Soundrop is a social music app on Spotify that allows music fans to enter rooms that host different genres and themes of music. Within the room fans can add and vote for the music that’s played within that room, but it also allows them to use a chat function to talk to other fans about the music they’re all listening to together.
Most recently Soundrop added a wondrous new feature for artists and bands. Every artist on Spotify now has their own listening room within the app. So what does this mean? Well basically if you go onto the Soundrop app here, and search for yourself on Spotify (you have to have music on Spotify), then you’ll find a room all for you, already full of your music. Not only that but, the rooms are EXCLUSIVELY for your music, so nobody can “troll’ and add in Psy midway through your album. Excellent right?!
Now, I thought I was being really smart when I came up with this idea two weeks ago, only to find out Soundrop had already launched the rooms in May 2013 (damn innovative developers). But then I thought well maybe some artists don’t know about it/know how they can use this to their advantage. So this post is for you, my talented musical brethren.
Note: You, your management or your mother, don’t (yet) own these rooms full of your music. Soundrop state you have to contact them to get admin rights, so I’d suggest doing that, though it isn’t necessary to host the events below.
Now, with these rooms available to you, wouldn’t it be an excellent way to meet, greet and generally interact with your fans over the one thing that brought you all together in the first place? Your music.
So, got a new album coming out? Perfect, let your fans know that on the 19th of whenev-uary at 6pm, you will be hosting a Q&A or AMA (ask me anything) in your official Soundrop room, while listening to your new album. Get all the band members to log into the room, fill it with all the tracks off your new album and then simply, sit and listen to it with your fans and answer any questions they have about it.
This easily trumps the Twitter Q&As bands do with a sort-of-funny hashtag, as you and your fans are all sitting listening and discussing your music at the same time. The fans are engaging, as well as learning more about you, the album itself and the processes that went into it. Not only that, but you’re actually being paid for it, so get a decent enough crowd into the room and your streams will soon be building. Bullseye. You’re actively driving streams on Spotify.
No albums or music on Spotify yet? No worries. Just create your own room & name it [Band Name Influences], fill it with your favourite bands, your influences and your inspirations. Chances are they’re also your fan’s favourites, influences and inspirations. Get a discussion going in the room, just talk about the music you enjoy and why. No doubt your fans will be bragging to their friends that they’re in a “room” with you chatting about how you both love Eiffel 65. I mean, who wouldn’t? You’re bonding over music you all enjoy, it’s the best way to really make your fans feel part of your universe, all while sitting in your pants listening to 90’s europop.
So get on Soundrop. If you’ve got music, claim your room and use it to interact. If you haven’t, make a room and invite everyone to come and listen to music with you.
Feel free to comment, follow and subscribe (as well as invite me to your rooms)
It’s hard trying to expand your audience and spread the word that you’re someone to pay attention to. So here are a few tips on how to make the most of the people already supporting you, in the form of your very own Digital Street Team. Want to read more?
This post featured on Hypebot, MusicThinkTank and Fortitude Magazine – Is an album the right route for you to be going down? Have you considered releasing a few more singles, or EPs to get your music out to your fans faster and to keep them interested? It’s worked for other up and coming bands. Want to read more?
Don’t Shout! Speak and They’ll Listen
Having a bit of trouble connecting with online press and bloggers? You may be going about it the wrong way, it’s about connecting as you would in real life, this post may give you some tips. Want to read more?
Upload Your Biography To Spotify
You’ve probably uploaded cover versions of songs onto your Youtube channel in the past and gotten minimal views. But have you considered looking at smaller, more approachable bands to help increase the views you get and help fans find their way to you? Want to read more?
Collaborate & Split The Audience
Collaborations are nothing new, but if you aim for a similar level artist as yourself in a different region it could help you both reach new audiences in new territories, here is how you can split your audience. Want to read more?
10 Top Instagram Tips For Musicians
Ever wondered why when you import your CD into iTunes you’re entered as ‘Unknown Artist 01’? Well here is why and how you can change it. Want to read more?
Reach Your Facebook Fan-atics Through Opt-in Notifications!
