Here it is essential that you understand that the solutions we will mention won’t make any difference if your music isn’t top-notch and original.
Therefore, you must first be confident with the music you are creating. If you think your music sounds great, the strategies we will recommend, will definitely help you get more exposure.
Without any further ado, lets go through the strategies we would recommend.
1. Release quality content consistently
When you finish a demo or have a musical idea that sounds great, you shouldn’t put it out on SoundCloud immediately. The idea may probably be gold, but your online and public presence is a reflection of who you are as an artist. Therefore, you must understand that you should only post finished tracks that are a truthful and complete representation of your work. In the end, all work that is polished will be better than some unfinished idea.
It is also necessary that you use high-quality sounds to achieve a good sounding track. Only use the best samples out there if you are not recording your own. It may be hard to find good sample packs for free, but there are great sounding sample packs that are available for free. These could immediately contribute to a better sound.
Quality content doesn’t only rhyme with the ingredients of your track. If your track isn’t properly mixed and mastered, who would listen to it? To use an analogy, who would eat an overcooked meal? There are some great resources out there that can help you improve your mixing and mastering skills such as online production courses, informative youtube tutorials or even books on the given topic.
However, at this stage, you don’t want to be obsessed by the quality of your tracks whilst not releasing anything for a long lapse of time. There is a right balance to be found between quality and consistency. Moreover, if you release tracks consistently you will give your audience something to look forward to. At an early stage, this can be crucial, in order to build expectations.
2. Develop your artistic image
Developing a brand in the right way is something you will have to learn if you want to become a successful artist. Of course, most of the big artists today have an entire team working with them on their image. However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot create a meaningful image on your own. With branding, you must be consistent. In the industry, music professionals look for artists with a strong brand and image. Furthermore, if you are seen as professional and legitimate, potential new fans would also be willing to pay attention to you.
That is not to say that this is an easy process. Tailoring everything to a unique image takes time. But once you find your image and make your personality shine out, you will undeniably increase your chances of getting exposure for your music. In fact, it’s the only real way to stand above the crowd.
To develop your artistic image, you need to ask yourself a few questions as an artist:
- What sets my music apart from the mainstream?
- How can my personal story be interesting for someone who has never heard my music?
- What message am I trying to convey?
- How can I transmit that message through album artwork, social media posts, photos, colour schemes, website, merch, blog, press interviews?
Here, we would strongly recommend the use of strong visuals across your entire online presence. In the beginning, it is important to choose one image that represents you well and use Colours to automatically generate a colour scheme from it. Additionally, you can use an online tool like Canva to create appealing graphics which are perfect for Soundcloud cover photos.
3. Identify your target audience
You should always target a specific audience even though your music already sounds great. In fact, even if your music is the best possible sounding, it will never appeal to everyone. Nonetheless, the secret is that there is a niche audience for every artist. When you have figured out the audience you are targeting, you need to get specific and understand the best ways to reach them.
This question is related to your brand identity. What type of artist do you want to be? What is the purpose of your music? What is the sound signature that differentiates you from other artists? What artists can you be compared to? Are there any blogs that consider your type of music? What is the audience reaching out to these blogs? A good tip here is to look at the “about” and “advertising” pages of these blogs which can already give you a good idea about their audience demographics. Through your social media, you should understand (even at early stages) the demographics behind your following (age, gender, location etc)…
The data you collect from this enables you to build a fan profile, which should be at the centre of all your marketing efforts. If your fan profile is specific, your marketing will be much more effective. In that way, you will easily gain more exposure for your music.
4. Think outside of the box
This means at the same time to think differently, but also to think outside of the social media box. Soundcloud is one way you can reach an audience, however, it is not the only way. You should use other social media to extend your Soundcloud following.
Moreover, performing outside (setting up an event) or promoting some of your tracks with free downloads are great methods (not everyone uses) you can use in order to gain more following. We urge you to build a network in your local area. Soundcloud followers don’t mean anything unless you have a real following.
As mentioned in the introduction, we cannot stress on how important it is to provide some value. This can be through YouTube tutorials or free downloads but it can be anything that can be valuable for the listener.
Thinking outside of the box also relates to the advice we mentioned in the reasons why your music doesn’t noticed. Just staying in your room and hoping that your music will magically be noticed is not enough. Being creative is also being creative about the people you contact. In fact, building a relationship with people is very important at the early stages. For example, if you think your music is good enough, you can submit it to some promotional channels on Soundcloud or Youtube. In this case, you should look at channels that have about 1-2k followers. When doing this, you should send your music to a lot of different channels. The ratio is about 5 reposts for 20 submissions, even if there is no strict rule.
Another recommendation is to make remixes. A good remix can definitely get you noticed. Furthermore, collaborations can be handy. If you collaborate with an artist that has a greater following than you on Soundcloud, you can get some of their followers through the collaboration. Making connections with other producers is a strategy you should not ignore.
Another, not so original, but highly efficient method to get more noticed is to have a plan with your songs. Finish a bunch of projects, so that you have several songs to upload and launch them in a sequence over a two week period. Related to what we said earlier, it is also useful to build a contact list of different youtube channels, promotion websites or music blogs. This list of repost channels should include people you are interested in building a relationship with. We don’t recommend that you pay for reposts but this can also be a highly effective method to generate a following. Once again, it is important to mention that you should not focus on all these things at the same time. Focus on a few things but do them well.
5. Improve your online presence
As mentioned earlier, you must understand that as a beginner, you cannot be present on every social media. In fact, this is the easiest way to be overwhelmed. Instead, you should focus on consistency and quality. Pick a few key channels for promotion and use them efficiently by posting consistently high-quality and engaging content on all of them.
Which channels should you mainly use? This will depend on where your target audience likes to discover new music or connect with artists. Different social media is good at different things. For instance, Twitter (more than Facebook) and Facebook are a great way to directly connect and communicate with Fans, Instagram or Snapchat are useful for showcasing your personality, Youtube and SoundCloud, on the other hand, are best for spreading your music.
SoundCloud is a great way to spread music, but it should be coupled with at least one additional social media which is specific in a different way. The three different categories of platforms you should consider are:
a. Online platforms aimed at diffusing your music:
b. Online platforms optimized to display your personality and artist brand:
c. Online platforms optimized to communicate with your fans:
Even when you use all of this social media simultaneously it will take time to yield some results. However, if you are persistent enough you will surely reap the benefits and transform random listeners into super-fans. Super-fans will be your ultimate goal because they will create the “word of mouth” marketing form which is probably the most powerful of all. At that point, things will start to get easier.
As you have seen, to get more Soundcloud followers, it is not enough to have a Soundcloud account and publish tracks regularly. You need to be proactive about your career and be in charge of it. Moreover, the marketing hacks we have mentioned are in no case a substitute for good music. What they will do (if used efficiently) is amplifying the quality of your music to reach out to more people. Therefore, the two things you should immediately start working on in order to get more followers on Soundcloud are both the quality of your music and image and the efforts you make to market the latter.