The music industry is over saturated with music so here’s how you stand out from the crowd and make sure your music is listened to.
Having a successful career in music means that some portion of your job is to actually be a salesperson. It may not be what you want to do but with music creation and distribution being easier than ever, you need to make sure your music is hitting the right people and the only way you can do this is by persuading the consumer to listen.
With so much music out there, you can’t simply upload a picture telling someone to listen to your music because the average attention span has dropped massively and they’d much rather spend their time aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, rather than be taken to another platform.
In this article, I’m going to explain how artists can avoid spamming their audience and create real relationships, leading to exponential growth in engagement, streams and overall fan base but also increase their income streams, so you’re not constantly investing money, you’re making it.
To stand out in this industry, you need to be more than just a musician, you need to have a story and that’s all what today’s article is going to explain. I’m going to teach you how to create that story and find your angle and then how you can use it to push it out to the masses and grow massively.
An angle is something that makes you different, it’s something someone can relate to and will capture your audience’s attention.
An angle can be broken down in to a few areas.
- Your lifestyle
- Your POV
- Your successes
- Your past
Your lifestyle is one that can be appropriate to any musician as we all have different lifestyles but does yours make you stand out?
Your style could be a stay at home Dad, or it could be a multi-millionaire, whatever it is, if it gives you something to tell a story about, then people will follow that journey.
For example, current UK number 1 is Lewis Capaldi and his lifestyle is living at home with his parents, lazying around.
He uses this angle to capture an audience because it’s relatable to so many so has made him become memes, viral content and increase his following on Instagram by over 600k in less than 6 months, currently at 1 mil.
To tell if this angle would be fitting for you, reflect on what you do in your day to day life and see how you could portray this to your audience.
This one is fitting for those who have strong opinions and want to get it out to the world.
Your point of view can add another layer to your music and build relationships with people who have similar views.
For example, Matty Healy from The 1975 has made it very clear that he believes the meaning of masculinity should change as he feels the stereotypes of a man shouldn’t be what they are. He’s open about his emotions and this has become a large part of the band’s successful career via the songs and their content.
So think about your POV’s and whether you want to put them out there to the world.
This isn’t going to be fitting for everyone but for those that have had previous successes they can use this as their angle.
Think about who you’ve supported in the past, what producers you’ve worked with, any major media you’ve featured in as this will make you stand out and have credibility.
For example, we worked with a band called dutchkid who were supported by fellow indie electro band Fickle Friends who tweeted about the guys. We used this to pitch to the media and secured coverage in the likes of Flavour Mag and Indie Shuffle, national radio play, placement on 2 Spotify Editorial placements and sync deals with Liberty London, Nissan, The Body Shop and Clarks; and recently, the guys have been signed to record label Ultra Music.
This is proof that using previous successes and recognisable names gives you that edge and credibility, which the media favours and eventually will lead to growth in fans.
The final angle you can look at is your past. This one is very relevant to a lot of people that have had difficult pasts because it tells your story.
For example, Jay Zs early career was all based on his upbringing and his days as a drug dealer.
This showed his vulnerability and gave his audience a better understanding of him, his history and his current situation.
Your fans want that, and it works for so many musicians.
I know most of you think but it should all be about the music and of course, the music is the main seller and nothing matters without the music but having an angle, telling a story is where you’ll find yourself succeeding against many others.
Now you’ve got your angle, now what? Well you can use your angle for 3 main things….
PR, Social Media & Sales
To secure press and radio support, you need to get the tastemakers to open your emails and the best way to capture their attention is through an angle.
As I mentioned early, we used an angle of previous success with dutchkid and the results were fantastic, and you can do the same.
Use your angle in the subject bar of the email, in the first line of your pitch and throughout the press release to prove you don’t just make good songs but you’ve got a story to tell. So for example, if you are a situation where you found some success through a support slot, you could include the name of the band you supported in the first few lines of the subject, and if someone sees that and knows the name, they will be curious because they are familiar, sparking curiosity.
Social media is currently the best way to engage with your fans but also reach potential fans and having this angle will mean growing your following and engagement extremely fast.
Across all of your socials you need to have an ongoing theme and this theme will be fitting with your angle.
For example, if you angle is your POV, you can use this to create short videos of you discussing this or perhaps upload quotes of your thoughts. If you have this ongoing theme, your audience know what they’re signing up for and can engage further with you.
We mentioned earlier Lewis Capaldi and that’s a perfect example as his angle of his simple, funny lifestyle is reflected on his social media, which has led him to being number 1 for 7 weeks now.
Now you’ve got your angle and secured press and a social media following using it, you can actually look at monetizing that attention.
You can of course do this via the music because if people are engaging with you via socials and interacting with each post, by the time you release music, they’ll also engage with that meaning you can collect money from streams.
However, the best way to secure an income from this attention is via live events and merchandise.
For live events, your angle needs to be represented in how you’re performing so it all fits together as one and people feel part of your fan community. For example, in 2017 Stormzy did pop up shows across London and made sure to play in his hometown Croydon in South London. His angle is his past about how he grew up in Croydon and was part of the UK underground scene and now people feel they know him and his story.
Live events are one of the biggest income streams for an artist, with estimates that live music industry will be worth 31$ billion worldwide in 2022.
The other income stream is merch and this one is HUGE, proven by the fact that Warner just spent $180mil on a merchandising company.
Use your angle to create merch because it makes people feel part of a community and brings in big money.
For example, Lewis Capaldi has toilet roll as merch which is sold as ‘Lew Roll’ because his social media content has a lot of toilet humour and he never takes himself too seriously. This sort of merchandise isn’t just putting an artist name on a tshirt, it shows you’re more than just a musician, you have a community and that’s what fans want, they want to feel involved.
that’s how artists can find their angle, use it to capture the attention of the industry and fans, and then monazite that attention, creating an income stream for you that many other musicians are missing.