Tag Archive for: self-promotion

The Dysfunction of Email Promos in Music

In an age where technology has simplified communication, it’s ironic how it has also, sometimes, made things more complicated. Take music promotion for instance. A once curated art of handpicking who you shared your work with has been lost in the deluge of the digital age. And nowhere is this more evident than in the world of email music promotions.

For a small- to medium-sized artist like me, my inbox is perpetually inundated with promotional tracks. In fact, I’ve had to set up an email rule to funnel these promos into a separate folder just to keep my primary inbox manageable. To give you a perspective, this folder recently crossed the 13,000 mark. It’s overwhelming and, frankly, dysfunctional.

Now, let’s put this into context. I’m not even a significant player in the music industry. Major artists are likely receiving 3-5 times the number of promos I get. The question then becomes, how effective is this method when even a smaller artist can’t keep up?

One of the most significant issues is the scattergun approach. I’m flooded with tracks from genres and artists that are miles apart from my musical tastes. It’s as though having access to my email address has become an open invitation to send anything and everything my way. This mass email system means that around 95% of the music I receive isn’t even relevant to me. And this poses a unique problem, not just for me, but for musicians as well. The handful of tracks that might genuinely intrigue me are lost in the noise.


This situation eerily mirrors another challenge – shopping for music. For every gem you find, you’re likely sifting through a mountain of tunes that aren’t quite your style. With email promos, the haystack has just grown exponentially, making the needle even harder to find.

Ironically, in this vast digital world, in-person connections seem to be the most efficient form of music promotion. When you meet artists face-to-face, there’s a directness and specificity to the exchange. But the reality is, these opportunities are limited.

Strangely, it’s hard to admit but Spotify has been my most reliable tool for discovering and curating music I listen to. I usually find music there, then continue my searches on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. But as much as I don’t like the ethics of Spotify, if there’s one thing they do right, it’s keeping me in the loop with music I will mostly like.


Where does this leave us?

Firstly, artists need to rethink the blind, bulk email strategy. The objective shouldn’t be about how many people you can reach, but rather about reaching the right people.

Secondly, as recipients, maybe we need platforms or systems to better communicate our music preferences. Labels have traditionally played this role to some extent, but there’s room for innovation.

Lastly, while personal connections remain invaluable, the digital age demands better solutions. We need platforms where specificity and personalization become paramount, ensuring that every promo an artist sends is a potential hit, not just another email in an overflowing folder.


But I also have a list of websites that can provide help with promotion.

  1. SubmitHub: A platform where artists and labels can submit their music to bloggers, playlist curators, YouTubers, and even record labels. It’s an excellent way to get feedback and potentially get your music featured.
  2. RepostExchange: This platform allows SoundCloud users to trade reposts. It’s a way to expose your music to a new audience by leveraging other artists’ followers.
  3. DistroKid: While primarily a music distribution platform, DistroKid also offers promotional tools like ‘HyperFollow’ which helps artists to maximize their pre-save counts on platforms like Spotify.
  4. PlaylistPush: Designed for artists to pitch their music to Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer playlist curators.
  5. Hypeddit: Helps you grow your fanbase on platforms like SoundCloud, YouTube, Mixcloud, and more by trading likes, reposts, comments, and follows.
  6. Feature.fm: It lets artists get their music into streaming service playlists, and they also provide tools for pre-saves and other promotional campaigns.
  7. Groover: Similar to SubmitHub, Groover allows artists to send their tracks to a wide range of bloggers, record labels, radio stations, and playlist curators.
  8. Musosoup: Artists submit their tracks, and curators (bloggers, playlisters, etc.) can browse and select tracks they’re interested in featuring.
  9. Promo.ly: A music promo delivery system for artists, labels, and PR agencies to share their music to industry influencers.
  10. Echio: This is a place where you can follow artists, get workshops, pay for some feedback and more.



In conclusion, while the digital age has revolutionized music sharing, it’s also important to recognize its pitfalls. As we move forward, it’s crucial to find harmony between the old and new, ensuring that quality music doesn’t get lost in the digital shuffle.

