With the recent announcement of SoundCloud’s partnership with Sony Music, the music sharing platform has become an even more legitimate place to break into the music business. It already had a tremendous ability to merge music with social media, and bands with fans. Now it can help merge bands with record deals even better than before.
Best of all, SoundCloud isn’t just for DJ mixes anymore. Bands of all genres are joining and succeeding, and yours can too. You’ll need to know the right techniques to succeed, so get to it, rockstar: Read the rest of this helpful guide. And don’t forget, as is the tradition on Devumi, read all the way to the end to hear my favorite track on SoundCloud right now!
SoundCloud as a stepping stone to the music business$
SoundCloud’s incredible features make it a useful tool
Other music sharing platforms all fail next to SoundCloud’s incredible social aspect. Take a look at all the things Spotify does to get in the way when it should help musicians as often as possible:
- People have to sign up for an account, SoundCloud lets anyone cruise on by.
- It has many country restrictions. Until recently, I had to use a VPN to get it in my country…
- Spotify is incredibly un-social, with fans not having anywhere near as many ways to let bands know how they feel.
Imagine putting in all the work of perfecting your songs, uploading them to a platform, and then missing out on your fans because they don’t want to sign up for ANOTHER account. Or, worse, they do sign up and can’t comment on your music.
Take a look below at this track from The Weeknd. You can scroll along it and see hundreds of comments from his fans:
He can learn what his fans think, thank them when he has time, and create better music. When you’re just starting out, and looking to break into the music business, these are the two most valuable things to you. Feedback from fans, both positive and negative, will only help you grow.
The other social side to SoundCloud is how easy they have made it to share songs. Their partnership with Twitter, which I wrote about at the link, makes it so songs continue to play as your users scroll through their Timeline. It’s kinda like Twitter radio.
They even have options for sharing on Google+ and Pinterest, now that’s covering all the social bases!
Having a large following is everything
Having lots of followers, who are listening to your music, means so much on SoundCloud. Getting people to push that follow button keeps them around for longer than one song, turning fans of a song into fans of your music. A big audience is how you’ll be noticed by record labels and agents, and you have to work on building it yourself first.
How you’ll build your followers quickly is pretty easy:
- Use our SoundCloud followers service. Settle down, rockstar, we’re not using this as the sole tactic. What we’re doing is getting your account ready to maximize the next three steps. Your goal with our service is to make your account look popular before it’s popular. It’s like when you’re working a bar gig and a big audience draws even more people off the street, versus an empty bar gig seeing many people walk past. Build your followers first, and the real fans will come much easier.
- Start pushing your fans from other social media accounts to your SoundCloud. And certainly take advantage of the Twitter embedding feature. You have to take advantage of your entire online audience and push them to SoundCloud to get easy followers.
- Push your SoundCloud account on your website, even embed tracks. This is another tactic to push your online audience to check you out and follow you. Now they’re finding you through SEO and links, and you’re pushing them to SoundCloud.
- Use offline tactics to advertise your SoundCloud. Mention it during radio interviews, put it on promotional posters, have it on business cards, and shout it at concerts!
Following each of these steps is the surest way to build a SoundCloud account that will be noticed by the music business quickly.
Use downloads on SoundCloud to your advantage
Downloading music via torrents has completely changed the music industry. Music sales have dropped, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make money while using SoundCloud. Their controlled downloading option lets you give to your fans when you want. You can share unique content with your fans that you haven’t really been able to do well in the past:
- Live songs from recent concerts
- Rare tracks from the back catalogue
- Previously unreleased tracks
- A new song you want to test out
There are plenty of reasons to let your fans download a song or two for free. For one, you can track your download stats to learn about your audience. For another, giving back in the music industry is how you get something back in return. To quote The Beatles:
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
Engage with your fans often
I still get all red-faced the time I recall meeting Chris Cheney of The Living End in a bar in Toronto. I’ll never forget that he took the time to talk to me, and listened to me ramble about how he influenced my own guitar playing decisions.
These types of interactions are so much easier to do on SoundCloud thanks to the built in social features. Until you’re truly a ROCKSTAR, you need to interact with your fans often in the following ways on SoundCloud:
- Reply to fans’ comments: A simple ‘Thanks, username!’ can go a long way from taking a throwaway comment and turning them into lifelong fans.
- Super-fans deserve more: You’re going to have fans on SoundCloud who follow you closely, comment often, and mention you on other social platforms. It’s time to take your friendship to another level with a private message at this point. Their enthusiasm will never wane now that things are personal, and you’ll reap the benefits.
- Commenting on other tracks: You’re a music fan too! Why not show your expertise on other musicians’ songs by giving real feedback. Fans can see this and click over to your account. Beware, beware the dreaded ‘Check out my AWESOME music’ comment though. You’re just spam when you do that!
- Use SoundCloud groups: Start a Group for your local scene, invite some local bands onto it, and build a community on SoundCloud. Remember, you control the group and will feature heavily in it.
Fan engagement is such a big deal on SoundCloud. Taking the time to speak with your fans means they’ll take more time out of their lives for you in return. Not only that, but it gives your SoundCloud account a deeper meaning than just being a music hosting platform.
SoundCloud helps you get into the music business
The music business is a tough one to get into. SoundCloud is making it easier thanks to how it allows you to build, and plainly show, an audience on a recognized platform. To get where you want to be, you have to:
- Use SoundCloud’s unique features.
- Build your followers the right way, using our SoundCloud follower service first.
- Use your downloads strategically.
- Engage with your fans as often as you can.
Ok, rockstar, write your best songs, get them on SoundCloud, and write to me when you’re famous.
As promised, here’s my favorite track on SoundCloud right now. Yep, The Weeknd! The 6 represented! NSFW language warning:
Feature image via red mango / Shutterstock