7 ways to market your music independently in 2020

You spend hours writing, recording and mixing your new single or EP. Its now perfect and everyone who heard it love it. Now its time to let the world outside of your close friends and family hear your music. There’s one problem how do you go about doing that as an independent artiste?

With the rise of social media and the million ways to get your music out to the world which is the right one for you? This is even worse if you are just starting out. No one knows who you are. You have no contacts to anyone? You might as well quit because the road seems long and hard.

That’s what I thought when I was just starting out as a music producer 10 years ago. I didn’t know what I was doing. All I had was an EP compilation and a love for what I was doing. Which was making reggae gospel music.

After some trial and error, lots of reading and asking other musician questions I complied a list of things that will help any musician market their music independently.

Get your music played on the radio

The first place to start is getting a wider audience hear your music. The best place for that is on the radio. Radio reach millions of people on a daily basis. So the prospects of you reaching your fans on the radio is huge.

With the rise of social media and streaming services like Spotify and apple music listening to the radio has gotten less. But don’t count it out as an effective marketing tool for your music.

Outside of getting your music played on the radio you can get a live in studio interview on the radio. This can introduce you and your music to new audiences. If they like your story and your music they will search for you online. This can be a win in the long run if your line up multiple interview around your new release across different radio stations.

Get your music featured on podcast

Podcast is the internets alternative to radio shows. Millions of people listen to podcast on a daily basis. They all have different topics that span from politics to business to even your favorite hobby. These podcasters use music in their intro and outro. They also love to share interesting stories to their listeners.

You can use this to your advantage to share your story and interest to podcast listeners. This can broaden your audience and reach for your music it. You can also have podcasters use your music in their show. So with each episode persons will hear your song.

Apart from doing interview many dj’s have podcast where they play music. You can get your music featured in the podcast. Every genre you can think of has a music podcast on the internet.

Get your music featured on streaming playlist

Streaming playlist has become the new radio. Songs can become successful if they get featured on the right playlist. That’s because millions of music fans check these playlist for new music frequently.

Spotify, Apple music Deezer and other all have curated playlist by taste makers as well as playlist by regular fans. If you can get your music on these playlist it can help your song get traction online. That’s because more persons are listening to your song and sharing it with others.

Get your song review on blogs

Blogs have been around for a long time and they are as equally important today. Many magazines back in the day and now have music review sections. These writers listen to music and share their opinion on what they heard. Getting featured can help introduce you to the persons who read those magazines. Music blogs has been added to this mix.

Somewhere on the internet are a group of people who write about your kind of music everyday. Some do it for the love . Others do it for money and love. Their reason is not important. What’s important is if they like your song and willing to share it with their readers.

Music blogs can be compared to getting featured in the entertainment section of your local newspaper. But the good thing about it is that you can link to it and share the article with your friends and fans.

Get a write up in the newspaper

Your local newspaper is also a good way to spread the word about your music. People still read the newspaper whether online or the physical copy. Most newspapers have an entertainment section. You can send your press kit to the editor and if they like it you can get featured in the local paper.

The key to getting write up in the newspaper is ensure your press release has a relevant news angle. Meaning its can’t be just about your song. Tie to something relevant and interesting that will get the editors attention. That way they will be ready to feature the song in the paper.

Cross promote with other artist

Another way to promoting your music is collaborating with other artist. Especially artist with a larger following than you. The reason for doing this is because they can introduce you to their audience.

A perfect example of this is dancehall artiste Bounty Killa. He has collaborated and help to break out many successful dancehall artist. What he would do is feature them on songs, give them segments on live events and so on. This help the new artist build their own fanbase. The same concept can be used today.

To utilize this concept you can get successful artist to share your song on their social media pages. Send the song to their email list as well as help introduce you to taste makers.

Send your music to Dj’s

The next way to promote your music is finding and sending your music to dj’s. These people play music live, whether at events or on radio. Their audiences maybe small or large but they play music on a regular basis.

To do this find all the djs who play your type of music. Introduce yourself and ask them for their email address to send music. Then send the song with some information about yourself. That’s it.

Keep in mind some of them get music sent to them on a regular basis. They may not respond to your email right away if at all. But keep trying and one day they will respond and pay attention to your music.

Send the music your fans

The last way I want to talk about in this blog is sending music to your fans. While its good to collaborate and use other channels to promote your music. You don’t have any control over these channels. You have to depend on others to push your music. So its important to have a channels that you can use to send music directly to your fans.

This can be posting the song on your YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram account. You can also send it to your email list of fans and post an update about your music on your blog. That way when persons search for you the channels you control the first set of options they find.


These are just 7 things you can do today to market your music independently. They are all free but will take a lot of time to get any sort of tracking. But all in all keep at it and you will see the results you are looking for.

What are some of the methods you use to promote your music independently let me know in the comments?

3 reasons why creating systems boost productivity

Managing the creative process will vary from person to person. That’s because not everyone works the same way and they also get different results. Even if two persons do the same exact thing the results are not always the same.

One thing that becomes frustrating is replicating the results of a recent project. You may not remember the process of how you did it. But you only know the results you got. That’s why creating formulas and systems are important. Here are 3 reasons why creating systems can improve your productivity.

