Our best tips to promote your own music

Being an independent artist these days means you have to wear a lot of different hats. In this article, we’ll share the best tips to promote your own music. Including pitching directly to stores such as Spotify and Amazon, updating your artist profiles and social media pages and what to post when. The most important thing is to make a plan before releasing your music, and to give yourself enough time to deliver your release, pitch it and start creating a buzz on social media. You can find out more about what to do before your release comes out, what to do on release day and what you can do after your music has come out to best promote it.

Pitching your music on Spotify and Amazon

Make sure to deliver your release on time, well ahead of your release date, to make sure you get to pitch your music directly to the editorial teams of Spotify and Amazon. This is done through Spotify for Artists and Amazon for Artists. We know that marketing teams usually get their pitches done 4-5 weeks ahead of release day, so you can take this as the best lead time. With Spotify, when the pitch is done at least one week ahead of release day, your music will be added to your followers’ Release Radar. So giving yourself enough time is definitely going to be in your favour. 

Check out our separate guide on how to pitch your music for Spotify & Amazon here.

Spotify for Artists pitch

Update your artist profiles and social media pages

The best way to subtly notify your followers that something new is coming, is to update your profile image and banner on your artist profiles and social media pages. If you have gotten new press shots taken, use these fresh images to update all your pages before you start announcing your new music. People are then visually reminded that something new is coming, and it will make all your different pages look really cohesive.

On Spotify, create a discography playlist ahead of release day. This is a personal playlist that contains all your released music in one place.

We have a separate guide on how to claim your artist profiles on Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Deezer and Tidal, which you can find here.

Discography playlist example

Pre-save links and starting a buzz on social media

We would recommend getting a pre-save link to share around on social media a few weeks before your new music is released. You can add this to your Linktree account (add this link to your bio) and start posting about your new music and when it will come out. Make sure to add a 'call to action' to your posts (“pre-save my new track via the link in my bio”). Make sure to have a few posts, stories or tweets lined up to promote the new music.

Find out more on how to claim a pre-save link via Make Waves here.

Instagram bio example

Non-editorial playlists pitching

There are other platforms out there that you can use to target non-editorial playlists. We would recommend doing some research into these before deciding to pay for a service, as there might be a risk of not getting any results. 

One platform we can recommend checking out is Submithub. As an artist / Submithub user, you can pitch to curators or influencers, find specialists or get your song rated by fellow artists. You can find playlists or curators based on genre, location and you can see how big the chance is you’ll get accepted or see who has previously added you to their playlist. Their pricing system involves credits; standard credits are free and premium credits begin at $6 for 5 credits. So you might have to pay to get results, but the platform really helps with targeting the right places. You can pitch your new music ahead of release day, on release day and afterwards.

Another thing you can do is look up artists that have a similar sound on Spotify and see which non editorial playlists they have been added to. With most unofficial Spotify playlists, it will mention something in the description about how you can pitch your own music. This might go via an Instagram DM or via an email. You can also search for specific genres on Spotify and find genre specific non-editorial playlists that you can pitch to.


Newsletters and release shows

If you’ve gathered a following and have started collecting email addresses (via your pre-save link for instance) you can start sending out newsletters to share the bigger updates with your fans. It can be a great way to remind people of when your new music is coming out and how they can pre-save it. You can also use it to remind people of a tour or live show you have coming up, direct them to ticket links or where they can purchase your merch items. It’s a great tool to share exclusive content with fans.

Release shows or listening parties are great when you have a new EP or Album out. Create an event that is on or around your release day, invite all your friends, family, maybe some industry people and photographers, bring your merch, get everyone hyped about the release and celebrate it being out in the world!

Local blogs or radio shows

It’s always worth checking out any local blogs or radio shows you can pitch your new music to. Most press won’t cover new singles coming out, so don’t be disheartened when your track doesn’t get picked up. But some blogs might for instance still do music video premieres, and it’s always worth pitching to your local radio shows who might support your latest track.

Reach out to your local radio show!

On release day

The day has come, your release is out! Make sure to dedicate a specific post to it on Instagram (pin this to your page), share the track via your IG stories and directly link your followers to the release on Spotify with the link sticker. Reshare any mentions on Instagram from people who are listening and sharing your track, feel free to really celebrate the fact it is out and remind your followers that it’s out. It’s OK to milk it on release day.

Share the news via Twitter / Threads, pin it to the top of your page and retweet any mentions.

You can make your latest track your Artist Pick via Spotify for Artists, so anyone who visits your page is reminded that this track is new and it is out. Add your latest track to your discography playlist too and make sure it’s on top of the list.

Update your bio everywhere to reflect the news (“‘this track’ is out now, listen via the link below!”).

New release - Instagram post

Post-release content

You can keep posting about the new release in the few weeks after it has come out. After 1-2 weeks you can post about any press coverage, playlist positions or radio plays you may have gotten (tag all the necessary people who have supported the music). This is a great way to keep up momentum and remind your followers they can still check out your new music.

You can share behind the scenes footage, upload a music video, do an acoustic version of the track or look at other video content you can share.

Reels and TikToks work best when you film unique content and ideally edit this in the app. The videos that work the best on these platforms are those where someone is directly talking to the viewer. Snippets of music videos for instance don’t do too well in this short video format, or any pre-edited content for that matter. 

As an artist on TikTok you can look at active campaigns that are taking place (#NewMusic was a recent one), jump on any new trends or use sounds in your videos that are popular at that moment. TikTok’s own content suggestions for artists are: keep the video simple, make sure to add your own music to your videos by selecting it from the audio library (it’ll be there once it’s been released), introduce the new song to your followers by sharing the story or inspiration behind it, and lastly, create videos that your followers can duet.

TikTok content examples
Last updated in August 2023
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