I see talented artists everyday with good material and no fans and I ask myself why? What separates those who get thousands of say youtube views from those that get a handful? Sure many artists have been buying views, but with youtube’s crackdown on the big labels, that game is over. So the question is how can an unsigned artist get more fans?
(1) Create great material
Think about it you’re competing against a million other people doing the exact same thing. If you’re a rapper you’re competing against Kanye, If you’re a singer you’re competing against Adele, If you’re a rocker you’re competing against Coldplay. The point is you’re competing against acts that are better funded than you, have a bigger fan base than you and probably work way harder than you. What’s going to allow you to compete is your material and it better be damn good. How do you know your songs are good? When you play them for other people they beg to download them, they follow you on twitter, they subscribe to your youtube channel. Your material has to create a reaction in others, if it doesn’t you’re toast.
(2) Get your material out as fast as possible.
When you get signed and have a hit song and actually have a fan base, you can’t just release a song whenever you feel like because the labels and artists like to be “strategic”. But they’ve become too smart for their own good. The advantage an unsigned artists has is they can release their song, their video and their album whenever they damn well please.
In today’s world where a video only lasts a day, you should create a schedule for releasing material on a regular basis. This will not only help you get more fans, it’ll help you learn how to release songs. You’ll come to realize quickly what isn’t working and what is, most things you try wont work. The main thing is getting into the process. I recommend dropping something every month.
(3) Shoot videos for all your songs
Don’t think about the “quality vs quantity” argument just yet. These videos could start of with just you on your webcam and then gradually work your way up to paying some whiz kid to shoot a $500 video on his DSLR. Better yet save up for a camera and shoot the videos yourself. The main idea here is again the process. By constantly putting yourself on camera, you’ll get better at it and if you’re good you’ll gain a few new fans along the way.
This is the entertainment business. You have to be able to entertain people through your art. That should be your sole objective. Forget everything else. This is the key to make it today. If you are not giving fans an experience when they listen to your music, you’re just adding to the noise. Look at every rapper or singer that has made it over the last 3 years, they have all been extremely interesting. Notice I didn’t say “talented”. Talent doesn’t matter. What matters is: is your music interesting?