If you’re reading this article then you know, SoundCloud is a creator-first, music streaming platform where anyone can share and discover music.
It’s where I started to first promote my music and has allowed me to reach a pretty decent size audience.
Today, I’m going to share some tips to get you started off on SoundCloud right.
Sustainable SoundCloud success is about gaining organic traction from listeners who are actively seeking new tracks, so when you’re a newbie to the platform, understanding how listeners discover music is critical.
I started with a single upload. At the time, I was just as unfamiliar with the platform as many of you might be now. But as I spent more time exploring and understanding SoundCloud’s tools and options, I found the power of tags.
Tags can be seen as the platform’s internal search engine, helping to categorize and display your music to the right audience.
For instance, when I tagged my indie pop song with terms like “rap,” “beats,” “hip-hop,” and “instrumentals,” my track started appearing in searches for those terms, enabling more listeners who were interested in that stuff to discover my song.
Tags help you get found, plain and simple.
SoundCloud Groups provide another powerful avenue for connecting with the community and expanding your reach. Groups gather fans and artists of a specific genre or theme, creating a concentrated pool of potential listeners for you to get your music in front of.
When I first joined, I hit up groups like “Hip-Hop,” “Electronic Music Lovers,” and “Upcoming Artists,” and noticed a decent increase in my track plays.
My engagement with these groups exposed my music to fans who were genuinely interested in my genre.
Bottom line is, explore a bunch of groups, find out what is good for you and post there.
SoundCloud playlists, when used effectively, can really boost your visibility to potential fans.
When my song “Indie Sunrise” got featured on a popular playlist called “Indie Vibes,” the jump in my plays was signifcant. This was all due to the vast audience that playlists can command.
If you have a track that fits the vibe of a popular playlist, reach out to the curator of the list and ask them to give your song a slot.
And be smart about it: if you make relaxing instrumental music, getting your track on a study playlist could lead to a massive influx of plays. But don’t push your relaxed track on a hip-hop list.
Honestly, when I first started, my SoundCloud profile was a bit of a mess. But over time, I realized it was just as important as my music.
The profile is like your musical resume — it’s where potential fans, collaborators, and industry professionals will first find you, your style and your music.
I worked a little bit on my profile, adding a crisp bio describing my background and outlook and influences, notable performances, and future projects.
I also included links to my other social media platforms, creating an interconnected web that fans could explore. You know… the “network” part of “social network?” It really helps, believe me.
As someone who’s always been intrigued by graphic design, I can’t stress enough the impact of compelling album art.
When I released my debut album, I collaborated with a designer friend of mine to create an album cover that was both eye-catching and representative of the music within.
Visuals can spark curiosity, and album art is, most of the time, the first connection your audience will have with your music. A unique and engaging album cover can draw in potential listeners, enticing them to hit play.
Read more about case studies of great album art over in my The Ultimate Guide To Making Viral Music (2023) article.
In today’s digital age, social media is a powerful tool for promotion, so to avoid it is to avoid success.
Sharing SoundCloud links on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ensures your music reaches a broader audience and drives your free SoundCloud promotion.
Here are some examples of how:
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and a great platform for promoting your SoundCloud tracks.
I made videos for my songs, which got YouTube plays and follows on my Soundcloud.
Obviously include your SoundCloud links in the video description, making it easy for YouTube viewers to find your profile.
Twitter’s real-time feed makes it an excellent platform for promoting your SoundCloud tracks.
Every time I released a new song, I’d tweet about it, including my SoundCloud link and relevant hashtags like #NewMusic or #IndiePop.
Remember to only use ONE hashtag per post or Twitter might demote your post.
Facebook’s user base is vast so it’s probably the best place to reach new fans.
I share my SoundCloud links on my personal Facebook feed and created a dedicated Facebook page for my music, as well.
You can also find Facebook groups where you can share your music.
Learn more about sharing on Facebook in my 7 Ways To Promote Soundcloud on Facebook post.
Instagram, being visually driven, can be a powerful tool for promoting your videos, art, and even, your music.
I shared my album art and behind-the-scenes videos, which provided a more intimate insight into my music creation process and helped me brand myself.
By adding my SoundCloud link to my Instagram bio and regularly promoting new releases in my posts and stories, I was able to drive more traffic to my SoundCloud music.
Understanding your audience is key to any successful music promotion strategy. When I started paying attention to my SoundCloud Stats tools, I was able to gather valuable insights into my audience.
Just at a glance, I found out that a big portion of my listeners were from Germany, even though I’m based in the US.
This data shaped my promotional strategy because I focused more on German SoundCloud groups, engaged more with German artists and fans, and even planned a mini tour in Germany when I was ready for live shows.
Understanding who your listeners are and where they are from can help you connect better with your audience and tailor your promotional efforts effectively.
Collaborations can help you tap into a fellow artist’s fan base and vice versa, broadening your listenership and increasing your plays. When I worked on a track with an electronic music producer from Berlin, it resonated with his fanbase, leading to a surge in my track plays and followers.
It sounds kind of weird but when I first started, remixing was a creative way for me to gain attention. I would take popular tracks and give them my unique spin, attracting listeners who were already fans of the original song. This process not only helped me develop my skills as a producer but also opened my music up to a broader audience.
Engaging with fans and fellow artists is critical for building a loyal following on SoundCloud. This interaction fosters a sense of community around your music, which can lead to more plays, shares, and free SoundCloud promotion.
Reply to comments on your tracks, give constructive feedback on other artists’ tracks or especially thank fans for their support, every interaction counts.
Understanding and optimizing your SoundCloud settings is another crucial aspect of music promotion.
Example: I made sure to allow my tracks to be included in the public search, making them more accessible to users. I also enabled downloads for my songs, which my fans appreciated.
Remember, the easier you make it for people to find and listen to your music, the more likely they are to become regular listeners.
Make it as easy for people as possible.
Although I’m big on natural growth, I understand the temptation to buy SoundCloud plays to boost your initial track momentum.
Sometimes people just won’t listen to someone with no plays on their music.
Remember to invest in real SoundCloud promotion services that offer genuine plays from authentic users. This can be a good kickstart to growing your music organically.
Promoting your music on SoundCloud, or anywhere else, is a journey that requires patience, persistence, and genuine love for what you do. Using the tips and personal experiences I’ve shared, I believe you’re now better equipped to navigate your own free SoundCloud promotion journey.
Remember, your music is unique, and so is your path to success. Stay true to your sound, engage with your fans, and success will surely follow.
Tags help categorize your music for listeners searching for specific genres or moods. Use relevant tags that represent your music style. For example, if your song is a moody electronic track, you might use tags like “Electronic,” “Ambient,” “Chill,” and “Moody.”
SoundCloud Groups are community spaces where fans and artists gather around specific genres or themes. Joining and contributing to relevant groups can expose your music to a concentrated audience. For example, if you create indie rock music, consider joining and sharing your tracks in an “Indie Rock Music” group.
Identify popular playlists that align with your music style and reach out to the curator for a feature. For example, if you create chill instrumental music, try to get your track included on a study or relaxation playlist.
Make sure your profile is complete with a compelling bio, a profile picture that makes sense for your style, and links to your other social media platforms. This helps listeners understand who you are as an artist and gives them more ways to connect with you.
Yes, engaging with your audience builds a sense of community, encouraging more plays and shares. You could respond to comments on your tracks, interact with fans on social media, or even collaborate with other artists to increase your reach.