I have been using Soundcloud for few of my projects for a few years now. I must say it is a very sleek service. In the beginning it was quite dance heavy, but now it is literally taking over by every genre imaginable. I remember hearing how some acts were making a name for them selves through Soundcloud, so of course I headed over and opened account, uploaded some music, set my profile image, bio and links to my website and social media sites. Then sat down to wait for people come flooding in… Well, no one did. But I liked the clean player they provided, so I decided to use it on my website. So my Soundcloud account sat there for a few years, getting few occasional hits through the website. I was happy enough with it, but could not see what the fuss was about…
So few years passed by, I was busy with my other bands touring, recording, promoting. But eventually I felt that the time to record my solo album was long over due. But in the mean time I also got few years wiser in my promotion. I had realized in the past how important the actual human contact had been to the success of the Irish folk band Sliotar, who I had been playing in for the past 14 years. By this I mean simple things like talking to people after shows, having a drink with them, keeping in contact through out the year when we were not around. And looking back now, it’s kind of funny how I could not connect the dots… So after recording my first solo album “Northern Boy” I once again delved in to the promotion. But this time it hit me home, especially through my use of Twitter, that if you make friends with your followers, like I had done at live shows for years, people will remember you, people will start to follow what you do.
But surely it couldn’t be this simple? Well yes and no. The another mistake we all make is thinking if only people will hear our (quality) music they will like it… Well, wrong! Some people will like it. But I am not expecting a Hip Hop fan or a Metal fan to fall in love with my Folk / Alt Country songs. Targeting is the next key word. And for years I ignored this. I thought my music was so special, impossible to put a label on it… Sounds familiar? Well here is the thing, it was not! And the fact is, that this was my big advantage. I was not trying to copy some one else, I didn’t sound like a copy of my heroes, far from it. But I realized people who were in to similar kind of music than I was, might just like my music. So wait for it, we just might have something to talk about as well! So I started reaching out to people who liked similar music that I liked and associated with, got in to conversations about music, something I love to do anyway. And suddenly my following all my social media sites started to grow. This was something I had tried to do for years by shouting out: “Listen to my music, you will love it!”, with practically no effect. Also I found so many new artists, my CD collection started to grow again 🙂
So I set out a plan, and put it in to practice, I will go in all the details in separate posts, but here I’ll let you know what I did on Soundcloud. I started to look for artists in my genre, or similar. I listened a lot of music in Soundcloud. And here is the first key, the more you use Soundcloud, the better your own tracks become visible. I found tracks I loved, I left comments, followed the artist. Sometimes this even lead to conversations. I posted a song once a week from my album. And here is one very important tip: Tag it correctly! If you tag it as “your artist name” I will not find it on my random wonders through the folk or country categories. You can ad many tags, but make sure the one main tag is very relevant! This alone will get you more listens than anything else. I Shared the track on all of my social media sites, and wrote a blog post about it on my website with the nice new Soundcloud player. Another note on the player, the old flash players will not work on Macs, iPads or iPhones. So use the new players, that actually look quite nice in my opinion. And here’s the thing, I listened to lot of music, liked and commented on the ones I really liked, left honest comments, never spamming, never asking people to come to listen to my music. As a result, people started checking my account out. In the years before I had acquired about ten followers. Once I put this plan in to action I had over 100 followers in a space of a month and well over 2000 plays. So what now? I will continue to do the same as part of my weekly promotion, I will continue to enjoy music and interact with people with similar tastes in music 🙂 What you need to remember is that none of the success stories you hear about, happen over night. Give it time and consistent work and you will see results
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