9 Ways to Actually Get Heard On SoundCloud – LANDR Blog
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.
Hot Tip: Read our Music Promotion Guide for more tips on self promotion and getting your music heard.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
How To Get More Plays on SoundCloud: 5 Legit Strategies …
As an artist, you are responsible for promoting your own music. So how do you promote yourself to get more plays on SoundCloud?
Here are 5 rock-solid SoundCloud promotion strategies that are relevant for the music industry in 2021. Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll learn:
The truth about SoundCloud and promotionOne thing you need to get right before you start promoting yourselfHow to leverage existing audiences to maximize your plays
By following these strategies, you can increase the number of plays you’ll get on SoundCloud, as well as followers and likes. Let’s go!
Check out our FREE eBook – 10 Tips For Promoting Your Music on a Budget. Nail your social media strategy Give your music the best chance of success Find your ideal audience online
A Brief Note
SoundCloud has made changes within the last few years where the home page is no longer your stream. This means that people who follow you aren’t always going to be finding your music when it comes out.
Spotify is a much more popular option these days for listening to music, and it allows you to reach a wider audience.
Including key services like Spotify and Apple Music in 2021 is crucial in unlocking the full power of promotion and marketing.
Apart from that, here are 5 strategies that will get you more plays on Soundcloud:
Make great music firstLeverage existing audiences on the platformUse email for networking and promotionGet into repost chainsMake your music discoverable
Strategy 1: Make (Actually) Great Music
While it is possible to promote crap music, it never survives the ultimate test: the opinion of the audience.
No matter how much PR or marketing you give a track, if it’s really average, then nobody wants to listen, and you won’t get plays.
Never forget this golden rule of music promotion – your music is the marketing. You don’t just market music, it’s inherently linked to the promotion process.
One of my earlier tracks, ‘Carpark Anxiety’, has only gotten 900 plays in 3 years, even though I sent it to a lot of people. Why? Nobody wanted to share it, because it’s very average.
People don’t buy a vacuum cleaner if they don’t want one, so people won’t listen to music if they don’t like it. This is especially true on Soundcloud, where the barrier of entry is so low that a lot of horrible music gets uploaded, meaning listeners have more to sift through.
I’ve found over time that artists and producers (especially those who want a career) tend to overestimate the quality of their music. I did in the early days, and you can go and listen to my really old music and hear the improvement over time.
One of my newer drum & bass tracks, a bootleg of Porter Robinson’s Get Your Wish, got a lot of plays and was shared a lot more, because this track is much higher quality than my old stuff.
But this begs the question – should I upload my music if it’s not 100% there yet? This is arguable, but on a platform like SoundCloud, the stakes are much lower, with removing tracks being just a click away.
Plus, you’re likely to get valuable feedback from the public if you ask for it, allowing you to gauge what will and won’t work.
So while promoting music online is important, getting feedback and taking that into the studio will prove to be a much more valuable use of time.
So how do I make my music ‘better’? That’s another topic entirely, and that’s also why we have courses like EDM Foundations and Songwriting for Producers.
But a few pointers:
Make sure your core musical ideas are solid – production, mixing and mastering won’t matter otherwiseGet feedback from listeners, tastemakers and other artistsBe patient and keep making a large volume of music
Strategy 2: Leverage Existing Audiences
This might be confusing to say, but it’s true.
There are people who are always going to be better at marketing music than you. So don’t reinvent the wheel, use these people to your advantage.
People dedicate their lives to finding and sharing music to audiences that love it, so you.
Find channels on Soundcloud that can share your music to larger numbers of people than you ever could. This could come in the form of
Repost channelsOther artists with bigger followingsPromotional channelsLabels/collectivesPlaylisters
Don’t ignore offsite audiences as well. Just because they don’t have larger audiences on SoundCloud, doesn’t mean a blog or YouTube channel can’t send lots of plays your way.
Make sure to utilize:
BlogsHype MachineYouTube ChannelsSpotify PlaylistsInfluencers (e. g. vloggers, Instagram accounts)Radio stations (some play directly off SoundCloud! )
The key here is to find channels that are a good fit for your music. Don’t go messaging someone just because they have a lot of followers. They are already looking for very specific kinds of music for their tastes.
So play a few of their previous uploads/shares and make a decision. Don’t be too scared if your music isn’t exactly the same as what’s already there, but if it’s too different, it’ll likely get a pass.
Once you know who to send music to, then you need to figure out how.
Strategy 3: Email is still King
How do you send a message:
that you know the recipient will getthat goes to a place they check very oftenthat is simple and clearusing something everyone hasthat doesn’t rely on a platform that could be gone soon
The answer? Email. It’s old, but it’s still the best. How does this relate back to SoundCloud you might ask?
