Four Sneaky Ways to Market Your Music

I know you don’t want to be sneaky but I’m sure you don’t want to be an annoying salesman who pushes people to buy stuff, either. You somehow want to keep your dignity and voice intact.

These “sneaky” marketing techniques aren’t actually sleazy, they’re just hacks so you market more without exerting more effort.

That way, you will have time for more important stuff…like making more music or sleeping (seriously, you need more sleep).


Instead of sounding like a broken record, promoting your album every minute of the day, why don’t you let other people talk for you about you.

This is great because a.) it reduces your chances of getting unfollowed on Facebook; b.) Your vocal chords and fingertips have to rest; c.) people believe in recommendations and word-of-mouth.

How to do this? Approach bands, approach bloggers, approach everyone you know who’s influential. They can simply post about your album on their Twitter accounts or they can wear your merch or they can feature you on their blogs.


Everybody loves free stuff. I don’t know anyone who hates free. To make your fans giddy, give them some freebies now and then.

But as you know, nothing is really free, right? Anything given free, must get something from you even if it’s just an e-mail address. That’s the sneaky part of it. But it’s not bad.

You can either choose something that’s so cheap to make (custom guitar pick, stickers) in exchange for e-mail addresses or something bigger (your guitar, a living room concert) for a Facebook contest.

This will make things roll faster. The list of free stuff is limitless- free songs, free guitar lessons, free games.


This is actually similar to freebies. Bundle your CDs with merch and sell them way cheaper than the individual items in the set.

This will make them feel they’re getting more bang from their buck. Of course, you have to make sure you don’t set the price to low because a.) you need to earn; b.) this could make them think that you’re desperate and cheap (a big turn off). Read about the psychology of pricing before you set your price.


Many things can be crowdsourced- your t-shirt design, album design, music video. What’s so great about this is that it makes your fans feel like they’re really part of your career.

One band asked their fans to make their own video singing their song. They compiled over a hundred videos and turned it into their official music video.

This is such a brilliant idea! Think of ways your fans can engage with you or cooperate with you that all of you can benefit from.


James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.

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