Fellow Disciples,Many of us perform at venues offering exposure as payment for performing. There is validity to gaining exposure at a live gig, but I want to share 15 online resources I utilize to provide excellent exposure (opportunity) for my music & career. These resources link directly to my website, which is one of the most essential tools for building your music career / future / family / etc. Click the links to see what each resource looks like for reference. I am more than happy to help build your online exposure so let me know what you are working on!
I have played countless shows seeking the coveted promise of exposure & there are plenty of reasons why you should too. But, more on that later.
Facebook is a social media platform that allows potential fans to follow your brand, engage with your posts, message you directly, RSVP to your shows, & share your content. Insights provide data about your current & potential audience while targeted ads allow you to zone into that specific audience. (Hint: They just don't know you exist yet & vice versa.) Facebook has the potential to provide new gig opportunities, recording sessions, and of course branding development.
Twitter is a concise content platform allowing a maximum of 140 characters per post. Fans can retweet your posts and find your handle (@spenserliszt) through relative hashtags (#jazz #saxophone #Lisztissimo.) This form of social media is great for direct messaging to build relationships with potential fans, talent buyers, musicians, venues, festivals, & other opportunities. There are unique tools to help grow a targeted following including Hootsuite, Tweepi, & SocialOomph (more on these later).
Instagram is a social media platform that allows the creation of beautiful visual content (branding). Even without professional photography skills you can generate high quality images that fans will engage with. There is definitely great potential exposure towards a younger audience with Instagram. The option to post 15 second videos is especially helpful for musicians who want to showcase their talents.
Youtube is a platform for hosting video content. Users gain subscribers and have the potential to make money through ad revenue. Annotations are essential to leading your audience to the next step whether that be the next song, interview, website link, newsletter sign-up, etc. Video ideas for musicians may include concerts, recording sessions, music videos, practice sessions, interviews, promotional material, talk show, etc.
LinkedIn is a professional social media platform that allows you to showcase your professional services including private lesson teaching, live performance, composing, arranging, recording services, etc. User collect 3rd party validation in the form of skill endorsements from peers and co-workers. This platform is a great way to formally network online and could potentially lead you to your next job, gig, clinic!
Soundcloud provides a platform to host audio content, mainly singles & playlists. Users stream music for free which allows potential fans to listen to your music. Tagging each upload properly will help lead potential listeners to your music. This is a great way to sample your music to your fans and see what they think before releasing mixed and mastered audio.
Bandcamp is a platform allowing sales, downloads, and streaming of your album, EP, or single. Users can cater their profile to their brand by adding album artwork & graphic design. There are options to sell your music for a fixed price or "name your price" which allows fans to download your music in exchange for an e-mail address. In case you don't have a store on your website (yet!) this platform is great for selling merchandise. The ability to stream music for free is essential in this day & age. Many fans want to hear your music before purchasing & signing on to a lifetime of worshipping you.
These resources are online stores for your music. All four allow for audio previews & streaming as well as the ability to sell digital & physical albums. I batched these resources together because they are all streamlined through CDBaby where I produced my physical albums. CDBaby then gives you the option to sell your music across many platforms & provides a warehouse to store your physical copies. (More on this later.)
Pandora is an online streaming radio service. Potential fans are led to your music by other similar *enter artist name* radio stations. Submit your albums to Pandora for consideration. I highly recommend it!
Spotify is another online streaming service that many many people use (sometimes exclusively.) This is a chance to present free streams of your music which offers a very low payout per stream, but it's better than nothing!
Reverberation is a platform for musicians to upload audio, video, social media, bio, materials, etc. to a profile. There are notifications for opportunities to apply for festivals, recording sessions, & gigs directly. Many of which only accept Reverbnation artists. Profiles are ranked locally, nationally, & globally based on genre, following, & engagement. After making a profile I jumped to #5 locally, #172 nationally, and #226 globally in the jazz charts. (Yay niche market!)
All About Jazz is a great resource for jazz artists. You can upload materials to create a profile and post shows on their "jazz near you" calendar which auto-sends geographically to their mailing list. They are still working on their website, but it works just fine for now.
All of these resources provide exposure in some form. The potential is global & in some cases instant. Most of these cost the same amount you would make at a show that doesn't pay. So go out there & play for no one (every once in awhile) then go home & gain some digital exposure!
What resources do you use to widen your audience & gain exposure?
What are you thoughts on exposure as compensation?
Until Further Notice,
Spenser Liszt is a professional musician from Dallas, TX.
Learn more at www.SpenserLiszt.com
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