Music Production and Promotion Tips

Becoming Famous On Youtube – A Route to Musical Success

Posted on | October 5, 2012 | No Comments

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 4 or 5 years, you’ll probably know that Youtube is pretty huge! It is owned by Google now (they’re a pretty big company too) and as well as being the largest video hosting and sharing site on the internet, it is also one of the largest search engines out there, and is a great way for people to discover new things and new people, whether its product reviews, movie trailers or in the case that will interest Zedara readers the most, musicians.

Now before I talk about the ways you can achieve fame on Youtube, I’d like to qualify the article a bit by saying that I will always suggest using Youtube to promote your music, whether you’re trying to become an international rockstar or whether you just want a few followers of your obscure electronica. The idea of putting music out there to share with fans can be a far cry from going for out and out fame, and I’d never suggest going into music purely to get famous, that’s where we end up with all the awful manufactured pop I’m sick to death of. That said, we all want our slice of recognition, and it fame is a side effect of being awesome then I don’t see a problem with that (I don’t see Paul McCartney complaining).

So, what are the rules to becoming really effing famous on Youtube?

Rule # 1 – Be Awesome. If it ain’t awesome, don’t publish it. Made a crappy video on your eight year old camera phone? Don’t present yourself like that, you deserve better, get yourself recorded if not professionally then at least respectably, if you go the DIY route put all the effort you can into getting as good as you can before just throwing any old rubbish out there. If you can’t play a song well yet, don’t put it out there, hold off until it is brilliant.

Rule # 2 – Be Unique. There’s a million angsty teenage bands wanting to sound like Green Day out there, and that’s fine, but don’t make the same old cover versions and think you’re going to get famous. What are some of the best viral videos out there? Unusual cover versions, incredible methods of playing music, new interpretations on old songs and shear, unbelievable talent. Any Gotye cover versions spring to mind? Check it out.

Rule # 3 – Be Novel. I wouldn’t necessarily advise this to every musician trying to promote on Youtube, but novelty can get you a long way when it comes to getting people to share your music. Examples are probably springing to mind already, the most famous of all being the kings of the viral music video, OK Go, whose infamous Treadmill video projected them from underground indie band to almost household names in the space of days.

Rule #4 – Use all the resources you have to spread the word. It isn’t enough to simply put a video online and expect a million views, unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that, so even having worked hard to make your video awesome, your work isn’t over, and getting the first few hundred or even thousand views might take a lot of hustling. Blog, Tweet and be social in order to try and project your video.

Rule #5 – Manage your Youtube Channel Properly. Got a band page? Well make it look like one! Get a proper band name on there, branded videos and try and make it look as professional as you possibly can. It isn’t all about looks, though, it’s about subscribers, encourage people to subscribe and develop a following so that the next time you publish a video you will have a platform. Unfortunately it’s probably not going to happen overnight for you, and your channel will allow you to gradually build up a following, who may one day make you look like an overnight success.

Rule #6 – Tag and¬†categorize¬†your videos properly. This is really important to appear in the results of people’s searches and in the related video sections, tag yourself with the things that describe you best (NOT the artists you wish you were).

Rule #7 – Direct your viewers somewhere. It is all very well having an awesome video with a load of hits, but you have to then send this traffic somewhere constructive. Ideally, this will be your own website, which again will look as pro as you can make it, and will have information on how people can subscribe to you, follow you and contact you. If you’re looking for fame, it is no use being invisible!

So what do you guys think? Are there any other ways you have used to leverage Youtube and get one step closer to fame? Leave us a comment or drop me an email.


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