Top 5 ways unsigned bands and artists can create a following in 2021

Photo by Edward Eyer on Pexels.com

There is a common myth within the music industry that you need a management team in order to get your music out there. This is far from the truth. In this digital era artists have so many platforms at their disposal that they can work with to maximise their fanbase. You could have strangers singing away at your songs in no time. As long as they are good of course.

  1. CREATE YOUR BRAND

You’ve seen it done by (the most dreaded word) influencers, you’ve seen it done by your favourite musicians, you’ve seen it done by Jojo Siwa. Without a solid brand and understanding who you are, well simply…you are no-one.

What do I mean by build your brand? Well… Who are you? What do you stand for? What represents who you are? What makes you memorable from the other 7 billion people on this planet?

According the founder of Spotify Daniel Ek approximately 40,000 songs are uploaded onto the platform every day. There is so much competition and talent now available at your fingertips. You MUST do something to stand out.

  • Create your logo – Keep it simple, Keep it clear, Keep it precise. This will help fans identify you. The imagery has to represent who you are. Don’t have a unicorn logo if you hate unicorns. Look into colour meanings and the feelings it conjures. Heavy metal band with a calm baby blue or mild green colours attract harmony and tranquility. Which from my experience their is too much head-banging involved for those sorts of colours. Lastly on this point, make sure to be consistent across all online platforms; keep it the same.
  • Create a music brand strategy – I say music brand strategy because a corporate brand strategy shouldn’t be used for your heart wrenching songs. Create posts of what you’re working on, write a blog of your projects, promote your gigs, do some live streaming with fans, recreate your songs with household objects like Nina Nesbitt on TikTok.
  • Collaborate! – Have you met some other musicians along your journey that you liked the sound of? Do they fit your music genre and image? I don’t mean messaging Beyonce on instagram. I mean other small an upcoming bands/artists. Well then, reach out and make a song together. Do a live stream of your jam session. Double the platforms, double the fanbase. This is a great way to to gain some new followers, plus its fun!

Don’t forget to be true to yourself, nobody likes a fake Jane.

2. MAKE GREAT MUSIC

You might be thinking “Uh, yeah…duhhh!” But just take a moment to think back to when you were in school and the amount of bands that were created, and where they are now? Yeah, exactly.

Make a song that stands out. There are so many songs nowadays that sound the same. I am a frequent listener of discover weekly on spotify, I listen to the first 5 seconds then skip to 1 minute in and usually I have decided within 10 seconds if I like it or if it grabs my attention. 9 times out 10 I skip it.

Make something unique, exciting and memorable. Again, who are you and what do you stand for? Portray that in your music.

Content is King!

3. LIVE GIGS

I know live gigs seem to be the thing of the past during these pandemic apocalyptic times, but when we do manage to peak out the window and don’t see Covid-19 winking back at us; book some gigs. You don’t need a booking agent for this either.

In the beginning, play at your local pub, school fair, small live music venues, your brothers birthday or your grandad’s wedding anniversary. Anyone that you can convince to give you even the slightest chance to play, take it. The chances are, there are going to be people there that you have never seen you before, people that can actually like your music, people that can build your fanbase.

Make sure to put on an impressive show, there is nothing worse when an artist has no stage presence or they are too shy to move. Your body language and your energy are contagious. If you’re boring, the audience will be too.

Once you get comfortable with playing and performing live, look into switching up the areas you play in. Play in neighbouring towns, or in a completely new county. Switching up venues and locations attracts different types of people who might be interested in your music.

Oh and don’t forget to introduce yourself at the gigs. The amount of times I’ve been to gigs where opening acts have been such a great vibe and then they don’t say who they are or where we can find their music is shocking. It’s like thanks for teasing us, now bye, see you never.

4. MONTHLY FAN CLUB – PATREON

Patreon is an innovative platform created for artists to start to generate some income. Once your following has reached into it’s hundred’s if not thousands. You can start to offer them a monthly subscription to get monthly exclusive video’s, interviews, tracks that are only available to subscribers.

This platform can be a real life saver for new and upcoming artists because you can get decent money with the right amount of followers.

It also means that you don’t have to conform to the masses, because the people that have subscribed are already there because they like your music.

What a fantastic way to build a true meaningful connection with your audience and make some money.

5. SCHEDULING

Build yourself a schedule. There is a reason we have rota’s at work and timetables at school. Without them everything is a mess. You need to make sure that you allocate yourselves time for each of the tasks above. Whether it’s your brand strategy, or the day of the week you need to post content or that Sunday night Instagram Live you promised your fans that you would do every week. Allocate a day and a time and stick to it. Having a schedule not only simplifies and organises your mind. But it will also create loyal fans. The more you keep your promises, the more they will tune in to your content. Allocate a time for rehearsals, the more you play together the stronger the connection between the band the better the atmosphere for the audience. This is probably one of the easiest steps out of all the 5, and probably the first step to accomplishing the other 4.

So get started, make a schedule.

Peace out.

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