If you are looking to promote your music, you should consider SoundCloud. As the most important and largest online music community, SoundCloud provides independent artists the needed online platform for showcasing and promoting their DIY music. SoundCloud was started by Alexander Ljung along with Eric Wahiforss in 2007.
Since its founding, it has grown steadily and now has over 175 million worldwide users every month. You can subscribe to it either in two ways: via free membership or paid membership. You can also access SoundCloud via your mobile or computer devices.
How to Expand Your SoundCloud Listeners
SoundCloud provides independent artists with a platform to promote their music by giving them the needed online space for promotion. Aside from providing independent artists that needed platform, SoundCloud also provides them with tons of useful tools for expanding their listeners base. Independent artists can use these following tools to further expand their online visibility in the platform and increase their number of followers.
1) Make Uniquely Good Music!
Although there have been great bands and artists who never became popular, there is always a great chance for great music to be known, especially nowadays. With many far-reaching musical platforms online, you can always get the chance to market your music, provided it is good. Well, you may argue that if some crap songs have become popular, why can’t my music be? The answer is simple—if your music is good, there is no reason for it not to be popular.
So, if you want to use SoundCloud as your platform for promoting your DIY album, for example, you should ensure that your music is great. Crap music, of course, may become popular for a while, but soon, it will never survive the acid test of longevity. Soon after, listeners will get tired of it.
The uniqueness and beauty of your music is your best marketing tool. Hence, if you want to expand your base of listeners, make sure that your music is really good.
Listeners, of course, sift through the pile of crap music on SoundCloud. Afterward, they settle for music that they like. Moreover, although some horrible songs are sometimes uploaded on SoundCloud, only the worth-listening tracks are able to survive and expand their listener’s base. So, the rule is clear—make sure that your music is uniquely good!
2) Leverage Your Listening Base!
Knowing whom to tap and how to tap them can spell out the big difference in the level of popularity of your music. That is also applicable to SoundCloud. Some people are better at marketing the music that they like. So, you do not have to experiment with your marketing strategies and tactics. You can always tap those people who can help you market your music.
Some people make it their goal to find good music for a wider audience. So, you should find these people. You should also make use of channels that are available on SoundCloud that can help you leverage the marketing of your music. These channels are the Repost Channels, Promotional Channels, Artists with large followings, Labels/Collectives, and Playlisters. Hence, make sure you utilize these channels in your promotional strategies and tactics.
3) Make Your Album Art Right!
The promotion of your album is like the promotion of a business. Businesses have logos that are associated with their businesses. Once you see a logo, for example, you immediately associate it with a specific business. Similarly, your album and music are associated with your album art. If your track, for example, is embedded or linked to a blog, your album artwork will also go with that embed.
Moreover, if your track gets shared on Facebook, your album art also goes with that link. Thus, you should ensure that your album art is like a logo that will get your music associated with it. Besides, your artwork should stick to the consciousness of your listeners. So, once they click on your track, they will subconsciously get aware of your album art. You should use PNG or JPG with 800 X 800 pixels for maximum effect and best result.
You should not relent in investing money on your album art. Make sure that it is well-thought of.
4) Use Tag for Expanding Your base of listeners
Another good way to let new fans access your music is through tagging. You can use the tag-for-success tool to make your fans discover your music when searching on SoundCloud. The more you tag, the easier your music will be found.
When you do the tagging, you should be honest with it. Make sure that you categorize well your music. Your tag should include the main genre of your music. You can also add your location and moods. Make sure that you stick to a particular genre. In this way, you can make your music more discoverable. The more your tag is accurate and concise, the easier others will find your music.
A good tip will be to tag your collaborators on SoundCloud. You should use “@” sign before the name of their SoundCloud to ensure that their profiles are linked.
5) Expand your Network of Friends
People will share your music if you are friends with them. So, if you want to further leverage the SoundCloud promotion of your music, you should make more friends, meaning, you should be as friendly as possible. You can team up with some producers, for example, collectively. You can communicate with them and request them to repost your music as you repost their music too.
