DIY Music Promotion Guide
Mastering DIY music promotion: A comprehensive guide for independent artists.

Music Promotion

As an indie artist, it’s one thing to produce music and yet another thing to promote your own creations. Promoting isn’t easy if you know where to start. But most beginners may not understand how to advertise themselves, which can lead to less exposure.

DIY music promotion starts with constructing a music marketing plan. Once that’s established, you can start by learning how to promote your music online via social media platforms, music streaming services, and connecting with people at venues.

Advertising yourself as an indie artist can be frustrating, but with the right mindset, one can successfully market themselves with little effort. Below, we’ll walk you through everything you’d need to know to get your name out there.

Create a Music Marketing Plan

A music marketing plan is a must-have for anyone looking to promote themselves successfully. You can think of a music marketing plan as a roadmap that outlines your goals, objectives, and profit margins. Not only will this help you stay organized, but it can also serve as an aid for potential problems that can occur.

Here is how you can create a music marketing plan:

  1. Set a goal: create a specific goal, such as (profits, releasing a song, performing, etc.) and make sure that it’s reasonable and attainable.
  2. Find target audience: do your due diligence and find your target audience and who you want your music to appeal to.
  3. Craft a strategy: decide what task you’ll tackle first, and create a list.
  4. Set deadlines: set deadlines for each task and allow yourself proper time to complete it.
  5. Track and analyze: keep a record of everything you do each step of the way.

How to Promote Your Music As An Indie Artist

Don’t worry if you haven’t promoted your own music before. As an unsigned artist, you also have valuable assets that you can use to help get your name out there. Below, we’ll explain further in detail.

Upload on Streaming Platforms

Streaming platforms are every independent musician's best friend. Not only do they allow artists to showcase their songs, but they also enable them to collect an income. There are a few different types of music streaming platforms, so let’s go over the most popular.


SoundCloud is one of the very first artist-first platforms where anyone can upload music. Once you create an account, you can upload your music to the platform. Each month, SoundCloud reaches 175 million people, meaning there is plenty of potential for fans.


Spotify is now one of the biggest music streaming platforms that reaches up to 320 million users. Artists looking to get their music out there should pay special attention to Spotify, as adding their music to playlists can help them reach a bigger audience. Spotify offers musicians features such as analytics and the ability to upload songs and create playlists.

Apple Music

Apple Music has been popular for a long time but was generally used by mainstream artists. Nowadays, Apple Music allows indie artists to register their music on their websites. With Apple Music reaching over 60 million users daily, it’s a great way to help grow a fanbase and get a bigger audience.

Amazon Music

Another excellent website to get your music onto is Amazon Music. Now, you can’t upload the music yourself, but if you use an indie music distributor like DistroKid, you can get your music on their site. Having music uploaded to a site with over 55 million subscribers is an excellent way to reach a large audience. Plus, you’ll even get paid for it!

YouTube Music

Most indie artists thrive on YouTube, as all you have to do is upload your music. However, YouTube Music is much different than standard YouTube. While YouTube reaches millions of people daily, you’ll need to pay attention to copyright claims and getting detected by YouTube’s algorithm.


Lastly, Bandcamp is a platform that enables users to create an account and upload their music. The site helps artists promote their music and gain fans. If you’re looking for a site with an easy-to-use interface, then you’ll likely enjoy Bandcamp.

Connect with Radio Stations and Venue Managers

Radio stations aren’t the traditional ones you’d hear on the radio in your car. Instead, there are radio stations that stream online. As an indie artist, you can get your songs listed on radio stations by contacting indie-specific stations.

However, this is easier said than done. It’s a bit more difficult to locate online indie radio stations. Here is a quick breakdown of how you can do that:

  1. Find a radio station that suits your genre of music.
  2. Submit a few tracks and ask to be featured on their station.
  3. Await a response, and be kind and understanding if they won’t use your music.

Besides just radio stations, one can also contact venue managers to help find a live performance venue. Playing your music live is a great way to attract new fans, as it allows anyone in the area to come to see your show.

