There are so many websites for musicians. Sometimes they look similar to each other, and with so many choices, people are having a hard time deciding which music sites to look at. Of course, websites like Soundcloud or Bandcamp are great, but what so many young talented musicians miss is why they should sign up for these kinds of sites. It’s not just because other people do it that you should do it too. We know that music websites are only a tool for musicians. But musicians are not tools. Every musician should think about how they will promote their music, what their artwork is going to be, and other things apart from the music itself.
9 reasonable guidelines to think about before promoting your music through music websites
- Audio Always Comes First
One thing you should remember is your music/audio is on top of everything else. Whatever music sites you choose, you should have your music ready with great mixing and mastering quality. Nowadays, people can mix and master their audio in their bedroom. There’s tons of reference from YouTube videos, books, ebooks, and other stuff on how to mix and master great audio. Your audio is your masterpiece. If your artwork is bad and your audio is good, you can still save face. But if your audio is bad, then everything else is irrelevant. Every musician must know how bad or good their audio is.
This is the second and most important thing. With every site you decide to load your music into, you must have consistency in maintaining your existence in the website.
For example, if you’re using YouTube to promote your music video, be sure to upload videos every week, or every month. It doesn’t always have to be a music video. At one time you can upload your behind-the-scenes of the making of your record, and some other time you can upload an acoustic version of your song. Have variation in your uploads.
Every album tell its own story. With so many songs in one album, it should return to the essence of what your music is about. Even a compilation album has its own essence. Firstly, name your album. After that you can think about artwork that is suitable with your music. If your music is Ambient, then maybe you should have a great nature photo on your front cover. If your music is Rock, then maybe you should have a great concert photo of your guitar solo. Or maybe if you’re thinking outside the box, you can have unrelated front cover and the name of your album. It’s still a good concept.
After you’ve done all that, consider making yourself a profile picture for your music site. I recommend you have the same profile picture with every music sites you choose. I would not choose to have my album cover as my profile picture though. As you can see, most music sites have their own place for album covers. Your profile picture is for your picture as an icon and it will be relevant for 40 years to come, whereas your album might last for a year considering you’ll release a new album every year.
- Research And Research
Doing research is good to widen your knowledge about music marketing nowadays. Many musicians have become sellers and some of them even become quite an expert in doing so. I think it’s good to broaden your strategy in selling your music. But don’t forget that your music comes first. Doesn’t matter how good you are at selling your music, if your music’s bad, it’s bad. If it’s good, it’s good.
- Read Terms & Agreements
There are so many music websites for musicians to promote their music. One thing you have to do is read their terms & agreements. Some websites ‘hide’ their pricing details in terms & agreements and in their FAQs page. Read what benefits you and what does not.
- Writing Your Music’s Description
This one comes after you upload your music. Many musicians take writing a music description as a place to promote their music. This is a misconception. To be honest, people want to know what you’re thinking in making your music. People want to know how you feel about your music. They want to know the struggle in making your music. Believe me, every music site has their own place to promote.
Even your Twitter updates don’t need to have so many updates about promotion, selling, and other similar stuff. You should have more updates about you making your music, what instrument you use, or a behind-the-scenes video.
YouTube has a great description page below their video. You can use that for telling peopl what your music is about, and can put your social media links there as well.
- What To Say And What Not
This is a common mistake in promoting an album. Don’t say things like “MY ALBUM IS OUT NOW!!!” with so many capitalized letters or “Buy this music now”. Your fans are not robots. Don’t tell them what to do. Instead suggest they listen to your album. If they like your album, I’m sure they will buy your music no matter what. Consider what it is to have people who care about your music.
- Work Simultaneously
Always remember to keep updating every site you’ve signed. Don’t leave any site behind. Your audience might be different from one to the other. You’ll never know which sites will popularize your name. I suggest you choose a limited number of sites as too many will slow down your movement. Five or six sites is enough to maintain. Choose the ones that are suitable for your music. For example, a jazz music website is not suitable for your post-rock music.
- Great sites for musicians to promote their music
Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud
This are obvious choices for every musician to have. Consider this your first phase in building your name in music world.
Bandcamp is a great place to sell your music. It has a great design and look. They also have tools like pre-order set up and you can also sell merchandise there. This is one example.
NoiseTrade is similar like Bandcamp. The difference is NoiseTrade give away your album for free. Or you can give it and ask for a tip. Just like the name-your-price option in Bandcamp. It has a great look and feel for people to see. NoiseTrade is a good place to promote your music. The buzz in NoiseTrade is big mostly because of the download-for-free selection. It’s even possible to have your music on their front page for several weeks for free!
This is a good place to do your behind-the-scenes. You can write a background of your album with an unlimited amount of space. Attach a great picture of your album artwork and put a link to your music so you can work your sites simultaneously.
Reverbnation is a great place for advanced music marketers. This site really help musicians in every detail. They even gave you information of where and how to promote your music. For young music marketers, Reverbnation might be difficult to use especially with so many options of how to market your music, but it’s a good option to widen your music’s promotion.
Having an official website might be a great consideration to promote your music. It’s a place where people can go to gets updates on what you’re doing and releasing. It also make you look professional. It is also a core for your existence on other music websites.
There are so many options to think through if you want to promote your music. It may look difficult, but trust me it’s worth a try. I’ve been making music through Chasing Noise for 6 years and I can tell you that promoting music is exactly as exciting as making music itself. Just remember to always be humble and honest. Do it the right way.