Promoting Your Mixtape: Beyond Social Media

Promoting Your Mixtape: Beyond Social Media

Congratulations, your mixtape is finished! You’ve created a list of tracks you are proud of, your sound is polished and you’re ready to get your work out to the public! But wait, before you take to Twitter to spam your feed or flood your friend’s Facebook timelines, take a step back to think about your promotion strategy.

example of mixtape jacket printing

Proper branding and promotion of a mixtape are often what stands between an artist that gets noticed and one that fades into obscurity. The market is over saturated with musicians who have no idea how to get people to listen to their music once their mixtape is finished.

But you’re different! You understand the importance of:

Branding

In this case, you are your own brand and you are going to use it to sell your music. Your brand should be streamlined and have continuity through your social media, shows, music, promotions and album art. The best brands create a personality that other people want to be attached to.

Anything your name is connected to should be consistent with your brand. It’s not about being fake; it’s about being upfront and polished about who you are as an artist. When people hear your name, music or see your album art, they should understand what you represent.

Tools for Branding:

It’s important to have attractive promo materials and branding tools. If you’re scribbling the URL to your music on poster board, people will assume you put the same effort into your mixtape.

Mixtape Covers

example of record jacket printing

Think of your favorite albums, that art is iconic. The best way to do this is to keep the theme of your album in mind, what is it about? What are you about as a musician?

You don’t have to be an artist to create something simple and memorable. This is your chance to make a first impression for your brand, make sure it represents your music and draws people in. Unattractive covers will be associated with bad music, if your presentation looks sloppy, people will assume your music is the same way– don’t make a list like this.

Use a template to design your mixtape cover to make sure your artwork fits and none of the important details are left off.

CDs

There is no easier way to get your music directly into someone’s hands. You can ask people to find you on Soundcloud or iTunes, but a CD eliminates the possibility that they’ll forget your name by the time they get to a computer. Your CD – completely branded and decked out with your album art and personal touches – is a tangible reminder of you and your music.

example of CD jacket printing

Business Cards

Having something tangible to give people is the easiest way to get your name in the right hands, literally.

What should your business card look like?example of business card printing

  • Name – In this case what you want people to call you. If you have a stage name, that is a large part of your brand and it should definitely be on your card.
  • Contact – Give people a way to contact you.
  • Website – Have a link to where people can find more of your music.
  • Unique – Make your card stand out. Create custom shapes, play with specialty inks, painted edges – the possibilities are nearly endless!

This card has all of the important information front and center. His website and contact are easy to read and the back of the card has an awesome design. This card has personality and shows the vibe of his brand through the design.

For more about why it pays to have good Business Cards, check out our post, 5 Reasons to Avoid Cheap Business Cards.

Promoting

Now that you have a good idea of who you are as a brand and how you want to present your music, it’s time to think about promoting your mixtape!

First, you’ll want to set a release date that gives you time to promote. Get your music to local DJs and to other places potential fans could hang out: colleges, bars, clubs. Put time into building your local fan base, they are the easiest to reach and most likely to come out for shows.

Flyers

Example of flyer printing

Flyers are an inexpensive and efficient way to promote your music. Use them to spread the word about a show, your newest single, or your whole mixtape.

  • Don’t make flyers too cluttered; poor design does not get the right attention.
  • Put your flyers where your audience is, not where the most people will see them. 100,000 people could see you flyer but if they don’t like your music and your flyers might as well not exist.
  • Pass them out at after shows for bands similar to yours, let them know you have a similar style and that you have a mixtape coming out.

Posters

Posters are also inexpensive and give you a larger canvas to show off your brand than flyers. They are excellent for both promotion and merch.

Example of poster printing

  • Posters are hard to ignore and quickly catch people’s attention. Use the design to expand on your album art.
  • When using them to promote your music, make sure you have somewhere to hang them. Many businesses have size limits on what they’ll allow you to hang. If you have connections with local retailers and shops, ask if you can hang a poster in their store.
  • Like with Flyers, make sure you’re putting your Posters in relevant places (i.e. where potential fans will be). Hang them up in clubs and music venues.

Making Money with Your Music

Create merch. Once you get a gig, make sure you have at least a few CDs and t-shirts to sell to people who enjoyed your show. Have business cards to give fans, pointing them to where they can find more of your music. They came to your show and liked your music, these are the people who will want your merch. If you’re interested in more information about merch, check out our blog: Merch That Works.

 


 

Promotion is just as important as creating your music. By creating an effective marketing plan, you are more likely to get noticed by A&R and Investors because they see you as a business they can invest in rather than another kid with a mixtape. Branding yourself well and using professional looking promo material shows you are serious about your music and establishing yourself as an artist.

Contact us with any questions you have about our media packages for musicians and what we can do to help you get started. Jakprints was started to help musicians create quality merch and promotional materials quickly and for an affordable price and we can’t wait to work with you!

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