Top tips: How to promote yourself and your music as an independent artist

Scotland’s music industry is eclectic and inspiring, where diverse genres and styles not only coexist, but flourish. From indie-rock to folk, pop to hip-hop, Scottish musicians are always pushing the boundaries of creativity and skill.

It’s a fantastic place to build a musical career, but its vastness and diversity can often leave emerging, independent artists begging the question: ‘Where do I start?’

Whether you are at the very beginning of your journey, or already have some experience in Scotland’s music industry, it can be hard to know where to begin when building a musical career and getting your name out there.

Visibility is everything. Here are our top tips for promoting yourself and your music as an independent artist in Scotland.

Establish a strong social media presence and brand identity

Having a strong social media presence and distinctive brand identity can help you establish trust with fans and industry professionals. Spending time on building up a social media following shows that you take your music seriously and are committed to your craft. 

Harnessing trends on social media, in particular TikTok, is also a great way of engaging with a wider audience. As a platform, TikTok holds immense potential for independent artists to infuse their own music into viral trends and gain not just visibility but positive, active engagement. 

Pink and orange megaphone on purple background in social media post. Strong social media presence is important for independent artists.

A strong brand identity will give you credibility and is a real no-brainer when it comes to increasing exposure. Simple things like keeping a cohesive colour palette, style and tone of voice across your platforms is really important, and having a uniform profile picture and handle that easily identifies you will create a consistent experience for fans and help them build a connection to you and your music.

Gather as much content as you can when writing and recording your music

Recording behind the scenes footage when writing and recording songs is a good idea for several reasons. It allows you to create engaging content for your social media platforms which can be drip fed out when you are ready to talk about your single, EP or album release. This adds an element of anticipation, and viewers love to see creations grow from start to finish, so showcasing the songwriting process is a great way to build interest around your music as an independent artist. 

You can easily share your expertise, passion, and personality through behind the scenes videos or photos. It’s an effective way of sharing the authentic, human side to your art. You can also showcase any collaborators you work with, as well as the producers and engineers who help to create your sound.

Invest in quality photography 

In the competitive music industry, strong visuals can make a significant difference to how you and your music are perceived by the public. High-quality promotional photography and headshots will instantly enhance your professional image as an independent artist and allow you to present yourself in the best possible light.

Purple camera with orange background.

High-quality photos can be used across various platforms and materials, including social media, website banners, album covers, posters, merchandise and press releases. This consistency will help build a cohesive and professional image.

​​In addition, media outlets often require high-resolution images for features, interviews, and reviews. Having quality imagery readily available can dramatically improve your chances of gaining coverage.

Create a professional and informative website

In today’s ever-evolving digital world, it is essential for emerging musicians to have a strong, effective online presence. A website acts as a hub where fans, industry professionals and media can easily find all relevant information about you and your music in one place. This eliminates the need to search across various sites and social media platforms, making it convenient for anyone interested in your work.

Along with social media, a website gives you the opportunity to establish a strong brand identity. You can shape the narrative around your music, your story and your values, and have full creative control over its aesthetic. Website analytics can also provide valuable insights into the demographics of your fanbase. This data can guide future decision-making processes and help you understand your audience better.

From your website, you can also give readers the option to sign up to weekly or monthly newsletters. Email newsletters are a powerful way to communicate with existing and potential listeners. They are a great way to increase fan loyalty, as you can share important updates on new releases, tour dates, merch and any other news. Newsletters can also be used to offer exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes stories, personal insights, early-bird tickets, or free downloads. 

Secure quality media coverage

Gaining media coverage is extremely important when it comes to reaching new audiences and building notoriety and credibility as an independent artist. In Scotland’s music industry, there’s a wide range of fantastic music blogs, local radio stations, national radio programmes, publications and review sites that cover emerging artists and new music releases across a range of genres.

Pink radio with purple background. Radio airplay is important for independent artists.

Landing features and airplay on these esteemed platforms can catapult your visibility to new heights and draw in fresh audiences. Furthermore, it can lead to new connections with industry insiders, which can open doors to valuable collaborations and experiences.

While navigating the complex world of media outreach may seem daunting, enlisting expert assistance can significantly increase your chances of gaining coverage. At Innes and Campbell Communications, we provide a tailored approach to ensure your story and music are authentically presented in the way that works for both the artist, and the media.

By partnering with us, you can tap into a trusted network of media contacts and utilise our extensive experience in creating effective promotional strategies to increase awareness of both established and emerging artists.

We have had the privilege of working with a wide range of musicians from the Scottish music scene and beyond, taking on a variety of campaigns including album PR, EP PR, single PR, tour PR campaigns as well as a range of social media strategies.

Get in touch to find out how we can help share your story – we would love to hear from you! 

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