MBP005: Using SoundCloud To Promote Music

How To Use Soundcloud To Promote Your Music

Welcome to Episode 5 of The Music Business podcast. In this episode, we look at how to use SoundCloud to promote music.

Listen to the Audio

In this episode James talks about:

  • The importance of Focus
  • SoundCloud marketing
  • Profile consistency

Please leave a comment below and tell me what you think.





Welcome to the Music Business Podcast. This is James Taylor.

Scott Perry: Hey James, this is Scott Perry. I’m a musician and teacher, can be found in scottperrymusician.com, my question is about SoundCloud. It’s a platform I am on, that I don’t use very much. I’m wondering if you have any thoughts whether this is a platform worth investing some time and energy in, and if so, how can it be done effectively? Thanks a lot.

James Taylor: Hey Scott, that’s a great question, thanks for leaving that. So you’re asking if sound cloud worth investing in. Know, as artists you have a lot of things on your plate, lots of thing you could be doing, especially in terms on marketing, promotion of what you’re doing.

SoundCloud is a great way to foster community and get feedback on your tracks. However, there are a couple of things I wanna say, because I think the main question you’re asking is around focus. And this is something that can be applied, regardless of new platforms, sound cloud’s been around for awhile, but any new platform that comes along and if you’re trying to decide if it’s worth investing time in.

It’s only worth dedicating some serious time on something if it’s going to deliver results. That’s kinda what you are looking for.

The thing I want you to ask yourself first is, really, if you’ve defined your audience or your avatar really well. Who’s your audience, and usually you’ll have two or three key types of audiences. And then ask yourself a follow-up question, “are they spending their time on that platform in sufficient numbers?” Asking where they’re spending their time, which platforms they’re spending their time on.

And then you’re gonna start thinking on how to build that relationship on those platforms and how to get those people onto my list. On some platforms, what you’ll decide to do is to be very active within it, that’s a big manner in terms of how you’re doing things. Other ones, you might decide how to automate and you could use tools like HootSuite and a couple other things.

Now, SoundCloud is a little bit different because of the nature of it. So, the first you probably want to do is kinda survey your list, that can be through survey monkey and do a list asking which platforms they spend the most time on. And if you see that sound cloud is something that a lot of them are using, and using consistently, then that’s a good indication that you should be spending time there.

I’ll give you another tip on this, it’s actually two, look on your website, especially if your site has been getting traffic for awhile, and see where the traffic sources are. And see if you can match that, if you are using some tracking in terms of your sales, what you’re selling – your albums, or your online courses – and try to track that back, see where those sources came from. I can give you an example here on twitter, I love twitter, but when I look at the traffic sources from it on my site, it send a little bit of traffic to my site, but it doesn’t really convert in a meaningful way in terms of sales. So what I elect to do on that platform is automate a lot of the things that are going up there. So most times I’m posting stuff on Facebook and other places, then it automatically goes on twitter.

So if after having done all that you do decide that sound cloud is something to do, then there’s a couple of tips I’d like to give you. First of all, make sure your profile is consistent on a branding standpoint. That’s everything from the URL you’re choosing, social links, bios, any kind of imagery. So make sure there’s consistency across all your social media platforms that you’re on.

The other thing is, if you’re going to put some stuff up, some people put up half-baked tracks or some kind of works-in-progress, and depending on the style of music, that can work. So Scott, I remember you kind of play jazz, blues guitar, and that could work, but you really want to put up you’re best stuff on to sound cloud. Obviously if you put everything up, you wouldn’t make enough money to sell, but I would like to kind of find those key tracks for you, that you really are proud of.

Then, make sure you’re doing the labeling well, the artist, your track name, your genre is all labeled correctly. And this kinda comes to the biggest part if you wanna build a following on a platform or if you wanna drive traffic to a particular page on that platform is really engaging in the community. One of the great things about sound cloud is that it has a great community, and people getting feedback, so the only way to engage in that way is to be leaving comments on other people’s work and be useful in that sense, and that kinda comes back to you.

Personally, what I’ve seen is, from the artists that I’ve spoken to, depending on the kind of music whether it’s dance music, electronic music, sound cloud is actually great for that. I’m not sure if it’s a great tool for jazz and blues, and I suppose this goes into a bigger thing, during the time when everyone had MySpace accounts, good or bad, one of the good things for MySpace is that it’s the one place you can go: you can hear tracks, see all the stuff. And Facebook doesn’t really provide that. Twitter doesn’t provide that either. So sound cloud has that ability to be an auditory medium with music so it does have the ability to get your music across the audience. It can be very good form that perspective.

So the first thing I think you should do is focus on the audience, she your audiences are, and then see if they’re spending their time there. If they are, then that’s awesome.

There’s nothing wrong as well for spending time on different platforms in terms of testing them out. So  for example, I’ve been spending some time on Periscope. I’ve been seeing if I like it, how it can be used, and just playing around with it. I’m not spending a huge amount of time on it because I’ve yet to see any kind of results from it. But I wanna be constantly looking out there and scanning the environment, seeing what my audiences might engage with.

So that’s my suggestion on whether sound cloud is worth investing: ask your audience, serving your audience, and if that’s the case, you can use these tip to get you into it.

Scott, thank you very much for your question and my name is James Taylor from Music Business Institute.