Every artist wants their songs to be heard, but you have to do a few things right to get somewhere with your music. Let’s assume that the quality of your music is good and that you have really solid production skills. The only thing that’s holding you back is that nobody knows about you and your music. You need to get your songs out there. The problem is that there are thousands of other producers just like you and that you compete with every single other producer who makes music in the same genre as you. This article will focus on the right methods to stand out from the crowd and promote your music.
Create a Soundcloud and YouTube account
This is the obvious first step you have to take. People will only download your music if they know that they actually like it. Finish your songs and upload them to your Soundcloud channel and to your YouTube channel. It’s by far the easiest way to build a following and a fan base.
Create social media accounts
The second obvious step that almost everybody seems to get right. Social media websites like Facebook or Twitter are your chance to interact with your first fans. Build yourself a fan base, answer questions that people throw at you and share your new songs or what you’re working on at the moment.
Make your songs available as a free download
Here is the first trap many producers step into. There’s absolutely no use in making the few people who listen to your music pay for your songs. You won’t earn a fortune and you limit your possible exposure by a huge amount. The best thing that can happen to you is somebody downloading your track and playing it to their friends. Maybe one of them likes your music and you just gained an additional fan without doing any promotion work. When you make people pay for your songs you are shooting your own fan base growth in the foot. There’s still plenty of time to cash in on your success when you’ve actually made it.
Now some of you try to be clever and hide your “free” tracks behind “like walls”. That’s way better than making people pay for your music, but still a pet peeve of mine. When I just discovered you and I like your song and like you as an artist I’m going to follow you on Soundcloud/YouTube/Facebook/Twitter anyway because I want to hear your new stuff as soon as you release it. Don’t force your potential fans to follow or like you on these networks. They will do it on their own terms when they feel that you deserve it. Hiding tracks behind like walls is just an unnecessary hassle for everyone involved. With that being said, if you still believe in the concept and feel like you have to do it, only use one like wall. People won’t download your songs when they have to give you their email, like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, and follow you on Soundcloud. I’ve seen tracks hidden behind three like walls. That’s just completely unreasonable and will definitely push me away.
Reach out to music blogs
Believe it or not, but people actually visit and read music blogs. It’s easier and less time consuming to have someone curate good music for you than you digging in the depths of Soundcloud or YouTube yourself. Music blogs are influential and you want to promote your music on them. When you manage to get your song on five different blogs with 1.000 visitors per day each, you suddenly reached 5.000 people with your music. Being featured on the right music blogs allows for huge growths in listens and likes on your tracks and ultimately also results in more fans to spread the word about you and your work.
You might be asking yourself “How should I approach music blogs?” now. That’s the hard part because everyone running these websites will have different preferences regarding the emails you write them. Most blogs probably have some kind of submission guidelines and it’s definitely in your best interest to follow these guidelines because your email certainly won’t be the only one arriving on any given day. We here at LTTB get about 25 emails per day and we’re a really small website compared to our biggest competition. You can imagine how many emails they receive on a daily basis and you don’t want to be the annoying producer whose email gets deleted right away because he didn’t manage to follow the submission guidelines.
What’s really important for us when we go through our email submissions is that we see that producers actually put some effort into writing us. I really don’t like the trend of every little producer sending out press releases. That’s just something you copy and paste and send to 200 other websites with the shotgun approach to networking and promoting. It’s nothing personal and took little to no effort. Other blogs may not agree with us here, but if you’re sending us your tracks you should just write an email and show that you care. Be friendly, tell us a little bit about you and your music, include links to streams of your song and the artwork and people will take the time to read it and to listen to your work. Emails that only contain “Listen to my dope song! It rocks! soundcloud.com/genericbullshit” on the other hand will be in the trash without any further thought.
Tag your music
When I say tag your music I mean tag your music correctly. People who download your music will really really appreciate it. There is this little thing called ID3 Tag which gives devices information about the song. At least tag the artist and the title information correctly. That way it doesn’t matter what the name of the file is, the programs and devices will show the right artist name and the right song name. If you now also take the time to name the file correctly you’re decreasing the workload of everyone who likes to have a well-sorted music library. The easiest way to do this is probably a little program called MP3Tag.
Upload complete songs
Nobody likes previews. Star producers get away with it because thousands of people are anticipating their next song and even a 1:30 snippet will satisfy the fan’s need to hear something new. If you’re reading this however, chances are that you’re not Avicii but a small artist who just took the first steps of his career. Give your fans and everyone that is interested the complete and full song. 1:20 of build up and fading out before the song goes anywhere gets old really fast.
We hope this little article was helpful to some of you who seek the support of music blogs and want to promote their work in a good way. Please let us know if you have any questions. We’ll gladly answer them in the comments or on Facebook/Twitter.