Given the unpredictable patterns and ever-evolving nature of social media algorithms, many independent artists are struggling with their reach and visibility, while putting in efforts to consistently market their music on online platforms. This very struggle is not unfamiliar even to more established independent acts with verified Instagram accounts. We don’t mean to neglect the numerous ways in which social media has revolutionised how independent musicians grow in fame and following, but it’s evident that offline marketing campaigns rarely cross the minds of musicians today. We think it’s time for that to change.
There’s a wholesome and personal touch associated with offline methods of sharing your music and interacting with your listeners. The feedback is usually authentic and immediate. Here are 6 offline music marketing methods you should consider trying.
- Approaching local cafes/bars to add your song to their playlists
When listening to the music played on the speakers of a cafe, you may have thought that your song would definitely be a match for the ambience of the place. Don’t hesitate to approach the cafe manager, and ask if they’d be willing to add your song to their playlist. It’s possible that their other customers may discover your music after listening to your playlisted song. A genial relationship with the cafe manager can be a gateway to other opportunities for your music.
- Perform live
There’s a setting for artists of every level to perform live, ranging from open mics to booked gigs. Performing live is an intimate medium for the upcoming indie act to share their music with a local crowd and build up a fan-base. Those who enjoy the live renditions of your music are likely to catch you at subsequent performances. The relationships you form with different organisers and venue managers allow for promising opportunities in the future.
Know of a place where those who listen to indie music hang out often? Get creative and put up some DIY posters of your music (with respective permission) with the QR Code links to stream your music and follow you on your socials. Make sure the graphics and visuals you use reflect who you are as an artist and resemble the style of your music.
- Word of Mouth
Lately, your friends and family members’ Instagram stories sharing your music may not be cutting it in when it comes to increasing your listeners. Asking your treasured family members, friends and colleagues to share their favourite songs of yours in their social circles may just be the boost that helps you grow a local fanbase. If you’re open to the idea, you can ask them to play your music during suitable events and gatherings, hopefully striking up conversations about your artistry.
- Networking at Music Events
No matter how small and tight the indie scene may be in your location, there’ll almost always be a new face to meet at a music event. You can introduce yourself as a musician and exchange contact information to people you meet at gigs; event organisers may be scouting for talents to book. Befriending other musicians can lead to collaborations on projects, as well as mutual learning.
- Meet and Greet Events (for artists with a larger fanbase)
Most listeners adore the idea of seeing their favourite musicians as the humans that they are, when exposed to only a fabricated snippet of their lives on social media. If you’re playing a live show and are comfortable with meeting your listeners, you can arrange for a post-gig meet and greet session in which you can interact with those who appreciate your music, where your personal boundaries are respected. A photobooth, merchandise, and autograph signings can be incorporated if preferred.