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How to promote yourself as a musician on instagram

Words by Kavina.

In order to promote oneself, one first must be seen. Instagram a.k.a Insta a.k.a the gram has given a social identity to music and its makers through the collision of micro-blog storytelling and image sharing of moments. With almost 1 billion users across the globe posting snapshots on the daily, Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world. 


‘Do it for the gram’

‘Insta likes’ are straight up currency in the millenial world, and there’s a playing field of influencers, fans, fellow musicians, businesses and fam all ready to pick up what you’re putting out. Sharing your music journey might be the sincerest kind of promotion, because you’re sharing moments in the pursuit of your craft. 


It’s a lifestyle, gang. 


Switch to a professional account to get the most out of your posts

You’ll gain marketing features such as the ability to directly sell music and schedule content. The Gram will give you access to analytics just like a facebook page so you can see which of your content is getting the most interest, promote your posts and run ads for new music. An added perk is a direct contact link. 


*See bio for more info 

This is your 150 word hook and written snapshot of important and current facts about you, presented with some flair. No biggie. Promote your album, supply booking info or let the world know you’re on tour. 


You only get one ‘link in bio’ so make it count 

Keep things tidy and use your one link with landing pages like linktree and linkfire. Your followers have access to relevant socials, websites, music stores, articles and email signups in one place.


When it comes to sharing, micro-post dont insta-spam

It's a common misconception that posting more content translates to a greater follower count or audience reach. The engagement level you achieve per post, correlates directly to its relevance to your fans, whether you post once a month or once a week. And yes the band selfie will get you the most hits because people love to look at people doing people stuff. 


Check your insta-stories, we’re goin live

There’s been a significant shift in how artists engage with their fans after live performances came to a resounding halt during the COVID pandemic and we’ve been lapping up the live Q&As, tiny performances and how-to tutorials. 


James Blake’s first attempt at instagram live-streaming had us tuning in at 6am AEST during week two COVID lockdown for the wakeup we didn't know we were missing. His live rendition of Frank Ocean’s GODSPEED went viral on TikTok as a result which he politely ended up releasing for his fans. 


Change the definition of live music and make your mark. 


A for Aesthetics, how pleasing is your instagrid?

Instagram isn’t a science, the structure of content curation is fairly simple, you just have to make sure that your audience is getting the bigger picture of who you are and the music you make. 


Are you a Los Angeles based solo artist with an experimental, left-field style which is illustrated through artistic visuals and album artwork? I get that impression from my first glance at James Blake's instagrid, but I could also be describing a thousand other artists.   


Feeling lost? Try some thematics #tbt

If you’re stuck for content, thematics can be a great place to start developing your brand image. Pick 5 or 6 categories like influences, live performances, best cheeseburgers, fashion or music gear and tailor your images and hashtags to match. You never know, once you gain some acclaim, you might even land a Fender sponsorship out of your consistent instalove for their gear. #notanad 


Caption this, comment below 

This is an easy one. Comments establish your voice, can be catchy or informative, long or short, but above all should encourage your audience to engage. Ask a question, write a short story, insert lyrics as an image caption, we’ve seen it all. Followers don’t mind as long as they find it worth their time to listen to your voice.


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