As a music student, you are no doubt aware that there is a nearly infinite supply of young talent out there competing for the relatively small number of music careers available. Therefore, raw talent alone is not enough to stand out in 2014. A strong Web presence is essential if you want to have a successful career in music. Here are four ways to promote your music online.
1. Network Using LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a valuable tool in making connections within the music industry. It goes without saying that you should connect with fellow music students and faculty that you know at school, but you can also do much more. If there are professionals in your field of study, trombone for example, check if they are on LinkedIn and if so, send them a message. You never know when an idol could become a mentor, someone who could give you and your music quite a bit of publicity.
Groups are also a great tool on LinkedIn. By joining large groups of like-minded musicians, you will have a place to not only share your ideas and music, but also to scope out the competition. Groups can provide helpful critiques, free of the harshness or trolling of more anonymous communities.
2. Use Facebook to Advertise Your Services
As you may know, almost everyone’s on Facebook. Create a Facebook page to not only advertise upcoming gigs, but to also advertise your services through uploaded recordings of past performances. Additionally, don’t be sheepish; while it may seem pompous at first, it is foolish to not mention every gig you have scheduled on your timeline. You never know when a friend might decide to show up and later put in a good word for you.
They key to using Facebook is to make sure that you don’t live a one-sided Facebook life. Become active on the pages of other music students and local musicians, and even attend their gigs occasionally. This way they will see you as more of a part of the community than simply competition.
3. Upload Samples to SoundCloud
One of the biggest and often overlooked benefits to using SoundCloud is that nearly everybody browsing the site is there to listen to music. Unlike YouTube, where your music is likely to get lost in a sea of cat videos, SoundCloud is all about sound. While classical and jazz don’t have the largest user bases on the site, there are still many active members involved in these genres and many more interested in listening to them. A carefully maintained SoundCloud account can become your primary portfolio, a place to showcase your great performance talents.
4. Bring it all Together on a Professional Website
Last but not least, make sure to consolidate your various Internet homes on a personal website. This website doesn’t have to be anything particularly fancy, but it would help to include a short bio, contact information and links to your other Web presences. If you want to go for a more professionally designed site, WebpageFX has a great page showing how much a website costs. You can always start out with your own WordPress website and then upgrade to a professional design as you work your way up.
There are many more useful tools out there on the Internet that you, the musician, can use to promote your music, but these four steps should help get you started.