Email for Networking
Everyone has an email. Artists. Labels. Promo channels. Repost channels. Avid music fans. And you can communicate with them through this channel, no matter if they have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or not.
I got my biggest play numbers out of email networking, including a top placement on one of Majestic Casual’s weekly playlists on Soundcloud. In this case, it was a form that sends them an email, but the point still stands.
Here’s an example of me emailing my track to someone for a YouTube upload, and look at the difference in response time.
The first email I sent.
The response time.
I got a response in less than 24 hours!
Granted, this won’t usually be the case for huge names in the industry, but email networking works.
Not to say that you can’t use avenues like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Those channels are great but always try email first. And use the Hubspot extension to track email opens, you’ll thank me later.
To make this easier, you’ll want to be making a list of emails of relevant people you can send your music to. Just use Google Sheets or Excel.
I personally use a software called Notion (has database functionality) to track YouTube channels, Soundcloud pages, labels and more. I’ve blanked out the emails for privacy.
A few tips & tricks about sending emails:
Be concise – the recipient is likely already time-poor, so get to the them a SoundCloud link – it’s the easiest to listen to, and you can make it conversational – don’t just send a link, actually treat the person on the other end like a human, and you’ll get treated like one rsonalise messages – CC’ing a large list never works, and it often annoys people, especially if people ‘Reply All’. Send one message at a time and once again, treat them like a up – not everybody is in a position to do something the first time around. Follow up in a week or two (depending on the person) if they haven’t replied.
If you want more promo email etiquette tips, check out this list from an industry professional.
Building a List
With the decline of plays on SoundCloud (due to the lower visibility of the ‘Stream’), it’s important your core audience still gets to hear your music when it’s released, and what better way to this than email marketing?
ToneDen offers free download gates that you can use to gather emails.
If you’re familiar with download gates like ToneDen and The Artist Union, perhaps start using them to gather people’s email addresses. If you’re a Bandcamp user, you can grab email addresses on checkout too. That way, you can build a list to send your music to next time you have something to release!
Once you’ve got a list, you need to find a email marketing service. Symphonic Distribution compiled a list of the best email marketing platforms for musicians, so make sure to give that a read.
Strategy 4: Repost Chains
This is one of the most useful tools on SoundCloud and is an effective way to garner the force of multiple accounts in a simple, automated way.
You can tell when the repost chain kicked in on my latest track.
In essence, a repost chain is simply a group of people who automatically repost a track, each at a timed interval, to maximise exposure. A service like SCPlanner allows you to do this effortlessly.
Just get a few music buddies in a chain and one person submits new tracks to the chain. As each of you gains followers, you multiply the reach each time.
There are a few ways you can join or create a repost chain:
Producer friends – get your inner circle together and signup to a repost chain. That way you get a guaranteed baseline of exposure every time you upload a chains – a lot of people on Facebook groups etc. are looking for accounts to join repost chains, because the bigger it gets, the more valuable. The only caveat is usually you need at least a certain number of followers to join these (e. 5000+ followers only)Random chains – if you just need exposure, try Googling ‘repost chain’ and you’ll see a bunch of results for submissions to certain chains. Some of these require payment, be wary. Also, these aren’t necessarily an effective way to gain promotion, as you could get a lot of plays that don’t mean much. So be selective.
Sounds good, right? Hold up, there are a few things to consider before joining a chain.
Firstly, make sure you’re okay with reposting the music in that chain. Does it fit with your brand, or will it annoy your followers? Even though the numbers can be appealing, hold off if you think it’ll damage your brand.
Also, some people have a problem with repost chains because it ‘abuses the repost feature’, so have a think if this works for you or not. Personally, I think it’s fine as long as you repost music you like.
Strategy 5: Make Your Music Discoverable
Now that the ‘Discover’ tab exists on Soundcloud, the aim is to get your music featured on this new avenue of discovery.
The best way to do that is metadata. Tell Soundcloud what your music is, and give it the best chance on the platform.
There are a few key ways to do this:
Correct Genre tagsRelevant track tagsName your track appropriatelyUtilize the descriptionGet other engagement (likes, comments etc. )
You might be wondering why I’ve bolded ‘Correct Genre tags’, and that’s because it’s probably one of the most important factors in SoundCloud deciding where your music will be placed.
You can see one of San Holo’s latest tracks is tagged as ‘Electronic’, which is one of the default options when creating your track. Soundcloud likes this because it knows who to show the track to.
Beyond that, the more metadata SoundCloud has, the more opportunities it can give that track on the platform, not only with ‘Discover’ but also with the ‘Charts’ feature, especially when it gets more plays.
Relevant metadata goes beyond the platform into other services like Google, meaning your music will come up in search results too.
Because Google reads text, not your mind, and if it can see who you are and what your music’s called, it’ll help your chances of showing up. Pretty neat.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Buy Plays
Everyone wants to take the easy road, right? But oftentimes it’s simply not worth it.
