I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on my strategies of promoting myself as a musician over the years that I’ve been doing it. I’ve seen my SoundCloud, Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram climb up through the hundreds and my plays go up through the thousands. It’s not like I’ve made it yet, but I definitely feel like I’m at a new chapter as far as producing and promoting myself goes, so I’m gonna put some thoughts down.
In the past, my biggest mistakes were not developing a style early on enough. It’s possible to really make an amazing track in any genre, especially if you’re a good producer (Porter Robinson used to be like this), but that usually doesn’t help you maintain a following. I’ve learned that you kind of need to figure out two or three genres that really are your strength and then make stuff that kind of pulls from those two or three. Artists that are getting big right now are often pioneering sub-genre types of music or bringing underground styles into the mainstream EDM sound. Seven Lions is one example. He fuses trance elements with DUBSTEP, which sounds really freaking different and probably shouldn’t work, but it’s amazing. His experience BEFORE as a drummer in a band and his love for metal probably come into play as well.
In the past, I didn’t promote myself aggressively enough. I think that I might have underpromoted out of fear or thinking that maybe I was being annoying, but you actually are just being a producer. Promotion is part of your job. It’s part of the job for ANY musician. You should be promoting yourself in a variety of ways every day and developing new techniques to reach the people who might like your music. Recently, I’ve been using my remixes as a kind of business card. I won’t give away my deepest secrets like the details of how I do it, but basically, I send my remixes to people who already like the musician that I’ve remixed. My most popular track is my Welcome to the Black Parade Remix. I don’t know what it is, but the damn thing has 40,000 views on YouTube and probably another 4,000 on SoundCloud, and I think some people have even downloaded it and posted it on their own profiles and used it in some “let’s plays”, so I take that and send it to people who like My Chemical Romance. You’ll probably get half of those people to listen to it, and maybe a tenth of THOSE people will say something about it or share it. It’s all about starting a conversation.
What you are is a salesman. You’re selling yourself to potential fans (but hopefully not selling out). The goal is to engage with customers (they don’t know they are customers, but if you’re good, they might be buying merch and tickets later) and start a dialogue. Be able to casually hold a discussion, but keep your objective on your mind…
The strategy there is simple. 1) Make music. 2) FIND PEOPLE WHO LIKE YOUR MUSIC. 3) Send it to them. The complicated parts are within those simples steps though. haha