Mastering Spotify is crucial if you want to build a vibrant fanbase as it is the dominant streaming service. Every artist wants to be on a major official Spotify playlist. Unsurprisingly, a greater amount of plays come as a result of being included on a playlist (or many). However, you must understand how the Spotify ecosystem works. It’s up to you to optimize your profile and drive fans to your profile.
Let’s Start with your Spotify Artist Foundation.
The first step is you need to get access from “Spotify For Artists”. Once you sign up there, Spotify will confirm who you are and grant you access. Now you’re ready to go!
(I assume that you are already ON Spotify yes?)
If not, To Get Your Music on Spotify:
Spotify does not do direct deals with artists, so you will need to make sure your distributor has enrolled you in distribution to Spotify. Here is a list of distributors who you can work with:
This is straight from their FAQs – because they explain it best… What is Verification? When you get access to Spotify for Artists, you’re automatically verified and your profile gets a blue verification check mark! Verification allows you to claim your artist page by merging it with your account. Once verified, you’ll get:
- A blue checkmark to your artist page
- To add your photo
- You can upload your bio (1500 words)
- Create & post artist playlists
- The ability to brand playlists with images & descriptions
- Select an ARTIST PICK – this is any track you want to feature at the top of your profile – yours or another artist you collaborate with.
To get access just request access here to Spotify for Artists.
Once your request is granted, your artist profile gets the verified check mark and you’ll have access to a dashboard of listening data! You’ll also be able to manage your profile’s images, story, and more.
Here’s How To Update Your Spotify Bio (As You Should Do Often!)
From Spotify: You can write a bio, save it to your profile, and update it anytime you want. With 1500 characters to share with your fans, you can update this to whatever makes sense for you—whether that’s sharing your story as an artist or the inspiration behind your latest release.
Your bio can include links to any artists, songs, albums, or playlists on Spotify. Plus, you can throw in a link to your Wikipedia page for fans who want to dig deeper.
When you have a new single, a tour or a news item, you should update your bio as often as possible. Also, make sure that you have all of your links filled out and photo gallery up to date with your latest press photos, as well as a branded profile photo and header.
Here Are 6 Ways You Can Grow Your Followers on Spotify
1. Ask Specifically for Followers on Your Socials
Your Spotify account should be connected to any and all social media accounts that you run. This includes, but isn’t limited to, all of the following:
- Post on Facebook (and BOOST!) If you use your personal profile for your music, DM people and ask
- Create a post on Instagram and change your bio link for a few days – message individually and share
- Create an Instagram Story and add a link
- Make a graphic for Twitter asking to follow you – also use DM
- Post a short ask on your blog (if you have one)
- Ask in your monthly newsletter as a CTA
2. Send A Dedicated Spotify Email Newsletter
Email your mailing list and make “come follow me on Spotify” your Call To Action. If you are unsure about how to structure your email for this, follow my handy newsletter email guide.
This is also a good time to send personal emails to friends and family who are not in your newsletter. It may be time-consuming, but it’s a great way to get people onto your newsletter who you may not have asked already. Plus, this is such a simple ask and it only takes 7 seconds for your friends to do.
TIP: Many of your non-music friends probably don’t even understand the VALUE for YOU when they follow you – so explain it to them!
3. Create Video Call To Actions – Do It Like ONE DIRECTION!
Include a CTA on your videos asking people to come to stream your music. Click HERE for an example of One Direction creating a call to action for their album FOUR. One Direction recorded a short video of their member Zayn asking fans to follow them on Spotify by clicking the link provided in the bio.
4. Include a Follow Button On Your Website
I know you want to lead people straight to your iTunes store to buy the music but the truth is they probably won’t do this – WHY? Because they use Spotify! So, a Spotify follow button is also a good addition to your socials as many people will prefer to go stream your music
5. Share Collaborative Playlists
Create playlists with similar music as yours, so that when fans check them out they are more likely to follow you because you have a similar music vibe. By connecting yourself with other artists of your type, and pushing this out to the world, you can begin to create a fanbase that appreciates your taste in music.
- Click the ‘+ New Playlist’ button on the left-hand side.
- Name the playlist – make sure it has a theme!
- Create unique artwork for your playlist. Like album or single artwork, an interesting graphic can really draw listeners to your playlist.
- Once the playlist is made and appears on the left-hand side of your screen, right-click the playlist and click ‘Collaborative Playlist’
- Start off the playlist by adding at least 5 songs to the playlist (make one of these songs your own!).
- Once again, right-click the playlist name on the right-hand side and click ‘Copy HTTP Link’ – this can be used to share your playlist on Instagram and your Facebook Page so you can invite your friends and fans directly to the playlist.
Click HERE to see an example of a playlist pop artist, Lauv, creates, updates, and renames often to stay relevant.
TIP: Read This! Spotify wrote a fantastic blog post that talks about how to research original ideas for playlists and how to promote your playlists to others.
6. Release Music More Consistently
Spotify has one goal and one goal only: to keep listeners on their platform. The platform tracks everything from song skips, to listens, playlist adds, and so much more with their algorithm.The more that you keep fans and users on Spotify, the more they will reward you. Spotify works on an algorithm to recommend new music and Spotify playlists to listeners. So, be sure to consistently release music.
Ultimately, these are just a few tips to help your fan-base grow. If you still want more advice check out Ariel’s latest book – Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity. Click the image below!
I am loving the info, thank you. When I follow the link to create a “follow button” to add to my website, the link takes me to a page on Spotify that doesn’t seem to have any info on this. I also have looked through my Spotify artist page back end and to not see it there either. Just in case the link is dead, wanted you to know. IF not, I may have missed where the page tells us how to get that button.
Hi Camela – try this! https://community.spotify.com/t5/Community-Blog/How-To-Create-a-Spotify-follow-button-widget/ba-p/1126536
Your info here is brilliant. I’m going to follow your steps to generating playlist buzz. I’ve been doing it wrong for a while. I began a website that completely focuses on helping artists get going. There’s no self promotion accepted. I would like to use some of your stuff on my features. You would get name credit for it, also I would link it directly to your site. Let me know
Hey Rob! Glad you found this useful. Yes, of course, do share any articles as long as you link and give me credit that would be superb! And – I have just relaunched my podcast and there is a great episode called Spotify or Die all about how to leverage your Spotify once you have the basics down – listen here: https://www.cyberprmusic.com/podcast-5/
Thank you so much for these cool tips, Ariel! I truly appreciate it! Working on increasing Spotify fans as an DIY artist, is definitely a challenge and very time-consuming too, but knowing how to take these steps you have provided, is half the battle! Thanks again, Ariel! You rock!
Glad you found them helpful Trey! Cheers!
Between working to pay the bills, mixing/mastering costs, and family life, how is an artist expected to find the time and skill to be a PR person?
What benefit is there putting this much effort into a platform that has little to no return for small artists? Isn’t time better spent making music?
How can you change a bio often, when most free time is spent working on a computer or at a piano? Does one invent stuff or pose like people on instagram?
I struggle to find any incentive to dedicate time to push myself on a platform that is only beneficial for labels and artists with an established fanbase.
The average user listens to +-45 unique artists per month. 40.000 songs are uploaded daily.
Wouldn’t it be fair to say that the “get-discovered” argument is a pipe-dream?
How is a platform that runs at a deficit and operates on the growth model( Volume first, payout later) in any way interesting for anyone else than the listener?
Hi Sam – All legit concerns and thoughts. I never said any of this is FAIR – I’m just here to try to enlighten musicians and lend a hand.
very nice articles