Before you choose any of the tactics or methods in this guide to promote your music (This is an excerpt from The Definitive Guide on How to Promote Your Music found over on Starsunderground.com), here are some music promotion basics that apply to ALL of them. Keep these in mind as you move forward. To make things simple, here’s an easy-to-remember acronym to guide you: O.C.T.A.V.E.
How to Promote Your Music with O.C.T.A.V.E.
One Goal at a Time – Choose ONE thing at a time to promote – your album, a song, an upcoming tour, a kickstarter campaign, your website, etc. When you focus on one goal at a time, it becomes SO much easier to identify specific actions, brainstorm promotional ideas, and determine the success of your efforts. It’s a kind of clarity that money can’t buy.
Conversational – every interaction should have the feeling of a two-way conversation rather than being the typical one-directional, over-promotional, self-important blast of “CHECK ME OUT.” You would never behave this way offline… don’t do it online. Instead, focus on creating opportunities for conversation with your fans.
Target the Right Audience – In the same way choosing a single goal can provide clarity, so can figuring out who the right audience is for your campaign. Who are you trying to reach? If you say “Everybody!” Ima smack the shit outta you. 🙂 By targeting the right audience, you become SO much more effective in your music promotion. It’s much easier to brainstorm different locations to get interesting conversations started with potential industry connections or fans.
Authentic – You know that feeling you get when you came up with an amazing new lyric, or sound, or song, and you couldn’t WAIT to show it off to your closest friends? That genuine excitement is the very thing you need to bring to every interaction during your promotional efforts. I mean you don’t go up to your friend and say in the most boring tone ever, “here’s a link to a song I did. check it out.” If there’s something specific about the song that you think is noteworthy, say so. If the track is personal to you in some way, say so. People can tell if you’re being inauthentic.
Valuable – This can’t be said enough. Every promotion should add value in some way. Your #1 question from this point forward… How does this add value to the person I’m trying to reach? For example, when you reach out to music industry blogs, try to find some way to make the process as easy as possible or provide something interesting enough so they’ll be glad you reached out to them.
Engaging – Try to find someway to engage with your audience. Ask questions, show interest in them, or start a discussion. You can invite them into your creative process, discuss song lyrics or album art, or even create remixes. This gives people an opportunity to become a part of your world rather than just a consumer of your work.
Daniel Wagner is a Music Industry Servant and Host of the Stars Underground Podcast. Stars Underground is dedicated to helping talented musicians become underground stars through personal growth, mindset shifts, and proven tips and tricks for getting the most out of your marketing and promotional efforts. This is an excerpt from The Definitive Guide on How to Promote Your Music. Read more content like this over at Starsunderground.com