I have been recently engaging on a campaign of “relentless” self-promotion.
I don’t believe that it is something that comes naturally to most musicians (most of us are not business people or business majors obviously) and this is likely why a lot of us fail.
Who hasn’t cringed when they have opened an unsolicited email from some random musician on myspace who says something like, “if you like The Killers, you will looooooove my music!”
There’s gotta be a better way to do it. I’m not sure how, but I have started (quietly) promoting my music mostly online.
Here are some sites that you can use for music promotion:
This site has a lot of features so you are able to control the music and artist information, even able to link your twitter feed to your page. Also, it is pretty fun to use. I haven’t yet interacted much with the “groups” or community features.
Although CDBaby hasn’t been running as smoothly as when Derek Sivers ran the place, it is still a great way to have low cost digital distribution ($35 to sign up). My name and CD is all over the internet now, which is pretty impressive. Even if no one sees it! However, their customer service has been terrible lately.
Twitter is a great way to tell everyone anything instantaneously (as long as you can fit it within the character limit). Also, you can link your twitter feed to many different sites, so it is very convenient. Some people sound really crazy when you read their twitter feed though. I may be one of them.
Myspace is not the social networking hub it once was. The trashy in-your-face ads took away any desire I’ve had to visit the site, so I visit infrequently. It is still a good place to list your other links in case someone happens to stumble on your page. However, it seems some musicians have had success on myspace.
Facebook is a cleaner, less glitchy, more private website to use. It is now more popular than myspace. I have recently created my Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Nishihira/235144706238?v=info
I am not sure what the success rate is for fan pages via Facebook, as many less tech savvy people can get confused by all the tabs and boxes.
I haven’t tried any sort of promoting on youtube yet, mostly because of the lengthy amount of time that it would take for me to make music videos and upload them to the site. For anyone with the time and ambition, it would be a great place to promote your music. I intend to do so in the future.
Amazon has a new feature called “artist central” where you can create a page and upload mp3s and they will link it to your album (my album was already linked as CDbaby had distributed it to Amazon already). It doesn’t seem to give you the kind of control that other sites like last.fm provide, but this service is still in the beta stage.
I am not sure how well music is promoted via iLike, as it has not really done much for me. They did have this thing where they would make your music into an iPhone app, which sounded cool, but I don’t have an iPhone.
If anyone has any other suggestions of good promotional sites, please let me know!