Social Media for Musicians

I’d like to reiterate what many have been saying lately: social media for musicians can be a curse. Most people are aware that platforms like Facebook have become more controversial than ever before; Attack Magazine, for example, has written about how difficult it has been lately. I’ve been asked to comment on social media use for artists since many readers felt that I have been using these platforms “properly” (glad you think so by the way!), so let me share with you some of my views and observations on this topic.

For those of you who complain that it’s been difficult to build a following or audience on social media, it’s true that you’re up against a large number of other people who are trying to do the same thing. You’re basically fighting the whole wide world to be seen and heard. On top of that, people’s attention spans are limited, and being in the right place at the right time is challenging. Nils Frahm recently announced that he was deleting his artist page on Facebook and his online presence as well to be more present in the “real” world. It’s great that bigger artists can do this, but what about smaller artists? Is that doable?

I’ve been careful in coming up with my own theories, recipes, and routines that could make a difference with regards to how to approach social media. Things change quickly; what worked for years may at any time, fail. There are no consistent guarantees of anything.

This reminds me of an an old debate in the electronic music scene in which one side is represented by artists that want to play the “mysterious artist” card, and on the other, by artists who want to be visible everywhere. There are a number of people who’ve succeeded using both approaches and end up becoming an inspiration or norm for everyone trying to create a similar response. Is one approach better than the other? I honestly have no idea, but if you embrace either side, do it 100%.

What you want to do first as an artist is to figure out your initial “marketing” intentions: will you be low key, or accessible? The position you take has to be one that feels natural, and a good match with your personality and values. I’ve seen very social and outgoing people wanting to be mysterious, but then struggle in not being able to connect with people who want to get in touch. Honestly, with the way Facebook is running its algorithms, we’re all back to square one anyways and have fallen – without our consent – into the position of becoming more low key than ever. Just before writing this post, I spent a good hour on Facebook to see if any news from artists I follow would pop in my feed; no artists or labels I follow showed up. I needed to make a change in my following options to “put first” on music pages in order to get any news at all. So in a way, what’s the point?

The only platforms where I was actually fed some news from artists I follow automatically were Soundcloud, Spotify and Instagram.

Following an artist’s personal page on Facebook is a bit more useful; I see information as it’s posted. I’m just confused sometimes as to why people post a constant flux of self-promotional content – this is exactly why I will unfollow them. When someone is complaining that his or her online presence isn’t generating any traction, I often have the impression that there might be some online etiquette that hasn’t been respected and the person’s online behaviour might be characterized as annoying by other people.

Before social media, promoting your music was more confusing, but there were things you could still do. That said, it wasn’t easier than today (trust me), and the idea of reaching out the world was very daunting. Even still, there were ethics regarding promotion even back then; these rules seems still seem applicable to social media today. Here are a few pieces of advice about promoting yourself based on some of those rules:

Start small and go where it resonates. I frequently see people asking friends to listen to their music and then feel resentment because there’s no interest. The question is, why would friends bother? I know this sounds harsh but it’s true. It’s not because you make music that you’re entitled to attention. Making music is easier than ever, and many people are also DJing now. Even though this is good and can help artists meet many other producers, it still doesn’t make an artist special. Is that depressing to you? If yes, you’re in for a lot of frustration. Starting small is the best thing you can do. Back in the 90s, making a tape as a demo was a big deal and I’d make copies for friends who’d ask; no more. The great thing about tapes was that people would play them in their homes and cars. Other people would hear the tape and ask how they could get a copy for themselves. Things would flow organically to the right ears, and the people who would come to you would be the people you’d want to invest in; the same thing still applies today. Social media is an illusion that you can grow fast and with random people, but in reality the percentage of people that will really engage with you is still extremely small; your organic reach. Once in a while you’ll see someone do something brilliant and it will go viral, but this is usually the result of being in the right place at the right time. “Going viral” is similar to writing a hit song, as I explained in a past post. You can’t really control or predict hits, but if you focus on immediate, interested people, they might relay it to others, increasing your chances of success.

