Let’s face it, artists, musicians, and music producers need to be seen and heard. You could be creating the most captivating melodies or the sickest beats. Still, if no one knows you exist, your talent remains unappreciated.
Enter YouTube, one of the world’s most popular music consumption and discovery platforms. With over 2 billion logged-in users monthly, there’s no doubt that YouTube can help musicians and music producers to grow their audience significantly. Here are some actionable steps to tap into this potential and grow your audience as an artist.
Before we dive into the ‘how’, let’s briefly touch on the ‘why’. YouTube is more than just a video-sharing platform. It’s a hub for creators of all types to connect with an international audience.
As a musician or producer, YouTube allows you to showcase your work, build a loyal following, and monetize your content. Now that we’re on the same page about YouTube’s potential, let’s get down to the practical stuff.
1. Setting up your channel.
If you’re starting from scratch, your first step is to create a YouTube channel. Make sure to customize your channel to reflect your musical identity. Use an appealing channel banner and a clear, high-quality profile picture, ideally of your logo or a professional photo of you. Pay attention to your channel’s ‘About’ section too. This is where you can share your musical journey, genre, influences, and any other information you’d like your fans to know.
If you’re stumped on where to begin, consider checking your favorite artists’ or musicians’ YouTube pages. Note what you like about their channels and consider how to incorporate similar elements into your own. Look at their branding, their video organization, and how they communicate with their viewers. Learn from their success and tailor it to your unique style.
Also, note that you may want to sign up for an official “Artist channel” on YouTube. It’ll give you that little “Note” icon next to your channel name, letting viewers know you’re an artist. You can follow Youtube’s official guide on how to set this up.
2. Quality content is king.
There’s no shortcut here. To stand out from the crowd, you need to provide high-quality content consistently to grow your audience as an artist using YouTube. Of course, this includes your music tracks, but consider diversifying your content. Behind-the-scenes videos, recording sessions, music production tutorials, and vlogs about your life as a musician can make your channel more engaging and relatable. Remember, people connect with people, not just music tracks.
In your early days on YouTube, experiment with different types of content. Test out vlogs, lyric videos, cover songs, or whatever else comes to mind. Yes, this will be a journey of trial and error, but through this process, you’ll discover what kind of content resonates with your audience. Once you’ve identified that, you can focus on creating more of what your viewers love.
3. Leverage SEO.
SEO isn’t just for websites; it’s crucial for YouTube too. Research relevant keywords related to your genre, tracks, or general music themes. Incorporate these keywords into your video titles, descriptions, and tags. An optimized title and description can help your videos show up in YouTube’s search results and related videos, increasing your visibility to potential fans.
For those new to the term, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a strategy to increase a webpage’s visibility in search engine results. When applied to YouTube, SEO involves using specific keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags that people are likely to use when searching for content like yours. Proper SEO can help your videos appear more frequently in search results, leading to more views and potential fans.
Ironically, on YouTube itself, you can find countless videos teaching you how to do SEO on YouTube. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it, and use the algorithm to grow your audience as an artist.
4. Engage with your audience.
Engagement is a two-way street on YouTube. Don’t just post videos; make sure to engage with your viewers. Respond to comments on your videos, create community posts, host live chats, or even conduct Q&A sessions.
This interaction helps to build a sense of community and loyalty among your viewers, increasing the likelihood they’ll stick around and recommend your music to others. If you’re trying to grow your audience as an artist, this is definitely something you shouldn’t neglect.
5. Collaborate with other musicians.
Collaboration is a powerful tool on YouTube to grow your audience as an artist. By collaborating with other musicians or producers, you can tap into their audience and vice versa. Whether it’s a musical collaboration, a shout-out, or a guest appearance, this strategy can increase your visibility and introduce you to new potential fans.
Always try to make it an even exchange. So don’t just reach out to other creators asking for free promo. Instead, try to provide value first — ideally, the same amount of value, if not more.
6. Monetize your music.
Before we talk about the specifics of monetizing your music, let’s acknowledge the importance of this step. As musicians and producers, generating income from your craft isn’t just rewarding — it’s often essential for continuing your musical journey. In an ideal world, passion would pay the bills, but reality requires practical strategies to ensure your work is profitable.
Now, consider the monetization options on YouTube. If you meet YouTube’s requirements, you can join the YouTube Partner Program, which allows you to earn revenue from ads on your videos. Depending on how many views you get per month, this can be a lot of money or barely any.
However, whether YouTube pays you a lot or nothing, you can use your channel effectively to drive your viewers to buy your tracks, merchandise, show tickets, or support you in other ways. If you want to find more ways to monetize your audience outside of YouTube, check out our article about 4 effective marketing strategies for music producers.
Final thoughts on how to grow your audience as an artist via YouTube.
YouTube is not just a platform for music videos; it’s a comprehensive tool for growth and engagement and an essential tool to grow your audience as an artist. However, remember that success on YouTube isn’t instant. It requires consistent effort, quality content, and genuine engagement.
Stay patient, persistent, and true to your craft, and you’ll start to see your musical presence grow. There’s no magic formula, but with the right strategies, you’re giving your music the best chance to reach a wider audience.
“Growing your musical audience on YouTube is all about leveraging the platform’s features and committing to consistent, engaging content that resonates with listeners.”