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In Conversation with “Lito the Guy”: How Can Independent Artists Can Promote Their Music and Build a Fanbase?

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In this article, we will see fundamental aspects of musical self-promotion for musicians so that you can start your project in the right way. The music industry has changed. The digital distribution, promotion, and music sharing platforms have caused a complete rethinking of how music, new ways of listening, new ways to create new ways of sharing work.

“Real changes are happening for independent music. Creators have more tools and more freedom than ever. The rise of the DIY market and digital distribution has opened a giant door for independent artists,” adds Hipolito Teixeira Carvalho a.k.a.
“Lito the Guy”, who has grown a strong reputation for championing the interests of young and aspiring independent artists.

Keeping success going can be difficult when things seem to be not working well—tiring to be the stereotypical bankrupt, and distressed musician. You can’t even count the number of times many musicians have considered hanging up the mic permanently over many years while being independent.

But music gives away the most precious memories—the kind of experiences you’ve probably had. There is nothing better than that feeling of having achieved your goals and feeling when you share your work.

The tricky part is making this awesome feeling a full-time, sustainable work. But it is not as difficult as you think. With a solid marketing plan and some tips on self-promotion, making music in a sustainable career is not that difficult to achieve.

Starting on the right track is the most important part. For this reason, we have reached out to Lito in order to understand how to do it correctly:

  • Attitude towards fans and your business.

Armies of loyal fans are built on trust, credibility, and authority. Being marketable is about being affordable and getting a loyal following. Meet with your fans, talk to people, ask questions. First, be a human being and then be an inspiring artist.

Don’t look down on someone who is interested just because they are “not worth it” or because you are “too cool.” The smallest interaction can make the largest difference. You don’t know who anyone is and what your connections are, also remember that we are all the same on the internet. Will you be an influential Instagrammer?

“A direct effect of being available is confidence, reputation, and authority. It is the difference between success and failure. The difference between hearing a song just once and getting a loyal fan who will continue to come to your concerts repeatedly,” shares Lito.

  • Make music like a musician. Do business like a business person

It may sound like an extremely business-focused phrase, but your music needs to function as a brand. From touring to distribution to a radio broadcast, everything you do must be done through the lens of marketing.

Music is art, that’s obvious. But remember, the music industry is a business.

Like any other business, some businesses fail, while others flourish. Keep an open mind towards music marketing. There is no longer what used to be known as selling out concert tickets.

I’m not a businessman… I’m a business, man. – Jay Z

“You already have an edge on the competition regarding the business side of things: creativity. Approach your marketing techniques with the same unique vision with which you address your music. This will incorporate the business side of your process seamlessly. Don’t forget that the band is the brand. Make it count. Protect it.”

  • Create an email distribution list

“Talking face-to-face with your fans is the best way to connect with them. But the next best option may be less obvious: Email your fans. Email sounds like an old-fashioned way to promote yourself. But the power of email is real. And the best part? It’s free.

“If you asked ten bands, 50 bands, or 100 bands, I would assume that less than 5% do if they have a broadcast list. It is the most unnoticed way to promote yourself. But it is also the most valuable.”

Use the email broadcast list to keep your fans informed about:

  • New music.
  • Upcoming releases.
  • Your accounts on social networks.
  • Music videos.
  • Links for online streaming platforms.
  • Tour dates
  • Shows on the radio.
  • Anything else that might get the attention of your fan group.

An email list is a direct link that connects you to your group of fans. Ask for feedback. Answer people directly. And use this tool to understand who your audience is. Use it to sell your music. It also builds a foundation of trust, credibility, and authority, which are the most important aspects.

  • Create an audience

If you do something, share it. It sounds simple, but it is the truth. As a musician, your best way to promote yourself is by sharing what you do. And share it correctly. There are numerous platforms to choose from. But these are the best sharing tools that every musician should be using.

Website

Get a website for your project. It is the most important resource you should have.

It is a space that is completely yours. It’s the place where you can suppress the noise of typical home pages and where you can post clear and concise information that every fan needs to know about your work.

They don’t have to be complex or fancy – even creating a simple page on Squarespace, WordPress, or Tumblr would be nice too. The digital music distribution is the new standard to make your music is exposed and heard.

All freelance musicians looking to get their music published and who want to get paid in the process should put their music on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, and all the other online stores that matter.

As I mentioned earlier, digital music stores are not promotional machines – that part is largely up to you and your promotional effects. But the rise of playlists and algorithms generating new music every day indicates that online streaming stores can give your music good exposure.

The layout has also changed for the better. Independent musicians can now receive 100% of their royalties and release their music globally at low fees thanks to the new music distribution model. Be wary of distributors who have hidden fees or who lower your royalties. There are better options for independent musicians who are starting. Keep your royalties and distribute them wisely during your startups. Sell ​​your music online.

  • Show your best music

Distribute your best music. This is the most valuable advice I can give you when it comes to releasing new music. As happens when meeting new people: the first musical impression is a crucial aspect.

“Making your best music known involves perfecting your art. It’s not just about cutting out the little mistakes. Create the best version of your sound as perfect as possible. Your music should also be optimized for all the thousands of situations in which it will be played. It should sound good on both laptop speakers and large concert speakers. Mastering is the best way to make sure your songs are ready for any type of playback. There are alternatives in the cloud and web services that allow you to do this digitally. It is up to you to decide which option best suits your musical project and the sound you are looking for.”

  • Generate Emotion and Hype

If you’ve been telling your music story through your social media, then people should already know that you’ve been working hard to create a new project. But it’s also good to set a release date and stick to it. This gives your fans something to look forward to. Or you could also do the same thing Beyoncé did: release your album during the wee hours when no one is expecting it, but that’s not so entertaining anymore.

  • Joint promotion

Promote yourself reciprocally with other artists. Post something that belongs to those other artists in exchange for them, posting something related to your new project.

The ability to share content is a key aspect when it comes to releasing new music. Make sure you keep stable links. Bandcamp and Soundcloud give you an easy-to-use, sharable music player that fits anywhere. This is a perfect tool for your new release.

  • Blogs, news websites, and radio shows

The virtual world is controlled by content. Bigger websites like online music magazines and blogs, always want exclusive information. Let them know ahead of time that you will be releasing your new music and offering them the option to have an exclusive session with you. In this way, you will get the attention of their communities as well as your community. Just use the strategy explained above to contact blogs.

  • More than just an album

“An album release date is a great time to release other types of content. Music videos are a great way to increase the excitement about a release. Use them as promotional tools for bigger planning. Insert your album in the video description. 78% of people watch music videos every week. These are a lot of eyes and ears.”

Start building from the ground up.

It starts with what you know and who you already know. Start growing in your city and then build a following elsewhere. You may already have a network of followers around you. It encourages the creation of a proactive and co-dependent community.

Create everything you can in the best possible way—perfect your art. By having a keen sense of how to self-promote, you will show the world the right way to create that perfect sound.

With experience as a full-time environmentalist and part time journalist, Lisa heads the post of editor at California Herald. She covers all the significant proceedings in the world of Environment while editing all the news pieces posted over the website to ensure everything aligns with the journalistic format.

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