Get the World to Listen!
Its extremely important, as a new producer, to learn how to market your music. With great leaps in music technology and social networking there have been more bedroom DJ’s and grass roots musicians emerging than ever before. Recently, we’ve seen a larger demand for websites to conveniently host and advertise our music for the world to hear. There are many options available ranging from a simple (yet criminally under rated) MySpace page to sites like randrworld.com who will not only host music but allow you to licence it directly to Ad agencies or Synch Companies.
Every site has its own practicality and I would recommend you utilize all of them but one thing is for certain, musicians all over the place constantly tell us that they swear by SoundCloud.
SoundCloud has flourished from a straightforward site for sharing tracks with fellow musicians into a place where you can collaborate and publish your own music, allowing more freedom than ever before. The site itself is simple to use and in a few hassle free minutes you have your own page ready to share your hard work with the world. I even made it through the T&C’s without falling asleep!
The beauty of SoundCloud is not just its simplicity, but other little things such as:
- Being able to leave a comment at specific points in a song allowing extensive feedback and critique from listeners.
- Each song you upload is given its own URL. So one link is all it takes to show off your latest project.
- Upload limit is measured by time rather than file size, something which really lets down sites such as Reverb Nation. Instead of worrying about file size as you export you now have 2 hours of space to fill up. This is especially important if, like me, you not only write songs but music you intend for synchronisation or a portfolio of short pieces used for advertising.
- These sites are built with social media in mind and the variety of widgets and apps available to you for plastering all over the web means you can build a global fan base from the comfort of your bedroom with daytime TV blaring in the corner.
Unfortunately a lot of people are setting up their music pages, but underestimating the true power of social networking and social media at their fingertips…
– Your Facebook page and Twitter account are AS important as your music site.
Building a following with social media can help drive new and fresh ears to your music that might have never heard you otherwise. It’s quite easy to start building a following, with twitter its as easy as creating an account and following similar artists in your industry. Then you can even begin to follow people who follow these artists with the hopes of them following you back so they can catch any updates you might have on your music. These people are your potential fans, so treat them well and keep feeding them new and original stuff, this will help you grow your following exponentially.
Finalise everything before you publish!
Make sure all your songs are uploaded correctly and the cover art attached to each one. Have your Facebook and Twitter linked to your Sound Cloud page and go over your personal info. Make sure it’s concise, states exactly what kind of music you make and any other information you want to put across to fans. Once it’s ready you can post/tweet/text/nuisance phone call all about your new tracks and where to hear them.
And for the love of God, make sure it’s the final version of the track. The number of times I accidentally put up a work in progress, unmixed mess because I had so many drafts of the one song.
Build your brand: Get an image
Some artwork, a photo of you and your band or even a logo.
I do all of my own artwork and design thanks to a few years studying Illustration and Art at college along with a misspent youth spraying graffiti on things I wasn’t supposed to. Even if you can’t draw or use Photo-Shop there’s nothing stopping you downloading a stylish font and slapping it on a picture of yourself.
More often than not, a simple design with your name proves the best branding and a nice logo looks good anywhere. Just ask Apple.
Have a plan
Don’t just put a song up and post on Facebook, really think about how that song could be shown around the world. I see a lot of musicians posting their latest track and it just sits there. Dishevelled, no cover photo and a little note saying “Hey guys, check out my new song!” but I hardly ever do because there’s nothing to draw me in.
I once mashed up two songs by The Beastie Boys and Muse. Instead of just posting it on some DJ sites I scoured Facebook looking at the different Muse fan pages and showed them the track. Within a few minutes I had posted it on a page titled ‘Muse Tattoos’ and within a few hours my page views had skyrocketed. This was 3 days into me having a SoundCloud page. I also uploaded it to Youtube with a video of pictures related to the two bands that I edited in time with the music. This gave me one more thing to post on blogs and sites, something I did while never admitting I was the one who made it. A little bit of work like that can reap big rewards and all it takes is some planning.
If you can’t think of something to post or tweet, post the link to your SoundCloud page again. Post a song by an artist you like or show support for a fellow local musician and post a link to their songs. They’ll pay you back for it. You MUST keep your profile in people’s eyes. Constant changes to Facebook and the advent of online personalised advertising means your online presence could get lost if there isn’t consistent content coming from your social networking pages. The great thing about Twitter is that you’re essentially spamming people guilt free because of the nature of the site. You write something witty, THEN happen to mention your SoundCloud page. You can follow people then interact in their conversations with others without looking nosey, and the famous ‘Follow Friday’ can get you a whole lot more attention week by week. Just observe and interact with people in your town or city and your presence among the locals should build up nicely.
This is a basic plan of attack for releasing a song. Depending on the music scene you’re involved with, where you live etc. you’ll have your own ideas on what to do to get noticed. As I said earlier I simply write music and get others to collaborate so I have my own thing. The best advice you can get is to just keep writing and show it off online through a reliable website such as SoundCloud. Always make sure you’re meeting new people and networking, not just online. That’s how you’ll turn this into a career. If you’re going to host your material online then treat it as a base-camp from which you branch out. Don’t fall into the trap of uploading, but never truly sharing the music you worked so hard on.
You managed the difficult part, creating an original track. Learn how to market your music, get it out there and show everybody what you can do.
– William G. (Internet music promotion expert)