The most pressing problem that upcoming artistes face is getting the right publicity and recognition. The quest for building social media following Nigeria is not a new phenomenon as even top musicians and performers are always engaged in an ever present struggle for relevance and brand growth.
This has made it even tougher for upcoming artistes to break into the scene as there just isn’t enough space at the top. One would think that most new artistes are not making any impact as a result of a lack of talent and creativity; this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
There are lots of amazing performers in the underground scene that are putting out mind-blowing music, a majority of them do not have the right platforms and connection to get heard while a few of them are faced with a lack of good tools and working environment resulting in the production of what we always hear on the streets and through neighborhood speakers and what we can only describe as mediocre music.
This lack of a good foundation for growth has created situations where artistes have had to tweak their talents and sound in an attempt to mimic the trending style just to see if they can make it. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it is not a talent upon which a career can be built.
The question then remains, how then can these unfortunate artistes build up the necessary fan base for their music to help them in their growth? This has been made so much easier by the widespread social media trend.
New artistes can now introduce their sound to the world through their own little space. But just like everything else, abundance and availability results to overcrowding, and just about anyone can string up a few words together, jump on a beat and throw it out for people to listen.
As expected, the results of these are not so good. Therefore, if you want to build a large social media following, there are some key steps to keep in mind in order to differentiate you from the rest of the pack and ensure that your fan base keeps growing.
1. Establish a personality
Failing to establish a personality is a mistake that even top musicians make. However, you cannot afford to be that reckless at this early stage. Everyone body wants to listen to good music but even more? They want to be associated with a public figure.
Establishing a personality involves coming across as more of a person than a celebrity. Of course, this would not be an easy job but the road to fame is not a walk in the park.
This would mean replying to lots of comments on your social media pages, throwing in a few jokes once in a while just to tickle a few ribs and even standing up for a social justice cause to get your voice heard.
By doing this, you project a fun loving aura and that just serves as an icing on the cake when you present your fans with good music. This brings me to my next point.
2. Put out good music and nothing less
The definition of good music varies across geographical locations and age group, this makes it very easy to capture your target audience. You cannot afford to, create sub-par sound at this stage and expect people to like it.
Nobody wants to have to listen until the end before they can form an opinion. Good music would immediately throw out impressive vibes and capture the hearts of your listeners.
This might mean more time writing and editing your lyrics, more time with the producers and more takes in the studio but that all starts to pay off when the results starts to come in.
3. Diversity is key of course
There seem to be an unspoken rule that artistes must stay in their lanes. But a quick look at the top players in the music industry would debunk the validity of that rule. If you are a singer, you can mix things up a little by throwing in a few cleverly constructed rap bars as an intro or even a hook.
A rapper on the other hand can change things up by adding a little melody. Whatever, the case may be, avoid being boxed in to one category and who knows?, maybe your exploration will help you find your new selling point!
4. Never underestimate the power of consistency
None of the above points would matter if you only appear on social media once in a month. Even in the world of business, investors would tell you that you have to be hungry if you want it.
If you really want to take up music as a career then be prepared to spend all your time keeping up with social media. This means attending events, meeting up with performers backstage, posting snippets of your new songs before they are released and maybe just throwing in little updates about your daily life.
By providing exciting content consistently on your social media platforms, you slowly cultivate a habit of having to challenge yourself to create new sounds.
5. Start your own trend
A lot of successful musicians have their own slogans, their own dance or a particular style of dressing. This serves as a form of identity. The key here is not to impose it on your fans neither is it to start something so ridiculous that you can’t keep up.
The idea is to add a little spice that people will know you for and gain you more attention in the long run. This can involve, a catchy variation of a rhyme at the end of every video post, a monthly limerick post, a weekly riddle on your social media pages or just a regular throwback every once in a while.
As an upcoming artiste, it is always great to keep your head to the ground and study the industry. By putting in the work at the right time, you have a good opportunity of making it to the top. So take decisive and planned steps and put your music where your heart is.
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