This week I had someone post a comment on one of my music sites that went something like this: “Wow, my music is really similar to Lowercase Noises. Kinda weird. Wanna see if I’m right?” Then they proceeded to provide a few links to their music. It was a public comment, and it was very obvious that this person was trying to get some of my listeners to come check out their music.
I couldn’t really help myself, so I went and listened to some of this guys music. And in my opinion, other than the fact that it was instrumental music, I didn’t feel like there were any similarities between his music and mine. Even my wife said so.
The fact that he was kind of spamming my page with a misleading comment didn’t really bother me. But what did bother me was that his music was good! It was really unique and interesting (so much so that I really had a hard time hearing similarities to my music). I kept listening because I was so intrigued. I probably listened to 5 or 6 songs, which never usually happens in situations like this.
It bothered me that this guy had solid music, but still felt like he needed to resort to spammy, misleading comments to try to attract more listeners. This sort of thing has actually happened to me a couple of times this week and it’s really made me wonder. Why do so many artists feel like they need to resort to these music promotion tactics to get heard?
I have to admit, I’ve done stuff like this in the past. I’ve spammed other artist’s social media pages in hopes that people will check me out. But I stopped fairly quickly, for a few reasons. First off, it’s a lot of work. You sit there for hours making all these dumb posts that try not to sound spammy, but it’s pretty much unavoidable. Because it is spam. And really? These posts don’t work. People are on that page because of another artist, and not to discover new ones. They see your spam for what it is and you’ll get ignored.
The second reason I stopped is because I sat back and looked at what I was doing. I realized that by doing this, the first thing people are going to associate with me and my music is the way I spammed and potentially misled them. And that’s NOT how I want people to be introduced to my music.
So let me take a stab at what I think are some of the reasons people resort to this type of promotion.
- Laziness. Let’s face it, when we can’t think of a good way to promote ourselves, we’ll try to piggyback on the success of other artists. It doesn’t take a lot of creative brainpower, so we just go with it. I see this a lot on YouTube, mostly in the EDM genre for whatever reason. People will literally start a comment by saying “sorry for the spam, but there’s no other way for me to get my music heard…” which is absolutely not true. It’s just lazy.
- Impatience. The internet has made us impatient, and artists just want to get as many listeners as possible as fast as possible. So even if you see some growth, it might not be fast enough. So then you resort to music promotion tactics like this. But honestly, slow, consistent growth is far better for you for a lot of reasons. It allows you to make mistakes and learn lessons while you have the least amount of people following you. It also teaches you to cultivate real relationships and promotion tactics over spam that desires numbers over relationships.
- Poor music. I’ve got to be honest here. A lot of artists resort to spammy promotion because their music doesn’t stand on it’s own. In a search for recognition or approval, some people think that they need to spend most of their time promoting and pushing their music rather than making it better. Hopefully it comes as no surprise to hear that the best music promotion is having the best music possible. If you haven’t spent the time learning and improving your craft, then no type of promotion is going to work for you.
I really want to exhort you guys to avoid promoting yourself like this. You can do it without taking advantage of other artists and their platforms. You can do it without spamming and annoying people. The catch is that it takes hard work and patience. But if you can follow through, be consistent with your actions, and continually create better and better music, then you will see results. You will gain a dedicated following that appreciates the fact that you don’t spam them!
So, what’s the right way to promote yourself and your music? Well, that’s a HUGE question, and it looks different for every artist. There are no rules or bullet lists (which is probably why so many people resort to spam tactics). And honestly the goal of this blog is to try to answer that question. I want to help you figure out exactly how you can do it for yourself. If you haven’t already, take a few minutes and browse through the archive here. I know you’ll find some useful tips and ideas.
But in an attempt to better answer that question, I’ve spent a lot of time coalescing all the lessons and things I’ve learned over the years into a course and community called The Music Passage. I’ve got a bunch of people going through it right now, and if you’re interested in joining us next time around, sign up there and I’ll let you know when it’s open again.
I know you can find a way to promote your music in a thoughtful and organic way, and I want to help you do that!
The Music Passage"Learn to Effectively Promote Your Music & Grow a Fan Base with an Active Community of Motivated Musicians"
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