Book Local Gigs

Booking gigs is also a great way to market yourself as an indie artist. Local gigs, such as being an opening act, playing at a club, or even making your own event, are good ways to spread the word. If you get more exposure, this can lead to more opportunities to play and showcase your talents.

Create Social Media Accounts

Another aspect of DIY promotion is by creating social media accounts. According to an analysis team called Kepios, there are 4.76 billion social media users as of January 2023. So, you can only imagine how important it is as an artist to utilize social media.

If you’re not tech-savvy, luckily, there are ways you can hire a social media manager. However, this will take some investment, and it’s much cheaper if you learn how to do it yourself. Currently, there are a handful of social media platforms indie artists should target, which includes:

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Spotify
  • TikTok

Artists should focus on creating an account and keeping it up to date with relevant information. To help post consistently, take advantage of the social media scheduling tools to help manage posts across all social media platforms. This way, you can post simultaneously from one platform and have it post across all others.

Some popular social media scheduling tools include:

Join Communities

Lastly, you’ll want to join communities for indie artists. There are many resources posted on forums and online social media groups. So, finding one to gain the benefits with little effort is best.

In these communities, you’ll find resources such as gigs, equipment guides, discounts, tips and tricks, and much more for the modern indie artist. The best way to join one of these communities is to create a social media account and ask to join. However, it would be best to remember that these communities have guidelines.

DIY Music Promotion FAQs

Music promotion for unsigned artists

Unsigned artists should create a marketing plan and set goals for themselves. The most effective way to market is by publishing using DistroKid, iTunes, or YouTube Music. Then, use social media to boost your presence.

Music promotion for artists without a label

You’ll likely need to copyright your name if you don't have a label. After that, focus on creating social media accounts and advertising yourself. Essentially, you’ll want to do what we mentioned above.

Music promotion on a shoestring budget

If limited on a budget, indie artists should use free tools. Creating social media accounts and uploading music is free to do. Find social media management tools that are free or have a low subscription cost.

Music promotion for musicians just starting out

If you’re just starting, the first thing you should do is decide on your stage name. From there, work on building a social media following by posting daily. Join online communities for indie artists, as these will have plenty of resources. Otherwise, we’d recommend starting to post music on Spotify or SoundCloud.

Music promotion for musicians without a following

Not having a following isn’t a disadvantage because you can take time to perfect other aspects of your music. However, if you don’t have a following, you will want to start advertising yourself online. Start by joining indie communities that match your style of music. Then, use social media to reach out to others interested in your type of music.

Music promotion for musicians without a publicist

Luckily, you don’t need a publicist to market yourself. The modern indie artist can instead focus on gaining traction online. After that, you can reach out to venue managers who can help you book gigs. That way, you can skip hiring a publicist.

Music promotion for musicians without a manager

If you don’t have a manager, it may be difficult to know where to start. We highly suggest that you create a marketing strategy and set goals you want to accomplish. Every marketing strategy should include end goals such as:

  • Finding your target audience with your genre of music
  • Creating an end-game goal (x amount of followers, performing at x stage, etc.)
  • Creating accounts on major social media platforms and posting frequently

Music promotion for musicians without a marketing team

A marketing team is only necessary if you don’t know how to market yourself. Luckily, social media has made it very easy to market yourself without having to do much work. You can market yourself if you join online communities, post on social media, and consistently post content.

Music promotion for musicians without a website

A website isn’t necessary if you’re a musician. Most music celebrities don’t even have websites these days. Instead, focus on creating a Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram page. You will also want to join iTunes, YouTube music, or Amazon music.

Music promotion for musicians without social media

If you don’t have social media accounts, you will want to start creating them ASAP! Social media is almost essential to marketing yourself and keeping your fans up to date. If you don’t want to go the social media route, we recommend creating a YouTube and signing up for iTunes, Amazon, or YouTube music.

In Summary

Promoting music alone can initially seem challenging, but it isn’t as difficult as one would think. Instead, you can learn to market yourself as an indie artist with some added effort. Mainly, if you utilize free tools, reach out to radio stations, and become active on social media, you’ll already gain more fanbase than you would otherwise. So, hopefully, we’ve helped you learn a bit more about how to DIY market yourself, and remember, don’t give up!

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