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How To Promote Music Online

Join a Distribution Network

Make Your Music Available for Purchase

Before you can begin promoting anything, you must identify the "call to action." What exactly do you want your fans to do? Like your page? Come to a live show at the local pub? Buy your song? Answer: Buy your song. That's not to say that enganging your fans in other ways is not important, but ultimately you'd like all of your supporters to purchase your music. The most important elusive thing in the modern music industry is the song revenue. If you can generate an online buzz that's great. But turning that buzz into a steady stream of sales will be the core of your music career. Will it be easy? No, but choosing a distribution network is the first step. What network should you use? There are several great options including TuneCore, CD Baby, and ReverbNation. All of these will make your song available on ITunes. We recommend CD Baby and/or Bandcamp. CD Baby charges a one-time setup fee and Bandcamp works on 15% commission of digital sales. The annual fees charged by TuneCore and ReverbNation will add up over time and require you to sell copies of old albums to cover the cost. Both of these companies will make your music available via Itunes.

Make a Video of Your Music

YouTube is the Number One Music Discovery Channel

A survey coordinated by Neilsen (a media research company) indicated that young people use YouTube as the primary source for discovering music. So, if you want to be discovered by new fans, you must upload your song to YouTube. How you present it is entirely up to you. Let your band's creativity and individuality come through in the recording. Consider making a live recording where you are taking chances and making minor mistakes in performance. Or, make a colorful video that will sync with your album recording. Whatever you choose, make it a reflection of you and what makes you unique. Once you have uploaded your song to YouTube, make sure you link to your Itunes store so that new fans can buy your song. If you choose CD Baby as your distribution company your music will automatically be identified by Rumblefish. This will mean that the use of your song in any video will generate royalties.

Create Download Cards

Turn Face-to-Face Into Online Sales

It is important to funnel all of your rich relationships to the same place. So, if you meet 10 new fans at a performance in Austin, TX during a performance at SXSW, or if you meet a fellow musician at Guitar Center, you must have an easy way to direct those people to your music. The most effective way to do this is download cards. A download card will have a URL for the store where your songs can be purchased. It also may contain a code that allows for a free download. Having the download codes will allow you to sell the cards at your live performances. CD Baby and Bandcamp will create download cards for you free of charge. If you choose to sell your music through a different distributor, you can get download cards through Dropcards.com.

Promote via Twitter

Use the Social Tool That is Growing Exponentially

If you don't have a Twitter account already, get moving. If your band has already built a strong presence on Facebook, then it certainly makes sense to continue growing that. But we believe that Twitter will make your band more accessible for engagement and more likely to reach people on mobile devices. Studies show that almost 60% of Twitter users check updates on a mobile device. That data doesn't indicate that Facebook is suffering in the mobile world. But, if you want to reach new fans in the most efficient way, invest time in your Twitter relationships. If you want your music to spread virally, reaching young people is crucial. Twitter doubled it's teenage user base in 2012. Twitter is rolling out many new features that allow bands to share music seamlessly. If you include a YouTube video in your tweet, your followers can watch it without navigating out of their Twitter account. Your Twitter account can be the swiss army knife of marketing: Your subscriber list, your bulletin board, and your tool for finding new fans.

Get on the Charts

Join SongLadder Now!

Our final suggestion for music promotion is a self-centered one: Join SongLadder! It is a fantastic way to share your music and receive feedback. Creating your account is free of charge and your first song upload is free too. We know that you have other options for distribution and sharing your music online. But we also believe that SongLadder offers something different: A simple music chart. Ranking songs is what we do best, and we are fanatical about making sure the feedback is real - not fabricated.

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