How to Promote a New Album: 25 Artists and Marketing Experts Give Their Best Advice

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ow to Promote a New Album

Seattle-based artist and blogger Solveig Whittle just published a monster post on how to promote a new album. She and her partner, Stevie Adamek, are getting ready to release their new CD, called Fire and Other Playthings.

What better way to get promotion ideas than to tap into the minds of 25 successful artists and marketing experts (including yours truly).

Here are a few nuggets that Solveig gathered:

From Don

Drop the hard sales pitch and redundant self-promotion. Identify a potential problem and explain how your music is the solution.

Instead of this: “We’ve done this, we’ve done that, our music kicks so much ass you would be stupid not to buy the CD,” your solutions pitch could focus on the therapeutic benefits of your music, quoting studies that have shown music increases a positive state of mind.

From there you can point out how much more productive and/or happy they might be if they were in that positive state of mind.

From Aaron

Have you considered releasing your album as singles over a period time and the full album with the final track? This is a great way to build and develop contacts and relationships with press, blogs, radio, etc. It gives you multiple reasons to talk about your music. By the time your album is released you have an audience and media ready and waiting.

From Chris Seth

Never book your album release show until you have the album in your hands. I can’t count the number of album release shows where the band didn’t get their CDs in time.

Don’t buy 1,000 CDs unless 1,000 people have pre-ordered them.

Sign up for Square (or PayPal Here) so you can take credit card payments from your cell phone at shows.

From Randi

Find themes in your song titles or band name to create tie-ins. Publicity teams in the ’70s and ’80s were masters at this. One band had an album called Nine Lives, and they did cat adoptions on the radio in each city on tour and donated cases of cat food to shelters. That sort of thing was unheard of then, and it created a lot of buzz. Find your own modern version of that, and work it.

From Madalyn

When releasing your new CD, use the power of your “super fans” to promote your music on social media. Put together a list of pre-written Facebook posts and Twitter tweets to promote your new release. We call this a “swipe file.” Share your swipe file with your fans to make it super easy for them to promote you and your music. When done collectively, you’ll see amazing results.

From some guy named Bob Baker

One of the biggest mistakes indie artists make is waiting till their new album is manufactured and available on iTunes before they even start to promote it at all. Ideally you want to build buzz prior to the official release date.

For me, the most effective way to promote a new album release is to share the creative process with your fans – no matter how small or large your current fan base is. That’s right, share the journey of recording your music and get people engaged. That means showing photos and video of you in the studio, letting people hear early demo samples of songs, and honestly reporting the joys and frustrations of the process.

In addition to that, ask for your fans’ feedback and direct input: Ask them to vote on album cover artwork or even submit artwork of their own. Ask them for their ideas on how to spread the word and how they can help.

Yes, this takes a little bit of extra work as you create your new album. But when the official release date arrives, you will already have momentum on your side. And that will be a lot more empowering than asking, “So, what do I do now to promote this thing?”

This is just a small sampling of the wealth of solid advice that Solveig collected. Read her entire post with all 25 artists and experts here.

What album release tip would you have submitted? Post your best ideas in the comments below.


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