1. Focus on putting up quality music.
First thing’s first—if you want people to get on board with what you do, you have to give them something worth paying attention to. Don’t just throw up a new track as soon as you finish recording it. Take some time to make sure that what you’ve worked on sounds original and distinctive. As a musician, your first priority should be constantly improving your craft.
- Placing an emphasis on tight, professional mixing can help your tracks stand out from the millions of others out there.
- Remember, quality trumps quantity. It’s not a race to see who can stack up the most tracks in the shortest amount of time.
Open with a brief, engaging introduction to greet visitors to your page and let them know who you are and what they can expect from your music. Your bio will usually be one of the first things new listeners will see, so it’s important that it be well-written and engaging.
- An intriguing bio might say something like “A good song is like a conversation. For thirteen years, my guitar has been taking to me, and I’ve listened closely. The result is a white-hot slug of low-country rhythm and blues that strums like David Allan Coe, croons like Roy Orbison, and burns like a swig of bootleg shine straight out of granddaddy’s fruit cellar.”
- Try not to ramble on at length. There’s no need to cover every detail of your life. Keeping it short and sweet will often make more of an impression.
3 Upload a high quality profile picture.
Your user image should serve as a visual representation of you or some aspect of your style. It could be anything from a simple photograph to a funky symbol to the artwork of your latest release. Be sure to select high-resolution images so your profile will appear more professional at a glance.
- Show a little character by putting up an action shot of your playing, or use an original logo to create clear branding for your bands or conceptual project.
- For the cleanest-looking display, SoundCloud recommends that users choose an image that’s a square 1000×1000 pixels.
4 Create original artwork to accompany your tracks.
No new release is complete without album art. Even if you’re just remixing a previous single or dropping a one-off track for fun, giving your followers something to look at as well as listen to will help them form a stronger connection to your music.
- Scour the internet for eye-catching images that you can slap your logo on, or design your own original artwork using traditional art tools or a computer illustrator program.
- Reposition or zoom in on your album art while uploading to highlight the most eye-catching parts.
5. Write out a detailed description for each track.
This is your chance to tell users the story behind your music. You can use your song descriptions to explain your creative process, share interesting background info, or provide a list of the specific equipment you used to produce your signature sound. All these elements will help paint a more complete picture of you as an artist.
- Your song descriptions can also be a good place to acknowledge other musicians you’ve collaborated with, or who have helped inspire and shape your sound.
- Round out your descriptions with bonus content like lyrics or instrument tabs to get your listeners singing along.
6. Interact with other SoundCloud users.
Always be on the prowl for new profiles to follow. When you come across an artist that grabs your attention, like, repost, or comment on a few of their songs. Chances are, they’ll appreciate the recognition and be motivated to take a closer look at your music in return.
- Don’t blindly give out follows in hopes of being followed back. Not only is it lazy and impersonal, it can make you look desperate for attention.
- Being complimentary of other artists has the added benefit of making you seem friendly, which can help you win fans.
7. Take part in collaborations to expand your audience.
Get in touch with artists that have a similar sound ask if they would be interested in working together. Collaborations can be a great way to make some truly special music with the power to reach twice the number of listeners. It also gives you an opportunity to do a little cross-promotion in the process.
- Include a link to your partner’s profile when you publish your collaborations to make sure you both get your due credit and exposure.
8. Use tags to attract more listeners.
Anytime you release a new song, tag it with as many relevant descriptive terms as you can think of. When a curious listener clicks one of those tags, your song will show up in the results. Some of the most far-reaching tags you can use include your artist name, the track title, the musical genre, and the names of artists or record labels that put out similar music.
- You can also use your tags to describe the mood of the song, or even the instruments or equipment used to record it.
- A targeted tag list might look something like this: “#HibachiBeats #TwistOfFate #EDM #Electronic #ProgressiveHouse #DeadMau5 #MinistryOfSound #BigBeatRecords.”
9. Invite listeners to share your music in your song descriptions.
Sometimes, getting what you want is as simple as being willing to ask. Add a closing line to your bio or song descriptions saying something like “If you like what you hear, be sure to like, follow, and repost!” Your listeners will be more likely to fulfill your request if you’re explicit about it.
- Put a clickable hyperlink to your profile or a particular track somewhere in plain sight to make it easy for users to copy and paste elsewhere.
- Don’t forget to thank your longtime subscribers and new listeners alike for their continued interest and support. Common courtesy goes a long way in building a following.
10. Make your tracks available for download.
To enable downloading, just go to the permissions tab on any of your posted tracks and check the “Enable Downloads” bubble. Other users will then be able to save your songs to their device of choice and play them whenever they want. The more places your music goes, the more potential followers you stand to gain.
- Standard users are entitled 100 free downloads per track. Those with Pro accounts get 1,000, and Pro Unlimited users enjoy unlimited downloads on their entire library.