Picture this: You’re an artist or DJ and you’ve got some tight tracks and mixes to showcase. You’ve got your name, a bio, and you’re ready to get some exposure.
What do you need, to get yourself out there, and to give yourself the best platform to build upon?
Although not strictly speaking an essential requirement. At least having your own URL (web address) goes a long way – even if you are just re-directing it to your Facebook or Soundcloud profile. Ideally though you can set up a page where you can list things like your mixes, discography, shows, newsletter signup and potentially even blog.
There’s also the case for encouraging people to become a member of your site in return for some freebies – which is what I’ve set up at my own site.
Nowadays it’s possible to set up a website with somewhere like Squarespace or Wix, but there is a lot to be said for employing a proper web designer and developer to build you something if you have the budget.
Ideally your website should be your hub – the place where you direct people from all other social media sites in order to funnel your fans into a system where you can keep them updated and informed without needing to rely on other platforms.
At the moment, it’s more or less industry standard for electronic music producers to have a Soundcloud account. Whether you use it to post clips, full tracks or you run everything past your followers there, it’s worth setting one up.
Some will shout Soundcloud’s apparent downfall from the rooftops, but I don’t think it’s going to be going anywhere soon. I think it’s one of the best platforms out there, and if you can use it to the fullest, it can really open up a world of opportunities.
Possibly more for the DJs, this is a good spot to host your mixes. The only downside being the lack of download options. I couple my Mixcloud uploads with a link in the description to somewhere the mix can be downloaded, whether it’s a dropbox link or a link to my website where the mp3 file can be grabbed. That way you’re making use of the platform, but keeping those who wish to download, happy.
Love it or hate it, it’s a tool to be used, and loads of people like to get their updates via Facebook. If you have a profile, then use it to create a “Page” for your artist or DJ, if you don’t, then consider making a profile in order to create a “Page”. You may also want to make a personal profile for you as an artist, and there are always options for creating groups to engage your fans and events for your album launches or mixes.
With so many users on Facebook it’s really not something to be ignored.
It’s not for everyone, but there is a substantial international audience using Twitter to keep up with musicians, artists & DJs. If you’re not on there, then you risk missing that chunk of people who prefer to get their latest updates in bite-size format.
Youtube is technically the world’s second largest search engine, and it’s owned by the world’s first. If you’re not on it, and using it, there’s definitely something wrong. How many times have you been somewhere and wanted to let someone hear a track. Where’s the first place most people look? Yep. You guessed it.
Although in theory, Instagram is an image-based sharing platform, it’s grown into one of the most crucial platforms for a brand (and that’s what you, as an artist are!) to communicate with followers. Instagram boasts the highest percentage of fan-to-brand interaction out of all the social networks.
One of the biggest blogs/magazines and event repositories online, this is well worth signing up for. You can only create an “artist profile” if you have been charted on RA, or performed at a public venue event. If you’ve got a billed slot at a forthcoming event which isn’t on RA, then you can always add one, or you can ask whoever has listed the event (if it’s on RA) to add you, so that you can create your artist/DJ profile. Alternatively, you may be able to get someone who is already a DJ or artist to chart you, if you have a release that they can chart. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
It may seem like a bit more work, but it will be very useful in the long-run, and when you do start getting releases charted, and events billed it’s going to be a very useful hub for your activity, news and reviews.
Not so much a profile, but you should aim to get your music on Spotify when you have something released. Obviously this may be down to the label you release with and their preferences, but if you opt to self-release your music, then it’s not difficult to use a distribution company to get your tracks on Spotify.
I cover using distribution companies to get your music on iTunes, Spotify and many other platforms in my free course “Getting Started With Self Releasing Music”. Sign up here.
Despite what you may think, Spotify is not all about making money from your music via streams – it’s more about awareness and availability. If you music is available on Spotify in the same way it’s available on YouTube, then you’ve got a better opportunity of getting listeners. It will give you some cash (however small an amount) but it will more importantly raise your profile, and may mean a handful more people when you come to perform or DJ somewhere.
More and more, people are trying to get away from social media. This doesn’t mean that they want to stop finding out about music or their favourite artists. So how do you make sure they can stay up to date? Email is your answer.
It’s simple enough to set yourself up with a Mailchimp, Aweber, Campaign Monitor (or similar) account, and start building up a “list” (AKA, database) of people who want to be updated. Integrating a signup form with your website or on your Facebook page is easier and easier these days, and with Mailchimp you get the ability to send 1000 emails a month for free (that’s one email a month to up to 1000 subscribers, or two a month to up to 500 subscribers, and so on). Once you get into bigger amounts of subscribers, there is a small cost involved with most platforms.
Signing up for all these networks is easy enough (they want to make it simple after all) but keeping them looking good, regularly updated and all hooked together is a bigger deal. Using them to funnel your fans to your main site and convert those fans into email signups in order to keep them up to date more effectively is also something of a challenge!
It’s a challenge you need to rise to however, since having just one of these platforms means you’re missing out on potential fans, and that will mean less people consuming or buying your music or mixes, coming to shows, interacting with you and so on. There are really only benefits to having these all set up and working in your favour.
It’s all fine for me to tell you to sign up for these services and expect it to all work out – the real art is in how you update them, when you update them and how you get them looking good, so I’ll be covering each network in more detail in future articles.
Do you have any other platform recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!
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