Breaking into the Music Business Using SoundCloud

music business

Soundcloud has been proving itself as an effective way to break into the music business for years now. The power it has to connect bands to fans through direct communication on the platform itself, and promoting social sharing, is unheard of in the music industry.

SoundCloud has been working for bands of all genres of music, it’s not just house music and Skrillex anymore! Your band can build itself up too, but it will take the proper tactics and planning.

Get into the music business with SoundCloud

SoundCloud’s features make it the best

There are other music streaming services out there used by the music business. The problem is that none of them have the same social aspects to them as SoundCloud, and some put walls between you and your potential fans.

Let’s look at Spotify, whose biggest weakness is that people must sign up for an account with them before they can even hear a track! You can be uploading your tracks to Spotify, hoping for people to hear them, but a large chunk of your audience may never have the chance because they don’t want to, or because they can’t sign up! I speak from experience as Spotify is not currently available in my country (well, not without my secret hacker skills…).

SoundCloud’s unique social aspect is that people can comment right on the tracks. Take a look at this screenshot of a song with comments from fans all over the world appreciating and giving feedback directly to J. Cole.
music business soundcloud

Each photo is another comment from another fan, there’s so many that they had to be hidden! Those comments also appear below the track so that fans can interact with one another.

The other thing which makes SoundCloud great is how easy it is to share and embed tracks. Fans can simply press ‘Share’ and see the image below pop up. One more click on the social network of their choice will have their friends hearing your song.
soundcloud share buttons

SoundCloud have partnered with Twitter to make sharing and listening to songs on Twitter easier as well. Here’s an example tweet:

breaking into music business

Finally, you can also see at the bottom of this post how easy it is to embed tracks. Just take the URL and post it on its own line without hyperlinking! Think of how easy it will be for music bloggers and writers to share your tracks so readers can make their own judgements.

The importance of building a large following

Having a large following on SoundCloud is everything. That orange button will be the cornerstone of what gets you into the music business as more and more people appreciate, buy, and promote your music until you’re noticed by the biggest of the big wig wearers.

soundcloud follow buttonThe toughest challenge you’ll face is your first few followers. Besides those very few hipsters who get off on ‘knowing you before you were big’, the vast majority of SoundCloud users want to follow bands which are going somewhere. Why invest in a band if they’re a flop and will break up soon?

Your first step to getting noticed on SoundCloud should be to find a way to quickly boost your SoundCloud followers. Here are a few tactics:

  • Buying SoundCloud followers may be controversial, but it works to boost the number. You can read some SoundCloud follower service reviews at the link to choose the right provider for your needs.
  • Push fans from other social accounts to follow you on SoundCloud. They’ll never know you’re on there until you tell them. Make pushes when you notice your follower levels have risen and new fans need to know about your SoundCloud account.
  • Mention it at concerts and other appearances. You want your fans to last longer than one concert, or one radio appearance, so capture them online using SoundCloud.

Those are the three fastest ways to start building your following. Act now to start seeing the real results that SoundCloud can bring you in the music business.

Control your downloads

The one million pound gorilla in the music industry for years now has been downloads. They have forever altered the music landscape. You can use people’s desire to download free music to your advantage though.

SoundCloud offers you the ability to let your fans download songs from your SoundCloud account. With the power in your hands, you can let fans download:

  • download musicConcert appearances
  • Rare tracks
  • Unreleased songs
  • Your biggest hit
  • A single you want to test out

Any reason you have for wanting a song to be downloaded applies. When you have control you can learn what is and isn’t working with your fan base, while also offering them a little something extra.

Engaging directly with fans on two levels

We all have a memory of a musician we loved and their direct interaction with us. Whether it was seeing them in concert, or that time I met Green Day and talked to Tre Cool. They’re moments we never forget, and you can create these moments in small doses on SoundCloud.

Some of the basic, and more advanced, fan engagement tactics on SoundCloud include:

  • Replying directly to comments from your fans. Zane Lowe is an excellent example of this as he personally interacted with fans commenting on a trending track of his. He quickly grew his account with this tactic. This may also be a good opportunity to use a call to action to push users to follow your account!
  • Commenting on the tracks of other artists, in an honest way, can help you engage with other fans of music in your genre who may not know you. When they see that you both think the same thing about a band you both enjoy, you can easily gain a follow.
  • Create a SoundCloud group that puts you in a unique position. Be sure to have moderator control so that you can filter what is added to your group. Make the group specific to start. A group called ‘Good Rock Music’ is a yawn. Instead using ‘Great Rock Music from Toronto,’ will attract people either from Toronto, or those who want to hear tracks from Toronto. Start local and build, that’s the way the music business works!
  • Sending direct messages to your biggest fans can do so much for your success in the music business. You will make them feel even more special, promoting them to push your music even harder. You can also use them as a sort of focus group. Have a new song you’re not sure about? Send it to them and get feedback.

Fan engagement may be the best aspect of SoundCloud. Having the chance to speak with your audience builds relationships, and gives your SoundCloud account a deeper meaning than just sharing songs.

The music business loves SoundCloud

You don’t need to do anything but be passionate and consistent to make it in the music industry using SoundCloud. Be sure to:

  • Push SoundCloud’s unique features.
  • Build your following.
  • Control your downloads.
  • Engage with your fans on a number of levels.

All that you have to do is create great music! But that part’s easy, right?!?

Now let me show you how easy it is to use SoundCloud to embed your tracks …anywhere!

Feature image via ra2studio / Shutterstock

About This Author

Sam is the resident Social Media Strategist at SMMGuide!

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