I get a LOT of DMs on Instagram asking me how to progress as a musician, and more specifically, how to get more eyes on your content! This is a hot topic, especially in today’s world of internet sensation and influencer marketing. All that aside, I’ve boiled down some absolute gems that you have to be using if you’re trying to grow your music fanbase.
1. Provide value to your fans. This is the essential part of an entertainer’s career. Entertainment! If you don’t have a way to engage your fans every single day, start there. The cold hard truth is that most people aren’t going to go out of their way to find your music, so you need to spend your time and effort into getting your content in front of them as much as possible. Does this mean you need to put out a new track every day? Nope! But you know that track you made last week that you put on your Instagram Story, like… twice? That’s not going to cut it. Fetty Wap pushed “Trap Queen for a year before it caught fire. The same song. For a year… Don’t let your work go to waste! Push your music and find creative ways to get your content in front of people’s eyes, even if that means giving your song to YouTube channels to use as background music!
So don’t worry if your song didn’t blow up when you dropped it, especially because you probably didn’t hit up any blogs, radio stations, or influencers to help you with the blowing-up of your release. Even if you don’t decide to throw money at your song to make it catch, the absolute minimum you should be doing every single day is providing some kind of content to your fans, whether its random inside-scoops of what you’re up to every day, or a selfie of yourself in the studio (or wherever it is you happen to create). This is essential not only to growth but to fan maintenance. No one wants to follow stagnant accounts. Show them that you’re a person: you are a human, just like them. Make sure you become a part of your fans’ everyday lives, and you’ll see some traction and support in no time.
“Don’t create. Document”- Gary Vaynerchuk
2. Find your strengths and double down. Are you a beatmaker who also raps on the side when you have time, edits videos, goes to school and works a job? Spend less time on the things you’re not excelling at, and double down on the things you’re more talented with! Nobody cares if John Mayer can edit his own videos. No one cares if The Weeknd is mixing his own tracks. Focusing in on one thing makes you more valuable as part of a team. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be multi-talented, but if you’re spending an hour a day on something that doesn’t really help you in the long run, it’s time to refocus.
If you’re a beatmaker, be a beatmaker! Find a singer who’s a singer and a video guy who’s a video guy. This is going to help you immensely. It’s also going to force you to develop a team, which is essential. Also, if you don’t already have an influencer on your team, this is absolutely part of a rock-solid team. A friend who can get your content in front of thousands of eyes is valuable. Find some local bloggers, radio personalities, or producers, and start with a simple DM on Instagram! “Hey X, I loved that last post you posted about _______. Whenever you post stuff like that, it really inspires me to work harder on my own stuff. Cheers!” Whatever you do, and I mean this, DO NOT just send a SoundCloud link to someone with no message. I recommend you don’t send SoundCloud links at all! Soundcloud sucks for mobile. If you do happen to get someone to listen to your track, it’s going to be a hassle for them to sign in, comment or like the track, and you’re not exactly providing value to that person if you’re taking 5-10 minutes from their life, just to hear a stranger’s song.
3. Build a team! Just like a “real band”, hip-hop artists need a team. Do you have time to write songs, record them, mix them, create artwork, edit and render videos (leaving your computer unusable for other tasks), promote your music, and reach out to venues, collaborators and influencers every day? Probably not! If you do, you’re an incredible person, and I’d love to have you on my team. If you’ve got buddies who you like hanging out with but are not musically talented, get them on the team as an artist or a PR person. You’d be surprised how much time you can save by having someone else write your tweets for you, or mixing your tracks for you, or animating videos for you.
4. Be yourself, and keep grinding. If you give up for a week, you lose all the momentum and interest people have invested in you! I recommend that you hide your struggle. Really. No one wants to be a fan of someone who is sad or lives a trash life. People want to be entertained, uplifted, or inspired. Yes, you should tell people your come-up story! But if you’re having a bad day, don’t take your woes to the marketplace. You know that friend who, every time you hang out, they tell you about the last five bad experiences they had, and then you get sucked into their miserable world? Yeah don’t be that person, and if you are, don’t identify as that person online! Be the person who, when you walk in the room, you bring happiness and inspiration, even if you have to force it. Instead of posting a story like “Hey guys, I’m feeling really down today, DM me if you care about me”, it’s FAR more effective to post a story like “Hey guys, I just want to let you know that sometimes progress is hard, but you need to keep pushing. Don’t let your dreams fade away. If you’re inspired enough to have dreams, strive towards them as hard as you can, even if you got a flat tire on the way to the show”.
A quick recap:
1. Provide value and/or entertainment
2. Double down on your strengths
3. Build a team
4. Be yourself, never give up
Thanks for checking out the MASTR Productions Blog. If you learned something from this, or my other articles, be sure to let me know! Reach out to me on my Instagram @ mastr.productions.
Shoutout to @christlifeproductions for doing some market research for me and finding out what you folks really want to read about!