Social media is a distraction. If you spend a lot of time on social media to try to make an impact on your career, I’d encourage you to spend more time on Youtube instead, learning music production techniques. “Yeah, but that’s not going to get me bookings”, I hear you say. Of course it won’t, but maybe you need to focus on your craft first, and once it’s easy to sell, the bookings might be automatic. I’ve been working in one-on-one coaching with people, and we’ve been focusing and really nailing down all the important things one person needs to have top performances and solid productions. Afterwards, I often hear people say “I feel embarrassed I spent so much time wanting attention when I wasn’t ready for it at all.”

Forget people who are close with you as being reliable sources of support and understanding. This one was hard for me, but once I understood it, I felt way more at peace with my life. What this means to me is that I don’t ask people for anything. I don’t force-feed anyone about what I do, and I’m never pushy either. I tell people what I do, and if I have a gig, I’ll mention it. One thing I’ve learned over time is that most of the people who say they’ll come to see me play rarely do, and that the ones who show up are usually random people I don’t expect. Same goes for feedback about music I make that I share with my loved ones. I honestly appreciate their feedback, but also take it with a grain of salt.

Over the years, I’ve realized that what really made sense for me was to build a small circle of 5 reliable people. Not just for feedback but also for action. There are other people who could help but they are slow to reply or just ghost on me. I have no time or energy for these folks unfortunately. I focus on people who focus on me, and we all grow and get results, together.

Is there reliable advice then regarding how an artist should use social media?

Yes and no. I would say that maintaining a social media presence is important, but without making it an obsession or attaching too much importance to the numbers behind it. Yes, labels and promoters look at social media numbers and interactions, which could make a difference. But most people are looking for content, integrity, and originality. This is why I think Instagram and Soundcloud are important; they’re mostly to connect with others who share the same passion as opposed to trying to market to random people that you have some “unique talent”. Appreciation for your work will come from the music you put out, and if done right and with patience, your music will create its own results.

SEE ALSO : Choosing a genre for your music

Tips for getting your music heard

After the reactions to my compilation of tips for music production, I’ve been asked to provide some advice on getting your music heard, and potentially getting it signed to a label. When you make music, one of the first things you crave is for the whole world to hear your work, to connect with others through your creation and also implicitly as a need for validation. Many times people feel the urge to share their music (eh, I do too!), especially if the session was good. But if you sit on your work and wait, you’ll understand that this desire can be addressed differently.

Let’s approach your desire to get traction for your work by handling two things: your need for validation, and understanding how listeners pick their music. You need to understand both to be able to have a strategy going forward.

Firstly, let’s cover the validation aspect of your work.

Let it age

My first rule when I’m 90% done with a song, is to let it age for a few weeks. This is extremely important to make sure you haven’t fallen in what I call, a disconnected bubble of love with your song. When you fall in love with one of your songs, you have no distance or second perspective of it. You have some sort of unconditional love for your own work, meaning that your analytic self has been turned off and may not be able to spot technical flaws or irrelevant aspects of the song itself. Letting a song age for a few weeks will really disconnect you from that bubble and provide you with enough distance to approach it analytically. Ideally, you want to wait until a point where you forgot about the particular song in question.

My tip is to bounce the track and put it in a folder that has a date on it. I will also give myself a reminder on my phone to listen to in the future. I also will listen to it in a different context of my studio—a car ride could be excellent—or if possible, listening to it in presence of someone else can really help. You’ll want to observe that person’s reaction, not his or her feedback. You have no idea how listening to something in presence of a friend can really make you see things differently.

Consider validation from your circle of trusted friends

Do you have a circle of connections yet? This took me quite a while to establish, but once I had one, it was a great alternative for validation as opposed to posting my music publicly online (and avoid shaming myself!). Basically, your circle should be a mixture of friends, DJs, producers, “fans”, and music lovers. You don’t need the best DJs out there, just people who play often because they have the ear for what they love, what works, what and what doesn’t; they will tell you if your track fits with what’s going on. The producers will give you feedback on technical details while fans/music lovers will simply let you know if they love it or not. Fans and music lovers are probably the least useful in terms of critical feedback, but they’re actually very importan to test the “love at first listen” aspect of your work. My circle has about five people and one of my main criteria in deciding who should be in my circle was to find reliable people who can be honest, but who are also very responsive. I can’t be sending music to people who won’t respond if they don’t like it or just disappear.