Facebook released a new feature to help band pages connect with your hardcore fan base much easier and to ensure people are seeing what you’re posting after Facebook EdgeRanks decreased. Want to read more?
Don’t Miss It, Schedule It
You’ve got a busy life, writing music, performing, recording but also your life outside of music. So how do you make sure you can reach your audience at the best time for them, when you’re busy? Try scheduling. Want to read more?
Bandcamp Launches: ‘Bandcamp For Fans’ – Turning Fans Into Promoters
Recently Bandcamp opened up the availability of fans to create accounts. Fans can now connect with artists and other fans and sift through the music they’ve bought like old school record collections. Want to read more?
200 People Are Attending? Your Really Think So?
Facebook Events, are they really worth it? Have we gotten past taking them seriously and are they now just a landing page for information? Want to read more?
Show Off In 6 Seconds: Introducing Vine For Musicians
Using the Vine App on your phone? Here’s how you can be using it in your band life! Want to read more?
Here is What I’ve Been Listening To!
Vine: The best way to see and share life in motion…apparently.
If you haven’t yet heard of Vine, I wouldn’t worry too much, it’s not that old, about two weeks old in fact. Still in its early days as an app Vine allows users to record & edit 6 (and a half) second videos and share them on it’s own platform as well as social media sites like Twitter.
6 SECONDS?! I hear you shout! I know, what can you record in 6 seconds? Seriously, it takes me longer than 6 seconds to take a photo. Well, turns out 6 seconds gives you quite a bit of time to be creative. Vine lets you record for very brief periods, so you can record 1 scene for 2 seconds then stop recording. Change the scene, record for another 2 seconds. Stop. Change the scene and record for the last 2 seconds. Voila! 3 scenes in 6 seconds. What an emotional roller coaster that was.
Now a few brands (McDonalds, Armani, to name a few) have already jumped all over it, animating chicken nuggets. Strange but it got some decent interaction. So if they can, why can’t you lot?
The lines i’m thinking along is using Vine like you’d use Instagram or your band blog/vlog. You can now give fans a 6 second insight into band life. (But PLEASE no 6 second clips of your dinner, a plate of spaghetti is still a plate of spaghetti 6 seconds later).
A few ideas then (off the top of my head); rehearsing your new unheard song? Why not Vine a bit of a picking or a slice of the synth that makes that song what it is? Use it as a teaser and release it to the world (Do it on it’s own without the full band so it’s not distorted though, like you’re giving away one piece of the puzzle). Use it to slowly reveal track titles, album art, album names. Use it to snapshot the band; like a picture slideshow, use it to capture your soundcheck, your load in, your load out, you drinking the rider, you stealing your wrongly distributed rider, whatever you like! But make it interesting! Show some personality, show the characters you are in 6 second clips, you don’t have to worry about coming across as stuttering idiots in a 15 minute video blog.
Don’t worry about building too much of a following on Vine just yet, it’s early days so it is still picking up, instead use its firm link with Twitter and a FEW well chosen hashtags when you post the video and let your followers just view and interact with the video from Twitter, they don’t have to go to a separate site like Instagram, which is nice.
Other than that, have a play, see what works for you. Come up with some interesting ideas yourself, feel free to post them or tweet them to me too, I’d like to see some ingenuity with the app too.
Download Vine here
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What I’m listening to: Frankie Davies – Yasmin
For a change of pace this is more of a post to spark discussion more than anything else. Something i’ve been noticing more and more recently, is the low level of interaction in Facebook Events across not only music but all industries. So, my question, are Facebook Events Pointless or are you better off shouting your news from the rooftops?
Seems to be the case there is a Facebook Event started for pretty much anything now. Birthday party? Facebook Event. Star Wars Marathon? Facebook Event. Going shopping? Facebook Event (seriously, I’ve seen it). Most of them, you set up invite who ever, upload a funny picture and give a brief description of what is going to happen. Some people click “Attending” but most don’t and the event page goes untouched and forgotten.
And I think these are partly to blame for the low interaction actual events see on Facebook now.
