SoundCloud has fast become a go-to community for artists and bands looking to upload audio for promotion or critical analysis. Since promoters frequent the site looking for fresh talent you can often be picked up for DJ gigs on the strength of your posted productions. The results can be promising, but how can they be achieved? Here are 7 basic steps anyone can follow to drastically increase the size of your audience:

1. Make good music

How to #Win at SoundCloud

This may sound obvious but your content must be of the highest quality; there are more people competing for creative acclaim than ever before and you can’t afford to pull any punches. The best way to do this is to be very strict about what you publically post: stop putting works in progress on your SoundCloud profile until they’re completely finished. SoundCloud is fantastic for sharing audio privately, so if you are seeking feedback before publically posting a song or you want to collaborate with other artists, features such as private sharing, secret links and timed comments can be really helpful.

2. Share your tracks by giving some away

When you are in a position to release your tracks, try letting one go for free because, by their nature, free downloads create a large web of free promotion, often achieving a larger play count and trending more than their unavailable counterparts.

SoundCloud Says: Sharing is important! If you have a new track, share it across your networks. Such as posting onto your Facebook wall, embedding a player onto your site, or inviting blogs to embed a widget of your track. How about linking in your social networks and using the sharing note?

3. Categorize your tracks correctly

How to #Win at SoundCloud

No matter how good your song is, it can be always be seen as bad if it’s being listened to by the wrong people. The best way to avoid this is to accurately label the song’s genre and tag your track appropriately, try to avoid popular tags such as ‘Daft Punk’ and ‘Skrillex’ – these won’t help your cause. If you are unsure of the potential tags your song could require, try asking a friend who would know to listen to it privately before it’s made available for public consumption. This is important because a lot of SoundCloud users often have something particular in mind when searching for new music and having the correct subgenre tags can really help you find your audience.

SoundCloud Says: If you churn out a lot of content you can select the best tracks to put in front of your audience with the spotlight feature.

4. Share your tracks effectively with groups

How to #Win at SoundCloud

Join groups that legitimately reflect your interests, but don’t limit yourself with musical genre, try submitting to groups based on your locale or the program in which you’ve made your production. Additionally, try ‘unsigned artist’ groups if you haven’t signed a record contract with anyone because there are a lot of people out there specifically looking to support underground music. If you think about what groups you join in a strategic fashion you can start to pull in listeners in interesting ways.

5. Interact with other users

How to #Win at SoundCloud

There are two main methods of interaction with users: commenting and directly sharing tracks. When commenting, try to offer something more than blind intelligible compliments (or insults); appropriate descriptive and constructive criticism is better when trying to forge connections. People are likely to notice when you comment on other people’s music and will possibly check you out.

To directly share your material with other people, you use the dropbox on their user profiles. It may seem like a good idea to share your song with everyone this way but whoever you share that song to will receive a message saying “___ shared this track to you and 203,122 other people” and no one is likely to give you the time after seeing that.

6. Follow similar users

One of the strongest ways to interact with other users is to pay attention to who starts following you and don’t be afraid to follow users back (especially if they are creating similar content or music you enjoy)! Following users on SoundCloud creates a cycle of interest: if other users see you’re following them then they are likely to check out your musical endeavours and interact with you, increasing your exposure!

SoundCloud Says: Your dashboard can be an RSS feed of new music from your followers, check out their updates in your dashboard and start a conversation over the next awesome track they upload, or reply to one of their comments. You never know, you may find someone to collaborate on a new track or be asked to remix one of their tracks in the future.

7. Be patient

Your success will not happen overnight but applying these steps is a nearly effortless way to increase exposure and your fan base. The rise won’t be meteoric at first but any increase of attention will be indicative of a trend that can only continue. If you are doing this for all the right reasons then you should end up interacting, collaborating and engaging with a community who wants to create as much as you do. As a result, you’ll discover new music and help support other artists as you go!

Original source by Steven Campbell at DJ Tech Tools

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