I usually start sending my music to the circle once I’ve listened to it again after some time off and feel that the song has aged well. But sometimes what’s interesting is that music you end up doubting can be really appreciated from people who listen to it for the first time. This could mean your track is a keeper.

Unveiling your music publicly

One of the the most desired results producers seek for their music is to be heard, and get a lot of listens and likes online. Sadly there’s so much stuff happening in music-making that you can get lost in that desire. “But no one seems to care or will listen to my song!”, I often read/hear.

The real question is, “why would they?”

I know it seems harsh to be so blunt, but this is an important point that if you can answer, then you’ll get precise feedback regarding what you do wrong. Most of the time, what’s wrong is to build up your expectations, thinking that because you have a song that is great and maybe sounds like popular songs out there, that people should be all over it. Sadly, no, this is not the case. Maybe people are hearing your work as a cheap copy? Maybe they’re craving something else entirely?

Secondly, it’s important to be aware of how people are selecting their music. Listeners usually face different challenges in browsing for new music or for anything new in general. They usually want a bit of the “same old, same old”, as well new ideas. Generally, in looking for new music:

1- They’re looking for an emotional connection. If you need some pep for cleaning, or supporting music for coding, for example, chances are they’ll most probably dig into something they’ve already saved.

2- They’ll follow people they trust. We all have one friend who can make good recommendations. These people invest a considerable amount of time getting out of their usual routine to find new music, will read blogs and magazines to hear about trends, and will check out recommendations on Spotify (or an equivalent service). These are the people you want to reach first with your own music.

So, how do you reach out exactly?
The answer is simple: by being present.

As I’ve explained before, here are some important tips that will make a huge difference in poking through the noise.

1- Pick the moment when you’ll post your music. There are moments where people might be more suitable to discover music. Usually people do that on their downtime, meaning that releasing it in the end of the afternoon could be a good spot otherwise, in the evening.

2- Share a snippet to start with. Don’t share it all, especially if you want it to get signed. Labels hate music that has been spoiled.

3- Add pleasant looking artwork. Many people overlook this, but having artwork can influence people to click and listen.

4- Be extremely active on Soundcloud by leaving comments on similar music. Each time you leave a comment, people see you being active and if you’re pretty busy, they might want to check your profile. Don’t be a beggar asking for attention, be active and generous in your feedback. Your followers will see that and appreciate plus new artists might want to have you as a follower.

5- Always observe the golden rule: never ask anyone to leave feedback.

6- Observe people that often leave comments on music you like, then contact them in private. You can befriend anyone who often re-posts music or leaves comments. They’re the ones who are followed and will make your song look like it got listened to.

7- Anytime you contact someone, be personal in your message and simply invite the person to have a listen, but never ask for anything in return. Contacting people by private message is a great way to get traction. But be polite, courteous, and make sure it doesn’t look like you used a template. Don’t ask anything as people already know the drill.

8- Try to have some of your circle listen and have feedback. Hopefully your friends like it and will support it.

9- Promote other people’s music. Again, this is important. Why would people support you if you don’t support anyone it in the first place?

10- Use tags. Don’t be afraid to use them, because they’re important for anyone looking for music.

SEE ALSO : Reverb tips and tricks

Getting feedback on your music

This is a more a personal, editorial blog post about music feedback which I’ve been wanting to write for a while now. All year – mainly through our community we are building on Facebook – people have been posting their tracks to receive feedback and validation about their work. It can be intimidating to share something in the group and to have people comment on it. I can relate, as I don’t really share music publicly unless it’s been signed, or if I feel I have something strong to share. Soon I’ll share some details with you about group coaching, which I’ve been testing over the last month and will help people to receive more feedback. That said, one of the things that strikes me most is that many people feel a bit lost when seeking feedback or validation about their music.

In art, the need for validation is huge, and given the state of music nowadays, we have very few places to receive valuable feedback. People try and try to make music and can get lost in it, sometimes losing sight of their main motivation that drew them to making music in the first place.

