SoundCloud is the largest and most important online music community. They’ve disrupted the way we understand online music distribution.
They give independent artists the space they need for DIY music promotion.
But they offer tons of other useful tools as well. Using them effectively will amplify your project and get SoundCloud plays from the SoundCloud followers that matter.
Here’s our 9 SoundCloud promotion tips to get your music heard:
- Tag for success
- Add a “Buy” link
- Tell a story with your waveform
- Get your album art right
- Share tracks privately before your release
- Publish your best
- Change the audio without losing comments, likes, and plays
- Share with care
- Link to your SoundCloud
There’s a lot of them. This simple guide will get you educated on the most useful ones for growing your following.
1. Tag for success
How can new fans find your music? Well, one of the best ways is to tag your music.
Tagging makes you discoverable when a listener is searching SoundCloud.
The better your tags, the easier you are to find.
The best way to tag is to be honest. If you made a drum & bass track, then set the main genre to Drum & Bass. Add moods and a location to your tags as well. It all helps.
Stick to one main genre to keep things clear. Adding a bunch of genres won’t make your track any more findable.
The more concise and accurate your tags are, the more easily your music will get discovered by the listeners that wanna hear it most.
Hot Tip: Tag and link to your collaborators SoundCloud in the track description. Use an ‘@’ before their SoundCloud name to link their profile. It’s great for cross-promotion and telling the story of your process.
2. Add a ‘Buy’ Link
Getting listens and likes is nice. But likes and listens won’t buy you that new mic you’ve been eyeing.
Luckily SoundCloud lets you add a ‘Buy’ link to your track upload. Just click on the ‘Metadata’ tab when you’re uploading.
Add the right links: Buy on iTunes, Beatport, Juno, Bandcamp or whatever else you use to sell your music online.
Hot Tip: If you have a pro account you can change the button text to anything you want.
Change it to Stream on Spotify and link to get some extra streaming juice. Or write ‘Donate’ and link to a Patreon or a PayPal. You’ll be surprised how many super-fans out there will support your music.
3. Tell A Story With Your Waveform
SoundCloud allows fans to comment on your waveform. But y’know who else should be commenting on the waveform? YOU!
Use the waveform comments to tell your fans and community about your process. Be transparent about how you made your track. Ask for feedback and mention specific sections.
For example: If you’re not sure about a section of your track, comment on the waveform where the part starts.
Something like: “Not sure about the bass here. Let me know what you think” is the perfect play for getting feedback from your community.
You don’t have to be completely done a track to publish it either. Publish drafts, get feedback, and make your music better.
4. Get your album art right
Album art matters. Especially on SoundCloud.
If your track gets embedded on a blog your artwork will be there. If you share your track to Facebook your album art goes there too.
Your album art or track artwork represents your music no matter where it goes. So it’s mega important.
Before anyone hits play the artwork attached to your track has to stand out. So make it count and choose something that represents your music and you.
Your album art or track artwork represents your music no matter where it goes.
For best results always use a JPG or a PNG that’s at least 800 x 800 pixels.
Hot Tip: Album art is a perfect reason to invest a bit of money into your project. If you can’t make the image you want yourself, then hire a designer or photographer that fits your budget.
5. Share tracks privately before your release
SoundCloud lets you share private links to your tracks.
It’s great for sharing unfinished tracks with collaborators, sending demos to labels or blogs, or contacting other outlets like radio stations with exclusives.
Sharing a private link gives your music the personal touch and a sense of exclusivity that is great for reaching out to tastemakers.
It’s super easy to do. Just upload a track and set it to private. Save it and go to your profile. Click the track you want to share privately and hit the ‘share’ button below the waveform.
you’ll see a private share URL that is unique to your track! You can even make a whole playlist private if you wanna share your entire new album.
Plus, you can reset the the private link at any time to make your private links time sensitive.
6. Publish your best
Your track is finally done. You worked long and hard on it. You’re finally happy with how it sounds and you think it’s ready for the world.
So you click share and sit back waiting for those plays. It’s a hit! The track gets some nice buzz and people seem to be liking it!
But a couple days later you realize that your song needs a minor tweak…
Maybe someone you admire commented and told you a hot tip on how to boost the bass.
Or maybe you mastered it and you want the mastered version on your SoundCloud. But if you take it down, you’ll lose all those plays, likes and important feedback…
7. Change the audio without losing Comments, likes and plays
Don’t fret. With a Pro subscription on SoundCloud you can swap out the audio on any SoundCloud upload at any time.
And the best part? You don’t lose all those plays, likes and comments from your fans.
It’s perfect for sharing unfinished songs to get feedback. Tweak your track based on the critiques and re-upload any time.
Hitting share doesn’t have to be final. Swap the audio and make sharing part of your production process.
8. Share with care
Don’t just post your own music. Re-post artists that you’re excited about or songs and mixes that you can’t stop listening to.
Sharing other artists and helping your audience discover new music builds trust and authority and is a really humble move. If you hear something, say something!
You SoundCloud is a community. So support it by sharing other artists in your feed. If you share other artist’s music there’s a better chance they’ll share yours!
Reposting another artist’s music is a great first step to starting a relationship as well. Relationships that lead to gigs, collaborations and helpful partnerships. All that good community stuff. So build the community you want to be a part of.
9. Link to your SoundCloud
Sharing your new tracks to your SoundCloud community is great. But why stop there? Put your tracks out into the world!
Share them to all your promotion platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Once you upload a track share it to all your platforms under the ‘Share’ tab.
You can also auto-post your tracks to all your social platforms automatically by linking your accounts. Just head over to your Account Settings to manage your Connections.
Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are all connectable for auto-posting. Connect your accounts and get your tracks into all those ears!
Maintain Your Motion
SoundCloud is a tool. You have to use it right to make it work.
These tips will help you get the most out of your SoundCloud and make it work for you wherever you’re sharing your music.
So share lots, share often and share smart.