Want to Promote Your Band for Free? Here’s How.

Ways to Promote Your Band for Free

A band playing on stage.

You’re starting your journey as an artist, and of course, you want people to know who you are. It might be hard to know just how to do that, especially on a budget. Here are some tips for promoting your band at no cost to you.

If you are looking to promote your band, it can be hard to know where to start. Most of the time, advertising can cost money, and if you’re just starting up, you may not have the resources to make that happen. Luckily, there are some things you can do to promote your band for free. 

Social media is a great tool to use to gain more attention, and most of the time it is free. While starting up and gaining new followers can be difficult, there are some tricks you can use to help. Promoting yourself through quality photos and information about your band is another great way to get your image out there. Playing at local venues can also increase your following. These are just a few of the many ways to promote your band at no cost.

Utilizing Social Media

Social media sites, especially TikTok and Instagram, are great ways to promote yourself. Because of the way the algorithm works in the apps, almost everyone has the potential to go viral. 

The TikTok Algorithm

These days, almost everyone is on TikTok. Due to everyone being stuck indoors during the pandemic, TikTok has become the most popular social media app, and it has effectively changed the music industry as we know it. Many artists thank TikTok for their success, including Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, Loren Gray, and more. 

The algorithm is a powerful tool that the app uses to push people’s videos to the top of everyone’s For You Page. By knowing what content people watch, the app curates each person’s feed to their liking. Most accounts that show up on the FYP are not followed by the user, rather pushed to their feed by the use of hashtags, sounds, and the content of the video. 

Sounds are a very important element when it comes to TikTok. It is the main component of the app, and it’s used by artists to promote their music. 

Adding a sound to the TikTok library is free, and if it’s catchy enough, people might just use it in their videos. You can make a video promoting your band and use your sound in the background. Be sure to include popular hashtags, too. This will help push your video to people’s FYPs. 

If you’re lucky, a popular artist might come across your video and use your sound or even duet your video.

Pop singer Gayle posing for the cover of ABCDEFU.
Singer Gayle became an instant sensation thanks to the TikTok algorithm. Image courtesy of Centennial.

For example, the song ABCDEFU by Gayle was released in 2021, and went ultra viral because of the TikTok algorithm. It became a trend because of its bold lyrics, and its catchiness. People used the song in various videos and it became a trending sound used by millions of users on TikTok. If not for the TikTok algorithm and the ability for sounds to go viral, the song would probably not have been as widely-known. Because almost everyone now uses TikTok, it’s the perfect platform to promote your music. While there’s not a 100%  guarantee that your song will go viral, there’s a good chance because it has happened before, you just have to keep posting and trust the algorithm.


Using Instagram is a great way to promote your band, because it is widely used and scrolled through by people and celebrities alike. The first step is to make your Instagram look professional and appealing. Be sure to include important information in your bio, such as any project or album your band is currently working on, your genre, and anything else you want people to know about you. Include a link to where people can listen, too, such as a link to your Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, etc.

Make sure all images and videos are high-quality and professional. If something is pleasing to the eye, more people are likely to stop and check it out. Additionally, posting content regularly gives you the best chance of success, as people are more likely to follow you if you post consistently. 

Instagram has changed a lot in the past year. Due to TikTok’s popularity, Instagram came up with Reels as competition, which are similar to TikTok videos. These Reels are now the main element of Instagram, and what gets the most views. Posting pictures is no longer the best way to get noticed; instead, try making a Reel of your band. A Reel can consist of many things, including a video of your band in action, an interactive Q&A with your followers, or a video about how you started the band. People love a good story. If you have the resources, music videos are a great way to get attention. Try posting your music video to a social media platform or posting it to YouTube and linking it on your Instagram bio. You could also create a short version of it and post it on TikTok. 

A smartphone showing social media analytics.
Social media is one of the best ways to gain more of a following and promote your music. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Reaching Out to External Sources

  • Researching music bloggers:  Many artists got their start by being promoted by a music blog, and you can do the same. Start by researching blogs that post about artists within your genre. Once you’ve found a few blogs that look like they would be open to writing about up and coming artists, reach out to see if they would be willing to do a post on your band.
  • Collaborating with local artists:  If you want to reach out to local artists, research some who are within your genre and have a larger following than you; small enough that they’ll respond to your request, but large enough that they’ll be able to get you some followers. Try reaching out on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok and see if they would be willing to do a collaboration with your band. They may even have some other tips to offer for promoting yourself. 
A group of girls sitting outside at a venue.
Community events are a great place to start playing your music in public. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Playing Local Venues

  • Reaching out to a restaurant or bar: Playing locally can help get your music out there. You can start small by reaching out to local restaurants and bars to see if they need someone to play live music. From there, you can put your band name and social media somewhere next to you while you play so that people know where to find you. 
  • Reaching out to community events: Aside from restaurants, you can also reach out to local events like festivals happening in your community. This way, you have a guaranteed audience to hear you play, plus your name will be on the festival’s guide or website. 
  • Reaching out to local bands: is another great way to get in on a venue. Someone local will probably know what it feels like to be in your shoes, and will likely be open to helping you. If they have a performance scheduled, they may need an opener. This is another great way to guarantee an audience. 

The Bottom Line

Every artist has to start small. Starting in your own community can be a great way to gain a local following, and grow your audience. Try reaching out to local events or venues like bars and places where they have live music. A lot of communities are always looking for ways to help local artists. 

When it comes to social media, the key is to post frequently and reach out to other local artists for collaborations or just for some pointers. The best way to show up on other people’s feeds is to use hashtags, locations, and post eye-catching content. Promoting your band for free is easier than you think, thanks to technology. It may seem intimidating when you compare yourself to other artists, but remember, they all had to start somewhere. If they can do it, you can do it. 

Emma Saunders

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