The Best Way to Get Your Music Out There
What I’m going to talk about here is really a model that you can and should apply to your music endeavors. If you remember nothing else after this, just get a basic understanding of the general model of what I’m about to share with you here 🙂 Keep this basic model in mind and you’ll expand your reach quickly.
The best way to get your music out there is by performing live and building a die-hard fan group. This could be 10 to 20 people you earn over time by strongly influencing 1 or 2 audience members a show and forming a bond during and after your set. They should have religious zeal for your music and your act, and especially you, and they come to your performance sets and shows.
Performing to a completely unknown crowd is often a death sentence, so having familiar faces there will do wonders for you.
With your group of music disciples consistently showing up to see you perform, having a dedicated bunch of people that like you and vibe to your music will cause it to spillover to the rest of the crowd that’s there too. (People like something that’s already safe, popular, and successful.)
After you perform your set, you can hand out some free CD’s with a few songs on them (only to the people you don’t already know who express an interest or you saw enjoying your set) and get the person’s phone number and email to let them know about future shows and CDs (if you can without being creepy). Then you can contact them with a message before the next time you perform.
What you write in the message is up to you but having their email address/phone number is important for a few reasons, many of which the only way you’d know is through experience and learning things from experimenting with social media like I’ve done.
If you’re able to communicate with a new potential fan at all and/or they later visit your website, chances are when you do a boosted facebook post at a future point in time your posts will show up in their news feeds. Call it Facebook magic.
If you’re on their radar like this they’ll be likely to like your facebook page too, and then you’ll have a way to communicate with them for the long term. This means that you’ll essentially have a fan of your music which is then a matter of activating for some type of action later (attend your show, buy a shirt, buy a CD, contact you for romance).
Moreover when you boost a post on Facebook it says “sponsored” which looks pretty official. But don’t think this is optional. You will NEED to sponsor your posts to reach a maximum audience (and your current audience) because of the way the facebook news feed algorithm works now after becoming a publicly traded company on the stock exchange.
In essence, regular folks’ and pages’ posts don’t automatically get seen by more than 5% of your actual following at any given time any more. This is because Facebook now has shareholders and investors who expect a return for putting money into the company.
Here’s the results of a recent facebook promotion I ran. You can see that it cost me a measly $3.00 but I got to present myself as a star.
You can see I got 26 likes, a few comments and a couple of shares for just 3 bucks. I can add budget if I want and increase the likes. The more likes it gets, the bigger a star I appear. I can keep this ad and just add a few bucks whenever I want and it will just keep adding points to the board.
Now imagine you did this for a few of your songs or shows and added a cool picture like Yo Gotti above or of you performing live somewhere and people recording it on their phones and raising their drinks. Holy shit do you think people who are bored on a Thursday – Saturday night might want to go to whatever bar/club you’re at just to have a drink and listen to some new music?
People demand entertainment. They won’t demand accountability from their elected officials, they won’t demand responsibility or reform from criminal offenders, and they won’t even demand the best from themselves.
But goddammit they will demand entertainment from the world around them, and that means you. This means if you’re clever enough you can fill their need for entertainment in the most powerfully attractive way possible. By showing (humbly and not egotistically) that you’re doing cool shit, and everyone else is welcome to join in.
Here’s another one of my facebook posts. Notice in my posts I don’t say obnoxious things like “OMG Sooooooo EXCITED to be doing a song with Ne-Yo!!!!” because that’s like shooting my ego off to build up my own penis size.
Everyone can reasonably infer excitement to be featuring Ne-Yo on a track. Sharing it (and other news) without all the “YOU SHOULD BE EXCITED TOO” type messaging is only going to make you seem like a professional and a star.
This got 138 likes but most importantly, it got 7 page likes. This means 7 new fans who in actuality were fans of Ne-Yo before, and now they’re my fans. This means if they live in my town and I do a boost of my upcoming show, they’ll likely see that bulletin and be further impressed at how active I am on the music scene and maybe come check it out.
And because they liked the post, their friends will also see in their activity and news feed on facebook that they liked it, and social reinforcement will demand that they like it too. After all, you don’t want your friends liking all the new music you’ve never heard of and feeling like you aren’t in tune with what’s hot.
It’s kind of hard to see after I highlighted it but basically every like and share from the sponsored post on facebook also shows up and counts as points on the board on my reverbnation.com artist page as well. This in turn makes me appear more popular and a legit artist that’s getting likes and shares. This can look good to A&R or someone trying to work with you, or make someone more comfortable in buying one of your downloads.
I got contacted once by someone selling beats who contacted me through my reverbnation page and it turned into a clothing line sponsorship from Lifted Line fashions in Los Angeles- I got half of a beat paid for by them and I got a bunch of really cool shirts and hats free too.
Having a reverbnation.com account is super handy and essentially eliminates the need to have an artist website of your own, saving you lots of time wasted on learning programming or buying websites that aren’t great. It automatically shares things on Twitter and Facebook and collects your stats from social media to show your progress and ranking, but it gives you extra control of your own image and brand, and most importantly helps you share your music for people to hear.
You will notice that I never said one time about hard-selling your music. The focus is on building excitement and interest in your ultimate product, and presenting yourself as a real deal music act (who doesn’t even need other people’s money). Yes, in reverbnation you can share your music on Facebook and add a link to your iTunes for people to download and buy as they’re listening to it on Facebook. I just didn’t want to say that until the very end because you don’t want to focus directly on selling downloads.
Don’t become a salesman.
You want people to want to buy from you without asking. And once you release a full length CD or download on iTunes, you’ll use the same strategy to boost and promote like I’ve shown above.
After having built up an audience where all you’ve done is share cool news and music about you and your act, letting people know about your upcoming album release, again, only serves the fans and consumers by giving them just one more way of connecting with and appreciating you and your art, and the response will be organic and internally driven by your audience, not externally directed by you.
You can do this same basic model on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Just always be sharing actual things of value without pressuring people into thinking you’re important or that you need attention, and don’t tweet every 2 hours. Think new tweets/posts every 2 or 3 days.
Developing a Social Media Post Regimen, Regardless of which Social Media it’s On
You should post on social media like this imaginary example schedule, on separate days, with a few days in between each post.
- Share a song of yours from your reverbnation
- Share a picture of something funny you saw today out in town (limit the selfies, please)
- Share news about an upcoming music event of yours (a new song or show)
- Share a song from someone else you like
- Share a news article/story/video about something cool
- Share a link to your last album
- Share a personal thought/feeling about something that means a lot to you, with a nice picture that might inspire someone to be awesomer themselves
- Share a picture of your dog wearing sunglasses (or something silly)
Do something like that in about that frequency/rotation once every 2 or 3 days to appear to be an active artist but also a well rounded, real person. People can’t help but like that.
Activate. Fans. Now!
And as always, here’s a second opinion.
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