The amount of Facebook Events I see set up by bands (sometimes 2 days before the actual gig) that have 30 or less “Attending” but 1,000 “Invited” is ridiculous. First point. If the band is only promoting the gig 2 days before it starts then it’s their own fault. Second point. How do those 30 “Attendees” make you look to outsiders? I’m not saying it’s an awful number, if you’re a local band pulling 30 people is quite good, but considering you invited 1,000 people, it’s bloody awful. 30/1000 people cared enough to even respond to your invitation. Like I said you might as well of shouted it from the rooftops.
E.g. Kerrang! Tour 2013; says it is Sold Out, but only 130 “Attending”, hmm…
Now, I keep putting “Attending” in quotation marks to highlight how fickle that function actually is. I’ve done it, you’ve done it, everyone has done it. You’ve been invited to an event, been slightly interested and just clicked “Attending” to get it out of the way, then quickly turned off the event notifications, so you never have to think about it again. There is no responsibility or accountability to the action, i’ve even been asked to click “attending” on events happening hundreds of miles away just to make the event look “hot”. Pointless.
Despite these, I do see the benefit in setting up an event (in good time) as an info centre. As a place to collate all the info of the event; who’s playing, who’s promoting, where they can get tickets and time/date etc. But if that’s all they’re going to be and if people aren’t going to interact with them, is there anything else you could use? Landing Pages for example? Has anyone reading this used anything more effective, or even manage to use Facebook Event pages effectively? I’d love to hear some success stories.
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Early this morning (11th January 2013) Bandcamp opened up their ‘Bandcamp For Fans’ accounts to the world. I’ve been in, had a play and here are the features and perks for both fans and artists on the “social music discovery system.”
After much feedback from users Bandcamp decided that yes, Bandcamp could have a fan platform without “going all Myspace” and losing its integrity. After much work by their team and a positive beta test, it’s now live and looks great. It’s clean, it’s clear and its only as social as you want it to be. It gives you the opportunity to discover more. I am going to outline the features below, with what they will entail for the fan as well as the artist.
The collection page is essentially you as the account holder’s profile page. It shows what you’ve bought, what artists you follow, what you thought about the records you bought, what records you want to buy (more details later) and who you are.
From here you can share (what is essentially) your digital “record” collection, with your followers on the site and by the usual; Facebook, Twitter and email routes. People will be able to see you’ve liked the music enough to buy it and might give it a listen themselves.
For artists this is obviously great, it is a recommendation by action. It shows whoever lands on the fans page, that they have took action and bought your music because it is obviously the dog’s bag of nuts. Which is much better than a “Like” on Facebook any day. That fan just promoted you, just by buying your music.
Fans can follow fans as well as artists, which may eventually lead to some fan accounts becoming “Go-to-guys/girls” for new music but will essentially lead to like minded people connecting and discovering music together. On your collection page you’ll see suggested people to follow, so that makes that easier. You’ll also be notified when people you follow collect (buy) new music and when you buy music people will be able to see what you have to say about it.
A notable feature is that if someone else buys music they have found through your collection, you will be notified about it. How’s that for a little ego boost?!
A new feature you artists may notice, is that under your cover art there is now “Supported By.” This shows all of the people (with accounts) that bought that record. So if you’ve had 100’s of purchases on Bandcamp, thats going to be looking pretty good on your side. You fans will be able to see who else liked what you’ve bought, and can click on their thumbnails to see their collections, and perhaps discover something new. Also for fans, by buying the record your face is then plastered on the artists page. Because it is nice to be noticed.
This is something obvious but still brilliant. Often I’m sent to a Bandcamp page but can’t afford to get the record right then. I might forget all about it after that, always knowing there is a small part of me missing. A hole that needs filling. Well not anymore, now I can add that record to my wishlist and come back to it when I’m in the black. Perfect!
Similar to any other following service, you will get notifications when those artists upload to music. So you will quite often be the first to get your ears around it. Then you can wave it around in everyones faces, with a smug grin because you have a Bandcamp Fan account set up because of that amazing blog you read. Yep…
Following artists also adds you to their mailing list, not really a big deal for fans at the time but good for artists, as that email is a vital bit of information for future reference. It enables you artists to have secondary contact with fans; thank them personally for the purchase, send out newsletters, give aways and gig announcements etc.
