to be lifelong loyal fans.
Before you message, it may be worth considering these top tips, just to make sure you maximise your submission:
Make sure the blog is relevant for your music and that your sound is like other records they cover. 2DopeBoyz aren’t going to want to review your 7-minute homage to Iron Maiden, but Louder than War certainly will.
Keep the message brief and concise. Introduce yourself, be friendly and discuss what your about, but this isn’t the place for your project’s life story or how you discovered music through your parents’ U2 vinyl collection.
A private or public SoundCloud link is generally the preferred method of listening to your track. Aim for a method which doesn’t involve downloading a file or signing into a subscription platform, some blogs want electronic press kits. Read the submission page carefully to see what is preferred.
Make sure the track is fresh and don’t spam them afterwards. Blogs nearly always prefer new music, even if your best song was released a year ago, they will normally prefer the newer few-month-old follow up. Checking up a few weeks later to see if the review is happening is fine, just try to avoid more than one message and be polite. Remember they have a lot of tracks to get through and even more emails to reply to.
Genre: Various, up for anything
Genre: Punk, Rock and Metal
Genre: Alternative and Indie
Genre: Psych, Avant-Garde, Garage and Alternative
Genre: Alt-Country, Americana Folk and Blues
Genre: Hip Hop
Genre: Singer-Songwriter and Indie
Genre: Bedroom and Dream Pop, Lo-Fi and Surf Rock
Genre: Various (Neo-soul, Hip-Hop and RnB)
Genre: Pop Punk, Emo, Indie Rock and Alt-Pop
Genre: Various (only LGBTQIA artists)
Genre: Various (Accepts all, but has specific section
to support Feminist and LGBTQIA Artists)
Genre: Trap, Club music and Bass
Genre: RnB, Soul and Jazz
Genre: Soul and RnB
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