At SubBass we consistently help students in either DJ or Production classes help get their skills up to a professional standard and ready for the world but once you're out there it can be very hard to create a presence for yourself. In this blog I'll list some of the things that I have found useful in building a base for my company and brand.
So, you have spent hours and hours in the studio learning everything you can feast your eyes upon but still you have next to no presence online.
In this article we will aim to change that by highlighting an array of tools that can help expand your potential fan reach and help you to have a more distinctive image as an artist .
Before we jump ahead and just list the tools lets first think of what we will need. A good analogy is to think of promoting any brand, artist or track almost as like having a dinner party. First off you need somewhere to have it (your website) you need to have the place looking nice and clean (branding), you need to be organised (to do list), you need to invite people (marketing), you need to build an atmosphere via showcasing your skills with a mixtape/music and lastly making sure you have good nibbles (your content).
Firstly we will need to have a think about branding. Branding, I find, is quite often an overlooked aspect. It is the process of creating a name and image that showcases your product/artist and is the first impression that anyone is going to receive from you. Are you going to have a messy logo that you have doodled on a piece of paper - or as a consumer, are you going to opt for the person with a clean, professional logo and aesthetic. Branding is consistently done by enforcing the idea of your company/brand. Think of artists like Lady Gaga, Andrea 3000 and Bjork, just mentioning these names will bring to mind some of the photos and various outfits these 3 have been in.
You will need to think about is what image and message you want to portray via your music. For me I am really into exploring new sounds and developing new experiments with audio and seeing what will happen, this is an adventure for me; so when creating Mind Flux I wanted to portray this musical sound design adventure and this was done via the art and tone of text.
So what can you use to help you?
Sites like fiverr and peopleperhour are very good options where you can find people to do little tasks for you. You can get jobs done like getting a logo, press photos, styling and so much more, they are really an endless treasure trove of talented people who you can work with.
Now lets start with the website, this is where you are going to host everything, your music, photos, socials etc. And its never been easier to build a site that caters to your needs. When creating a site for my company, Mind Flux, I did a lot of research into what I wanted and ended up choosing squarespace. With squarespace you choose a template and from there you use pages and blocks to build your site, its extremely user friendly plus if you ever get stuck there are plenty of videos on the site to help you and if your really, really stuck there is a live chat feature too.
Once your site is built you will look to start filtering in your content, this is where you can link to your soundcloud playlists, mixes and tracks, youtube videos and all your social media. So now rather than sending people to multiple sites for various reasons, you can send them all to one place.
Once we have the content such as mixes, tracks, albums etc. We need to consider how to share it, yes we can just post on Facebook etc but sharing content in that manner means that it can be too easily missed due to to the amount of traffic at varying times and days. What we really want to do is use an app that can help guide us on when is best to post. There are plenty of scheduling apps out there but personally I prefer Hootsuite. It will allow you to have all social media channels in one place and best of all you can schedule using their hints and recommendations.
Another tool that is comes in handy to let people know that you have music out there is repost exchange. Respost Exchange is an application that allows you to share your track and mixes with a host of users who can repost your track via soundcloud.
So like any good dinner party you need guests and modern day email marketing is great for that but what happens if you have only your Gran’s email?
You want to consider offering your followers something so that they will be prepared to give you their details. Think about giving away a free gift, be it a mix, track, stem pack or sample pack, get some nice art down and package nicely. Next go to hypeedit, here you can create a fan gate and choose a goal or multiple goals, like collecting an email, get a facebook like, soundcloud repost etc. All off which are great for getting the word out.
For example at Mind Flux I gave away a free sample pack and with in 6 months it have gained over 10k plays and around 3k emails.
Now that I have enough emails to work with you can use mailchimp (which is free bellow 2k emails). Here you can have custom goals, for example, driving traffic to your site and, like squarespace there are a lot of great videos to help you along!
Remember to do all this you will need to be organised, and as musicians we are inherently bad at this, so its really worthwhile getting some help through app like wunderlist. The app will allow you to add what you need to do, when it needs to be done and even who needs to do it (if your part of team)
If you are looking for any one to one help with getting your music career of the ground why not come along to Sub Bass and have a chat with one of our tutors, all of whom are well versed in the business of getting a brand up and running.
"SubBass is simply a brilliant school for music production. You get expert advice and teaching in small groups so you learn fast. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone with a passion for electronic music"DJ Lottie (Radio One, Space Ibiza)