I had to mention this here because it’s often something people consider when they’re looking to up their Soundcloud game. The same can be said for likes and followers, and other platforms too. These stats are fake and don’t provide organic growth.
The Bigger Picture
Like I already said, marketing and promoting your music should go beyond SoundCloud.
Plays aren’t the only thing to consider either.
Yet it’s hard to promote your music well without a lot of money.
That’s why we made our guide about promoting your music on a budget. You can grab it free below:
If you have questions about marketing and promoting your music, let me know at [email protected] – I’d be happy to answer.
Want more promotion and marketing tips? Check out 15 more here.
SoundCloud – How To Get Your Music Noticed | Bandvista.com
In the 1990s I worked as a talent scout and band manager. I loved scouting for labels. I was lucky enough to work with a number of small independents and a major label. I would spend my nights visiting rehearsal studios and live music venues.
During the day I would work for the bands I managed. I would spend hours phoning labels and making new contacts. I would spend a small fortune duplicating demos, stuffing them into mailers and taking them to my local post office.
Now the game has changed. In one way it is a lot easier to get your music seen by the right people. In another way, it is a lot harder for artists to get noticed.
With thousands of hours, of new music, added daily, SoundCloud is an ocean of new music. It is also one of the number one tools used by talent scouts, though artists continue to make the same mistakes when using this service.
Here are some things to consider if you want to get noticed on SoundCloud.
Only The Best
Many artists use SoundCloud as a showcase for their music catalog, by uploading everything from demos to live performances. This is a mistake if you want to get signed.
Your Soundcloud page should be for the best, the very best. You should treat your SoundCloud page as a showcase. When I was stuffing cassette tapes into an envelope in the early 90s, I would only have three tracks on a tape. The very best three tracks. Artists are much more fortunate now. They can showcase entire albums, but they should be selective.
If the music on your page sounds old and not up to your current standards, remove it. If songs are badly mixed and edited, remove them. If badly mixed tracks from live performances are there, remove them.
Getting plays on SoundCloud is fairly easy with little effort. SoundCloud is a community that rewards interaction, so the best way to get thousands of plays and look popular is to find other SoundCloud users with similar music and tastes to your own.
Interact with them, like their music. If you like their music, they will come looking for your music. Keep interacting, make new friends. This is a music platform, and we all love talking about music.
Get friends and family to play and like your music and get them to comment. I would set up a SoundCloud account for my granny if got me a few plays and a nice comment. They all count.
The final thing you can do is spend $5 and buy 1000 plays of a specialist company. A quick Google search will throw up lots of companies who provide this service. I know some people frown on this. Personally, I don’t.
If a SoundCloud page has nothing but paid for plays, it is easy to spot. As the play count will be high and there will be no comments or interactions. If a page has lots of interactions and a block of paid plays somewhere in the middle, nobody will ever know. Music scouts look for talent and popularity above all other things. Play the game a little. Major record labels buy plays all the time (cough, allegedly). So why can’t you? Just do it in a smart way, just like they do.
If you use SoundCloud in a clever way, you can have thousands of plays and followers in a very short period of time.
Create Your Image
You want your page to look popular and professional. It is not hard to create a good image for yourself and look professional. Design a logo. You can do this yourself with free software or a pencil and paper. There are a million and one ways to create a good logo.
If you can’t do it yourself, grab a graphic designer of a website like Fiverr for $5, and they will make it for you. It is so easy to look good, and it does not have to cost the earth.
Write an interesting biography, don’t be boring, Be creative. Give your listeners something to read while they listen to your music. If they are engaged and interested in your page, they will stay there for a longer time.
You can then use your logo and bio across the rest of your social media. This will create a unified image and make you look professional and like you mean business. Use the same logo on everything. Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Band Camp.
Music fans love this; talent scouts also love it. You will love it as you will feel professional. If you use SoundCloud effectively, you will gain followers who genuinely like your music. You will also have a brand and a page that looks attractive to talent scouts.
Frequently Asked Questions about how to get more listens on soundcloud
How do you increase your plays on SoundCloud?
Apart from that, here are 5 strategies that will get you more plays on Soundcloud:Make great music first.Leverage existing audiences on the platform.Use email for networking and promotion.Get into repost chains.Make your music discoverable.Sep 14, 2021
Is SoundCloud a good way to get noticed?
SoundCloud is a community that rewards interaction, so the best way to get thousands of plays and look popular is to find other SoundCloud users with similar music and tastes to your own. Interact with them, like their music. If you like their music, they will come looking for your music.
How can I increase my SoundCloud followers?
Promote your SoundCloud profile on social media.Invite your friends to share your posts on their own profiles. The more ears your music reaches, the larger your network or potential followers will grow.Be sure to link your social media accounts to your SoundCloud profile, as well.