I will say this once, and one time only, do NOT pay for fake followers, likes, listeners, streams, plays, or downloads. It is never a good look, TRUST me. When I first created an Instagram account, I started just like anyone - with a very low follower count. I said to myself, what can I do to get those numbers up and up fast? Nobody's gonna take an artist with 80 followers seriously. I came across several Instagram services that promised "instant followers" and allowed me to purchase a certain amount of followers for a fee, and of course the larger the follower count, the higher the fee. They assured me I would start seeing results within 24 hours of remitting payment. So I decided to give it a shot. As promised the follower count quickly skyrocketed. I was like aye, it's lit! But actually no, it was far from lit and far more embarrassing once the follower count dropped back down a few days later and I was right back to where I started. Turns out they were all "ghost accounts" (inactive accounts) or spam accounts created by bots. I was like those assholes fooled me and now everyone is gonna see that I paid for fake followers! But really I was the asshole thinking I could take the easy route and fool my fans. So I'll say it one last time, just don't do it!
You want to build your following? Here's how you can do so the right way:
Post Quality Content: get creative, try a few different things to see what's generating the highest engagement
- Once you have found what works for you - stick to it
- It will take some time to determine what's working, but you will get the hang of it.
- Post Frequently and Consistently: don't post 3-5 times a week and then go M.I.A. for a month
Engage: not only with fans that leave a message on your posts but also engage with your fans' posts.
- Take 5 minutes of your day to scroll through your Instagram feed and like and comment on posts that you see fit/appropriate
- Connect: continue to like and follow potential accounts that you are interested in as well as follow accounts that you feel would be interested in your music/content. The more you follow/like the more likely you are to see accounts follow back.
Now if you want to increase your listeners, again don't pay for streams! Here are a few things you can do:
Submit your songs to playlist curators: find playlists that match your style of music and has a large following/monthly listener count and send them a link to your song
- For Spotify you can submit your songs to a free website called Soundplate
- You can do the same tactic for other platforms such as SoundCloud for example: find out who's behind your favorite playlist and send them a link to your song via email (or direct message if applicable). Eventually someone will vibe to it and add to his /her playlist (even if it means a small fee - do it, it's worth it)
- Submit your songs to music editors with a short & brief press release about new releases or a particular song that has recently generated a lot of buzz
- Ask your fans to show love and share: Don't be afraid to DM some of your most loyal fans when a new track drops and ask them to take a listen and share
Reach out to music influencers you follow that fall under the same genre as your music and ask them to take a listen
- While the chance is a long shot, there's still a chance. Don't underestimate yourself.
So as you can see there are several ways to build your following the right way instead of paying to see "fake" results. To put into context: Ever come across a so-called "business" on Twitter that has 19k followers, but 0 retweets, likes, or comments? Would you trust that business? Definitely looks suspect, so chances are you probably won't. My point exactly. People will see right through it and it always comes back to bite you. But give some of these tips above a try and watch the organic results emerge.
What has worked or is currently working for you to build your fan base and following. Share or comment below.
Thanks for reading The Indie Hustle.