If you are a DJ/Producer, chances are you use a streaming platform like Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Bandcamp, Audiomack etc. The real question is how do you grow a consistent online following? The short answer is a lot of hard work to develop an audio visual artistic identity. The long answer is as follows:
This is the key ingredient in cooking a committed listener count. You not only need to make incredible music that stands out, but also to do it consistently. This is a continuous journey. Every DJ/Producer from Skrillex to Nina Kraviz is constantly creating music, whether it gets released or not. Once you get into the groove and start making consistent dope tracks and mixes, you can build them up and release them strategically so you have a consistent hype channel.
Here are some examples to really get interesting production and to really hook in some listeners:
Remixing songs is probably one of the easiest ways to get the music creation process going. It could be adding a really growly bassline to a popular Major Lazer track (*cough* Flume & What So Not *cough*) or just mashing it up with some cool vocals of another song.
Collaborations really distributes the workload with other people. It’s also a lot of fun working with people in the studio, especially when there are no expectations but to have fun and make something weird. Collabs are also great because you can learn from your mate, or at least have a laugh. There have been many great collaborations, but one that distinctly comes to mind is TNGHT, consisting of Hudson Mohawke and Lunice. TNGHT proved to be a breakthrough success for both Hudmo and Lunice who branched off to have successful solo careers.
Originals are the O.G. of music production (see what I did there?). This is where you will be able to have most creative control, and most work set out for you. Originals are great because you will be able to develop your sound and experiment the most to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Once you develop your type of sound it’s time to implement it into a track structure and to refine it to death (not even kidding).
Mixes are great, but in 2017 everyone does that cheeky 30 minute Sunday mix or that pre-party mix or even that drunk kick-ons mix. To stand out record live mixes from your shows and radio. People are more interested to see what you played at a party or show that got people lit than one that got your cat lit in your bedroom. Or even do a video record like Toilet Room here. Mixes should be like a timeline of your music eclecticism, every mix should show a different side or dimension of your artistry. There’s no harm to do Big Room EDM Mix vol. 4, but you have to ask yourself, did you add any more value after vol. 3?
Podcasts are personally my favourite type of streaming output, because not many DJs do them anymore (quite ironic since DJs started on Radio). BBC1 Diplo & Friends, Beats1 with Zane Lowe, Soulection, Rinse FM all are great podcast sources and not only share great sounds, but also show the listeners more about the personality of the music industry and DJ/Producers. Interviews and guest mixes ease your workload and add a bit of variety to your artistic palette. You also get to interact more with your listeners and understand what floats their boat (or sinks it).
This is becoming more and more important to stand out, and reinforce your branding & image. Don’t be a boring sod and do the same angsty EDM pose in black & white. Add some flavour and personality, like Flume, Alison Wonderland, Getter or Dillon Francis. Visuals can come in the form of your track artwork, photos and even social media stories (e.g. Instagram stories or Snapchat). If there is anyway your listeners can see you, you can develop a theme or motif for yourself to enhance your image and stand out.
This word is pretty much synonymous with identity. Branding is a result of your music and everything else about you e.g. visuals, interviews, personality etc. It is how your listeners will perceive you and compare you to other people. Develop your branding and “identity” by having a vision of how you want to be perceived e.g. angsty EDM cliché or neurotic multi-personality superstar. Transform that vision into your music, visuals or social media
So you have done the music and visuals, now it’s time to package it and release it to the world. Releasing the package can be as simple as posting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to having a drawn out strategic marketing campaign with dates and times and multiple tracks and artwork. The choice is yours.
A rule of thumb for posting on social media is to post a lot on all platforms. It sounds annoying, but if your music is worth listening to, chances are you need to reinforce the message through a repeated process of posting to incept into people. It does sound annoying, but the track you spent months on could be lost in a sea of memes without regular posting and promoting.
A cool trick is to use fan-building or “fan-gate” apps and chains like Hypeddit and trade your track as a free download for Facebook likes, email sign ups and even reposts. If your track is worth its weight in beans this will definitely build your fanbase and bean count.
So there you have it, a few tips to grow your online presence. So start cooking and get some more beans!