Soundcloud is a very popular online music platform amongst DJ’s and producers alike and has helped launch the careers of countless artists.
The platform is mainly used by new artists who intend to use the Soundcloud platform to build a community and ultimately get their tracks heard.
A basic soundcloud profile is free, which allows you 180 minutes of upload time. Whilst you can also opt for a paid account giving you extra features such as unlimited upload time as well as statistics reports of your profile and track views as well as any geographical data.
In this article, I’m going to outline some common mistakes that can make the difference between a shoddily thrown together page compared to a professional page that shows your talent to the maximum potential.
ACCOUNT SETTINGS & APPEARANCE
Remember that first impressions count for everything and that once an impression is set it can be very hard to change people’s opinions, so be sure to hit the nail on the head first time. This is why it’s important that all of your account details are set up correctly to convey you and your work in a professional manner.
UNPROFESSIONAL & UNFINISHED PROFILES AND BIO INFORMATION
A common mistake we often see if people not filling in their bio properly, this may be down to laziness or not knowing what to write. Many people don’t like talking about themselves. A good way to write your bio is in third person. Try to make this short and straight to the point. The average listener doesn’t need to know that you used to have a pet budgie called uncle Greg. The bio is also a good place for writing and linking any upcoming releases and gig dates, as well as any recent achievements or awards you may have received. Also if you have a manager be sure to clearly display his email for booking Enquiries.
The extension that your profile has on Soundcloud should be identical to the ones you have on other social media platforms. For example your if your Facebook profile is “ABLETON BIBLE” then your Twitter, Instagram, YouTube channel, Soundcloud and personal website should all share the exact same extension. This creates unity among platforms and makes you easier to find as well as helping your name appear at the top of search engines. You can edit the extension in your account settings, under ‘Basic Profile’. Likewise it also makes sense to set up an email account for your DJ profile. We recommend Gmail for this as this can link nicely with other platforms such as YouTube. Make sure the name is something professional and nothing that’s going to damage your image such as “firstname.lastname@example.org“. You can also edit your signature block within the email for a more professional look.
NOT LINKING SOCIAL PLATFORMS TOGETHER
Now it’s been made very simple and easy to link our accounts together. This is useful when it comes to posting or sharing your new tracks to your Facebook fan page and also makes it simple for your audience to find you and listen to your music using platforms such as Facebook.
In the advanced setting of your Soundcloud account you can add link as well as thumbnail icons to your account which will link directly to the relevant platforms. Facebook is essential and possible other candidates are Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. You may also want your personal website. It’s important to keep all of these sources up to date and synchronised. People will instantly be disinterested if your accounts haven’t been updated in 3 years. It also goes without saying that all of these different accounts should also contain a working link to your Soundcloud account.
A final note on the appearance of your page is to ensure your profile picture and cover photo are suitable.
Use nice clear artwork that is of a good resolution and isn’t pixelated or blurry. The cover photo can also be used to display any further Information that you might find relevant. If you decide to do this make sure it gets updated accordingly.
People will browse through your Soundcloud profile to listen to your music. When they do, they may only listen to a few seconds of audio before deciding whether to hear more or move swiftly on. Generally they will either listen to the first track that’s on top of your feed, or to the one with the most plays and comments. Make the first listen count!
Your track needs to be easy to search for not only within Soundcloud but also from the wider webs search engines. This is why it’s imperative to include information such as your artist name, track name and any other information that may be required such as the label, remixers name or release date.
Soundcloud actually advises against putting your artist name into the title bar of your track however we feel you should still do this so that the artist name stays with the file.
Other important information that may get missed out at this point is the tracks artwork, BPM, tags and genre. And even track listings.
These are important fields for increasing the search results of your track.
NOT ORGANISING SOUNDCLOUD TO SHOW YOUR BEST WORK
Soundcloud has a brilliant playlists feature for grouping your tracks which also allows you to fill in playlist information and upload a playlist image. The beauty of this is that you can collate all your files into one neat little link so when you share this link on social media and around the web it sends your listeners to the playlist rather than just one track. This will increase the chances of the listener checking out more of your music content.
