You have some professional artwork and you’re ready to step in the ring with the best…
What do I do now?
Engagement is paramount in the tedious process of getting your music heard. There are so many (too many) ways to communicate with your audience, potential buyers of your product. In a maze of social media outlets, it’s a hard job to be everywhere. But you should – Be everywhere. One caveat – use caution not to spend so much time marketing, you have no time for songwriting.
The list of social networking outlets is enormous. Pick the obvious and make it work for you. A few you won’t want to miss are as follows.
Facebook and Twitter
Facebook and Twitter are obvious, but they are the biggest and the best (at least in 2013). They are both valuable tools if you actively engage with your audience. Don’t pester them, but keep a sharp eye on comments. Reply promptly and politely to everything. Remember, criticism is just one persons opinion. Don’t take it personally.
Encourage comments. Ask pertinent questions that reach for a response. Ask for an opinion, and often you’ll get it. Expect and prepare for any response and you won’t be caught off guard if someone sat on an upended stick that morning. Always respond, politely. Often, however, it’s best to sleep on it first.
Word to the wise – Be careful not to annoy your audience with constant hype and over-promotion.
YouTube is watched hard by the industry. It’s become relatively easy (and cheap) to make a professional looking video and free to post it on YouTube. You can fashion a full motion video production or a static background displaying the words, for example.
Use free tools like Windows Movie Maker for PC. There is Apple iMovie , HyperEngine or Final Cut for Mac. Or spend a little more for excellent video editing software like Camtasia Studio, Sony Vegas Pro, or the Adobe products, Premiere, Premiere Elements and After Effects. Personally, I’ve only used the Adobe products (and they’re great) so I can’t recommend the others.
YouTube’s audio streaming quality is poor, and having spent countless hours dialing in your recording, you want people to hear the real you. Soundcloud is the place to be. It is easily embedded everywhere, it provides useful stats to help in your decision making, and it’s a great place to meet collaborators in your songwriting efforts.
Create a band page at BandPage (formerly Rootmusic). You can embed your Soundcloud player into your Facebook profile.
Bandcamp offers a terrific platform for selling your music and merchandise directly to your fan-base. Bandcamp delivers good quality audio immediately, and works well on mobile devices.
Founded in 1992 by Michael Laskow, TAXI.com is a great tool for songwriter growth. The company provides excellent (and honest) individual song critiques, a large library of helpful information, and annual “Road Rally” conventions.
TAXI offers a link between the songwriter and TV and Film producers, production music supervisors, publishers, producers and high-level Major and Indie label A&R people. Although not free, the service they provide is valuable to the songwriter.
TuneCore functions as a music distributor. Fee based, they shuttle your songs to several outlets including iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify.
Create, manage and track your digital marketing campaigns at ReverbNation. Receive crowd reviews, build your fan base, distribute your songs, and find gig using this ‘catch-all’ music marketing site.
Broadjam and OurStage
No matter which avenue you take, this is your business … so take it personally. Make sure it shines.
Online is a permanent record so make everything you do in the public eye – quality. Do everything in your power to make certain your songs, recordings, blog posts, comments, flyers, artwork, everything … is top-drawer
Write, write and rewrite,
Read Part One