As a music producer of any skill level, you’re probably already well aware of the music platform Soundcloud. Soundcloud is one of the most popular options for musicians, producers, hip hop MCs, DJs, and bands to upload their music. Be it a single track, a remix, a mashup, a DJ mix, a 5 track EP or a full length album, Soundcloud allows users a platform for artists to use to share their music to the world. But Soundcloud isn’t just a place to drop songs and get instantaneous listens and followers. Your personal artist page will take time and effort to make successful, likely years of work and upkeep.
My first Soundcloud upload was a song called Marv. This track dates back to October 2010. As of writing this, my Pro Subscription plan has ran out, and unfortunately I’m well over my upload limit. I bring this up with purpose – a paid subscription to Soundcloud affords artists with an array of additional features to help them better promote their creations. So before I get into the reason you’re all here, that subject matter being how to get more followers on soundcloud, let me give you a basic breakdown of Soundclouds subscription offers.
This certainly isn’t an advertisement for Soundcloud, but a level-headed assessment of what the additional features provides users. Generally, DJs are better off going to Mixcloud to showcase their DJ mixes. This is due to the fact that a free Soundcloud account, as mentioned above, has a time limit. Because of this it is best utilized by musicians looking to upload tracks, but will likely not have enough time for DJs looking to upload various mixes or podcasts looking to upload full length episodes of their show.
Free accounts allow users up to 3 hours of upload time. It also affords users the most basic status such as play count for each track, likes for each track, comments on each track, and a set number of “Free download” for your potential fans and followers to snag. The free account does not offer “Quiet Mode,” which means uploading tracks and disabling comments and status. It also does not allow free users to use the “Spotlight” option, which allows users to pick 5 tracks to show up at the top of their Soundcloud profiles.
The Pro Account costs $6 a month, or $49.50 for a full year. A Pro Account will double users upload time, giving them a total of 6 hours. The features don’t end at just upload time, however – pro users can enjoy the benefit of more in-depth status. Pro users can see who is playing your tracks, and also verifies just which countries your music is most popular in! A Pro Account also allows users to use the spotlight featuring, highlighting the 5 tracks, uploads, or playlists they feel most proud of. This is a great tool to showcase your best work to new potential fans and followers. A Pro Account also allows you to post in the aforementioned Quiet Mode.
Pro Unlimited will cost you a cool $15 a month, or $107 for a full year. (This will save you $28!) Much like the Pro Account, you’ll receive the ability to utilize Quiet Mode and Spotlight. You’ll also get all the status necessary to ensure you know exactly who is listening to your tracks most, and what countries you’re most popular in. Another status feature of Pro Unlimited allows you to see which pages, apps, and social media networks your plays are coming from. This can help you hone in on your most successful marketing tactics, and hopefully continue to grow and improve in this region. It also will show you which social networks you’ve been neglecting, allowing you to up your game in the areas of promotion you may be lacking.
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s get into the subject matter of the article, the reason you’re all here reading this – how to get more followers on Soundcloud.
How to Get More Followers On Souncloud: Imagery / Presentation
If you intend Soundcloud to be your base of operations, you’re going to want your profile to look as good as it hopefully sounds. This means making yourself a distinct and signature logo. Many will half-ass this aspect of their profile, and suffer accordingly. Whether you have the graphic editing skills necessary to make a strong logo for yourself, or need to outsource the work and invest in a professional to make one for you, this is an essential step you should not ignore. In the days when people were still buying records, cassettes, and CDs, the first impression potential listeners had was likely a single and scoping out album covers that looked appealing. I remember the first Iron Maiden album I bought was Rock in Rio – a giant crowd congregating around a giant stage, with a dire, ominous looking Eddie cloud hanging low in the sky. I was sold on the album cover alone. It reminded me of the sci-fi and horror movies I grew up watching. Iron Maiden are renowned for their artwork and their mascot Eddie. This wasn’t exactly long before music streaming options such as Soundcloud, Pandora, Spotify, and Youtube became popularized for listening to music for free right on your computer or smart phones, but it was a good ways off before it became the #1 way people listened to and discovered music. To summarize, you want to get (or make) yourself applicable artwork and logos that not only intrigue potential listeners, but also provide a visual insight into what your sound is. For this reason, spare no expense on logos and artwork. While it may be easier to pay someone, it is also a skillset you would benefit from learning yourself. But more on that in another article.