That’s all so far, more will develop as people search and play but those are the key features. It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops. Bandcamp have reported it has increased the sales for artists massively during Beta testing, with more sales now coming from fan accounts than Twitter led Bandcamp posts, which is nice.
In their own words: “Bandcamp for Fans is a social music discovery system based on the high friction concept of ownership” – Essentially; if you like an artist enough to buy it, people are going to take more notice. It looks like Bandcamp could be an artist managed digital store, allowing both ecommerce, discovery and attachment simultaneously.
If you’ve bought off Bandcamp before you can set up a Fan account by clicking here. If not, go buy some music and they’ll invite you to it.
Connecting with bloggers and online Influencers is a great way to generate hype and gain visibility for your band. But how to stand out from the crowd? How do you contact a complete stranger and get them to show interest in your and your music?
Compared to say, even ten years ago it is difficult to distinguish between journalists and bloggers. Some blogs are so well written and have such a large following, that they become the first port of call when readers wish to know what they should be listening to.
Because these Influencers have built up such as large following, they hold a lot of influence within their circles and it is difficult to get onto their radar. So how do you grab their attention? Here are 5 dos and don’ts:
Do Your Research
Don’t even say hello to an Influencer until you identify what that blogger’s topic of expertise is. You need to be able to connect with the Influencer on a shared interest or value. If they write about folk music and you’ve got a new folk album coming out, you can go ahead. If they write about the best ways to grow turnips, you might want to look elsewhere.
Online Influencers nearly always tend to be early adopters. So ensure when you do approach, that you are offering something new and exclusive. A sneak peak at your latest EP, or first look at the music video to your new single might just be thing that gets them to engage with you.
Do Pitch Yourself
The same way magazines and newspapers receive hundred of pitches a day from bands requesting reviews or features, online Influencers don’t have time to respond to every request, so here is a tip. Before your try to pitch, first break the ice. Instead of going in all about yourself, show consistent interest in themselves and their work by:
Engaging with them on social media, but don’t stalk them.
Commenting on their blog posts, with something substantial. A “Nice blog” will do nothing for them or you, make sure you add to the conversation.
Share their content over your social media sites, and be sure to tag, mention or link back to them.
It might seem like a lot to do, but when it comes to pitching your music you’ll stand a much better chance of catching their interest having done this, because they’d have read your name before.
The same way you wouldn’t follow a person in real life shouting “HEY @INFLUENCER, LISTEN TO MY MUSIC” at them, so you shouldn’t online. A big no-no (and something we see a lot) is posting comments that have nothing to do with the bloggers post. If they’ve posted content and you comment with nothing but a link to your music, you’re adding nothing to the conversation and they won’t care.
Don’t email them everyday, you’ll eventually find yourself amongst their junk mail. Also don’t come across arrogant or curt. Posting snarky comments isn’t going to win you any allies in any industry. When you engage with Influencers, be polite and genuine and use common sense, you’re speaking to a person after all.
However, people now tend to share more about themselves over social media, so its OK to bond and be more informal over these platforms, as long as the context is appropriate and you’re doing other things to build the relationship.
One main point: Bloggers and online Influencers use different social media networks for different reasons. So respect their right to do so. Work by this rule: If they don’t share blog or work related content on a particular social media site, don’t reach out for them on there and DEFINITELY don’t attempt to add them on Facebook.
Don’t Expect a Publication For Something They Haven’t Heard
A bloggers reputation is vital to them. So, if you’re trying for a review or feature don’t just ask them to write something without them having experienced some part of your music.
Embed media, either Soundcloud or Youtube into your emails, so they just have to press play to have a listen, don’t send MP3s. Similarly, if you’re posting your requests, make sure you include your EP or album within that envelope, along with a handwritten note (for that more personal touch).
As mentioned before, offer them exclusivity. First listen to your new EP for example
If you’re local, then offer them free tickets to your next show or album launch. If you’ve really built up a relationship, ask to meet up at a gig you’re both going to for a pint, the informal setting will work in your favour.
Don’t be shocked or angry if they don’t give you the five star review you were hoping for, like I said, their reputation is everything, so if they say something is great and it isn’t, then they lose their reader’s trust. It’s the music industry so you have to take the good with the bad.
