Last updated on May 18th, 2023
As we’ve said time and time again, we at Muze are dedicated to the goal of putting you in touch with as many fellow musicians/music industry personalities as you see fit. There is no shortage of options for bandmates, engineers, sound techs, etc. whose prospective roles in your future we invite you to explore at will. It all starts somewhere, and we’re grateful to have you here starting your musical journey with us at your side.
Having said that, the music industry of today demands rigorous stamina and the ability to adapt to ever-evolving circumstances. It’s not as easy as it once was, which is why the majority who choose a path in music end up not following through with their original plans. But if you’re the type who stops at nothing to achieve those dreams, then you can look forward to an exciting future. If you understand the terms and conditions of this life as it unfolds before you, all of that colossal change can be for the better.
Now, as much as we can sit here and discuss the nature of what we’re calling “the goal” or “the end result,” that’s still a rather distant reality whose exact features we really can’t discern right now. All the same, change is inherent in the journey as well, so let’s take a look at that stretch of years between this very moment and the alluring mental portrait of yourself standing before 20,000 screaming fans with a guitar in hand. What currently defines the nature of change, and how do we adapt to it? My point in all of this is to relay the idea that there are multiple different tools available to showcase your art and your brand; tools that weren’t always around.
Here’s a list of tactful ways you can market your music in the modern day aside from just recording, releasing, and performing it.
Hop On A Podcast!
It’s 2022. I’m not sure if you knew this or not, but EVERYBODY listens to podcasts, and most have a favorite podcast (unless you’re a devout Howard Stern fan like me). Despite the fact that we are indeed in the age of rapidly diminishing attention spans, people can’t seem to get enough of extensive dialogue on various topics or interviews with interesting individuals. Ergo, you should become one of those interesting individuals!
Really, it’s not as hard as it sounds. You’ll want to have written some music/established some form of activity within your band or personal musical project (so you have something to talk about), but there are more aspiring podcasters out there than you can count who won’t say no to anybody asking to be on their program. I have appeared on a few over the past few years simply by sending an Instagram message and asking if the host might be interested in having me. Most podcasters are continuously trying to grow their brand just like you, so anybody who might be willing to contribute to it and might attract new listeners is an asset to them.
I started my own back in 2020, ‘The Devil You Know’, and have featured several musicians who spoke with me about their life behind the mic, and one of them even synced up his guitar and sang a few original tracks (Keaton Simons), which was a nice garnishment to a really wholesome conversation that I very much enjoyed. If you don’t know any podcasters, ask around. Talk to people you meet on Muze. You won’t have to look very far.
Get Featured in a Local Magazine or Newspaper
Okay, so there are actually a few benefits to extract from this one. First off, if you manage to land a short interview in a local magazine or newspaper, you’ll have a shiny new credential to attach to your EPK or plaster on your website’s home page. Something like, “Johnny Six-String’s smashing new single sounds like Pink Floyd added an orchestral artillery of electronic sound to ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and re-released it under a new moniker! It’s simply the greatest thing we’ve ever heard!” isn’t the worst thing you could add to your resume.
It doesn’t have to be that outrageously flattering (nor is it likely to be). A simple quote you can use that shows even the slightest bit of reverence toward your music is more useful than you know. It doesn’t have to be from American Songwriter or Rolling Stone. People will mostly see that somebody in the press took the time to listen to your music and admire it, which shows credibility and worth on your part.
Otherwise, landing even a small cameo in a publication is a good thing to do because someone somewhere who has never heard of you before is going to finally hear about you. Plus, you’ll get a better idea of how to perform an interview, why it’s important to create buzz for your project, and what it really means to tactfully utilize someone else’s voice when marketing your own music/brand.
For the record – I for one am ALWAYS looking to interview my friends and other artists around town for the articles I write here at Muze and elsewhere, so there are indeed opportunities out there.
Start a YouTube Series
So this one’s especially cool because, unlike with someone else’s podcast or news article, you have control of whatever material gets published with your own YouTube video diary. With a crash course in video editing from someone you may know who’s savvy with cameras/video software, you can have your channel up and running in no time. What a YouTube series offers artists is the ability to showcase their personal life in an interesting way that keeps their fans consistently engaged throughout that time in between shows or notable single/album releases.
I know several musicians here in Nashville who document their day-to-day activities in a sort of “VH1 Behind the Music” fashion that incorporates their jobs, their friendships, their hobbies/any concerts they attend, and anything directly associated with their music or personal lives that they can give people an inside look at. It’s also an awesome way to document your travels if you ever go on tour.
One of my dear friends here in town, Karly Driftwood, updates her YouTube channel weekly with videos like these. She did a tour diary series for when she went on the road, filmed different interactions she had with customers when she worked the reception counter at a strip club (these bits were absolutely hilarious), and set an overall great example of how to strategically incorporate a YouTube series into one’s music career.
Start a Blog
If you’re less the visual type and more the “pour my heart out into words” type, then it might be worth starting a blog to chronicle your day-to-day life. You can post pictures, share updates on any new songs you might be writing, provide in-depth explanations to ones you’ve already written/released, and keep people engaged the same as you would on any other social platform.
A blog, however, is more regimented in its scheduled installments (ideally) and allows the author to really juice up his or her profile and posts with extensive dialogue that people look forward to reading. Blogs have been around for a while now, so it’s really not a new enterprise that musicians haven’t explored before, but there’s plenty to be said about things that have existed for years but have yet to become obsolete.
Live Stream a Personal Concert
One of the benefits of social media is that you really don’t have to wait to get booked to play a gig. Just as some authors self-publish, you can self-book (no pun intended) from time to time. Instagram, Facebook, and multiple other platforms allow you to live stream whenever and wherever you’d like, so why not utilize that kind of technology to put on a virtual concert? Who says you need a stage after all? Of course, you’re not going to live stream every single show you ever perform from home, but here and there, it’s actually a great way to communicate with your audience and remind them that you’re still here and you’re still looking to jam.
A couple of different times, I live streamed a jam session from my room, took requests via comments people were leaving, and attached my Venmo name in the caption so viewers could send tips. So not only is it fun and engaging – there’s monetary value to it too. And for the record, I actually made a pretty penny both times I live streamed, so if your knee-jerk reaction is to say to yourself, “That’s silly. That’s just for people who nobody wants to book on an actual stage,” then maybe take a second look at how this could potentially serve you.