This. This problem. What if you have created some awesome song or album? You put all your effort into it, uploaded it to YouTube and other streaming platforms, and no one listens to it.
You did some YouTube Marketing, built a website and email list, and even went as far as buying ads, so people will find your album better.
Still, no luck.
You look at the statistics and see that, yes, some people click on a link and maybe even listen to one or two songs, but they do not follow or support your profile in any way. They don't listen to more songs or buy your album on Bandcamp.
Even your friends don't listen to your music! How is that possible! Is your music that bad?
And more important, how can you fix it!!
Let's talk about that...
One problem that I want to get out of the way is bad music. Or, badly produced music and video.
It goes without saying that you need to share music that is at least okay to listen to. It needs to be better than a rough demo.
If possible, make a song that sounds good enough to share with your friends, and maybe even in a local club or disco. (Are there still disco's out there? I'm getting old :-)
Find some good YouTube tutorials that teach you to make a good quality song, or find someone that can help you with this process. If you have the money, spend some to produce a good quality song.
This will be your business card type of song in the end. People will hear it, and you want them to connect themselves with your awesome song, not some out of balance distorted tape recording.
Unless it fits your style :-)
The same goes for the video quality. There is no excuse not to have at least HD video on YouTube these days. Every basic phone can output at least 720p, which is good enough to get a decent YouTube music video with.
Do a couple of takes to create a multi-angel video clip, and you can have a fun music video in no time!
Sharing to the wrong audience is another big factor in your online music promotion journey.
You need more people, other than your friends, to listen to your music.
Now this might not sound very charming, but your friends are not the best audience out there. Sure, they can be a good start to learn how to promote your music and have other people listen to it. This process can be very scary at first.
But after a while, you need to look for a better audience. You need people that actually like your songs and want more of that.
With friends, there is always that biased factor that does not really help you move forward.
They will probably tell you your songs sound awesome because YOU created them. But I always wonder how many of your friends actually play your songs again in their car or at home.
If they really do that, congratulations, you are off to a good start. This is unfortunately more an exception to a rule in most cases.
Your audience will be outside your friend group. You need to find them online in various music groups, singer/songwriter clubs and music playlists.
What you should do is to start looking for those groups and see if you can find enthusiastic people that really want your style of music.
Find musicians that create the same music as you, and take a look at their audience. Share some nice and genuine comments on their profile, and if it fits the conversation, hint that you are a musician too, and they're free to check out your songs.
Be really careful with this and DON'T share your music in people's DM's. Just don't. It is unprofessional.
Having your songs and albums on YouTube is a great step in your online music promotion journey. It does not stop there, however.
You need to actively promote your music outside of YouTube. Create a schedule when and what you want to promote on your social pages. Mix in some related content, like other bands in the same style or some newsworthy stories, and post it regularly.
A good other strategy can be to add your fellow musicians in your posting schedule. They could do the same for you. That way, you avoid only posting your own content and build up some nice contacts along the way.
It is a win-win!
You could reach out to local radio stations, schools and/or online radio stations that are willing to play music from independent artists. You can find many of them on social, so do a quick search in your music style and contact them!
YouTube and SoundCloud are great platforms to share your music on. They are free, easy to set up and provide a solid first step to promote your music online. In the end, they will not earn you the money you want, however.
You need more platforms to promote your music on. Think iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Bandcamp, etc.
There are dozens of streaming platforms your music can be shared on, and each of them includes the option of making money with your streams.
A good start can be RouteNote, as they offer a free way of sharing your music on all major streaming platforms.
Distrokid or Tunecore are a good option to this, they only charge a small amount of money if you want your album distributed by them.
After you have done all this, you are not done. The above process will be a rinse and repeat process. See what works, see what doesn't, improve what you can and keep connecting with your audience!
As long as you are not simply DM-ing people with your music, you are good to go :-)
Keep creating awesome music and share it with the world!
Maurice from Music-Mindset.com