Promoting Yourself and Your Music Online How to utilise social networking, blogging and websites to showcase your music. Last updated: 23 November 2020 The internet provides songwriters, composers and musicians with an unprecedented number of ways to showcase their creativity to the public, press and industry. Advances in the way the internet operates mean that even the most non-technical musician can now put together an online presence which will help to gather a fanbase and keep them informed of live events, sell releases and merchandise, provide resources for the press, and even effectively reach the ears of the world’s A&R staff. Whether you decide to launch a fully-fledged artist website, a blog, a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, a Facebook profile or all of them, you will undoubtedly benefit from putting your music online. Online rights issues Promoting music via the internet has ushered in a new era of rights issues. These apply whether you are launching a dedicated website, a social networking profile, or cutting online distribution deals with download sites. For detailed advice regarding online rights issues, please contact your Regional Office. Social media profile When social media platforms are used well, it can provide provide simple, powerful ways to network and engage with audiences — both current and potential. Ideally you will have dedicated social media profiles for your music which you can use to communicate with your fanbase. Although very useful for promoting yourself and your music, social media profiles can be time-consuming to maintain, so be prepared to dedicate some time to them on a regular basis. If you’re in a band, you may all choose to have access to your pages, or you may nominate one member to take care of online activity. Don’t assume that fans and friends will automatically find your social media profiles - list the profile names and handles on your website, blog and e-mail signature etc. Keep your platforms tidy so that gig info is easy to find and synchronise different platforms so that info is consistent. Ensure that you reply to comments and questions across your pages, as fans will often want to know more details about releases and gigs or your music in general. You may also find that you get offered gigs and opportunities through social media. Use your pages to share details of your gigs, shows and tours. You can create Facebook events and invite the fans of your page and friends. This also allows people to contribute comments and ask questions. Use Twitter to send tweets highlighting gig details and including a photo of a poster and/or a link to further details and tickets. Include other artists that you’re playing with and also the venues within your tweets. If you present the information accurately and clearly, you should find that fans, artists and venues share the details of your gigs, which will help to widen your reach and promote your shows. Remember that social networks is just another form of communication, one which encourages fans to interact with you. It is a two-way process, so do try and engage fans by talking to them rather than at them. And do not just talk about your releases and gigs, try engaging your online friends and followers with communications about your interests, which will deepen and strengthen their feeling of personal involvement with you, as an artist and a person. Focused resources Some musicians are joining more focused social networks, in order to engage with peers as well as potential listeners. These include the site for professional vocalists, The Mandy. There are also classified advertising services, such as Join My Band, which are making use of Facebook and Twitter. For classical musicians, the London Symphony Orchestra has compiled a very helpful set of Twitter user-lists, which cover everything from orchestras and opera companies to composers and conductors. Online A&R The record industry largely failed to anticipate the staggering popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, which has swiftly become the mainstream forum for generating a ‘buzz’ around artists. Online A&R is the logical way for the industry to capitalise on this phenomenon by tapping into the ‘hive-mind’ wisdom of an existing networked community. In recent years, an artist’s page on such online networking sites has acted as an impromptu calling card, so it was only a matter of time before the record labels sought to take advantage of this trend. Many labels now accept demo submissions online, with others sure to follow. In fact, some labels no longer accept physical demos, so do contact the label in question before sending it any samples of your work. New space For any label, the sheer physical or electronic space that demos take up has always been a major issue. Several labels have got around this problem by launching online A&R systems, which allow artists to register, then upload tracks, pictures and a biography. Some online A&R systems even send an alert to artists when a track has been reviewed. Another online network that is gaining in popularity is the A&R ‘blogging’ community, which allows label personnel, fellow artists and other members to review and recommend or criticise your work. Membership involves keeping up a blog and interacting ‘socially’ with the network. Online A&R offers several advantages to artists; it is more cost-effective because you are not paying postage, you can update your demos and artist information, and it is likely that you have got a better chance of getting feedback about your submission.