#1 Helps you remember how to do something

There’s a reason why all KFC outlets look the same way. Why their food most of the time tastes the same from outlet to outlet. That’s because of the system created by the owners.

Writing down the steps of how you work. This can help you and others replicate the results you got. It can be easy for them to get the same results. That way you don’t have to keep experimenting to get results just trust your process.

#2 It helps you learn how to do something

Finding a system that works is like training wheels. It guides you through the process of learning how to do something at the required standard. Help you get up to speed faster and gives you room to get creative and make the process your own.

Once you have the system down test it out to replicate the results. Document what you’ve learnt and improved the system. This will widen your understanding of the process.

#3 It helps you keep consistent

Maintaining the quality of your work is not easy without a system. Look at how movies are made. The main character has a problem, meets someone to help them, gets a plan then either succeeds or fails. For music its the same way, every song has an intro, a chorus, a verse and some have a bridge. It helps maintain the standard your clients expects from you.

You might be thinking doesn’t it limit your creativity or box you in? No, it helps you maintain the quality of your work. Gets you to the standard faster.

Overall systemizing your creative process can improve your results. Help you to be more creative and help you learn new things.

Michael Gerber says business people use systems to build billion-dollar corporations. US creatives can use it to keep consistent.

Create your own solution

The book poke the box had a profound impact on my thinking. The act of changing your mindset from sitting around waiting for permission to taking initiative can change your life in a positive way. If you have an idea to solve a problem, start it, then ship it out to the world once it’s finished.

This brings me to the title. If you have difficulty finding ready solutions why not create your own. At first, it might look impossible but you can start researching for ways to do it.

Richard Branson in his book losing my virginity talked about how he keeps a notebook with ideas for new businesses. What he does, he writes down the people he needs to call, the list of ideas, companies he can set up and people who can make things happen.

This is interesting because when he started virgin airline, he spent a day with a former airline businessman to learn about the business. After that, he went headfirst into the venture.

The lead up to him starting was being stranded on an island with no way of getting home. He organised a charter flight to get him and other people off the island for a fee. All this with no money in his pocket.

The lesson is to find out what you need to get your project off the ground then do it. Finish it, release it and move on to the next one.

So if something is bugging you and you have an idea to solve it do it now. Create your own solution.

How to record audio at events

Going to events is a good way to generate content for your podcast and other marketing channels. But here’s the problem, after talking with a lot of persons, the audio either sounds too low or has lots of background noise. Worse you can’t hear the person and the audio is unusable.

This is frustrating because you were hoping to use the content on your show. Now, what do you do?

These types of frustrating situations happen time and time again. I can relate because it has happened to me before. To prevent it from happening again, here are a few things to keep in mind when recording audio at events.

#1 Use an external microphone to record interviews

When doing interviews recording using the internal mic is usually a bad idea. The reason being the microphone on most recorders are omnidirectional. This means, when you point the recorder in front of the person you’re talking to, everything else around you gets recorded. This is why you get a lot of background noise in your recording.

Using an external dynamic microphone like a Shure sm 58, is the best tool for the job. It will isolate the person you are talking to even when the background is noisy. This works wonders because it only records in the direction you point it.

#2 Find a quiet space to talk

If you don’t have an external microphone then finding a quiet space to do the interview can help. This will give you the ambience of the event but allow you to focus on getting a good interview for your show.

It will also remove distraction for you and the other person because you are removed from the activity.

#3 Check your levels before you record

Before you do any recording test your levels. This will ensure that your audio is not recorded too low or too loud. Most recorders have a record pause button, hit that or just hit the record button if you don’t have that feature. Do a microphone check, look at your levels and make adjustments.

Doing these 3 things will make a big difference to the audio you record at major events. it will give you usable audio for your show.

How recording too loud can destroy your podcast

One of the worse things that can happen is for your podcast recording to sound like a hot mess. Imagine after you’ve recorded your interview, saved it, only for the audio to sound way too loud. Even when you turn it down it doesn’t fix the problem.

What can you do at that point? Not much. That’s because if the audio is recorded too loud and distorted its impossible to fix. All you can do is record it over. 

Not to worry though as there is a way to fix the problem from the beginning. How you do this? Turn the volume down when recording. Here are some tips you can apply today to improve your podcast recordings.

Before you start to record do a test

Don’t make the mistake of jumping in before doing a test. Working in media has taught me this valuable lesson. Imagine talking to a guest, after the fact you realise you weren’t recording. It has happened to me a few times and doing a quick check can save you headaches later. 

If you’re recording on your computer check your levels. Check the level of your microphone and that of your guest. Make sure it is moderate in case you or your guest gets excited. This is the best way to prevent distortion.

Another test you can do is to adjust the levels after you start recording. To do that have your guest say something and adjust your levels before you actually start. You can always delete that part later. 

Listen to the recording through headphones

While doing the interview check in your headphones how you sound. It is a good practice to catch problems early so you can make adjustments. How you do this is easy, slip on the headphones and take a quick glance at the levels in your software. If there is an unusual spike turn the levels down.