Don’t Name Drop
The whole “it’s who you know” attitude may help in some cases, but when those people are shoved into the faces of others, you’re damaging your own reputation. By mentioning to another Influencer that, “So and so has written about our new EP in his blog” you’ve instantly wiped out the exclusivity you were offering this Influencer and they won’t care, its been done before, its old news.
Influencers want to be the first to know, especially if its something they love. So by listing a load of other bloggers, whom are essentially their competitors, you’ve just told this Influencer they aren’t important enough to be on the top of your list.
Try out these tips on your next campaign, its never too early to start building relationships, just be natural about it. The days of firing your link at everything that moves is over, be personal, build a connection and you’ve got a fighting chance of winning yourself some very helpful press.
You’ve got your fans, you’re making your music, you’re connecting on some level with them on your social media sites, but you’ve got your own life to live too. You can’t be posting content 24/7 without being one of those people staring at their phones when they’re standing in a bar oblivious to the real world. So here is what you can do to make sure you reach your fans when you’ve got your own plans.
First off we’ll start with Facebook, a site that makes little noise when issuing new features for page administrators, so you may have missed this. Facebook’s scheduling tool offers the ability to add dynamic links and post images in an easy to use format by selecting the date and time of when you would like the post to appear. You can schedule your post to appear up to 6 months in the future in intervals of 10 minutes. So if you want to post the iTunes link to your new single at 7pm Thursday evening, you can set up the entire post on Monday. Then you can forget about it, that post will go out 7pm Thursday evening. Here is how:
Now, to be able to have this scheduling option you’ll have to add a “Founded” date. To do this, click Milestone and add the date that you as an artist or band were “Founded On”. Also, like your other posts make sure they’re as you want them before you post. Make sure all links are correct, thumbnails are effective, spelling and grammar are correct etc.
After you click the “Schedule” button, your post will disappear. However, you will be able to see that it is scheduled by following the following steps:
- Click “Edit Page” within the admin panel (above the cover photo)
- In the dropdown menu, select “Use Activity Log”.
- On the next page, locate an arrow to the right of the scheduled post. When clicked, you will be able to change the time of the post, publish the post immediately or cancel the post.
So what about Twitter? The official Twitter site,doesn’t allow users to schedule posts, however Tweetdeck & Hootsuite do. In case you didn’t know, Tweetdeck & Hootsuite are social media dashboard applications to help manage Twitter and Facebook accounts. I use Tweetdeck to simultaneously run the Twitter Accounts I manage, and this allows me to schedule posts on any account for the day, week or month.
Firstly, Tweetdeck is free and is damn good, so I’d recommend checking it out, I won’t go into setting up your account or columns here it’s something you can play about with and set for your own preference. Once you’ve set yourself up a Tweetdeck account it’s pretty similar to Facebook scheduling. Here’s what to do:
These two ways of scheduling your posts allows you to reach your fans even when you’re not actually there to post. If you’ve noticed that the best time for you to post is 3am but you want to be all snug in bed, these tips will allow you to set up a 3am post and get your 8 hours all at once.
They will also allow you to cross oceans more effectively. If you have it, you don’t want to ignore international audiences. A lot of the time your international audience will still be at work or school while you’re jumping into bed, so set up posts for them, so that when they log in after work, you’re the first thing they see, even if you’re already in the land of nod.
Hopefully you’ve gotten something useful out of this simple post, so please feel free to Comment, Subscribe and Follow!
We all know what Instagram is, and what it’s about. But did you know that it’s a social networking tool that you’re probably not getting the most out of? So here are ten tips for musicians to integrate your images into your Social Media Strategy.
1. Reserve Your Instagram Name
As with Twitter, you need to get in and set up your artist or band account with Instagram, don’t use a personal account as the band account, most people won’t interact with an image of what you had for dinner. If your band name is already taken try adding a location e.g DittoMusicUK and make sure you set up with a different email account to your personal account.
Tip: If you are having difficulty securing a username, Instagram does have a trademark policy in place and by contacting Instagram you may have a chance at claiming your business Instagram name.