If someone asked me, “where do you get feedback?”, I wouldn’t really have an easy answer. But in general, I can describe where many people find constructive feedback about their music.

From established artists

PRO: Other artists are probably the most reliable source for good feedback. If the artist finds the time to listen and you like what he/she does, then the returned feedback is pretty solid. The great thing is that if an artist likes it, then your music could end up in a DJ set, podcast or his collection. Other artists usually have nothing to gain from you except a possible friendship if they like you and your music, so the chances that they’re true to their word are good.

CON: Getting an artist’s full attention. Giving too much credibility to an artist can distract you from your initial path.

Difficulty level: Hard. Artists are often in demand, contacted by random people who try to charm them to ask something in return

Online magazines

PRO: If you make a podcast and an online magazine or blog would like to publish it, it can indeed be great validation that you’re on the right path. If you get reviews for an EP/LP, it also exposes you to many people who visit the site which brings attention, with hopefully some good words.

CON: Some of the bigger magazine give reviews if you bought advertisement with them. Often I see people who write reviews who aren’t musicians themselves, and get blown away by very simplistic music, while brushing off music that might be more complex. Sadly, I feel many writers have lost the credibility they once had as a result of their interest in money.

Difficulty level: Extremely difficult, and potentially biased. If you buy advertisement to a site, they usually will give you attention. Some people even buy “space” on a site to make sure they get reviews.


PRO: Touring is certainly the most validating experience if you play at the right places, in the right time slots, and see first-hand how people react to your music. It can be a very important insight into how to build your music in order to have better reactions on the dance floor. If you can play locally, you can also network with people which can help create a stronger following.

CON: The downfall is how much you have to put to make this happen, and how the work conditions when you tour can be harmful both mentally and physically. Getting local gigs is a bit less stressful and way less complicated.

Difficulty level: Medium or hard, depending of your networking skills.


PRO: For many, this seems to be the ultimate validation. Being signed by a label could mean that you’re officially part of the crew, that you. To see your name among artists you respect certainly brings some excitement and validation to your music.

CON: Is being part of the crew enough to validate your music? What if you made it there but your release is commercially a flop? Is releasing the validation or was the answer from the market the real response? These are all difficult questions.

Difficulty level: Very high. Many artists contact labels, and being noticed among the noise is difficult. Picking the right people is a complex process. Sometimes an artist fits on a label, but the technique doesn’t, or the direction of the proposed songs is not right. One of the most confusing thing is when a label decides to follow trends, which are ephemeral, or to release an artist because he/she is considered hot at the moment. That can compromise the credibility of the label and blur the validity that you initially got.

There were talks this year where people were saying that online vinyl shops giving multiple P&D to multiple, unknown artists, are slowly confusing and overflowing the market with music of debatable quality. Many people chase labels that sell because they know if they can get in the charts, they’ll get attention and bookings, certainly a good thing. But it doesn’t necessarily validate what you do. An amazing release in the hands of a label who doesn’t take the time to promote will not sell as well as it should.

But let’s face it, there are other ways to get validation about your music that are totally easy and might be just as productive as any of the classic ways:

  • Soundcloud: If you develop quality connections with people online, who you know comment on the music you love, they often provide you with meaningful comments. Personally, I have a tight circle of about 5 people I will send my music to right away to hear what they’ll say. I’m always more excited to hear from them than a potential label wanting to release me.
  • Local DJs: These are people who can test your music in context and show you what’s happening. You need to flex your social skills for this to work, but these people are extremely valuable.
  • Music fans: If you go out to events, you might meet some of those people who aren’t DJs but who know all the DJs and constantly post music on their Facebook page. These people are a gold mine for feedback. They won’t be technical but they’ll be telling you up front if they like your music or not. You always want them as supporters because they’ll be talking about you which is better than doing self-promotion.
  • Our Facebook group! I created a group of individuals who wish to improve their skills. You can join if you want 🙂

I hope this helps!

 SEE ALSO :  Is sampling wrong? 

Not getting booked for shows? Try this.

