After the past two years of delayed and canceled concerts, the music community is celebrating the summer touring season! And there are certainly reasons to celebrate; the CDC has downgraded the status of the pandemic. And yet the music industry isn’t the same, and we as independent artists need to readjust in order to book successful tours. Read on for 10 tips for nailing your music promotion this summer!

One of the biggest missteps many artists make is frantically trying to amass more and more potential fans while not paying enough attention to the ones that they already have. Followers aren’t things you collect, store away, and never tend to again.

Fans that you already have don’t need to be found and won over. They already support you and your brand, but they may not remain loyal followers if you do not engage with them. Tend to them with the same love and care as you do your garden this summer! Weed out the dead and uninteresting and water the best and most promising.

Why do this? Studies have proven that it is much more difficult to make a new client (read fan) than it is to get a fan that already knows and trusts you to purchase from you over and over again. I always suggest that, in measuring followers, the number one place to look is at your existing social networks and your email list and increase likes where people already like you.

Here are 10 fail-safe ways to augment and engage with your follower base by pulling from followers that you already know and who already trust and appreciate you and your music.

1. Get serious about your newsletter.

You probably spend more energy on social media but you should shore up your email if you haven’t. Don’t fret if you don’t have one yet. You can easily use MailChimp to set one up!

Send your newsletter out once per month. Be sure to be consistent. Track the effectiveness of your newsletter by monitoring your open, forward, and bounce rates. Read my Guide – it WILL help you craft a great one.

Gather names and addresses you can add. Ask all of your friends if it’s OK with them that you add them to your mailing list so you aren’t mistaken for a spammer. That would be defeating the purpose.

Lastly, be sure to include summer visuals and emojis in your newsletters to boost your email marketing reach.

2. Livestream Your Latest Record

Livestreams have really gained momentum since COVID shut down live shows. Send out invitations through your newsletter, ask your fans to share with their friends. Livestreams also allow your fans to respond to your music in real-time. You could even shoutout your biggest fans! It can help with increasing streams and likes! Livestreams can also be in place as backups, so that a canceled or delayed tour doesn’t completely pause the show. 

3. Run a Spotify Pre Save Campaign

If you have a summer single dropping run a Spotify Pre-save Campaign and post all over your social media profiles to get more fans engaged with you on that platform so you can shock the Spotify algorithm – use show.co or feature.fm to set one up!

4. Include a special offer on your website and on socials for a free exclusive track or video (or better yet – several)

To deliver a juicy bribe (download, merch, video, MP3) in exchange for an email address. Try Noisetrade! They rock.

When creating special offers, make sure they are tailored to your audience and fit with your brand. If you are planning on touring this summer, you can incorporate exclusive access to your show, such as a VIP or backstage pass, as a special summer offer.

Plan out your releases accordingly as well. A special offer could be a summer exclusive single. Freebies and gifts are crucial for music promotion, especially during summer when so many artists are releasing music!

5. Follow 25 new people a week on Twitter (or Instagram, or Facebook or ANYWHERE!)

Many of these newly followed people will follow you back and, as a result, your network will begin to grow, especially if you interact!

TIP: Be sure you have a link to your website on your Twitter homepage or Instagram profile.

6. Send out personal direct messages to your most engaged followers

Ask if you can have their email addresses for your newsletter. This is a bit arduous, but the results will pay off. Do the same with any other networks you frequent. They may just help your algorithm by increasing likes and interaction.

7. Start an IG video series / TikTok and share your songs stories, and thoughts

Tumblr is great if you like blogging! Website building services like Bandzoogle also offer blogging platforms.

You can also start a podcast or a video series on TikTok and interview other artists with similar audiences. Ask them to share with their fans and followers. It doesn’t have to be a big production. It can be small, informal videos. Just have fun with it. Chances are the less you see this as a chore, the better it will be.

8. Ask for Interaction

TikTok and Instagram stories are great ways to pose questions or fun trivia for your fans to respond to. By letting them express themselves and respond to you, you are building a better and deeper connection AND increasing likes. They might even share your post with their friends!

9. Practice random acts of kindness online regularly

For example, introduce people who may benefit from knowing one another. Always start by asking “How can I help?” instead of “What can they give me?” A little kindness can go a long way and it will only take a moment to tag each other on social media.

Offer freebies alongside these kind acts to get extra exposure. Thank your fans just for being there for you with a generous free item or experience.

10. Connect with your community

Last but certainly not least is being able to connect with your community! Attend local events and befriend those who fit your target audience. There are many parks that host concert series over the summer. Be sure to do some research and see if there’s any availability to play for your community. Show your support for holidays by posting on social media and going out and meeting with fans. Share these experiences with the people within your community.

Reach out to bands that you’ve worked with before or connected with on social media in order to assemble robust bills with good followings in your target area. A bill with 2-4 bands can survive potentially losing an act due to COVID exposures, with minimal harm to the venue. House concerts are also excellent ways to plan quality concerts with similar artists without huge financial risk. As our musical institutions recover from the pandemic, the role of community and networking is more important than ever. Summer music promotion isn’t just about driving likes and streams – it’s about connecting on a human level. 

I hope you found these tips helpful. Now go forth and increase likes! And I hope you can enjoy some normalcy this SUMMER 🙂

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