You’ve done it. You’ve recorded the greatest song ever written and played it to a couple of friends, who are sitting with their mouths wide open, astounded at the beauty of your composition. But how do you get it out to the world, so their jaws can drop too?
Thankfully, it’s easier than ever for creative people to host their projects on the web – a myriad of services let you store and share your artistic output, mostly for free. When it starts getting popular, you’ll need to pay a bit more, but to begin with, it should cost you next to nothing.
Then you’ll need to do some basic marketing too; don’t be scared, it’s not too tricky. Above, we’ve got a quick tour of SoundCloud.com – the best option for hosting your music on the web – and on the right we discuss some effective ways to get the word out to a wider audience.
Time required: 2 hours
What you need:
iOS 5.1 or later
Step 1: Facebook first
The most important social network is Facebook, so having a dedicated page is important. Once you’ve got a few ‘likes’, make sure you post messages to it frequently – a couple of messages a week is enough. It’s a good idea to add links to your music and highlight upcoming gigs.
Step 2: Then Twitter
It’s also useful to have a Twitter account. Share behind-the-scenes updates from your recording sessions, or some of the music or art that inspires you. Link Facebook and Twitter updates together, but remember that they have different audiences who will respond to different things.
Step 3: Find your fans
Once your mum and neighbour are following you on Twitter, you’ll want to get the word out more widely. You can pay for a Facebook ad, but a more effective way is to cover songs by bands you’re influenced by and then share that cover with their fans. If they like it, they’ll want to find out more.
Step 4: Communicate clearly
Mastering communication on the web doesn’t come naturally to many, so don’t worry if your efforts don’t bear much fruit at first. You can pay for advertising on Facebook, but it’s debatable how effective this is. It doesn’t always help you forge a connection with someone.
Step 5: What to give away
You may eventually want to sell your music, but to begin with you’ll probably have to give away a few tracks for free. Use this to get something else back – a point of contact, such as a ‘Like’ on Facebook. Once you’ve got that, use it to tell people how they can pay for your work.
Step 6: Next steps
It’s a long road to global superstardom, and the DIY route is even longer. Tell people about your music whenever you can, and chase down every promising-sounding lead. And when you’re at the top of the charts, don’t forget which magazine helped you get started.