10 Music Marketing Tips For The Independent Musician

I recently came across an article the other day called 10 Simple Music Marketing Tips For Indie Artists by a guy named Tim Gerst who runs a digital marketing agency called ThinkSwell in Nashville.

In the article he highlights ten simple, common sense music marketing tips for any independent musician to adhere to.

No matter how long you’ve been involved with the music business, it’s always good to get back to music marketing basics from time to time and this article is perfect for doing just that.


10 Simple Music Marketing Tips For Indie Artists
By Tim Gerst

We live in a strange time. With the internet exploding in exponential chaos, we find almost all aspects of our lives are splintering to take new shapes and forms because of this hyper-connectivity.

The music industry (and the artists creating within it) finds itself in a place of constant change. Finding target demographics is now a breeze with the multitudes of analytic software available.

Music has changed from primarily physical product to almost completely digital and traditional marketing has turned to social media marketing and branding for guidance.

Thanks to Spotify and other instant music streaming services putting music literally a click away, record labels barely beat out indies for total revenue these days. Now is the perfect time for artists to forgo the backing of a major label and tread through the murky waters of the music industry alone (aside from sometimes hiring out services like social media marketing and merchandise).

Indie artists traditionally have much more creative freedom than their major label counterparts and usually get a much higher cut of any income they bring in. If artists are paying out of pocket for these types of services, they will sometimes want to take a stab at social media marketing themselves.

Check out our list of ten simple music marketing tips for indie artists.

1. Connect With Your Fans
Fans like to know what their favourite artists are up to. This simple concept is one of the reasons why interviews are a huge step in a band’s promo.

Take the time to tweet something about yourself or post a quick video of you in the creative process. One step further: retweet and respond to your fans (it makes them feel even closer to you).

Take the time to give your fans a peak behind the red curtain.

2. Keep Social Media Up To Date
Nothing is worse than going to a band’s Facebook or Twitter page and their tour schedule is from last summer. You should be editing performance dates and venues the day you confirm them.

Give people time to work around their busy schedules and allow them to make it out to your shows.

Beyond tour schedules, ensure that content is updated frequently so that fans have something to look forward to each time they visit your page.

3. Connect All Your Social Media Accounts
You should be utilising Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and each of them should have accessible links to the others.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew, however. There are 100’s of social media websites-you don’t need to use every single one.

4. Don’t Sound Like A Generic Advertisement
We all know THAT band who has a social media account that sounds like they are selling you something on every post or tweet. Be genuine!

If there is something you hate about a band’s social media page, learn from their mistakes.

5. Visuals, Visuals, Visuals
People get bored of plain text all the time. Pictures and videos stand out and will make visitors stop and check out what you have to say.

Instagram’s entire model is based upon visuals, and it’s worth over $35 billion dollars.

Take a picture in the studio or shoot a video with a quick message to your fans. In fact, photos and videos get a higher organic news feed ranking that pure text posts on Facebook.

6. Post Regularly/Stay Active
Nothing says “we don’t care” quite like a band whose last tweet was two years ago. Every waking moment does not need to be spent on social media, but frequently posting is a great way to keep fans interacting with your band.

Keep content original! Posting the same status or tweet with the same text and same link every day is a huge no-no.

Never let your fans question whether it’s the artist or a robot controlling their social media page. However, reusing highly engaging posts down the road is totally acceptable.

8. Give Out Exclusives
Giving out exclusives is a great way to give fans a reward for subscribing to your social media pages. Upload an MP3 online and post a link where fans who like your page can download it and put it in their music library.

This is also an effective method for growing your email database.

9. Automate Your Processes When You Can
Automation is not always a bad thing. Do some research and find a good tool for you that can help streamline your social media activity.

There are some great apps out there that help you schedule tweets and your posts on your Facebook page.

10. You Can’t Rely Only On Facebook/Instagram/Twitter
This one is a little outside of the realm but still very much a social media tip. Social media can’t be all you do! You’re a musical artist, not a “Twitter Pic Of The Day” collective.

Network with people in the industry, book shows, and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Social media is an amazing tool for indie artists, but it is not the be-all end-all.

BONUS TIP – Email marketing is not dead! As much as you can, be sure to capture data for a mailing list. ALWAYS collect at least email AND Zip Code or location, so that you can geo-target your concert messages.

About The Author

Tim Gerst is the President of ThinkSwell, a Digital Marketing Agency based in Nashville.

ThinkSwell’s clients include Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Chris Young, Randy Houser, Thousand Foot Krutch, and Olivia Newton-John.

There it is, ten simple, common sense music marketing tips for you to digest, internalise and implement. Personally, one of the things I’m working on at the moment is the automation of my music marketing processes.

As I find different tools which will help me in my marketing endeavours I’ll make sure I share them with you.

Is there anything on the above list that resonates with you or, is there anything you’d like to add? Make sure you let me know what they areI’d love to hear about them.


Corey 🙂

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