2. Set Up Your Profile
As a mobile app, Instagram allows you to add a profile image (try and keep this the same as your Twitter or Facebook for continuity) bio and link to your website. Take advantage of this and keep it simple.
Instagram have recently launched Instagram for the web allowing you to have a web profile, so be sure to log in and make sure your information is up to date and your settings are set to how you want.
3. Sync Your Social Profiles
Instagram is a great visual tool, and the starting point from which you can post to other social platforms. With Facebook for example, you can share your Instagram photos to your Band Page, where you can ensure the content is larger and more prominent on Timelines than other standard posts.
Tip: Connect your Facebook, Twitter and any other third party social media site by going to: Profile > Edit Settings.
4. What’s Your Story
As with any other Social Media platform, Instagram is another platform for you to tell your story, but with images. Before setting up your account, research what Instagram users connect with the most, try and find another band using Instagram effectively and see what their fans are engaging with, give people a reason to follow you.
5. Edit Your Schedule and Content
As with any platform you need to be constantly aware of how your followers are engaging with your content. If your 9am posts aren’t getting any feedback wait until lunch. Move away from constant promotional messaging, give followers an insight in to your week, deliver insightful, useful and meaningful images to drive engagement and positive viewing experiences.
You can design a schedule on when will update, however this can be difficult and sometimes the best images come from the moment so play around with what works best for you and your engagement.
6. Integrate Across Your Platforms
Instagram works best when synced with your other social media sites, so when you are posting to all these sites, you probably have a different tone of voice, so consider changing the tone and content of the message your are posting with the image. You don’t want to ask people to Retweet when you’ve posted to Facebook.
7. Involve The Entire Band
You will often find yourself short of photo opportunities, but that doesn’t mean someone else in the band is. Allow the entire band access to the Instagram account for different view points and voices, it also allows followers to connect with the full band. However, ensure that this doesn’t lead to duplicate posts or too many updates, try and regulate who is posting when.
8. Engage Your Fan Community
Be sure to keep enagaged on Instagram, it’s reciprocal, you need to be following fans, bands and brands, liking and commenting on their photos, especially if they mention your band. If someone has posted a picture of your gig and posted it on your Facebook, like the post on Facebook and the photo on Instagram. You could even have an album for fan Instagram Photos. Also, remember to reply back to comments, it’s rude of you not to.
9. Tag and Geo-tag Your Photos
Like Twitter, incorporating hashtags will increase the visibility. Ensure that the hashtags are relevant, a location, tour name, promotional campaign, photo descriptors etc. However don’t got overboard, any more than three hashtags and your instantly make the post an eyesore.
Instagram is also putting emphasis on geo-tagging, so if you don’t mind adding you location to the images this could be something to do, it adds context to the image and the action you are doing.
10. Measure and Optimizing
Always look to gain more of an insight into your online community, this will help you in optimizing the content of your images. You can use sites like Statigram and SimplyMeasured to see your most engaged times to post in the day, he best filter you have used, and identify who is engaging with your content the most.
Instagram should reflect you and your life as an artist or band, be sure to give it your own voice and engage with your followers.
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See my original blog on the Ditto Music Website
Good news for bands and artists!
Seems that with all the changes surrounding Facebook’s recent Edge Rank changes they have now added a little feature for bands and artists to reconnect with their fans.
Introducing Page Notifications. It’s not back to the old way we all knew, but it’s taking the pain away a little and it means that more than six people will see your post, which is always good.
Last week the option (shown below) to “Get Notifications” from pages appeared on band Facebook Pages, an Opt-In system for users to receive notifications from pages they like. This from Facebook – “We are currently rolling out the ability for people to receive notifications from specific pages, friends or public figures that they are connected to. This feature will help people keep up with the people and things that they care about most.”
By default, notifications are off, I’m assuming because the people that like “The Cold Side Of The Pillow” type pages don’t actually want to get updates every day.
But for your fans that do want to see your updates, they can choose to turn on notifications AS WELL AS turning on “Show In News Feed” which is near enough redundant anyway but at least gives you the opportunity to get on their dash.
