Soundcloud, the leading social site for musicians. I don't know for a fact, but I imagine that 99% of (ignoring the major label artists, I doubt the next Justin Bieber wannabe is reading this blog...) bands, DJs, producers and labels have a Soundcloud page. Let that sink in for bit. Since when has this existed in the music industry, when you can be connected to so many artists, labels for all genres, all styles. This is an amazing time to be in the music game, the barriers to entry have been smashed down and stamped upon. Anyone with computer can create music and upload it to an audience of millions!
The game is no longer how to get your music out there, how to get a distribution deal to just give people the change to listen to your music, but how to get it noticed. I am going to focus on Soundcloud as it is by far the biggest and most important music site. If you are not already on Soundcloud (are you kidding me????) sign up now.
As much we you may want to keep it underground, pure and "about the music maaan", this isn't how the music industry works, never has, never will. But I guess by the fact you are reading this blog, you are at least prepared to accept that some promotion isn't a bad thing.
The good news is, most users have no idea about promotion meaning you can seriously catapult yourself above the rest easily and quickly.
The first impression users get of your music is your profile. Browsing Soundcloud, users have an all but limitless amount of musics and artists to listen to, you have to catch their eye, subconscious decisions are made whether to pause and check your tracks out or to move on. We do not want to lose a single user who ends up viewing your profile so:
Fill in your damn profile*. The times I see empty profiles, ugly half assed attempts. I may love the track I have just discovered, I want to learn more **NOW. This artist has my attention NOW. I am half way through the track NOW, they probably have me for another couple of minutes. I want information NOW! (can you see a recurring theme here?
I'd loved to see if I can get these guys to play at a show I promote each month in my local area, I'm also involved in booking acts for the festival season across multiple countries – meaning I have a budget to get unknown acts to play (I won't lie for unknown acts this is to cover their costs to play: transport, accommodation, basic rider – you're not getting paid paid. But you will play to a big audience and get the chance to promote yourself, sell merchandise etc). Where are they from? Dunno, no location details entered... What does their bio have to say? Dunno it is empty. OK, where can I find more information? Dunno, they haven't entered a web site, no facebook, no twitter account, nothing. Man, I love this track, I want to buy it and play it out live, where's the buy link.... nothing! beatport link? A bandcamp link? Nothing nothing nothing. Track ends, another track starts to play, opportunity gone. I am a busy man, I listen to so much music, I might come back and check the profile page, I might search Google. No that's a lie, I won't.
Don't be this guy!
Fill in your profile, and I mean ALL OF IT.
Where are you from.
I often search via locations so fill in the location fully: city, state, country. Promoters will often do a localized search and check out the local talent, if they cannot find you - they cannot book you.
Tell me about yourself. The day of the Rock Star is over, the allure has gone, musicians are ordinary people, fans like to connect and feel like they know you.
Profile image. We don't want to see a professional image of your face against a pastel background of you looking serenely into the distance and hell, nor do we want a selfie, but a profile image, logo, a playing live shot, something authentic is a must
Give people a way to contact you. Spam is a problem, so you may not want to put up your full email address in your bio, but an obfuscated email is a must your-name[@]gmail[dot]com for example will defeat all spammers and let genuine users contact you.
Let me Buy Your Music
Sell your music, give users a way to buy your music, whether via your website, bandcamp, beatport. Let users get a 320kbps, FLAC or WAV version. Soundcloud lets you add a buy link that appears with your track audio stream, use it.
Make sure all your tracks also have a title, track image, a track description for all the reasons mentioned above. Don't use the same track image for every track either.