Get more listeners to your music without spending more money

Understanding the overlap between your song and your audience is the key to successfully marketing your music.

It’s easy to think we can improve our marketing by simply improving statistics and numbers.

I know I certainly fall into this trap from time to time.

It’s also easy to think that if we throw more money at it, we’ll get more results, but this isn’t always the case either.

Promoting our work is about more than how much we spend, CPM, or click-through rates.

It’s about connecting with people.

Music is a deep, fundamental element of the human experience.

It is an expression of emotion and a means of communicating in ways even language cannot achieve.

So if we want people to discover what we do and love it for years to come, then we have to dig deeper to tap into something more.

Here are three ways we can do that.

Create compelling visuals

We live in a visual world.

Everything we do, both online and offline, tends to center around the visual first.

Because humans are visual creatures.

This simple fact makes marketing music much more complex than marketing other, visual-first products.

After all, it’s easy to see a video of a car and think “car”.

But it’s a lot more difficult to see a video of a car and think “song”.

Now, one of the simplest ways to bypass this disconnect is to use performance footage to promote our music.

When we see someone performing, we can quickly connect the dots from video to song.

However, not every artist wants to create performance videos, and not every genre is even conducive to that type of content.

So what then?

Well, the visual component of music promotion is all about grabbing attention.

This is one of the many reasons performance footage is so effective (especially if the performer is good).

The first frame of your video has to captivate and make the listener stop scrolling long enough to give your music a chance.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s organic content or paid advertising.

The same rules apply.

Once the listener has stopped, then you need to retain that attention for long enough to convert it to the place you want it to go—your music.

This means your song has to do the work too.

But no matter how you slice it, the visual component you attach to your music cannot be phoned in or overlooked.

If the visual doesn’t get their attention first, they won’t stick around long enough to listen to your song in the first place.

Make it about your listener

At some point, we all make our music (and our marketing) about ourselves.

It’s just human nature.

The reality is that it’s about the listener.

In copywriting, one of the strongest shifts you can make to increase sales is to use less of the word “I” and more of the word “you”.

You want to position your customer as the hero of the story, not yourself.

Music is the same way.

We want people to connect with our work.

If they connect with us too, that’s great, but that’s not the goal.

People fall in love with songs first.

Every song, and even every moment within every song, is an opportunity to connect with the listener, to be the soundtrack to their story, not our own.

In every type of marketing, this is like jet fuel for powering conversions.

When someone feels seen or heard, when they feel like what they’re experiencing is about them, they lean in.

If you can craft an ad or video experience that speaks to someone’s story on a personal level and do that over and over again, you will create a tight-knit community of die-hards who rally around your art as a way to connect not just with you but with one another.

Your music is their fandom, and fandoms win.

Tap into the right emotion

Songs are a series of moments.

Outside of a handful of genres like ambient or drone, every song has moments of tension and release.

That build-up to the chorus.

The bridge section.

The drop.

These are all little events within a greater body of work designed to make the listener feel something.

And music is all about feeling.

Think about the emotion you want your listeners to feel when they listen to a specific song or yours.

How about a specific moment within that song?

Music is the soundtrack to our lives, the score for this great film we’re living out in real life where we’re the main character.

So what’s going on in the scene where your music is playing in the background?

Did someone just win the big game?

Are they going on a first date?

How about being down and out and alone in their room?

Get specific.

Every song has a moment and a purpose in the script of life.

The trick is to figure out where your song fits and then use marketing to position your song to accompany that moment.

Be clear—spell it out.

This is precisely why commercials for everything from restaurants to household products use jingles and hooks in their ads.

The palm-muted electric guitar riff in the truck ad to convey toughness and masculinity.

The lighthearted string section in the diaper commercial to communicate a sense of wonder and playfulness.

The sad piano track that takes an upward turn to convey joy when a lonely person is offered a Coke by a friend.

Because sharing, friendship, and Coca-Cola should make you happy.


If it sounds like it’s on the nose, that’s because it is.

Perhaps you’ve just never noticed it before.

But now you will.

And you can do the same thing with your music.

Whatever the emotion, whatever the moment, your song’s artwork should support that, your videos and content should communicate that, and the way you frame your work in the caption of every post, whether paid or organic, should tell that story.

The ultimate goal of music marketing is to put the right song in front of the right person at the right time and to connect.

Plain and simple.

If you can do that— if you can make someone believe your song is meant for them—you will have unlocked a whole new level of success as an independent artist.

Whenever you're ready, there are four ways I can help you:

  1. Read the Newsletter: Read previous issues of The One Thing to learn at your own pace and upgrade your marketing knowledge for free.
  2. Book a Consultation: Schedule a one-on-one call with me to improve your marketing across paid advertising, social media, and more.
  3. The Spotify Traffic Accelerator: Join the hundreds of artists who have successfully learned to automate their growth on Spotify using paid ads on Instagram.
  4. Become a DuPree X Artist: Hire our team to manage your marketing across streaming platforms and social media so you can focus on what matters most—making music.

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