This is the third installment in a series of posts about TikTok’s best tips for indie musicians. There’s so much helpful content for musicians on TikTok, and this series is me sharing the best content I’ve come across. I’ve already covered music production and songwriting, so this post has some of the best music career tips I’ve seen on TikTok. This includes marketing tips, advice for growing your fanbase, and how to release music.
How To Use TikTok To Grow Your Fanbase
Authenticity is how you succeed on TikTok. Whether it’s how the app is designed or that’s just the vibe TikTok has put off, it’s the social media app that begs for realness. According to this TikTokker, he’s seen about 300 indie musicians (as of May 28, 2022) gain traction on TikTok for two main reasons: authenticity and conversion. First, post authentic content that shows your personality and that you enjoy shooting, Second, turn TikTok engagers into actual fans, like people who stream your music, subscribe to your email list, or join your Discord. How do you convert TikTok engagers to fans? Here’s a start.
Listen and You Will Learn More
Reply to @whyuh8 a good way to sound smart is to listen
There are a lot of things you don’t know. There are a lot of things I don’t know. And I don’t know the things I don’t know. So the best course of action, if I want to continually get better as a songwriter, producer, and independent musician, is to listen. Listen to people who know more than you and you will learn.
Promote Your Old Music
Millions of people have never heard your music. Just because a song came out last year, doesn’t mean its momentum is dead. Your old music is new music to new listeners. And once someone finds your old music and likes it, they’ll listen to your new music. So keep promoting your older songs.
It Doesn’t Matter How Many TikTok Followers You Have
TikTok helps creators reach new people because of the way its algorithm works. Other social media platforms primarily show your content only to your followers while TikTok shows your content to your followers and to people who don’t follow you (although other platforms are changing their newsfeeds to mimic TikTok). That’s why videos go viral, because it’s not limited to only that creator’s followers. This is why TikTok can be so good for indie musicians.
Albums vs. Singles: Which Are Better?
If you are trying to turn your music into a career, you may want to consider releasing singles before dropping an album. Use the traction from those singles to grow your fanbase. Then, once you have a group of fans that will listen to an entire album from you, release an album.
Don’t Rely On Playlists
The fellas from the NDPNDNT podcast say that building a catalog of great music is more important than relying on Spotify playlists. Playlists can definitely be good for indie musicians, but the more important focus is improving your craft.
Forget Blog Features and Social Media Ads
This TikTokker asks a couple simple questions and proves his point. When was the last time you discovered an artist from a blog feature? When was the last time you discovered an artist from a social media ad? For me, the main ways I discover indie artists is on TikTok, Spotify playlists, and word-of-mouth
Age Doesn’t Matter in the Music Industry
Just because you’re 21 years old and you haven’t blown up yet doesn’t mean you’ll never have a career in music. Tons of artists have turned music into a career in their 20s, 30, and even 40s. Heck, I’m in my 30s and I’ve never been closer to doing music full-time.