How to Get Your Music in Front of People

A few weeks ago, I showed you my version of the marketing funnel:

Today, I want to talk about the top of the funnel: awareness building.

In other words, the stuff you need to do to get your music in front of people.

Importantly, you do not need to do everything. Really, you can’t do everything – you are finite, you are busy, and if you’re like me, you’re right on the edge of being embarrassingly lazy.

This means you literally can’t invest a ton of effort in building a YouTube channel and building up your Instagram and blowing up on Tik Tok and also actually making good music. Yes, there are ways to re-use content across channels, but the reality is that you need to focus on a channel to grow it.

You probably only have time to focus on one social media channel.

That’s okay.

But, just as importantly – you do need to focus on awareness building. Because to build a community, you have to be found. So, pick a channel that you can enjoy creating content for and start creating content.

Okay – that said, here are my three keys to building awareness and growing social platforms:

1. The best way to build your own following is to get in front of a following that already exists.

On most platforms, hashtags are one easy way to do this.

Another way: You may have heard the “comment on other people’s posts so they’ll look at your profile” strategy. This is clearly a pretty lame way to spend your time, but it also clearly works.

What works even more effectively (and is more fun) is to consistently collaborate with other people in your space. I recommend making a list of artists you like and swapping covers on a regular basis – you cover their song, ask them to cover yours, tag each other, get follows.

Fun personal story: When I was building Two Story Melody, I wanted to get in front of people who cared about songwriting. So I googled “songwriting blogs” and reached out to every result on the first page to ask if I could write a guest post. Like four blogs said yes, and I actually got a fair bit of traffic from those articles.

Take advantage of groups that exist to build your own.

2. Pay for growth.

Ads work. If you’re willing to spend the cash, you can pay to get in front of people who will probably like what you’re doing.

There are a million technical details to doing this well, but yes, it can be done well.

3. Nothing works if you’re not consistent.

If you do the “comment” strategy one week and stop, you’ve just wasted a week. If you run an ad campaign and then never post actual content, you’ve wasted your money.

To build awareness, you have to consistently create content for the channel you’re working on.

Consistent content production is the gasoline in the engine of growth.

^Lame metaphor. Wow. In my head that sounded way cooler. On the page it’s making me cringe.

^^I’m keeping it though because it’s true.

Final thought: Awareness is not the end goal. Community is.

You can pay to get 1M followers on Instagram, but if nobody actually cares about what you do, what’s the point? (This isn’t a subtweet, promise – just the truth.)

So, focus on getting in front of people who are likely to connect with you – fans of your genre, people who like what you’re passionate about.

Picking the right target is everything.

All of your awareness-building effort should be purposed toward connecting with real people who will really like what you do, and your social profile should be geared to convert them down your marketing funnel so that they become actual fans.

More on that conversion process next week.

Want to build a meaningful community around your music?

The Bundle

I’ve packaged years of experience running Two Story Melody (a top-ranked music blog) and Two Story Media (a music PR firm) into a book called How to Promote Indie Music.

It lays out a roadmap to better indie music promotion – promotion that doesn’t suck. You can check out the first chapter for free.

Get Chapter 1 for free.

Want a sneak peek? Download the first chapter here. It’s called “The Problem”, and it’s an honest look at the difficulty involved in successful promo. Promo can kind of suck, but understanding why it sucks is the first step toward making it not suck.

Check it out in .pdf form.