The Indie Musicians Guide To Spotify: Part One

by | Artist Support

Mastering Spotify is crucial if you want to build a vibrant fanbase. Spotify is the predominant streaming service with 140 Million users in 60 countries.

But first:

Ariel Hyatt,  specialist in PR and marketing for bands and musicians, is by this time something of a legend in the world of independent music. At a young age she decided to devote herself to promoting the indie bands that she loved: this was around the time of the internet getting out of diapers, and she saw what the internet was going to mean to bands – so she started her New York-based online PR firm, CyberPR. Since then she has spoken at countless events, written three books on the subject, she comes recommended from many impressive people, among them CDBaby founder Derek Sivers and online marketing guru Seth Godin. In short, she sure as hell knows what she’s talking about.

We’re incredibly proud to have Ariel Hyatt guest posting on indieBerlin, and without further ado I give you the first of the Ariel Hyatt guest posts, The Indie Musician’s Guide To Spotify (In Two Parts).

Mastering Spotify is crucial if you want to build a vibrant fanbase. Spotify is the predominant streaming service with 140 Million users in 60 countries (according to Expanded Ramblings).

Every artist wants to be on a Spotify playlist. Unsurprisingly, greater amount of plays comes as a result from being included on a playlist (or to many). However, you must understand how the Spotify ecosystem works. It’s up to you to optimize your profile.

Let’s Start with your Spotify Artist Foundation.

The first step is you need to get access from “Spotify For Artists”. Once you sign up there, Spotify will then confirm who you are and grant you access. Then you’ll be ready to go!

(I assume that you are already ON Spotify yes?)

If not: To Get Your Music on Spotify: Spotify does not do direct deals with artists, so you will need to make sure your distributor has enrolled you in distribution to Spotify. Here is the list of distributors who you can work with:

*If you’re using DistroKid as your music distributor, you have instant access to Spotify for Artists when you request access through DistroKid.

This is straight from the Spotify FAQs – because they explain it best…

What is Verification?

When you get access to Spotify for Artists, you’re automatically verified on Spotify and your profile gets a blue verification check mark!

Verification allows you to claim your artist page by merging it with your Spotify account. Once verified, you’ll get

  • A blue checkmark to your artist page
  • The ability to add your photo
  • You can upload your bio
  • The ability to create & post artist playlists
  • The ability to brand playlists with images & descriptions
  • Select an ARTIST PICK – this is any track you want to feature to the top of your profile – yours or another artist you collaborate with

You Can Now Update Your Spotify Bio (And You Should Do So Often!)

From Spotify: You can write a bio, save it to your profile, and update it anytime you want. With 1500 characters to share with your fans, you can update this to whatever makes sense for you—whether that’s sharing your story as an artist or the inspiration behind your latest release.

Your bio can include links to any artists, songs, albums, or playlists on Spotify. And you can throw in a link to your Wikipedia page for fans who want to dig deeper.

When you have a new single, a tour or a news item you should update this bio as often as possible.

Gain Spotify followers with CyberPR

Here Are 5 Ways You Can Grow Your Followers on Spotify

1. Ask Specifically for Spotify Followers on Your Socials

Your Spotify account should be connected to any and all social media accounts that you run. This includes, but isn’t limited to, all of the following:

  • Post on Facebook (and BOOST!) If you use your personal profile for your music DM people and ask
  • Create a post for Instagram and change your bio link to Spotify for a few days and message individually and share
  • Make a graphic for Twitter asking to follow you- also use DM
  • Post a short ask on your blog or Tumblr (if you have one)

2. Send A Dedicated Spotify Email Newsletter

Email your mailing list and make “come follow me on Spotify your Call To Action. If you are unsure about how to structure your email for this follow my handy newsletter email guide.

This is also a good time to send personal emails to friends and family who are not on your newsletter. It may be time consuming, but it’s a great way to get people onto your newsletter who you may not have asked already. Plus, this is such a simple ask and it only takes 7 seconds for your friends to do.

TIP: May of your non music friends probably don’t even understand the VALUE for YOU when they follow you – so explain it to them!

 3. Create Video Call To Actions – Do It Like ONE DIRECTION!

Include a CTA on your videos asking people to come stream your music on Spotify. Click HERE for an example of One Direction creating a call to action for their album FOUR on Spotify. One Direction recorded a short video of their member Zayn asking fans to follow them on Spotify by clicking the link provided in the bio.

4. Include a Spotify follow button your website

I know you want to lead people straight to your iTunes store to buy the music but the truth is they probably won’t do this – WHY? Because they use use Spotify!

So, a Spotify follow button is also a good addition to your socials as many people will prefer to go stream your music

Spotify Follow Button

5. Share Collaborative Playlists

Create playlists with similar music as yours, so that when fans check them out they are more likely to follow you because you have a similar music vibe. By connecting yourself with other artists of your type, and pushing this out to the world, you can begin to create a fanbase that appreciates your taste in music.

  1. Click the ‘+ New Playlist’ button on the left hand side.
  2. Name the playlist – make sure it has a theme!
  3. Create unique artwork for your playlist. Like album or single artwork, an interesting graphic can really draw listeners to your playlist.
  4. Once the playlist is made and appears on the left hand side of your screen, right click the playlist and click ‘Collaborative Playlist’
  5. Start off the playlist by adding at least 5 songs to the playlist (make one of these songs your own!).
  6. Once again, right click the playlist name on the right hand side and click ‘Copy HTTP Link’ – this can be used to share your playlist on Twitter and your Facebook Page so you can invite your friends and fans directly to the playlist.

Click HERE to see an example of a playlist, pop artist, Lauv created called “Lauv Loves” – a collection of his favorite songs. The artwork is simple. It’s just a piece of crumpled paper with his handwriting. Lauv was featured on the Spotify “Pop Rising” playlist in June 2017 and this playlist is another way for his audience to feel more connected to him and his music taste.

Spotify wrote a fantastic blog post that talks about how to research original ideas for playlists and how to promote your playlists to others.

Ultimately, these are just a few tips to help your fan-base grow. If you do all of these things you could see results. If all this heavy lifting still isn’t your thing and you are left confused, CYBER PR can help you increase your following by implementing these strategies for you. Click here to set up a call to discuss how CyberPR can grow your followers inside of Spotify.

This is a guest post from Ariel Hyatt, founder and president of CyberPR, the successful online PR agency in New York. They specialise in running laser-focused, hard-hitting online PR campaigns for independent bands and musicians. Cyber PR makes a radical departure from the traditional PR approach, because the process is transparent. She created software that allows clients to monitor the progress and success of their own campaign. This takes the smoke and mirrors aspect away from the process and holds her agency accountable.



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