This means they’ll receive notifications when you update your page. So I suggest those of you who have linked your Twitter Feed to your Facebook feed turn it off, or you’ll rightly piss off your fans.
The hardest part for you musicians will be reaching the your fans all over again to explain this new move and encouraging them to go ahead and click “Get Notifications.”
It’s a step forward (or backward?) so I’d suggest reading up on it a bit more, and see what you can do with it.
UPDATES: Not long after posting this, TechCrunch posted this article Killing Rumours With Facts: No, Facebook Decrease Page Feed Reach To Sell More Promoted Posts. It’s worth a read, basically they have data supporting that the Edge Rank changes was actually to stop Spammy pages being shown in the newsfeed and to encourage interesting and engaging content from page owners, definitely worth a read.
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So, a post about covers and how they can help boost your views. When I say covers, I don’t mean doing your own “rocked up” rendition of “Call Me Maybe.” This will only be a short post as it’s something most bands and artists do anyway but it’s also something they don’t use to it’s full effect.
Now most musicians grow up playing their instrument or singing along to music that influenced them at the time. I have to admit I dabbled in a bit of 80’s Glam Rock when learning the drums, mostly because I liked the stick flicks but there we go. I got out of that phase without a mullet, and it’s left in the past.
But to use covers now, when you’re an ever so serious “professional” musician creating your own art seems backwards right? Nope. It’s a great tool! Especially for you savvy digital lot.
(First off, if you haven’t got a Youtube Channel, make one. Seriously, what are you doing? Also Set yourself up a Soundcloud account, both are free and are great for musicians. Get EVERYTHING you have onto those sites, and make sure all your other links (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are in your info, everything must link to everything else.)
Now, hopefully if you’ve took on board anything I wrote about in Collaborations, you’ve scouted about and found similar bands to you, that maybe share a similar fan base in a different location. You can use this same information with your covers.
First, find a song you like from these bands, (think strategically about what band and song you choose, no point doing it if you get nothing out of it) learn it and do yourself a cover. It could be acoustic, or if you have the time, a rough live version during practise. You can video it (not on an iPhone please) or just record the audio, either way make sure it is uploaded to Youtube. When you’ve finished uploading, check the tags the original band have used for that video, use those same tags but also add you own. Add links to the original band in the description and also the links to your own profiles. With all this data added and with your tags mimicking the original, your video will show up alongside it in the search results.
When that’s done, lets everyone know about it. Let the original band know about it. Let their fans know about it. The band will be flattered you’ve chosen one of their songs to cover. They will almost definitely Retweet it, if not to show off that they’ve been covered but because they like it. They might repost the video with a shout out to their own fans to check you out. That recommendation & influence will get you views of the cover and from your cover lead them to your own music. Simple. However, don’t get spammy with your posts, make sure they’re targeted, for example, if the band has a Fan account, post your video to them, they are, after all the people you want to get on board. Also something to look into is making you video a Video Response to the original as well as any related videos you can find.
This type of strategy works best with bands around your own level, don’t drop a cover video of Snow Patrol’s “Run” and expect the band to go “Well bugger me, a band from Runcorn has covered Run, why has no-one done this before?! RTRTRT” won’t happen. The douche bags.
But if you want to cover some bigger artists you can. Have a look what an artist named Jay Alexzander (@JayAlexzanderUK) is doing with popular songs his fans enjoy.
Jay has started his own “series” if you like, of covers on his Youtube Channel. The songs are chosen by his Facebook & Twitter followers who vote for what song they want him to cover. Jay will then video a version and upload it, tracking the hype on Twitter using the hashtag #JACS (Which I think stands for Jay Alexzander Cover Sessions or something similar) Jay has got big numbers on all his cover videos, and they’re just simple acoustic covers of songs voted for by his fans. The reason he’s succeeded is because he interacts with his fans, gets them involved in what he’s doing, and gives them something in return; music. It makes them more accessible when it’s time for Jay to post a link to his own music. It’s worth looking into if you have a very vocal fan base.
So there it is. Two different strategies for what you can do with covers. Simple as anything, which anyone can do, and if done right can work wonders. Now I proof read this, that wasn’t short at all. Bugger.
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