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.