If you have a working friendly group, your effort would be further bolstered by the help of your group of friends. Moreover, you can try to release an album consisting of collections of tracks from your group of friends. You can set this album up for a download gate so that those who would like to get access to your album will also follow each track in the album collectively.
6) Increase Your YouTube Visibility
Gone were the days when the only way to publicize your music was through radio and TV. Nowadays, we have the internet, and most notably, YouTube, which can be considered the equivalent of MTV. On YouTube, you can promote your new music videos to your adoring fans. The process is simple. You only need to upload your track on YouTube, and it becomes accessible to your fans.
YouTube and SoundCloud do not readily integrate. So, sometimes you need to manage your account on YouTube separately from that of SoundCloud.
Your purpose in posting on YouTube, however, aside from promoting your track, is to lead your fans to your SoundCloud site or page via links. You can use teaser videos to achieve this purpose. Good teasers, of course, can make listeners long for more of your music. You can have the link embedded in the music video, or you can provide the link to your SoundCloud page in the video description.
7) Publish Only Your Potential Hit
You may be a prolific composer, and you have dozens of compositions that you think are good. So, your band recorded several tracks. Yet, since you have a limited window for publishing and attaining widespread listeners base on SoundCloud, you should carefully choose the track that you think will be a hit.
You cannot expect listeners to listen to all your tracks. Yet, if you make that breakthrough and made a hit, listeners will long for more from you. So, you should ensure that the first track that you publicize on SoundCloud belongs to your best tracks.
8) Set Your Track for Free Download
You may want to monetize your music. After all, you have spent time, effort, and money for the recording and the album cover. Yet, if you are just starting and you want to reach a wider fanbase, it would be beneficial to make your music downloadable for free.
No one wants to pay for a piece of new and untested music. So, you should at least set aside monetization for a while. Focus on expanding the reach of the promotion of your music. And the only way to do it is to give it for free. Refrain from selling your track until you have created a longing for your music.
9) Link Your Other Social Media Account to Your SoundCloud
SoundCloud is a great platform for promoting your music. Yet, it is not the only platform out there. Thus, you should not stop on SoundCloud. Instead, you should use other social media platforms to further expand your fanbase. Utilize the far-reaching clouts of Twitter and Facebook.
Instead of sticking to SoundCloud, you should share your music on all platforms using the “Share” tab. You can also use the “auto-post” feature of SoundCloud by clicking on your Account Settings and managing your connections. You can connect your SoundCloud account to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and even Google+ using the auto-posting feature of your SoundCloud account.
Additional Advice: Thing You Should Avoid Doing on SoundCloud
Aside from doing the abovementioned tips on how to leverage the promotion of your music on SoundCloud, you should also refrain from doing these things:
Don’t Remixing Other Artists’ Music
Some artists thrive in borrowing from other artist’s music and remixing them. Yet, this thing is usually frowned upon by other artists and fans. Fans, of course, want something unique and new. Moreover, SoundCloud does not tolerate anything that breaches copyright laws. So, you can always expect SoundCloud to delete your remixes if it breaches any copyright laws.
If you intend to release a remix of another artist’s work, you can release separately on a “Remix/Bootleg” Account of SoundCloud. In this way, you can avoid being tagged as someone who breaches copyright laws. It would do you well to avoid any legal entanglement at the onset of your musical career.
Don’t Share Too Much
Since you want to leverage the promotion of your music by reposting other artists’ music, it does not mean that you should share without care. As an artist, you are building your brand. Fans will also try to know which bands or artists you follow. Now, if you have shared a track that is not good, your fans might get disappointed with you. Moreover, it may be detrimental to your brand.
Of course, sharing the works and music of other artists is a great way to help other artists gain traction in the promotion of their music. It is also a better way to promote camaraderie among artists. In turn, they may help you promote your music and even recommend your band for a gig. So, reposting the music of others is great, but it should be done with care.