The following post is an exclusive excerpt from Nathaniel Omari Moore (Omari MC)’s new music promotion book “Make Them Beg To Buy Your Music“. Read Omari’s other guest post on why even talented artists fail here.
I was selling my music on a site called SoundClick when I first started producing. I was good at networking on the site, and it led to me getting a solid amount of money and exposure from people hearing my work.
The key to networking successfully on any social or music site is to show an interest in what others are doing before yourself. Musicians love to talk about themselves. You’ll see what I mean if you go look at Twitter. Everyday there’s people trying to get me (and probably you) to listen to their music, but they never take any interest in what I do. The common mistake I see artists do is say, “Hey, what do you do? I make music. Check out my page.” This isn’t an effective way of communication.
If you want to get someone to listen to and buy your music, you have to break in the conversation in a different light. Show that you care about your listener by showing in an interest in what they like. Read a couple of their tweets and make comments, or if they’re another musician, make a specific comment about one of their songs. After you’ve shown an interest in their music, then you can ask them to listen to yours. The law of reciprocity. That’s how you network correctly.
At one point I was even paying my rent and bills from all the money I was making through SoundClick alone. I thought I had it made and could just coast. All I had to do was keep networking on the site, and my career was safe, but then something changed.
SoundClick decided to get greedy. They had a chart system, and they knew if they charged people to be on top of the charts they’d make a boat load of money. Pretty good business structure right? I had millions of listens on my SoundClick site and was rolling in the dough from people buying my instrumentals, but it all came crashing down when SoundClick changed their algorithm. I could either pay a bunch of money to be on the top of the charts, or I could figure out a different way to market my music so that I could see a better return on my investment.
I chose the latter. It’s not wise to put all your eggs in someone else’s basket. Remember MySpace? It completely tanked when it was one of the biggest sites in the world. Be careful of posting all your material on SoundCloud or ReverbNation. Whenever the ship changes you’ll have to pick up anchor and move elsewhere.
Imagine that you amassed millions of plays like me on SoundClick, and all of a sudden they change their chart system.
What would you do?
You can’t do anything because YOU don’t control the site.
You would lose profit and everything you worked so hard to build up.
I’m saying this from personal experience. Moving to your own website where you control the tempo is one of the best moves you can make for your music career.
Because you’re in control of your business. You run the design and control the layout. You don’t have to worry about someone else’s rules on your music. You do whatever you want to do. (Run promotions, keep more profit, monetize your site, etc.)
Now I’m not saying delete your SoundCloud or ReverbNation, but I am saying you need to start transferring listeners to a personal site where you control the flow.
The key is to have your other music sites available, but have the freedom of doing what you want on your personal site (e.g. Fans signing up to your mailing list, or upselling your listeners with box sets like I mentioned before).
See what I mean?
If all you have set up is a SoundCloud page, then you are missing out on a TON of revenue.
Just as an aside, the mailing list on ReverbNation isn’t all that good. Having a more professional one like MailChimp can do so much more for your music career. The emails looks more polished, and the functionality is more advanced. Also, if ReverbNation tanks so does their mailing list.
Take control of your music career. You’ve only got one.
Nathaniel Omari Moore (Omari MC) is an independent music producer and consultant. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, he is self-taught and currently has made over 500 instrumentals to date. Nathaniel specializes in Hip-Hop, R&B, and Pop production, but has also incorporated elements of many different styles into his work. His websites have received over 4.1 million plays to date, and most of his music can be found online at www.omarimc.com
Nathaniel has worked with VH1, North Music Group Publishing, Engine Room Audio in Manhattan, and also thousands of artists and producers. He has helped up and comers like Tito Lopez enhance their talent and opportunities (Tito Lopez was crowned, “The Voice of the Underdog”, by Dr. Dre). He began consulting in 2014 and has accrued experience in helping over 4,000 artists, producers, and DJ’s learn advanced marketing methods for their music career. His Artist Help blog can be found at www.omarimc.com/blog.