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You might be thinking to yourself, “What the heck, Leah? Why would you do that?” After all, there are 175 MILLION SoundCloud users, and ten million of them are music creators.
So why on earth would I limit myself and my ability to give all these users access to my music?
One word: ROI.
OK, that’s technically three, because it stands for Return On Investment.
In one sentence: I never made a dime on SoundCloud.
As a musician whose goal is to make a living with my music, I found SoundCloud useless.
I’ve had these conversations with several of my students in the past. One, in particular, tried to argue with me. She said:
‘”Leah, I have over a MILLION listens on this one track!”
“Great!” I told her. “How many email subscribers did you get from that?”
“How much money did you make from that?”
“And do you have a way to contact all these new, raving fans who love this new track so much, so they can visit your website and buy your album, or maybe some merch, in the future?”
So, you see, I’m having to show people over and over again that, despite them saying they want to make a living in the new music industry, they are actually more obsessed with their EGO and the number of listens they get.
Those two goals are NOT synonymous.
I propose to you two options:
- You care about your ego and the surface number of likes/listens/fans
- You care about making your music sustainable and making a decent living
One of those two can be true, but they can’t both be true.
SoundCloud is not evil, and there’s nothing wrong if you want to be on there. . . HOWEVER, my challenge to you is, if you’re going to put your music up for free somewhere, do it with a specific strategy in mind.
Do everything purposefully and intentionally.
OK, so your music is on SoundCloud. WHY?
What’s your strategy for that?
Or your music is on YouTube. WHY?
What’s your strategy for THAT?
What’s the purpose?
As of right now, there’s no way to monetize your music on SoundCloud. They will be rolling out a new program in the future that apparently will allow monetization through ads, similar to YouTube’s ads.
That’s because they know artists can’t succeed on their platform, so why should they stay? That monetization program is not rolled out to the public yet, so, for now, I have no use for it,, and I have not found my fans there.
Where have I found my fans, and where have I found a good ROI?
That would be Facebook. Love it or hate it, there are two billion people there, and, without a doubt, YOUR fans are there too.
Every interest, every book club, every film, even local police and government agencies are on Facebook. It is not going away.
Now, a return on investment means that when I invest my time, my energy, or my money, I get MORE back than I put in. That’s how you know something’s profitable.
Facebook gives me that. I get new fans every single day – some of them are superfans – and I make new sales every single day from this one platform, which is why I spend 98% of my time there.
Now, I am a big proponent of being a big fish in a small pond and the idea that you don’t need millions of fans and followers to be successful.
But there is one thing that is very important on social media if you want to really build some momentum. That is, you need something called social proof.
Social proof is the surface evidence that you are indeed legit. Despite the fact that there are thousands and thousands of AMAZING musicians and bands out there, if they don’t have the “proof” that they’re amazing, they’ll get ignored.
So I am not saying numbers are irrelevant; I am just MORE concerned with quality over quantity.
At the end of the day, we do need social proof, no matter if it’s just a few hundred people who think our music is the best thing since sliced bread, or tens of thousands.
The fact remains you need SOME social proof.
How to Get Social Proof
One way I’ve been building social proof is by allowing reviews on my Facebook page. It’s very similar to Amazon.com, where people give you a star rating from 1 to 5, based on how they feel about you, and they can also write text.
The reason this is powerful is that you cannot edit or delete these reviews! It’s very organic and raw.
This might feel a little risky to you at first if you’re not feeling confident about your music yet, but, in my opinion, it’s the most powerful form of social proof you can have.
When you do a search for my music page, this is what you see in the search results:
At the time of this post, I have over 1,500 four- and five-star reviews on my music page! This is really incredible and, if you read through them, they are all raving fans.
You cannot BUY reviews. This is 100% raw and organic.
This is what you need to build organic momentum on your page. Because, when people leave you a review or give you a star rating, guess what happens?
That activity shows up in their newsfeed, and whoever took that action just broadcasted that to their entire network. Do you know what you’ll get from that? More followers.
It’s like word-of-mouth marketing on steroids.
There are a few things you’ll need to know, if you want to start getting this viral social proof on your page, to make sure you have it set up right.
I created a free PDF to show you step-by-step how to do this, so you can start getting an ROI for the time and effort you DO put into your music. After all, if you’ve read this far, I know for a fact you ARE legit and your MUSIC is legit, and now we need to make sure your Facebook page reflects that.
Get your Facebook Reviews feature set up properly here: