Like most content sharing sites, SoundCloud has garnered many users over the years, so there are numerous skills you need to employ in order to gain a sufficient amount of fans. It’s advisable to use your SoundCloud profile to show the world that you and your band are a professional outfit. Then there are those more complex nuances; those little marketing tricks that can often seem insignificant, but when executed, ultimately put you head and shoulders above the rest.

So, let’s start with mistakes to avoid. All of us are prone to overdoing it sometimes, promoting our work in what we think is a fiendishly brilliant manner, but to the rest of the world just looks a tad desperate, or doing something that seems out of the ordinary, but is in fact fairly humdrum, and would have worked far better if we stuck to the tried and tested methods.

In Music Marketing Budi Voogt, an artist manager and label owner, pin points 13 mistakes to avoid when using SoundCloud. Each point is useful for any musician, whether a newbie or seasoned professional, to take heed of. For example Voogt writes how uploading every single recording you’ve ever done seems like a good idea, but more often than not puts people off. “For people that are new to your band, and music, you only have a single shot at impressing them.” He says: “You know how it goes: if you discover a new artist, you’ll give one track, maybe two, a shot, and if those aren’t to your liking, you’ll move on. Therefore, it’s essential that you don’t place everything you make on your Soundcloud account. Sure, a Soundcloud upload is less definitive than a track distributed to iTunes or Beatport, however it’s still in the public domain, and fans you win on Soundcloud can certainly become paying customers for gigs and actual releases.  Ideally, your profile should become a showcase of all the amazing finished work you’ve made and released, so that every potential visitor can be amazed and impressed by your prowess.”

A record and sleeve

Be A Social Butterfly

One major key to success with SoundCloud, and one that can never be underestimated, is the aspect of simply being sociable. The entire digital sphere is all about sociability, and it’s the same door to success on other platforms like Twitter, YouTube et al. SoundCloud is structured in a way where the more positivity you give out, the more positivity you get back, so along with promoting your work, be a curator and share other artist’s work you like on your profile too, they will more than likely do the same in return.

DIY Musician has given 10 simple but extremely effective ways to promote yourself, and the majority involves being an active member of the SoundCloud community that really cares about what they’re offering and who they’re promoting. Essentially, creating an awesome vibe of approachability. One idea from DIY Musician is to join the myriad groups featured on SoundCloud: “There are all kinds of genre and location-based “groups”. Pick out a few that you think your music would be right for, join ’em, and submit your tracks. It’s a great way to build a little online community that could lead to sales and gigs down the line.” Further in this vein of creating your own community is hosting a remix contest of your work – “Check out SoundCloud’s advice on hosting a remix competition. Then post all your song’s individual tracks and enlist your fans to make some killer remixes.”

SoundCloud is one of the many arenas in which an artist’s identity is formed, and you must look at your online identity in terms of a brand, without removing any of the fun or artistry that goes with being a musician.

Photos by Mishin & ugalde

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