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Hate Promoting Your Music? Independent Music Marketing Tips

By Matthew Vultaggio

August 3, 2021

There is nothing more frustrating than spending years to get good at music and then continuing to faithfully spend your time and money trying to actually get your music to pop off – or at the very least get people to even listen to your music at all – with not much to show for it…

It is only a matter of time before you need to give in and face the reality that it was stupid to think you could ever make it in music and you should just stick to a soul-sucking 9-to-5 just like everyone else, right?

Besides… the people who are consistently making money on streaming are already successful, have a record label on their side + a boatload of money to blow on marketing…

On top of that, there are just too many artists these days – making it very, very difficult to get noticed. It feels like finding success with Spotify is like throwing a pebble in the ocean.

There is just no way you could make it work yourself. Marketing is too technical, you don’t have enough time, you don’t have enough money, and you’d rather be spending all of that effort making meaningful music anyways… right?

Thankfully, I’m extremely relieved to tell you that all of that is complete nonsense and you can make it work all by yourself

Marketing your music doesn’t need to drain you of your time or money

It wasn’t too long ago that an artist could not dream of reaching real fans without spending anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000+ on paying a team to promote just 1 release through advertising and PR.

Marketing music in 2021 is much more reasonable… But that doesn’t stop basic website and “automated” Facebook ads tools to charge you at least $720 per year, on top of your monthly marketing and advertising costs.

Thankfully, all you need to successfully market all of the music you make for the rest of your life can easily be learned yourself.

Plus – with an experienced mentor on your side, you’ll save $1,000s of dollars (& 100s of hours) that would have gone completely wasted on mistakes, accidents, and failed experiments that could have been easily avoided.

How I Personally Got To 1 Million Streams On Spotify

It’s taken a long time. A very, very long time. But.. it’s been extremely worth it.

17 years ago I got my very first guitar, a sick Squier Stratocaster in sunburst (that I’d later bust-up quite a bit in my Nirvana phase) that started my life as a musician.

This lead to countless bands, live shows to usually 5 people (aka our parents and girlfriends), recording sessions, G.A.S. attacks, MySpace pages, and failed projects.

It took 17 whole years but I finally got what I always wanted since I was a 13-year-old kid…

A simple sliver of proof that I wasn’t crazy to be so obsessed with music and that I could actually make my passion for music my life.

Fast forward to today:

  • Over 3.5 million streams
  • 15+ official Spotify editorial placements
  • Support from big-time artists like Martin Garrix and Foals
  • Real, living, and breathing human beings reaching out saying that they dig my music

I’ve learned so much along the way, made too many mistakes, and probably spent too much money and too much time.

…And if you’re reading this right now, I’m happy to have the chance to be able to share all of those years of knowledge with you so you don’t need to go through the same struggles that I did.

But, enough about me…

“Is it possible for me to hit 1,000,000 Spotify streams as well?

It takes quite a bit of determination and focus, but honestly, if I can do it then anyone can do it.

Here are a few questions that I get quite frequently about finding success on Spotify.

What if I don’t have an fanbase or audience?

Having some kind of fanbase or audience can definitely be helpful and make things much easier, but this course is designed to show you how you can start seeing success on Spotify even if you don’t have an audience of your own yet.

I got to where I am today without an audience. In fact, I didn’t even tell friends or family that I started my musical project.

Do I need any experience or connections?

Not at all!

I assume you know nothing about digital marketing, advertising, or even Spotify in this course.

I got to where I am with no connections (as an introvert I still barely have any tbh) and I assume the same is the case for you (the no connections part at least).

What if I don’t have enough (or “good enough”) music to release?

Most music marketers will say something along the lines of “obviously the first step is to make sure you have great music” and leave it at that.

In this course, I actually provide dedicated lessons and exercises to make your music “good enough” and to make sure you have plenty of music to release.

What if I don’t have any new music to release?

Although you can use music that’s already been released, promoting music within its first 28 days of release is the best way to get on Spotify’s algorithmic playlists to get free streams and fans sent to your music.

This is why I actually provide dedicated lessons and exercises to make sure you have plenty of music to release.

Does this strategy really work… how do I even know I can trust you?

I’m not a marketing guru or business expert – I’m a musician that knows a lot about marketing.

I’ve spent the better part of my whole life dedicated to music and trying to make something happen in music.

The strategies I teach in this course are the very same that I’ve used myself to get over 3,500,000 streams on Spotify.

After helping a handful of friends across different genres in my music scene achieve amazing results, I decided to put everything I know into 1 single result-focused course to help as many dedicated music creators as possible do the same.

The proof is in the pudding as they say.

How To Upload To Spotify As An Artist (& Get Paid)?

Want to upgrade from just making music to actually get your own music on Spotify and becoming an official Spotify artist?

To upload to Spotify as an artist, you need to sign up with one of Spotify’s preferred music distributors and submit your music, artwork, and artist information through that distributor.

Thankfully it’s easy for anyone to upload music to Spotify because a company called DistroKid came along and started offering unlimited song uploads for a small annual fee without taking a percentage of any of your earnings away.

Before DistroKid, it was too expensive and complicated (..you had to pay PER song EVERY year).

To learn more about DistroKid, check out my big fat DistroKid review for everything you will ever need to know about them. There is even a handy How To Choose A Distributor Guide and some info on the nice DistroKid discount.

If you are wondering want to know more details about how to do this yourself, how exactly you can claim your artist profile, and actually make some money by uploading music to Spotify, check out my article called How To Upload To Spotify As An Artist (& Get Paid)

How To Get More Streams With Custom Smart Links

The best alternative to the endless amount of smart links, landing pages, and link-in-bio style pages out there is to simply build your own custom smart links by using WordPress.

I do this myself with my very own WordPress-based website (aka the one you are on right now) and find it to be way more flexible and effective, particularly if you want to do the Spotify algorithm hack by running Facebook and Instagram ads to your smart link pages.

The reasons I’d recommend doing this over using any smart link creator is because:

  • Without paying for these services, you can create smart links that are exactly in the style of Hypeddit, Linktree, Toneden, HyperFollow, etc.
  • Get more streams to your music by using my highly tested and conversion-optimized smart link template
  • Look more professional and credible by having a custom domain and no other company’s branding on them
  • Get your brand and identity across by perfectly customizing your smart links to look exactly how you want them to

On top of this, you’d actually have a legit and professional full-blown website and not just some smart links for promoting your music.

For a free step-by-step course on how to get started with this, check out my free course on smart links for music.

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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