If you’ve ever seen your favorite performer live, then you know the feeling of being a part of a crowd of hundreds of people sharing the same emotion. That’s one of the greatest things about music – it enables groups of people to share a unique bond. The feeling is even greater for musicians, when they create music. The problem is that finding the right people to create with and to get your music out there takes resources that many artists simply can’t come up with.
Many of my friends (we all have that one friend who is desperately trying to make it big as an artist) ask me for my advice on how to succeed in the music industry, and I immediately point them towards social networks. “Won’t I get lost in the masses?” They ask. “Well,” I reply, “it’s all about picking the right one.” Not that I have much experience as a musician, but I do know what it takes to market yourself and be heard.
Today, online social networks are for more than just keeping in touch with your friends – they are a powerful promotional tool. Almost everyone we know is on a social network and for that reason, the majority of businesses, big and small, promote themselves online. However, getting your message across in a sea of ‘likes’ and tweets is not that simple.
While using the mass social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, can be effective, focusing on the niche is just as important, or even more so. The Internet’s ‘long-tail’ means you can find specific social networks for almost anything. Whether it’s card collectors, fine wine lovers, art enthusiasts or people who adore hot-dogs – there’s probably a social network for them. You wouldn’t look for your band’s next bass player on LinkedIn, would you?
Using the Web to maintain and share your hobby is one thing, but using it to promote yourself is something entirely different. You’re not just trying to connect with people like you – you’re trying to get your work noticed. That is why, if you’re an artist, you should really focus on the right network.
If you’re a musician, you should utilize platforms such as YouTube and Soundcloud, but you should also focus on a platform such as SoundSlates (disclosure: SoundSlates is a Blonde 2.0 client), a Swiss startup that is gradually establishing itself as the go-to social community platform for striving artists. It is a social community that allows aspiring artists to create, collaborate, and share tunes.
It doesn’t stop there, though. Once you’ve established a fan base, you can turn to crowdfunding and leverage your initial following to fund your first studio recording. If you can find just a few hundred people who believe in your musical talent, and are able to communicate with them, you are that much closer to success.
While I believe that you should dream big and follow your dream, I’m also a realist. I know that success in the music industry does not come easily. But guess what, if you have the talent, the persistence and good marketing tools, such as the right social network (isn’t the 21st century grand?) – then you can turn your musical dream into a reality.
Ayelet Noff is a partner in Socialmedia.biz and founder and Co-CEO of Blonde 2.0, an award winning digital PR agency with branches in Boston and Tel Aviv. Contact Ayelet via The Blonde 2.0 website , email, or follow her on Twitter and Google Plus.