by India McCarty
Promoting your music seems simple enough; put out a song, post about it online and wait for the world to come knocking down your door. Well, that’s the dream scenario, but in real life, there’s a lot of work that goes into promotion. Before your project comes out, you should be laying out the groundwork so that you can get the word out about your music in the most efficient way possible.

First, try to figure out what your story is and tell it. I know what you’re thinking: you already told your story in this new music! But there’s always another side to every story, so tell that one. What inspired you to write this song, to switch from guitar to piano, to feature another artist on your track? Did you take a road trip across the country and write about the things you saw? Did you record a track in your childhood bedroom? Find the interesting things about your process and share them with people.

Make sure your bio and a press release are up to date and ready to go. It’s really important that you have this done before your music gets released. Websites and local papers usually plan feature stories or promotions months in advance, so you need to be ready to pitch now. Some things you should include in your press release: an announcement of your release, a link to where the music can be streamed, your short artist bio and your contact information.

Now that you’ve got your bio and press release all ready to go, you need to decide who to send it to. Put together a list of radio stations, blogs, websites, playlist curators and local papers. If you already have ties to some media outlets, use them. So much of the music industry is built on real, human connections, so make sure to get some face-to-face time if you can. Give yourself plenty of time to start pitching your music and for the inevitable follow-up-email routine. Also, response times can vary, so don’t put this off!

This one might sound obvious, but make sure everything is updated. That includes your website, your social media accounts, your mailing list, your Spotify and Apple Music pages, and anything else you can think of. You don’t want to be scrambling to make sure everything is in order on release day!

Promoting music takes a lot of work and forethought. There’s a lot to do before you even really get started with the promotion, so don’t leave anything until the last minute! Ultimately, your music will speak for itself, but you need to do everything you can to get people to listen.

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