If there’s one thing that haunts all artists, it’s entering a phase where you’re not getting booked for shows, or not getting any attention in general. Perhaps you were enjoying a phase of being booked frequently that’s now coming to an end, or perhaps the music ecosystem is changing and you might be out of tune with what’s currently demand.

Not getting booked can actually be a good thing.

When I come into a period where bookings start slowing down (or requests to work with me), I think of this new phase as a sort of “hibernation”; it’s a time to focus on other things that are important for the next time I start getting booked again to re-create upward momentum. Getting booked regularly is sort of like a wave you can surf for a while, but it can end, and you should take a moment to question why the ecosystem isn’t supporting you anymore. Perhaps it needs to be re-energized, or perhaps it’s time to change waves.

Even if your wave fades out, you can still rebuild your momentum.

“Momentum is when you manage to get a certain amount of people to talk about something you created enough to generate a certain level of enthusiasm that reaches other people out of your circle of contacts, organically.”

For instance, you might publish a song on Soundcloud and have a certain number of people who comment, like, repost but you didn’t ask for it. You can view this as the beginning of a wave. The number one mistake people make that hurts their momentum is release a track out of the blue and expect people to listen to and engage with it without any additional preparation or planning; doing this will make you bitter and frustrated.

To remain humble and grounded, let me offer you a few rules I’ve applied throughout my musical life:

  1. You are in no way entitled to have people listening to and liking your music.
  2. It’s not because a track is published online that it will sell, get success, or get attention.
  3. You are work in progress. Your next one will be better.

Through the experience of running my label Archipel for years, as well as other projects, I noticed that what created momentum was the usually initiated through a few diverse actions. The more imaginative you are, the better the results will be. Some of these actions include:

  • Having a really cool picture of yourself online. Artwork is also cool.
  • Uploading a video to Youtube.
  • Sharing positive news regarding something that is not related to yourself.
  • Contributing to someone else’s success.
  • Hanging out with friends and sharing it on social media. Bonus points if you did something fun that people do want to hear about.

Some basic marketing rules also apply here. Apparently, if people see three things you’ve done, it will imprint an impression on their memory. Sharing something positive will leave a better impression. Another general rule is that people enjoy useful information. Helping others or being part of something always strikes a chord in people. Being selfless in most of your online posts vs self-promotion is a critical tone you want to hit on. If you’re constantly posting things that are egotistically and promoting “your brand”, no one will pay attention.

Let’s create a plan that uses all these points in a hypothetical scenario to promote a song you’re releasing. In this hypothetical situation, we will try to create momentum online to have people come and listen to the track. Our goal for this is to get more online followers, widen up your network, and hopefully get a bit of attention from labels and some DJs who might play it out.

Scenario: Release a track on Soundcloud; we’ll take two weeks to build up momentum but the more time you take, the better.

First, try to visualize a number of plays you’d like based on a model track you like. Find a producer you like who produces music similar to you and have roughly equal or a bit more followers than you do. The main mistake people make is to try to replicate plays of far more popular musicians. Let’s say your track has 140 plays, 3 reposts and 14 likes.

A relatively successful track is identified by the number of likes vs the number of plays. I would say that 10% ratio is very good already, but if you make it up to 15 pr 20%, then I’d say the track was a success. The trick to get your ratio in the right zone is to have interested people to listen. If you’re marketing to too many random people that aren’t your target listeners, you’ll end up with many plays, but few likes; this is why reposts are important.

Do not pay for followers and plays. It will make you look really, really unprofessional.

Now that you know all these details, let’s try to create momentum for the self-release:

