As modern technology continues to advance, more and more artists and fans become reliant on the digital realm. Social media becomes the central ground. This triggers a domino effect where one artist starts a trend and the rest follow behind as they fall into the oversaturated crowd. Due to this over-saturation, it’s nearly impossible to generate enough attention to be big. For those who wish to follow a different path, there are other ways to stand out.
1. Use online pages as extensions of the art rather than as flashy bullhorns.
There is a certain rawness and vulnerability of music that, for some artists, can naturally become the centerpiece of their online presence. If you’re one of these artists, be sure to create a site that embraces your brand and your art for what it is. Reveal yourself to your audience, show them the real you. This is the kind of artist where the music comes first and the promotional gear come second. Be sure to keep your brand consistent with who you are. If you’d like to be recognized through a series of black and white images, or short clips of your daily life, then be sure to share that.
2. Don’t focus just on social media numbers.
Play counts and engagement numbers shouldn’t be your only measure of success. There are many other ways you can measure success once you set that ideology. If you’d like to measure it by how many fans you were able to respond to each year, then feel free to use that! You can’t create your art without appreciating the people who love your art. The two go hand in hand so perfectly. While you may try to be mysterious, ignoring your fans entirely is not the way to go about it.
3. Fluctuate social media posts between messy, spur of the moment ideas and precise, tailored experiences.
While it’s still nice to throw a promotional ad into your feed every now and then, you don’t want your feed to appear fake and overdone. In order to accomplish this feeling, you must have that mix between spontaneous and planned. This mix will show both sides to you: your personal side and your artist side. With the combination of the two types of posts, you’ll be putting a face and personality to a voice. Your feed should look more like a seamless extension of your music and brand, and less like an ad.
4. Create an antidote.
There has been a sickness going around. It appears as though when one person catches popularity for doing something, people begin to copy the same moves and style. It’s highly contagious and must be stopped. For you, this means you must create an antidote. Have something different than the self-promotional in-your-face attitudes seen elsewhere. Cure the headache of repetition and stand out. Look further than your music. Build fan connections, meaning, and companionship. This is your community.
5. Create some anonymity.
Are you some who maybe is a little shy around the limelight? Or maybe you’d just rather fans focus on your music and not on the artist. The great news is if you don’t want to share yourself with the world, you don’t have to! What’s even better is that you can still grow your fanbase while remaining anonymous! For years people have looked at mystery with curiosity, from Daft Punk to Marshmello. Masked or disguised artists catch a certain intrigue from the audience. Anonymity can be a great way to share your work while keeping yourself private. In addition, this could add a bit of desire to your live shows as people may get to know you for the first time at the live experience.
6. Have a balance between tension and release on your social media.
While you don’t want to keep your fans completely in the dark, you also don’t want to bombard or spam them with constant updates. Look for that balance on your social media platforms. Offer trailers, sneak peaks, and other creative skills you may have. After you’ve given a little tension, issue the release by finally unveiling your creation in full. Keep your fans on their feet for a little bit before you let them release that breath of air.
7. Word of mouth.
Lastly, we have word of mouth. While this one might’ve caught some of you off guard, a simple word of mouth is still plenty effective if you implement slight tweaks. You don’t need social media for word of mouth, but it would make things slightly easier if you had one. However, this doesn’t mean you have to post on it frequently. As an artist wanting to share by word of mouth, you can post raw footage of your music on your social media. Your only desire of using social media comes from being able to promote your live shows. This method proves that sometimes candid and unfinished can work.
Still a little stumped on being able to publicize yourself? Check out Ariel’s The Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity for current tips and tricks on publicizing your brand online.