Music: Quality Over Quantity
In this day and age of instant gratification, many folks have lost the concept of full albums and EPs. They jump from single to single, monkey branching from one artist to the next, following the trends of the week. Just check out the Top 10 tracks on Beatport at any given time – you’ll likely find 10 tracks all within 10 BPMs of each other, all using the same trend crutches as opposed to original, signature sounds. Music production is available right at your fingertips nowadays, and this same luxury is afforded to millions of producers the world over. So while it is no longer necessary to bend to the whims of money-hungry record executives attempting to pigeon hole your sound, it is a far more fierce and competitive market when trying to get hard.
It is for this reason you should focus on the quality of your music. Instead of churning out half-assed remixes and mashups, focus on honing in on a signature sound that best compliments your personal music voice, your personal artistic vision. Don’t try to be the next Deadmau5 or Skrillex….craft a unique and memorable sound that comes from within you. The climb to success is a steep one, filled with hurdles to leap and countless competitors. Instead of focusing on getting more followers and dumping all your efforts into promotion, you must first develop a sound and art that will resonate people on more than just the most primitive, basic levels. Stay true to the artistic vision you yourself wish was being exacted by other artists, and use it as the fuel to craft a signature sound that will ensure you build a loyal fanbase. Don’t expect the followers to pour in right away – you need to give them a substantial reason to follow you. This is why I suggest focusing on the quality of each track, as opposed to blindly uploading whatever 3 hour productions you crapped out on a lazy Sunday.
Networking is the most important aspect of promotion. Spamming Facebook groups and Twitter with your links isn’t going to get you very far. You need to interact with your fanbase, you need to interact with other like-minded musicians and artists, and you need to join communities that will benefit both you and the other members of said community. Networking can be achieved very easily on Soundcloud. Frequently listen to and comment on other musicians tracks. Follow artists and producers who make music you enjoy. Try to set up some collaborations, not only to increase your versatility and look at music from someone elses point of view, but also to cross-promote with like minded producers. Expand your craft but don’t do so to the point of compromising your own artistic vision. Soundcloud is a community to share music and listen to tunes – treat it as such, and every comment you leave will likely eventually bring some love back to you.
Cloudkillers is a nifty concept. Essentially you get an endless playlist of Soundcloud tracks, and must comment on each track before moving on. Each comment will generate a point for you, which will later be spent when a user receives your track and leaves a comment. Cloudkillers is a bit over-saturated with EDM – there isn’t all that much diversity in the music, to be quite honest. You’ll get your occasional hip hop or rock / metal track, but the majority of the site is, unfortunately, remix contests and mashups. However, see this as an opportunity to afford the Cloudkillers users with something a bit less phoned-in then remix contests and lazy mashups. Present original music on there you put time into, and you’ll likely be rewarded with a bountiful boost in plays, comments, and potentially followers, as well. You can sign up for Cloudkillers right here, but be advised, you will need to put considerable effort into your account to reap the benefits.
While there is no magical shortcut to gaining followers and likes on Soundcloud instantly, bear in mind all the tips and advice I’ve divulged in this post and you will be on your way to building a solid and REAL fanbase. Don’t focus on achieving a superficial follower count to boost your ego, instead forge music you’re proud of, promote it accordingly, and let your followers slowly build organically. Don’t force your music on people, rather find the communities that will both benefit from your music, as well as prove beneficial for your career. The sky is the limit, but don’t desperately seek to touch the clouds without leaving your feet planted firmly on the ground.