  • Spend an hour a day on Soundcloud building up your network. People won’t follow out of nowhere. The need a reason to and usually they’re in the same boat as you: they want to connect with people who make music and also need attention. Find music you love, follow as many artists who share the same tastes as you and leave positive comments on their music if you like it. Repost music you really like, reply to comments people address to you. The more you’re present, engaged, active and cultivate good tastes, the more people you’ll attract online. People often feel staying on top of social media like this demanding, but remember that you only reap what you sow.
  • Clean up your social media accounts. For many artists, this is a chore they hate but it’s a necessary evil if you aspire to create momentum online. You need a specific look and feel; i.e having a solid picture of yourself, no posts that make you look unprofessional, etc. Keep it simple and solid, look at the profiles of other artists to get ideas or ask for help from a friend who’s good with social media.
  • Link your Twitter with Soundcloud using IFTT. This will make sure that when you post a new track or like one, a Tweet will be sent. This is a good way to make sure people are aware you are active.
  • Connect with groups on Facebook and connect with others. Contacting someone doesn’t mean sending a none sense message out of the blue saying “bro, check my Soundcloud”, but trying to befriend them. The best promotion is when others promote your music for you but to do that, you need their collaboration and support. That comes over time with social investment.
  • As the release date arrives, be socially active and focus on helping others. The more you focus on others, the better it will be when you need their support. No one has to help you, but it’s more likely they will feel like it if you show interest in what they do, too. This is what I was saying earlier, share other people’s music, or any related news to show interest and that you truly like in them.
  • Prepare a video on Youtube. There’s are multiple free resources out there to do this. Just make one. It can be a full version of the track or not. You can contact Youtubers that share a lot of music to see if they want to premiere it.
  • Have good artwork for your release done. You can check on Fiverr for some help or maybe ask a friend who’s willing.
  • Get the track mastered or checked.
  • Share it with DJs so they can play it in podcasts. Best case scenario, a podcast goes online premiering your track the day before or day it’s released. Perhaps you can delay the date if necessary to work with a podcast creator. If you feel like you can do a podcast yourself with a good series, that can help.

As the release date approaches, have some online presence about 3-4 times a day on different channels. You can post in groups (but not shamelessly about yourself!), share things, comment. Be active. When you want to release the track, you need to get it out in a huge blast.

It’s your time to shine, make it right! Cover all your channels and talk about your release, but stay as humble as possible. When you post it, don’t have a tone that gives the impression that you expect something from someone, but instead that you’re simply happy you finished the track and want to share it.

Releasing music during the beginning of the week at a moment when people can actually listen is a good strategy.

Post-mortem comes usually a week after. Look at your stats and see what worked and didn’t work.

I hope this helps!


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Guide to shameless self-promotion

Let’s face it, self-promotion is certainly one of the most loved & hated topics musicians face on a daily basis. I mean, you make music, it’s hard to repress that inner compulsion of wanting to share your work to the world right? Finishing music and releasing your hard work to the world feels amazing. Receiving constructive feedback from people you respect will also help unlock obstacles that make us reach the level of production we aim for. But we have to get it out for others to hear right? This post will help you be being your guide to shameless self-promotion.

Many people see self-promotion as something they need to do, which can make it feel like a painful obligation.

Music is a very strong, and personal form of expression. As artists we want to know if our message is understood and appreciated by others. In a way it’s self validating. Proper self-promotion is always about how to do it in a way that is truly authentic, and not make us look like something we are not. Now that we understand this – there are a few facts we need to check in order to make our self promotion efforts work for us. I’m not talking about going viral on social media, but specifically your daily efforts on social media as a way to leverage our network, and create something useful.

The minute you understand that it’s not an obligation but more of a catalyst to get things done, the dynamic will automatically change. This is a process called reframing your train of thoughts.

If you share your music with the intent and idea that you’re trying to unite, bond and communicate something personal, a huge chunk of guilt be removed from the idea of self promotion.  Giving up on hustling sales and popularity will create a positive pivot in your career. We need to stop seeing the act of sharing music as a way to be seen, heard, known. 

I’ve been reading a really helpful book named “Designing your life” which approaches what you want out of life through the mind of a designer. The point of the book is – to become who you want, to have the life you want, you first need to self reflect, and ask yourself what is going on to pinpoint what issue you’d like to fix. In our case, our target here is to build a healthy and strong network.

Over the past weeks, I’ve come across a few articles that state the importance of your surroundings and contacts to achieve the level of success you want. One of the main reason I am where I am right now was that I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing people helping me along the way. Behind every success story, there’s often a dedicated team working in the shadows of that success. One of the ways to keep riding high is to constantly share your wins with your tribe, and go out of your way to make sure everyone in your tribe is appreciated and part of your success.

