When it comes to releasing music independently, it can be hard to know if it’s working and if your music is getting out there. Using platforms like SoundCloud and Bandcamp are awesome because they offer search engines to help new users find your music.
These platforms also offer a place for you to upload and organize your music, but there are downsides to these platforms that a lot of musicians tend to overlook.
If you are an independent musician, you must be using Bandcamp or SoundCloud, but you should also be using and creating your own platforms for generating users.
1. Pre-Release Music on Your Website
If you are a musician, you need to have a website.
This will be one place where your users can go to learn about you and your art, see all your music, as well as see if you’re touring.
Building a website is the first step that all music labels will do once signing an artist. Free platforms like Weebly, Wix, or Google are great places to start!
Before releasing your music to the world-wide-web, add it as a private link on your website first. This will help you gauge two things:
- How effective your social media is at converting listeners to clicks
- The intent of your listeners across your social media
As you direct people to your website, you will have access to those website analytics including how many buttons they press and what pages they go to on your website other than music.
In comparison, if you send people directly to SoundCloud, you won’t have access to that information. This may seem like it doesn’t matter, but analytics is the best way to understand how people feel & interact with your art.
2. Create an email-centric listener base
Like I mentioned before, SoundCloud and Bandcamp are awesome for bringing new users directly to your music.
A problem with these platforms is that their algorithms can be inconsistent when bringing in your current followers to your new posts. As an artist, it’s essential to stay consistent with listeners and be on the path of growing that number.
Relying solely on Instagram and Soundcloud to distribute your content will leave you with generally lower listens and low intent listeners. This is where building an email list comes in.
Intent is the willingness of your users to listen to your music.
If you are a musician, getting someone’s email confirms that they are a high intent listener. They are willing to distribute their information to listen to your music, and that is something SoundCloud and Bandcamp requires of their own listeners on their platforms, so why not do the same?
Taking information of high intent users can ensure that you are sending your music directly to people that want to listen, and will keep listening if the content is displayed to them.
Artists who use email marketing see user retention increases of over 30% month after month because emails ensure your listeners who care, see that you have posted.
3. Use Google Forms to Discover Intent
If you don’t have a website, it can be hard to figure out the intent of your userbase. Using tools like Google forms can help you navigate this space without having to invest in a website.
Set up a Google form that asks for a users name and email, and once they submit you can add a custom completion URL that directs them to your music.
To add a custom redirect to your Google forms, go to “Settings” -> “Presentation” and edit the confirmation message to include the completion URL of the music you want to redirect to.
This Google form can be sent across social media for you to generate emails and see how willing people are to listen to your music. If they put in their information, you can be sure to connect with them in the future with more music releases you have.
4. Use a Music Network Email List
As an independant music artist, there are multiple ways to use email marketing. Emailing users who have listened to your music in the past is a great strategy, but how can you connect with professionals in the music industry at the same time?
In your MailChimp account, be sure to create a new list of users that are specifically industry connections.
Anyone in A&R, marketing, and music distrubiton should be on this list, and as you network with people ask them if you can add them to this email list.
Through this list you should be sending your latest music in a professional and organized email for anyone who would want to repost or create a connection.