Today, I’ll be talking about 7 ways to get exposure without stepping foot on stage. If you’re new to this podcast. Welcome! Thanks for tuning in and listening. I’m excited you’re here, because it means you’re curious about what it means to be a successful DIY musician in this day and age. Also, if this IS your first time listening in, I’ve talked a bit about growing your fan base without stepping foot on stage. I’ve also talked about how to get your first 1000 super fans. Make sure to keep listening, but also check out episodes 9 and 11.
Moving on to today’s conversation: 7 ways to get exposure without stepping foot on stage. First of all, why would you want to do this? Musicians love performing, so why wouldn’t they just perform? Well, there are musicians out there that love performing, but they may not have the luxury of traveling. Or, they might not have the financial resources to tour and the couch surfing life may be challenging for them. If you’re weighing out the different costs of touring and you’re trying to find out other ways to leverage your existing resources to grow your fanbase, keep on listening.
1.) Get on a music discovery website like Noisetrade or Hype Machine.
Music lovers, influencers and even people in positions of record label authority go to these websites to discover new music. What’s cool about Noisetrade is that you can indicate your style and what artists you might be similar to. Doing this streamlines your fans search, and helps you attract the right fan. For example, if you sound like a mixture of Muse, Radiohead and Beck, fans of those bands search for other artists that sound similar. Additionally, you’re able to collect e-mails and zip codes in exchange for a free single or even EP/album. Another bonus is that you can even earn revenue on the side by collecting tips.
My recommended action step is to check out Noisetrade and Hype Machine, if you haven’t already. Explore the different niches they offer and discover where you might fit in. Next, experiment by placing your song for discovery.
2.) Be active on social media.
I’ve been a broken record about social media in previous episodes. So, I’ll be brief. But being on social is something to not miss out on. It helps you connect with existing fans and increase exposure like never before. Social media offers opportunities for growth that musicians simply did not have before it’s creation. So, make sure to invest some time into learning! If you’ve got a notepad nearby, write down episode number 2, 6, 10, and 12 to check out after this episode.
3.) Email as many relevant music blogs one of your singles.
As a musician, you need reviews on your music by relevant blogs. This will get the attention of relevant fans, and deliver spins to your albums and singles. Artists like Ben Phipps reached over 21 million spins on Spotify from doing this. He sent cold emails, repeatedly. Of course, he got rejected, but for the ones that gave him a listen and review – it helped him out tremendously in the end. As a result, he was offered record label deals (which he declined) and grew his fanbase. If you’ve got at least one original single made that’s polished and mastered, find relevant music blogs that review your type of music. Send them an e-mail! And if they don’t respond, keep trying daily with other music blogs until you get a few yeses.
4.) Be available on streaming and try to get on playlists.
Thanks to streaming, this generation of listeners are expanding their musical tastes. We recognize this in the growing number of crossover genres. One of the ways fans discover new music and styles is by exploring playlists.
To get on playlists, one of the things you’ll need to do is like the previous tip. This is e-mail folks with influence that also have playlists. This includes brands, relevant bands, authors, in-house curators (like your local coffee shop), or music blogs.
You can also start by creating your own playlists that include your music sprinkled with other artists that are similar to you. You can actually develop a following by fans that might be attracted to similar music. As a result, potential fans will discover your music.
I also have a book recommendation for you. It’s called, “How to Use Spotify Playlists to Launch Your Career in Music” by George Goodrich.
5.) Start building buzz locally.
By starting locally, you’re able to concentrate your efforts in a location that requires little financial resources in the travel department. Word of mouth is also easier to get when you’re concentrating your efforts locally. And to do this without touring, you’d use a local hashtag, offer your music to a local coffee shop to play, or do a partnered contest with a local brand your fans might love.
6.) Give a reason for existing fans to share you with their friends and family.
If you have at least one fan, you could potentially have another fan. And so on and so forth. So, how can you make your music something easy to share with your friends and family? This doesn’t have to be something that’s directly related to your music. I’m a huge Swiftie fan, and she’s been one of my favorites to watch on social media from a marketing perspective. But it’s also entertaining from a fan perspective! Before Swift’s reputation. album, she’d post content that wasn’t always related to her music. She’d post silly images of her cat, photos of baking or enjoying nature. You’d be surprised by how shareable images of cats are. It’s not just the content that she shares, but the actions she takes. For example, she sometimes will give gifts to her most loyal fans around Christmas time. You may not have the budget to give gifts to a bunch of fans, but what you can do is meaningfully engage with fans on social media. What this does is get fans excited enough to talk about you with their friends and family.
7.) Network with similar musicians and leverage each other’s audiences.
If you can’t tour with them, try coordinating something online! You can do a collaboration on YouTube, a single, or a contest on social media. The key is to find artists that are in a similar niche.
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