Getting your first song on Spotify is both exciting and nerve-wracking. You get your friends and family to stream it, send out a few tweets, you even made a cool video clip for your song and guess what? No one cares. Your song sits at the dreaded <1,000 mark and might as well have zero streams. Good thing is we have seen this happen to thousands of artists and are here to help you succeed. Here are some actionable tips you can take to break through that <1,000 wall and start building a dedicated audience on Spotify!
The Spotify Algorithm
This is by far the most important and most misunderstood piece of the puzzle. I should do an entire post about this subject itself (Oh wait I made a video on how to trigger the Spotify Algorithm and it's on YouTube here).
Thousands of artists either miss this step or don’t even know it exists. You must submit your track at least one week before your release to Spotify for Artists. If this is your first track double check with your distributor that you don’t have the same exact name as someone else on Spotify and ask them to get you access to Spotify for Artists ASAP. When you submit you’re automatically added to Release Radar! Easiest layup for fan engagement that new artists constantly miss. Don’t be one!
Create Your Own Playlists
The best way to gain new fans is to create your own little piece of listener real estate. Create a playlist composed of established and artists that are similar to your sound. All of the music on this playlist should fit under a searchable keyword theme. If you make ambient/chill music create a playlist for “Focus and Studying” like this:
Or if you are from a well known city/suburb create a location based playlist like this:
Think of who listens to music similar to yours, what they would search for while trying to find that music and create a playlist that fits their listening preferences. Experiment and make multiple playlists it’s 100% free to create a playlist on Spotify. Tips on creating your own playlists.
Collaborate with similar artists
Network and start to contribute and share your experience as an artist on Facebook Groups, Sub-Reddit and Twitter to track down artists that have a similar sound and slightly larger following than you. Build relationships and collaborate with similar artists. When you release a song with an artist with a bigger following you’re automatically tapped into their listeners via Release Radar and Discover Weekly. As you grow as an artist you can collaborate with artists with larger audiences.
Ask The TikTok Community for Help
TikTok is an amazing way to find new fans and has a sense of community and real life story telling unlike any app out there. Real life stories carry the most weight on the platform and well told stories can help you reach viral success in a matter of hours. Tell the story of how you became an artist a struggle you are working through and ask the TikTok community for help. I have seen artists working a construction job with their music in the background pleading “blow this up so I can quit this job!” Below is my favorite example by a band called Skandra. They tell the story of how they spent all of their money creating music only to find out no one was listening. Notice how they add a sense of urgency “the first week a song is out is the most important” to get TikTokers to help them out!
As you can see the video has 4.3 million likes and the song has over 1.9 million streams on Spotify. Also good to note they have over 50,000 followers on Spotify, at the moment their follower count is higher than their monthly listeners which is unheard of for most artists on Spotify.
Hit The Streets with Spotify Codes
This is probably one of the most underrated tactics artists can take advantage of on Spotify. It's easy to forget the real world and be completely sucked into the digital space. The reality is you have an entire audience to tap into on the streets, subway stations, airports and restaurants.
Below is the Spotify code users can scan this code and the app with instantly bring up your song, Spotify profile or playlist. How to use codes:
1. Create your own code here:https://www.spotifycodes.com/#create
2. Download and test the code to make sure it is scannable and the correct dimensions
3. Goto StickerMule.com and get a run of stickers made.
4. Deploy your codes! Give them to friends, put them on your car bumper, on bike racks or anywhere you see fit that has foot traffic.