What you’re trying to avoid is being caught up in the interview and forgetting to check what’s happening. You might be enjoying the conversation and your audio starts to distort or sounds funny. But you found out after you have finished. 

Set moderate levels. 

The last thing is to ensure you set your recording levels at about halfway on your audio interface. You might be tempted to turn the volume to the max don’t do that. 

You want your levels halfway because it gives you room to get excited. You don’t want to worry about distortion. And it’s a good practice to record at a moderate level.


How the story ends for you is that you test everything before you record. Watch the recording in your headphones and set your levels. This gives you a quality recording to edit.

Stop censoring your ideas

Having too much to choose from can be crippling. It becomes worse when you’re trying to find the best out of the lot. This could be ideas, products, services, things to buy, places you want to visit, it’s limitless. One thing we do is filter everything, trying to pick the best. Doing this often delays making decisions and for good reason.

Not rushing the decision helps you to compare and take a deeper look to see if you’re getting value for money. It could be investing your time to exploring an idea further considering the return on your time. Checking to see if a particular product meets the criteria you’re looking for.

This process helps you cut the not so good from the best. Once you’re comfortable that’s the point you commit. 

In some cases that process can save you lots of money. Help you dodge a shady contractor. And give you peace of mind with the results you want. It will be worth when things go well. 

When it goes wrong and it usually does at times, it brings regret, guilt and shame because of the choice. That’s ok because we can learn from these choices. You might lose money, time and progress, but how would you know if it was a bad choice?

You wouldn’t know it was a bad choice unless you made the decision to try it. Or somebody else did it and told you about it. 

The whole point is for some ideas you’ll need to do research. For others, acting on the idea is the best research. Besides, the results will be unknown unless you take action on the idea.

Don’t censor your ideas, do the research and try them all.

Deciding what to talk about on your podcast

One of the hardest decisions to make is deciding what to talk about on your podcast. With lots of ideas floating around its difficult to choose one or a few. Lots of questions floating in your head like will it help me build an audience? Will people like it? Am I good enough? All these and more are running wild in your mind.

But if you take a step back and look at the situation the real issue is not about your ideas. The real issue is insecurity.  You are not sure if podcasting or social media can help you to tell your story.

The fear of not knowing the end result is crippling.  Criticism is something that can make you hide. But hiding and running away won’t make you find the answers to your questions. Being curious will.

In Seth Godin’s book poke the box he says the greatest skill a person can have is initiative. Taking the initiative to ship what you’re working on. Poking the box and try to figure out how it works. The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll be with the idea. The better you’ll get at doing.

Austin Kleon calls it being an amateur in his book share your work. Always have an open mind to learning new things. And then trying them in public to learn what works for you.

So you see deciding what to talk about is not the issue. Because your aim is always to share a story that solves a problem for your customers. Or in other cases talk about what you’re interested in. Once you do that and analyzing the reaction to your work is a better approach.

How do you choose the best ideas?

It all starts with who will enjoy the idea and who you think your ideal listener is. What I mean by that is choose the ideas that help you show customers how you can help them. How your product/service helps them. If you’re not selling anything choose ideas that interest them.

Start with those ideas first. Because you will get to the heart of the matter. You will gain trust over time.  It also helps if you are passionate about those ideas as well.

So what do you do with the other ideas?

Group them. That is it. If they have a similar theme group them for use later. It can be a series of episodes. It can be a talking point on your podcast. Even the ideas you’re going to start with group them. Then turn them into podcast episodes. So spend some time to group the ideas and plan out your shows.

But don’t forget the most important thing, record it, and publish it.

How to package your podcast for distribution

You’ve got the intro and outro recorded. You have edited down your interview. Now it’s time to put everything together into a podcast episode for distribution. 

If your editing software has a multitrack section then you’re good to go. This is where you will do all the work to make your show interesting. 

Step 1 Add music beds under different sections 

Music makes a difference for a podcast. From the introduction, breaks between sections and at the end. It sets the mode for what is about to come. 

What you do is play a couple of seconds of the instrumental then fade it under the voice over. You can fade it out after a while or up when you’re finished with that section. 

NPR’s How I built this podcast uses this production element to great effect. To add drama to the stories being shared, they use various sounds and instrumentals while the story is being shared. It makes the podcast interesting and fun to listen to and move the episode along quite nicely. 

If you want to add drama to your podcast episodes, then use music and sound effects throughout your show.

Step 2 insert sponsored messages

The next part of the production process is adding sponsored messages. These are 30 – 45 seconds ads from a business who sponsor your show. When packaging the show, you can insert these messages if you have recorded them from before.  This will save time as you can add them in later.

Step 3 Keep final levels consistent

It is also important to keep your levels consistent. Meaning that the sponsored messages, the interviews and the music is on the same level. This helps the listening experience. 

Check the volume on each channel to manage your levels. You can use a compressor / a limiter on the master channel to keep things consistent when you’re ready to export the final episode. 

The last thing to do is export your show for distribution. If your editing software allows you to insert the episode title and other information, do so during that time. This will ensure when the episode is being played people see what they are listening to, and what the show is all about.