Being a music artist in 2023 is a straight-up competition.
As a modern music artist, you’re competing with every other artist in your genre for one thing – a listener’s attention. So really, the music industry today is a battle for time. Which is why, as much as purists maintain that ‘good music’ is all you need to succeed in the music industry, we’d be tempted to say those days are over.
If you want any hope of muscling your music brand into the public eye, you need strategy. Randomly catapulting music out into the depths of the internet no longer works. To help you understand why, here’s a few strategies you can employ to get your music out of the backend of YouTube and into public consciousness…
5 strategies up & coming artists can use to muscle music into public consciousness…
1. Build a strong brand that’s unique
Today, being a music artist is all about business. And what’s the one thing every business needs to succeed? A bulletproof brand.
A distinct public image or group of values that customers (in this case, listeners) can associate with you. Perhaps this could be a way of editing your pictures? A unique style of songwriting? A specific belief or cause you stand for? Either way, as a music artist in 2023, you need to stand for something & do your very best to form a visual brand around it. AKA: invest in music marketing.
Do so and you’ll be far more memorable to listeners, thus far more likely to accrue a tight-knit fanbase super quick!
2. Invest in quality music gear
As much as you can pick up music gear on the cheap these days, another way to increase your chances of impressing fans is to ensure the quality of what you produce is up there with the best. Something where good music gear can give you an instant advantage.
That’s because the one defining factor today is not quantity, but quality. Put it this way, if you had the choice of listening to 2 artists – 1 that makes ‘okay’ songs on the regular & another who releases 1 kickass song every year, who are you going to be more hyped to listen to?
Exactly. As the famous saying goes: “the devil’s in the detail”.
To learn more about how to track down quality music gear, we’d suggest visiting this website.
3. Become superhuman in terms of talent
Individuality goes a long way in the music game.
In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why some artists can demand so much money. They’ve made themselves that unique that it’s either a venue books them… or nobody. They cannot be replaced or replicated. Look at Elton John, Madonna, Ed Sheeran etc.
So if you’re the type who plays an instrument or writes songs, don’t just get good at it – obsess over it. To the point that what you create is so individual (i.e. rare) that no other artist can recreate it. That way not only will your time be worth a whole lot more, but you’ll also have a far easier job when it comes to establishing a fanbase.
People like individuality – their listening habits are direct proof.
4. Actively seek out media coverage
In the music industry today, your online footprint is incredibly valuable.
So valuable in fact that it can generate you fans for free, if you invest the time into making it strong. An easy way of doing this is searching for PR opportunities on music magazines and blogs, which cover music in your specific genre. Get published on a few of these & you should see that your name begins to appear/ be suggested on Google.
A perk that not only helps you become more well known as an artist, but also makes you look more likely to bag other PR opportunities in the future. Approach the mainstream media with no past publications, and you’re pretty much saying “I’m not that popular – please publish me”. Whereas, if you approach them with a catalog of past publications, immediately you look far more like someone worth writing about.
In the end, media companies and newspapers are out to report on trends, so by actively showing your music’s getting attention, you’re far more likely to bag some free promo.
5. Sneak onto relevant playlists
Natural discovery is arguably the best way to gain fans as an up and coming artist.
That’s because while ‘in your face’ forms of marketing like ads on Facebook or IG can come across as a bit salesy and desperate, planting your tracks in places where potential fans can discover them naturally does away with all of that. By not directly selling yourself to fans, you develop a way more trusted fanbase.
It’s worth noting that this doesn’t just limit your to Spotify either. Get your video featured on a YouTube or Rumble playlist, and you can have much the same affect. If you’re in the Hip Hop space, then playlists like Lyrical Lemonade & GRM Daily may be worth checking out. While if you’re in the Rock or Pop space, New Music Friday and Top Of The Rock may be a better bet.
Either way, planting your music in front of your ideal listener, is one of the easiest ways to get fans fast.
2 major mistakes a lot of up & coming artists make…
1. Expecting fans to automatically come to you
However great your music may be, as an up and coming Indie – you need to face facts.
Today, we live in an attention-based society, where people interact and remember the artists they’re exposed to the most; artists that aren’t necessarily those with the best music. Therefore, now more than ever, you cannot afford to sit back and forget about music marketing. If anything, marketing your music should be as (if not more) important than producing the music itself.
You can have the best song on the planet, but if just 2 people hear it, then all the potential that song had, has been wasted. Potential that could have equated to: CD and merch sales, a spike in your online brand and maybe even record deals!
2. Overspending / Underspending on production
At the end of the day, being a music artist in 2023 comes with its pros & cons.
Because while it’s about creating a fanbase & inspiring them through your music, money also plays a big part. There’s no getting around the fact that if you’re not signed to a label, you need to be especially careful about how you invest in your music; you need to develop the knack of getting the balance just right.
Overspend and you may end up with a better song, however that extra expenditure could easily start to eat into your marketing budget. Something that then restricts how much promo you can do to get the song listened to.
Yet at the same time, spending too little on producing a song can leave it feeling unfinished and give off an amateur vibe. All of which can impact the overall quality of your fanbase. Get known for producing sub-par material and the fans you attract are going to be much the same. Not exactly what you want if your aim is to conqueror your genre!
As with all businesses, balancing your finances with the quality of your final product, is one of the greatest skill you will have to master.
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Header photo by RODNAE Productions.