A good way of sorting playlists is to make one playlist for your original tracks, one playlist for your remixes and another for your mixes and podcasts. Here at Ableton bible we also like to use Soundcloud as our online thinking and storage bubble, so we recommend setting up a Work in progress or WIP playlist, be sure to set this playlist to private in settings so that it can’t be seen by the general public.
An advantage of sorting playlists this way is due to the spotlight feature. The spotlight feature allows you to display or ‘pin’ certain things to the top or spotlight section of your Soundcloud profile. We can now spotlight our playlists so that they appear at the top of our Soundcloud profile. This gives your profile a very near categorised look and makes it easy for the listener to search and browse through your productions.
DON’T UPLOAD ALL YOUR WORK
As much as it’s important to impress your audience with your work and give away free content from time to time. It’s also worth noting that you shouldn’t be giving the listener everything they want to hear. Here the ‘treat them mean keep them keen’ approach comes to mind. This is similar how DJs may only play certain productions out at live gigs to encourage you to pay for their shows. By making this content accessible to you on the internet there is less reason for you to see them play live. Or when they do play live you’ll be less interested as you’ve already heard all of their content.
If your producing regular content such as a weekly podcast, it should go without saying that your mixes should be labelled accordingly such as: Ableton Bible – Techno Podcast 001. This makes them much easier to find. Also make sure that your tracks are in the correct order within a playlist. For mixes this will most likely be in date order and for tracks we suggest either most popular tracks with a high play and like count or your most recent work.
Soundcloud is primarily used for getting feedback on tracks and ideas. But reverting back to what we said earlier about first impressions, it’s important that we don’t ruin this image that we have worked so hard to build by adding unfinished work into the public domain. Our advice here is to make these tracks private. This still allows you to send these tracks as messages or send out and share private links for those people that you wish to receive feedback from. At the very least ensure that you have them neatly packed away into a work in progress playlist which shouldn’t be in your spotlight.
USE OF SOUNDCLOUD
Apart from the music, the most essential element of Soundcloud is how you use it to build your community and following. If you do this right this will equate to paying customers to your shows. Another element to remember here is that many club promoters will look at how many followers you have when booking you. This can sometimes under value your abilities so make sure your following represents your hard work. DO NOT BUY FOLLOWERS. Promoters can find out that you have done it and also this is a pointless misrepresentation as you as an artist as well as a waste of money.
POOR USAGE OF THE ACCOUNT
Make sure you always log into your account properly when using soundcloud. Not only does this give you access to your likes section, it also gives you the ability to view your statistics and comments as well as comment on other people’s work and also time-stamp the section of the work that you are commenting on for easy referencing. By being signed in this will help you to engage with your following and community.
BLAND AND NON-CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTS
Commenting is important to start a dialogue with other producers and also encourages other producers to check out your work and provide feedback on it.
How many times have you asked for feedback from a friend and received a comment like ‘nice’ or ‘sounds good’. This type of comment might be nice to hear but in the long run is of no use to you whatsoever. When commenting be sure to be as specific and detailed as possible and keep the criticism constructive. It’s better to be critical throughout the track, even if this is purely just based on your opinion as this is something the relevant artist can take into account. The more interesting and helpful your comments are the more likely they will reciprocate and help you out with your own tracks feedback.
Be sure to reply to every comment. You can do this directly underneath their comment with the reply dialogue box. This only has to be something simple and makes a massive difference in showing the audience that you care about your followers. Followers will look at these replies and start to build an understanding of what your like as an artist. Be forthcoming and friendly to your fans and it will pay dividends in the biggest picture.
SPAMMING IN THE COMMENTS
We have all seen it countless times where people spam they’re Soundcloud URLs in the comments section of famous artists tracks in the hope to increase they’re play count. Don’t do this as it will annoy the artists and also it gives out a bad image of you as an artist. You should be contacting music blogs and sending them embedding links to your Soundcloud so that they can feature it on their websites. Or even better, get it featured on your own website.
These soundcloud basics will help you to grow as an artist and develop your following and fan base. We guarantee that if you implement this advice you will notice a steady & cumulative growth in your plays, likes and followers from your statistics.