Music School or DIY | The Community Q&A Answers
This blog post is a summary of my weekly Q&A sessions with members of the Artist Coaching Community. You can watch the full video here!
What’s your main marketing advice for people with good quality music that just need that extra little push?
That little push can be created by posting and creating a lot of content on social media. Make sure that you’re active online and also try to interact with your audience frequently as well. Having good music and promoting it to the right places is important, but posting content is equally vital.
What does it take for people to actually pay to see us instead of getting gigs from promoters?
Firstly, never sell tickets. If you want to play in a club, and a promoter asks you to sell tickets to play there, don’t. You’re not a ticket seller; you’re a DJ. Instead of doing that, try to create a brand that has enough value so that people will want to pay money to come and see YOU. In that position, the promoter will be more interested in booking you because now you have value.
My track got deleted on SoundCloud just a few days before the release. Any tips on the SoundCloud copyright stuff and how to avoid that in the future?
If you want to avoid copyright strikes, make sure to reach out to the label and let them put you on their whitelist.
What’s the best way to create an audience with my music?
Creating an audience with your music is done by first reaching your audience and finding where your audience is. So ask yourself, “where is my audience based?” Most of the time, they’re either on Spotify or if you’re producing EDM, the dance floor. Start looking for places where your audience is located. Reach out to playlist owners and ask if they are willing to feature your track, or reach out to DJ’s to receive their support. Doing those things will allow you to garner a bigger audience over time.
How much does your location matter?
Honestly, your location doesn’t really matter anymore. With the internet, you can reach anyone on the planet. Even now, I’m here in the south of the Netherlands where people all over the world are interacting with me. That’s crazy! So it doesn’t matter where you are – nowadays you can reach everyone.
Best tips for promoting music?
I briefly touched on it in the previous question. Promoting music is all about knowing where your audience is located. Think about where people listen to your music. As a DJ, since your music is played on the dance floor, promoting to other DJ’s is more important. Really reverse engineer where your audience is located.
What’s the first thing that I have to focus on starting music?
The first thing is to understand how your DAW works. Take this analogy: you can have a fast car, but if you don’t know how to drive, it doesn’t make sense. So first spend time learning to drive the vehicle (DAW), and then start digging deeper into samples and plugins. There are a lot of useful tutorials on Youtube. If you’re stuck, type something into Youtube, and there will be a bunch of content that will help.
Are there any platforms that help me send Spotify tracks to big playlist owners
There are, but in my opinion, they aren’t that great since those platforms charge a lot of money. These days, it’s harder and harder to get in touch with playlist owners. Most owners now use those platforms solely to make money. Make sure you do your research!
Do you think the URLs of my social media platforms are important?
Yes, they kind of are. You should stick as close as possible to your artist name. On the other hand, I also think that search engines these days are incredible, and finding your page should be fairly straightforward. Having a unique name is the most important. If you have a generic name, it becomes difficult for a search engine to provide the right results.
Do you always have to share copyrights with a vocalist when releasing a track?
I don’t think so. You can always negotiate with a vocalist. Some prefer a flat fee. You should figure out what works best for you and the vocalist.
Can you please tell me how to get rid of a creative block?
It depends. You first have to figure out if you’re really in a creative block or just being lazy. What worked for me was downloading new samples or going to Splice and listening to other samples. You could also try downloading new plugins to see if you can find new sounds or effects. If that doesn’t work, I would say leave the studio, take a day off, and get inspired by things around you. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. Staring at your screen for five hours isn’t useful for anyone.
How can I get more gigs?
You can get more gigs by actively approaching more promoters. But do be aware: if you don’t have any leverage as an artist, you aren’t that interesting to book. First, make sure that you have a brand. Before you reach out to a promoter, think about what the extra value is for the promoter to book if you. For example, what could be useful is if your track got featured in a top 10 Spotify playlist. You need to collect all the ammunition you can to ensure you have the leverage to get booked.
In your opinion, what website is the best to learn about the EDM industry and music production?
Funny enough, I think that would be Youtube. In the end, Youtube has a lot of great content. Future Music Magazine has a lot of good studio tutorials there, and Toolroom also has some good ones. Outside of Youtube, EDMProd also has some great courses. I’m also a big fan of podcasts. I listen to a few interview podcasts with more prominent artists. One of my favorites is ‘Back to Back with Willy Joy’.
What do you do if you release a lot of good music, but it doesn’t go anywhere?
If your music isn’t going anywhere, you should ask yourself if it really is that good. The market may be telling you that your music isn’t that good. Maybe the audience isn’t ready for your music yet. Figure out where things are going wrong. If your music is great, it should probably pop up in a few places.
I’m finishing my last year of high school. Do you think it’s wise to join a music school after high school?
Really interesting question! How do you become a professional basketball player? I don’t believe you become a professional basketball player by going to school. Actually going to the court and practicing will get you to the professional level. It’s the same way with music schools. It’s great that they are there, and, of course, you can learn a lot. But eventually, you become a successful artist by releasing a lot of music and starting to network. Unfortunately, a lot of music schools are not like that. In my opinion, don’t go to music school. Take that money, invest in your career, and see where it takes you. There are no successful artists that have a paper saying “I’m a professional artist.”
What advice would you give to have a successful Spotify release campaign?
My advice would be to spend enormous amounts of time to get in touch with Spotify playlist owners. Find a way to connect with them. Be kind, have conservations, and give them a compliment about their playlist. After a few weeks, ask if you can get your music on their playlist. If you immediately want to get featured in their playlist, that will probably cost you money. But if you create a lasting relationship, after a while, they will want to help you by putting your music on their playlist for free.