Seven Strategies to Promote Your Music for Free in 2024

Dustin Boyer

If there is one question we get asked more than any other, it's, "How can I promote my music without spending money?" 

As an independent artist, it's crucial to have affordable promotion strategies to help grow your career. If you wake up every day and ask yourself, "What can I do to promote my career today?" it's vital that your plans and strategies don’t put you on the street. 

With that said, we'd like to present seven ways artists can grow their fanbase for free in 2024.

These are simple ideas, but to us, they have the potential to make or break your career. While spending money on ads or publicity can help lift your artist's brand quite a bit, they can't break an artist. Only your daily perseverance and effort in the strategies below can make a difference. 

Understand Your Audience

You probably expected a powerful tool or strategy to reach millions of listeners right out of the gate. The truth is, you will only be successful as an artist by connecting with fans on a truly deep level and doing that first requires understanding who your audience is. 

It seems like a simple task to understand demographics - age, location, and interests, but it goes so much deeper once you consider psychographics - beliefs, values, struggles, and fears. 

Remember, you're not trying to get people to buy something like most businesses; you're trying to make them feel something. Once you understand how to invoke emotions, you won't need some fancy ad targeting system. Use this knowledge about your audience’s emotions to connect them directly to the topic of your music. Target them using content and hooks that specifically relate to your audience's experiences. 

Release Music Throughout The Year

You’ve probably heard the phrase: "If you want to write a hit song, write a hundred songs." 

The same principle applies to releasing your music. Even in the best-case scenario, most artists are lucky to have one hit song in their career. So, how can you increase the chances of success? By consistently releasing new music throughout the year. This approach gives each song a chance to shine and allows a potential "hit" to emerge.

We can tell you firsthand that managers, agents, and labels are looking for prolific artists who are unafraid to work hard. There's nothing that proves to them you're the real deal than always having a release on the horizon. This goes double for Spotify's algorithm, rewarding you with more streams through their algorithmic playlist. 

Maintain a Consistent Content Release Strategy

No artist has broken out in the last four years without a strong content strategy. 

This is where the real work comes in, but the payoff potential has no ceiling. This is also where your efforts behind understanding your audience and releasing consistently pay off. The opportunity to showcase your art and vision for your music is endless here. Nothing is off-limits here, but I would suggest a few rules to apply: 

  • Post across all platforms (yes, this includes Facebook)
        - TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube have unique audiences, and        you will never know where your potential audience is
  • Focus on the "why" of your Content
         - For every piece of content you make, ask yourself, "Why would anyone        watch this?” This will help you make the most valuable content        possible
  • Use hooks and language to connect to the audience you identified in step one
  • Post as frequently as possible, but don't burn out

Collaborate with Other Artists

Fans love nothing more than seeing artists they love work together on a project. The excitement around a release will give you something new to broadcast and add a twist to your list of upcoming releases. It also allows you to collaborate on the content release between multiple accounts instead of just yours. 

Across the board, you will be sharing fans and building a community of like-minded listeners who start feeling part of something instead of just being siloed listeners. 

Your fellow artists might have a stacked year, so don't hesitate to ask other artists to collaborate. You might be surprised by the responses you get back and the friendships you’ll build along the way.

Engage with Everyone Who Enjoys Your Music

This is simple but likely vital to turn passive listeners into true fans. Whether it's a TikTok or a live show, engage with your fans one-on-one as much as possible. 

There's no easier way to create a champion for your music than when the listener knows you personally. It gives them a stake in your music and career. They will feel a responsibility to share your music with their friends and continued support so they can prove you're the real deal. 

I've known many artists whose earliest fans became their good friends, which helped establish a base community in every city they played. Don't be shy; make friends with your listeners. 

Engage with Other Artists' Fans

Engaging with other artists' fans may sound similar to my strategy above, but it's very different. 

It is you stepping across the aisle, becoming a part of another artist's community, and helping grow the community you'd like to be a part of. In the real world, this looks like attending local shows with other artists in your genre or community, hanging out with the listeners, and getting to know them and the other artists playing. 

In the digital space, this has a slightly different impact: brand awareness beyond your own content. Diving into your feed on social media and commenting on other artists' content within your community will increase awareness of your artist brand. 

I like to follow Gary Vee's $1.80 rule, focusing on commenting my 2 cents on 90 daily posts. If you do this consistently, you will find that fans of those other artists will quickly become aware of you.

Play or Go Live

The most often overlooked aspect of growing a fanbase post-COVID is getting face-to-face with your fans. 

Even road dogs must remember the most valuable part: getting out into the crowd and engaging with fans one-on-one. While this isn't exactly a free endeavor (though I'd hope it'd become a money-maker for you), the alternative is often ignored or underrated: going live digitally. 

TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitch all have features that allow you to go live, and they're the next best thing to being face-to-face with your fans. It gives you a chance to engage with questions and comments and generally show your personality without filling up your gas tank or leaving your house. A nice bonus is that these platforms love it when you use their live features. 

After going live on most platforms, your organic algorithmic reach will increase.

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