You’re an EDM up-and-comer pumping out some amazing jams. Do you want to attract people to your music? Sure. But how do you do that? What are the best ways to get people to listen to your EDM creations?
Some EDM producers promote their music in an obnoxious, spammy way on social media. You accept a friend request or join a group, and suddenly, you’re regularly getting notifications that some DJ is putting on a show somewhere. Or, you have to wade through links to songs that aren’t even the kind of music you like. What a bunch of spam.
It’s irritating. It’s intrusive. It’s ineffective. It’s bad promotion.
If you want to introduce your EDM songs to a receptive audience, effective promotion is one key to your success. That means turning on the right audience to your tracks. But how do you do that? Here are five ways to promote your EDM creations to the right people without spamming everyone.
PERSONALIZE YOUR PRESENTATION
When I’m one of a gajillion people tagged on a group social media post about a song or a show, I don’t pay any attention to it. That post wasn’t really for me. Simply tagging me (or spamming my wall without a personalized message) is not going to entice me to click your link. A lot of people won’t click that link.
If you pay attention to what’s on my profile, maybe you might know what music I would really like–including yours! Tell me why you’re recommending your music to me. Did you notice that I went to a Drum-and-Bass party, and you think I might like your DNB tracks? Or you saw that I like hip hop, and you make glitch hop? Those are good reasons for me to check out your song. Post your song on my wall, AND tell me why you think I might like it. You’re creating a fan base by speaking to people’s interests.
KEEP YOUR MIND PRIMED FOR OPPORTUNITIES
It’s not a bad idea to post your songs to social media. You can reach a lot of people with one click. But, they’re often a broad audience with diverse interests and shifts in taste. A lot of people probably will scroll past.
You can focus your efforts by keeping your eyes open for people who are most likely to bounce to your beats. Here’s how:
- When you’re out and about, bring EDM into the conversation. Online, start conversations with other people who like EDM. This will help you figure out who might be into your music.
- Always carry a few USB sticks or CDs loaded with your music (and labeled with your contact info) to hand to the right people at the right time. You might want to load on a brief info sheet about your background and experience (like shows you’ve played, music/music-software training, or industry-related experience). The person sitting next to you at Starbucks might be a music industry executive, festival promoter, or music journalist. Be prepared for this kind of possibility.
- Prepare an “elevator pitch” about your sound in case you meet someone who is into EDM. Come up with a one-or-two sentence snapshot that helps your listener quickly understand what your sound is about. Like, “I make hard-style trance. It sounds like what Armin Van Buuren would write after being bullied by Bass Modulator.”
Chance favors the prepared mind. That’s a cliche, but it’s also true. Stay focused on increasing your opportunities.
SELL YOUR STUFF TO COMMERCIAL MUSIC LIBRARIES
You want to spend your time creating great music. Yet you have to work to pay your bills. Why not combine work and creation? Consider selling your music to commercial music libraries. Promotion is easier with name-recognition and a bunch of sales on your music resume.
Commercial music libraries stock different kinds of sounds for use in audio-visual production. Customers might want a song that illustrates a concept (like “Southern” or “party”), or just a bad-ass groove, so they will buy some sounds from a commercial music library. Sometimes, a music library may commission a musician to create a sound they are looking for. That’s a creative challenge that shows off your versatility, which is great for promotion.
Working with a commercial music library means your musical creations could pay your rent. Plus, you’re earning name recognition and meeting industry players. This is all an excellent basis for promotion.
ENTER A BUNCH OF CONTESTS
Winning or placing in a music contest is a great way to promote your music. When you say you won or placed in a music contest, people automatically understand that you have been given the seal of approval by listeners who know what they’re talking about. Also, it shows you present yourself professionally, enough that the contest sponsors want to stand behind you.
Placing in a contest will help you stand out from people who aren’t as serious about the music business as you are. Here’s how to aim for a win:
- Look around online for DJ or other music contests. Enter all the contests for which you’re a good fit.
- Keep an eye out for scams. Google your contest before you enter, especially if there is an entry fee.
- Turn in your best work. Keep your entry professional. Edit the administrative part for grammar errors and typos. Make sure your audio submission is clear.
- Pay close attention to all contest rules, deadlines, and submission requirements.
BE AN AWESOME EDM PRODUCER!
In the beginning, there was amazing music. That’s the start of a successful EDM producer’s career. Before the website, before the SoundCloud, before the stickers and the street team, there needs to be amazing music.
Your music is the basis for everything. If your music doesn’t move people, it doesn’t matter how sick your logo is.
What separates you from the many posers is your amazing music. Your thing. Your spin.
So, practice. Experiment. Seek feedback. Fail and start all over again. When your music is awesome, the right people will be drawn to it, and then more and more and more.
Case Study: I discovered Vokab Kompany when they had a mediocre timeslot at Lightning in a Bottle in 2010. I had never heard of them before; I just wandered up while they were on stage. Yet, their unique, funkdafied EDM offering quickly had me dancing in the sunlight. It also had me rooting in my purse to scrawl their name on a napkin with an eyeliner so I wouldn’t forget it: VOKAB KOMPANY! Fast forward a few years, and I almost passed out like a fan girl when lead dude Burkey gave me a set list after a show (oh wow, maybe I am a fan girl?!). omg! It was a real-life reminder of the fun night they provided with their awesome music.
And that’s your essential key to promoting your EDM creations:
First, make awesome music. The rest is just details.