Welcome To Our Maiden Voyage!
SHD officially begins the start of its blog/journal with a 4 important things aspiring music producers need to start thinking about. This article is going to be an overview with links to future posts about actual action you can take to further yourself.
I just got done emailing a few Sounds in HD supporters who are music producers. They have some fantastic music but they all could benefit from doing 4 things some of them are missing from their arsenal that would really drive powerful messages and get them exposure.
You, at This Moment, Are a Brand
You will grow, you can be sure that you’ll evolve, and creatively you might explore places that you never saw in your future. Every artist that you admire, has their image, style, and creed down. What will make you greater than just another producer is your content, image, style, social media and professionalism.
Create an aura that screams “you”. If you don’t encapsulate your brand, your style, and your message properly you’re wasting the potential free marketing that you would benefit from. Make yourself unique and not just a screenname posting music on the internet. You have to be a story behind your name, you want people to be interested, and all viewers care about aesthetic first. You can have an incredible sound that’s mind-blowing and unique, but the internet is the wild west of creativity, as well as sharing said content. You have to give yourself and your name something exclusive to your style that you’re encapsulating.
Producer “Pretty Lights” instagram is filled with images of “pretty lights” which he hashtags as #plpix. Some producers are already starting this, filling their instagrams with 15second clips of their music, their message, their image, things they are about etc.
We thought this was a fantastic example of unique content creation. Let’s not even focus on the music or product, merely the packaging that this producer is presenting their material in. They’re using a play on their name, and crafting imagery that will make you think of their work at all times whenever any use of “pretty lights” is involved. You can be “Firemix Fred”, but how are you going to promote that name, what are you going to do that will make fire appear next to your brand?
Music Producer Branding List
When people Google your name they should see your website and all your social media. When they visit these pages they should see your brand and images just as much as they listen to your music.
- Logo & Artwork
- Your graphic imagery should align with your brand/logo IE: Pretty Lights
- Get a Website
- WordPress themes make it very accessible
- Get on all Social Media. Some can be more beneficial than others but these are 3 I really see benefit Music Producers making a name for themselves.
- Instagram – This is booming right now for music producers. How can an app about pictures and videos and images help a music producer? Music has no image but producers are capitalizing on their music brand through images and video postings.
- SoundCloud – A necessity for music producers. SoundCloud gives producers a chance to stream their music for free through a service users are comfortable and familiar with. You also get to see statistics and use analytics (numbers and information) on what your music is actually doing besides being listened to.
- YouTube – This is one that is screaming and there is a specific science/art to it. Putting music on YouTube is not only a way to get your brand, image and music out all at once but also make money if you know how to capitalize on your views.
2. Publishing Music
Get Your Work Out There
It’s just that simple, yet that daunting all at the same time. You need to forge a plan of action that you can follow to a tee. Excuses and becoming sidetracked from your original point postpone projects from and prevents them from reaching fruition. Set feasible goals that you can accomplish and do not derail from those scheduled goals.
True talent and work will have to battle as well as prove itself out in the artistic world. It’s always better to give before you receive in the art/music community. You’ll need to establish proper markets to share your work with the world. Create a soundcloud, invest in a WordPress page, be prepared to have something that fans will be able to visit after they’ve been exposed to your work. Make sure when they come to their research on you, you give them a reason to explore your work by providing authentic brand message, content, and flair that makes you unique from the last site they visited. By sharing your work, opportunity is presented.
Let’s look at a band, but still Music Producers, Badbadnotgood:
If no one can hear what you do, how can they work with you and offer you/give you opportunity for the next step? Even better, a few weeks after I listened to their whole discography on Spotify, I found a Facebook notice from InDigi Music looking for music in their style. You know why? Yes it was good music but they got their music together and put it out to the world.
Music Publishing Check List
Not the legality of Music Publishing but still avenues you should take anytime you have music or a project you want to share and gain recognition.
- Digital Distribution
- CD Baby, Routenote just to name a few. There are many services for varying and affordable prices can put your music on every Music Network imaginable (Spotify, iTunes, Rdio etc).
- This is a must. Having it on SoundCloud, a place where you can build imagery and brand, count plays and stats, and link to wherever you please is a tremendous tool.
- I really feel this is a strong place to explore. There are tons of subgenres for music where you are allowed to post your work. A place where thousands of people look for music is ready for your exact genre or taste.
- Uploading with a good image, tagging and titling your video with the style, type or genre it has and sharing it is a huge market to tap for your music. Much like SoundCloud, you can track plays, stats, and deeper analytics on the back end.
- Go on forums for music producers (that’s how we started), participate in online communities, post your work out wherever people can listen.
If you’re worried about protecting your Intellectual Property (IP), you don’t need to fret about it too much. If you’re following the steps and making sure that your brand is up to your standards, that you’re not putting your name on projects you’re not invested in. This is a vital form of protection in the beginning of your journey. In the future we’ll go over how to publish, distribute, as well as legally defend your work. At this point you need to give a little to receive.
3. Capitalizing on Release, Press and Web Search
Leave a Paper trail and Self Motivate
Keep a fluid yet concrete presence in the communities that you’re participating in. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism, internet trolls, or naysayers. You’re going to have them, you’re going to have people jump down your throat, as well as insult your product. Interact, listen, share, and make sure that you’re a presence that people can see. Don’t just respond to positive comments, ask why your last product wasn’t as good, always inquire. Make sure that your online fingerprint is consistent as you’re building your brand with every contact you have.
Do you know who the Menehan Street Band is? If you don’t go listen to some good music…But it isnt your total fault you dont know.
They have a song on Spotify withover 600,000 spins…and no image, no other songs, nothing! But I google them, they have a website, wikipedia entries, facebook, other sites mentioning them. The more ready you are to capitalize on people finding you the better off you will be.
One user may be John Doe who’s a fan from Texas, but another user could be someone with actual ties in the industry. Don’t forget that even if they’re not successful today, they may get to their goal before you. Make connections, you never know who will help you on the way, being a decent person and talented artist is a simple yet fundamental way to create networks.
4. Building & Cataloging Portfolio’s
Start Profiling Your Successes
Eventually you’ll start working with people, small collaborations are important because they can be seen as small victories. Follow that artist or where your product goes, if it attains any popularity you’ll want to be there and take notes. Humble is part of the industry, but you have to take the credit for what’s yours. You’ll want to have a digital portfolio that showcases that your work can draw attention and create buzz. This may not come instantly, but make sure you take the smaller victories where you can, be proud you’ve attained success even if the product isn’t exactly how you envisioned it.
I came across the awesome free instrumental release, Ghostly Swim 2, while watching Adult Swim. I was immediately drawn in because the of artist lineup on the album. It featured producers who I had found through all the ways mentioned in this article. I immediately googled the mixtape and found Ghostly Music.
You will notice on their release page they highlight all their new work that is being released. It is not different for you. Show off all the work you did, big or small and soon you will have a huge portfolio impressive for an independent producer. Also, it doesn’t hurt having awesome artwork and a clean website like them as well!
This is the fun part, the part where everyone is in the honeymoon phase of their art/music. Don’t worry if you experience ups and downs, let’s be clear you will screw up and it will be a slow start. What makes success beautiful and sweet is overcoming tribulations. Making your art/music a central focus is why you got into this business. Be prepared to fight for your work and talent, there’s a million and one who have the same dream as you. What makes you special? What is going to give your art credibility?
Stay tuned for our weekly segments as we continue to showcase the producer’s journey. Share some of your stories, showcase your work in the comments below, we want to be a part of your journey and you an essential note in ours!