As musicians, we're always looking for new ways to grow and expand our audience. That's why we decided to create this list of 21 things musicians must do in 2021 to help elevate their careers.
We focused mostly on easy to accomplish tips that can make an impact.
And as always, let us know your thoughts in the comments and share this article with other musicians.
Table of content:
It's always important to step up your game as a musician. But sometimes we are so focused on certain things we miss out on other potential growth routes. From our experience at MySphera working with thousands of musicians up to date, there are so many simple things musicians don't do despite the positive potential they might have. That’s why we decided to create this list of 21 things musicians must do in 2021. This captures the title instead of a variation of it.
We know how challenging was 2020, but it's exactly why you should step up your game in 2021.
Three things you should keep in mind while reading this list:
Some things are as simple as two clicks while the others could be challenging.
We believe the points below are essential to your help you grow. But always remember, there are no magic solutions, and crossing off 21 pointers will not transform you into a star overnight (Although they'll push you in the right direction).
There are always more things to do!
So here are the 21 things musicians must do in 2021:
1. Make sure you have social links in all your social profiles!
Too many musicians still have no links on their different platforms. Think of this scenario; Someone comes across your music on Spotify. He loves what he hears, follows you on the platform, saves a few of your tracks, and even adds your music to his playlists. Why not have him follow you on socials as well? Spotify is limited to your bio, music, merch, and gigs and there is much more than that on your other profiles.
Remember, your profiles are windows to your artist persona and are exactly the place to transform your followers into engaged fans.
Where should I do this: Spotify, Deezer, YouTube, and every other streaming platform where you can add links.
Need help with that? Here's Spinnup guide to updating your links on Deezer For Spotify: i. Log in to Spotify for Artists (we'll talk about this soon) ii. Go to Profile iii. To add or edit social media links, go to ABOUT. Under More Info, click the pencil icon.
2. Use smart links on your social platforms!
Smart links are the way to transform a single link in bio into a complete experience. Using smart links you can send your followers to multiple links and get another level of data doing so. For example, link to your latest video, newly single, upcoming merch, etc. In terms of analytics, services like Feature.fm ,LANDR, Linkfire and Soundiiz provide some great insights. LANDR offers a full suite of tools for musicians (You will see them make an appearance in other items on the list as well). It only makes sense that alongside digital distribution LANDR will offer a smart links tool. Soundiiz lets you know the total number of Views for a Smart link & the total number of Clicks for a Smart link. Feature fm allows you to completely customize your smart link and create a better experience for your fans - as shown in this blog post. When it comes to analytics, Linkfire provides the most robust option; Connecting Google Analytics to your Linkfire Links - doing this you can get loads of information about your most engaged fans - from demographics to session durations.
The Linkfire team shared some great advice about how to maximize the value of their products:
"It's worth mentioning that Linkfire includes bio links and we highly recommend artists using them because they bring together your releases, merch, SoMe profiles, and tours in one customizable and highly scrollable microsite. Plus, if artists are interested in capturing emails and followers we recommend using our reward link. They’re a highly effective way to deepen fan loyalty and drive conversions. What is valuable for every musician, no matter the size is streaming insights. We have exclusive data partnerships with YouTube and Apple. As well as with Deezer, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Boomplay and Anghami."
3. Claim your Knowledge base on Google!
What's Googles' knowledge panel?
"A knowledge panel is an automatically generated information box that appears on Google when you search for entities (people, organizations, places, and things). It is a quick information snapshot on a topic based on what Google finds across the web. It normally appears at the top right of search results on your PC browser, or the top on phone browsers. Knowledge panels for artists generally display the artist name, genre, releases (albums and singles), and record label affiliations. Additional information found on knowledge panels can include artist images, website and social media links, bio snippets, and even tour information. The more information Google can find on the artist, the richer the knowledge panel is likely to be." Taken from a Music GateWay blogpost Google automatically generates knowledge panels for different types of entities. So, you will need to claim your panel.
How do you claim your knowledge panel?
1. search your artist name on Google. 2. On the right you will see your knowledge panel (reference in the image above). 3. Scroll down and click Claim this knowledge panel.
For more information check the official Google resource
4. Claim your artist profiles on all streaming services!
"Getting verified and updating your artist profile on Spotify, Apple Music & other stores is an essential part of legitimizing your online presence as a musician." Ditto Music
Yep, it's as simple as that. Verifying your profile will help build trust among listeners!
Don't sleep on this one. It's pretty straightforward and extremely valuable.
Besides that, many streaming services provide analytics solutions on their "for artists" platform. Analytics is key.
5. Create an Artist Picks playlist!
Like many other things on our list, this one is related to claiming your artists' profiles. So if you have scrolled down rapidly to find an easy to accomplish tip/task/idea scroll up and... CLAIM YOUR ARTIST PROFILES ;) Now that you have all your profiles in check it's time to take them to the next level. Spotify allows musicians to highlight artists, playlists, or songs that they love.
"Choose something you love — a track, album, or playlist — and add a short message about why you love it. Picks live at the top of your artist page for two weeks and can be changed or updated whenever you want."
Why do we think having your artists' picks is important?
It helps to give your music context. Display your music inspirations, influences, and all the sounds that shaped you as an artist.
Unlock other musicians' audience on Spotify Search.
Great way to build connections with other musicians you feature.
How to create your Artist Picks?
Here's a great video from the Spotify For Artists team :)
6. Submit to editorial playlists on major streaming platforms!
Editorial playlists have a huge impact on your streaming numbers. These playlists are curated by special teams on many streaming platforms and aim to connect relevant sounds to avid music lovers. Here's what the team at BandLab had to say about Spotify editorial playlists:
One example of such a playlist is Low-key Weekend, which has over 70,000 followers. Singer-songwriter Rhyms’ song, ‘For Tonight’, was added onto the playlist in October 2018 and is now on its way to almost 2 million streams.
Yep, Editorial playlists can help you boost your presence, streams and followers count so be sure to submit your music whenever you have a chance.
So how do you submit your music to editorial playlists on different platforms?
Amazon: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: Artist name, track title, release date, distributor, label (if any), genre(s), and a listening link (No attachments). ** Amazon Music does not currently ingest releases without distribution.
Spotify: Once your single has been delivered to Spotify (and you've claimed your Spotify For Artist page) and landed in the "unreleased" section in your Spotify for Artists page. i. Go to Profile, right-click any unreleased music, and select Submit a Song. ii. Choose a song from the release to submit. iii. Fill out as much info about the song as possible. The more info you put, the better chance it has! ** 2+ WEEKS before YOUR RELEASE DATE SUBMIT YOUR MUSIC TO DISTRIBUTION BECAUSE YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR SINGLE FOR PLAYLIST CONSIDERATION AT LEAST 7 DAYS BEFORE YOUR RELEASE DATE.
Deezer: You can use this form to submit music to Deezer editors. Unlike Spotify, there is lacking documentation on best practices. But still... It's always good to try things out.
** For a full pre-release schedule check out our infographic for the perfect pre-release
7. Make sure your music is available on every streaming platform!
Music consumption habits are constantly changing. At the moment listeners are scattered between major streaming platforms, youtube, TikTok, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and many others.
Not having your music available on a certain platform is like shutting the door on potential fans. Especially with the rise of TikTok and Triller.