How to build and design your music life comes with at least 4 important teamsters:

  • The feedback. That guy has the culture of the music you’re making and loves the music you also love. Therefore, his input means something as long as he’s being honest, of course.
  • The knowledge. This member is someone who has technical knowledge you don’t have and can be answering critical questions in time you need it.
  • The creative. This person feels the trends, surfs the ideas better than no one. He can propose ideas that are unusual but that can be leading you to something. See this person as a muse.
  • The propaganda. If you are shaky with social medias, let this person rave about your music while you can post about other things. This person becomes the validator and that is useful for your success.

Finding your team takes years and can also be shifting over time. But you need to connect with others and build your network to find the gems.

Ok, so how can we apply that in practice? How do we get started from scratch?

  1. Don’t ask without giving first. I’ve made this #1 because this is often misunderstood. For instance, I often get emails from people giving me lot’s of compliments about my music, and quickly send me a follow up  email asking me to listen to their music and provide feedback. There’s nothing wrong with asking for feedback, but it doing so out of nowhere makes me question the integrity of their compliments in the first place. It takes a lot of time to gain someone’s attention and trust. Involving yourself with someone is an investment, and building a genuine relationship takes time and often cannot be made overnight.
    1. For networking, try: approaching and following people at your skill or experience level. You can and will grow with them. Leave feedback and appreciation on their music whenever there’s something you enjoy. Do not ask for anything in return.
    2. For social media, especially Twitter or Facebook – share the music you are really into right now, especially from artists that aren’t well known. People love discovering new artists, and if YOU are that artist and find someone spreading praise for you the feeling will be an amazing one.
  2. Be a supporter. You probably saw that video of the guy dancing in a festival in a super weird way, someone with a huge crowd following him comes to join the dancer, and just like that the party goes off.  The second guy joining is crucial, he is the social influencer, the supporter. In the same vein as the previous point, you can be that guy by being the first one who leaves comments on Soundcloud and proposes to play people’s music in a podcast (if you’re a DJ).
    1. For networking, try: Going to shows to meet people. The in-person contact never fails. If your contacts are abroad, try engaging conversation through messaging.
    2. For social medias, try: Offering your help to labels, in any way possible. This is an important way to be part of something. You have no idea how difficult it is to run a small label, so any help can be useful and appreciated. Look at what you are good at and see if you can help. Perhaps you can help with the blog, graphic design, website, PR, etc… If it’s a small organization at least one part of the label might need a hand. Then on your social medias, you can support and champion the label, which will bring many unsuspected contacts.
  3. Curiosity pays off. People think that approaching and forging relationships with fellow music producers involves talking about music. I’ve known artists that refused to forge any kind of contacts with people who initially approached them for music related reasons. They wanted to spend time with the person first to see if there was true chemistry. I believe many artists (to some degree) are social weirdos who often lack a variety of social skills. Being patient and curious will be essential in the way you engage with him/her, to make sure that person feels comfortable talking with you.
    1. For networking, try: reading articles, start conversations, think of how someone approached you in a way that made you feel great. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just music-related. Apply this to others.
    2. For social medias, try: Share information about your own interests. People in general hate self-promotion if it’s constant but if it’s something that is either useful or occasional, it will be seen positively. So, if your feed is self-centred it’s going to be annoying for your contacts. I’ve seen some artists spend a lot of their time sharing their passion for traveling, food, clothing, cars or memes… We all know you like other things than music and if you can share what it is you’ll attract minds alike which can become supporters of your music, later on.
  4. Consistency is crucial. Not only for yourself but in others. Successful people have no tolerance for others who are inconsistent, unreliable. If you’re going to connect with someone, be there and always come back. I’ve built some solid contacts with some people who have been always sending me messages and be there for me. They won me over and now I love working with them.

In closing – within the book I was relating to, there is talk about creating a prototype to know which method of promotion feels and works best for you. To get comfortable communicating, sharing, showing your personal side,  you need a lot of practise to get into a groove. Building your network takes time. But once you found your way to work, you know you have a formula you can repeat and always feel good about.

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