Are you struggling to get your music heard?
Then it means you’re not doing this one thing, and in this article, I’m going to tell you what that is so that you can get more people to listen to your music whenever you promote your next single.
But before I do, I want to tell you about a friend of mine who’s going through the same.
So over the weekend, a friend of mine came into town and we went to a bar to grab a couple of beers and you know, catch up, and while we were there, we started talking about life in general and his music.
You see, my boy is a singer and he’s currently promoting his new single and apparently, he’s been struggling to get people to listen to the song.
I wanted to know what he was doing to promote the song, so I asked him and he told me he was doing the usual stuff, you know, getting the song on SoundCloud and Spotify, promoting it on his IG, and he’s also sent out the song to a couple of music bloggers. He also told me that he’s even considering jumping on TikTok and using Facebook ads to promote the track.
And as he was talking about this, I could tell how frustrated he was because from the looks of things, he’s been doing all this work to promote the song and hasn’t been getting much traction from it.
Which he confirms, and goes on a rant about how the music industry messed up, how nobody supports indie artists, and how people only pay attention to you once you’ve blown up and are at superstar levels.
The sad truth is that nobody cares about your music.
Now, I felt really bad for the poor guy as I could see how frustrated he was, and it reminded me of the early days of my business journey when I was struggling to get clients for my business, and I would get so angry and frustrated when no one gave me the time of day to hear about this awesome service I had to offer them.
And this is one of the toughest lessons I learned as an entrepreneur – nobody cares about you, your services, or your products, what people care about is what you or whatever it is you’re offering can do for them.
And the same thing applies to your music.
Now as someone who also makes music, I get how difficult this might be to hear.
I mean, we spend so much time and effort, and sometimes a shit ton of money making music. And we’re all super hyped and super excited about it and want to share it with the world, only for the world to tell us to go f*ck ourselves, and It hurts. Big time!
It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is, and it’s something I feel a lot of indies need to hear, and it’s a point I wanted to get across to my boy.
So I asked him, “Yo bro, how many indie artists are you listening to right now, or have you got on your playlists” – coz I know he’s a huge fan of Spotify.
And he paused for a sec, thinks about it, looks at me, and says, you know what, I don’t listen to any, all I listen to is mainstream artists.
And I was like, there you go!
What makes you different?
He didn’t even realize that the same thing he was complaining about, was the same thing he was doing to other indie artists.
I said to him that if you as an indie don’t even listen to other indies at all, you don’t even give them a chance to be on your playlist, why should anybody out there listen to you.
What makes you different?
Now as you can imagine, that was a difficult thing for me to say to him and I only said this because I think he’s a brilliant musician and I want him to win.
Thankfully, he got what I was trying to say to him, coz things could have gone very left, as I know how emotional some musicians get about their music, and I’m happy to report that we’re still very good friends, and he ended up buying the next 2 rounds.
So why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this for two reasons:
Number one, I want you to understand that if you’re struggling to get people to listen to your music, then you’re not alone. It’s a very common problem for indie musicians.
And secondly, I want you to understand “why” you may be struggling to get fans to check out your music. I feel by understanding why you can then figure out how to solve this problem.
So why don’t people listen to your music?
Is it because they are terrible, and don’t want you to succeed? Nope! The number one reason why nobody is listening to your music is that fans are human, and humans are selfish creatures by nature.
As humans, if we don’t see how doing something is going to benefit us, we simply don’t do it.
And the same thing applies to music. You see, every time you ask someone to check out your music or watch your latest music video, they’re subconsciously asking themselves “why should I do it?”, “what’s in it for me?” Why should I give you three minutes of my time that I could be using to watch Netflix or browse through Instagram or youtube watching cat videos?
And if you can’t convincingly answer this question, then they just won’t listen.
So it goes without saying that if you want somebody to listen to your music, you have to give them a compelling reason for them to do so, and that reason has to be compelling to them and not to you.
And it’s that simple.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean.
Let’s say we are friends, which we are (wink wink), and I sent you a DM on Instagram asking you to check out my latest single because I think it’s the biggest banger out there and it’s going to set the world ablaze, would you listen to it?
I seriously doubt that.
I mean, you might be going through some serious stuff in your life right now or may have just received the worst news in your life and I all I care about is asking you to listen to my music.
I know I won’t.
However, if I sent you that same DM, telling you that if listened to my track before 12 pm today, I’ll buy your lunch or give you a $100 voucher to spend on Amazon.
I have a feeling that if you want that free lunch or that voucher, you’ll listen to that track quicker than I can say one hundred dollar voucher.
I’ve clearly communicated what you’re going to gain by listening to my song, and if you want that incentive, then you’re going to do what I want you to do.
And it’s that simple!
So to wrap up
Now, I know it’s not practical to hand out free lunches and Amazon vouchers to everyone who listens to your song, I mean you’re going to go bankrupt if a lot of people take you up on that, which they will, and we don’t want that to happen, do we?
Thankfully there are other things you can do to get people to listen to your music that won’t cost you a single penny and I’m going to be talking about that in my next post, so make sure you’re on the email list to get notified when it goes live.
Until then, feel free to share this post with any artist you know that may be struggling to get their music heard. I have a feeling you’re going to be their new BFF and probably will be getting a VIP ticket to their concert when they blow up.
So what do you think? Do you agree with me that you need to give people a reason if you want them to listen to your music? Maybe you disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.