This is an exciting time to be part of the music industry! Social media has entirely changed the way people are selling music, and if you’re a struggling independent artist, you’ve got a better chance of getting your music noticed than any time in the past. The era of the Big Labels is coming to an end, and the era of independent online self-promotion is here!
The key to making use of the Internet to sell music is in learning how to leverage social media to get the word out. If you can win fans or followers through social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, you can see a huge increase – between 50% and 79% – in purchases and recommendations from your fans. But to do that, you have to do the nearly-unthinkable. You need to give people free access to your music.
Using Online Listening Sites To Sell Music
Online services like Spotify, SoundCloud, and Last.FM make it easy for independent artists to upload their tracks to share with the world. While royalty rates for plays are low, or even nonexistent, the point is not to make money directly off of these services. The point is to get the word out, increase your buzz, and earn new fans who will buy your albums, merchandise, and concert tickets.
These sites are all quite similar, and easy to use. First you create an account, which creates an exclusive page just for you, and then you upload your tracks to it for users to listen to. In nearly all cases, they don’t have the ability to download your songs, but only stream them. This gives new listeners a great way to hear your music and decide for themselves if they want to support you.
But you still have to get the word out…
The Social Music Connection
I don’t have to tell you that people love sharing new music they’ve found with their friends; you undoubtedly do it yourself. That’s what you want to happen with your music too! Getting accounts on music sharing sites is only step one. After that, you need to promote them online to get people talking about them! Here are a few things to try:
- Post regularly on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social sites you frequent, engaging your fans, asking them questions, and posting links to new tracks.
- Set up a Facebook Store so that you can sell music to new fans directly through their favorite social media. There are tools that make selling music on Facebook fast and easy.
- Set up a YouTube channel to display concert videos. Make sure it has links to your other tracks and your social pages.
- Leverage the social power of sites like Spotify to set up playlists of bands you like! (And not just yourself.) Fans of other bands, finding their tracks on your playlists, will check you out too.
- Encourage your fans to share your music with other newcomers.
It’s All About the Buzz
Buzz and name-recognition are all-important if you want to break into the online independent music industry. It’s more important to garner true fans, the ones who’ll stick with you, than simply to sell music a few tracks at a time on iTunes. Look at the Internet as your opportunity to tell people about yourself and get noticed! Not everyone can grab a big-label contract… and frankly, who needs ’em? With the power of social media and some canny self-promotion on your part, you can be the next Internet star and attract bigger audiences than ever before.
Now is the time to turn your musical dreams into a reality. You just have to take the first step.
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