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Helping Musicians Get Started On Youtube
If you already record your own videos, congrats. You’re off to a good start. If you’re nervous about doing videos, you need to get over it. Fast. YouTube is the second largest search engine on the web (behind Google) and posted videos carry a great deal of weight in search engine rankings. This means that the more quality videos you post, the better your chances of being found online. And as a musician, this is a great tactic to have new fans hear your material. Here are some tips on getting started on YouTube.
It’s not difficult for a musician to become a YouTuber. Video cameras are very affordable these days, and many people just use their iPhones. Buy a tiny tripod or find a way to prop it up, and record your stuff. Free video editing software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker can provide you with basic features so you can include an intro slide (with your artist name, song title, etc) and an exit slide (with your website and download info). YouTube even has built in effects and tools these days. Don’t try to get too cute or fancy though. Less is more when it comes to video transitions and add-ons. Instead, let the viewer focus on your material and your talent. If you do want to get a little creative, there’s always software like Final Cut and Adobe Premier Elements to help enhance the video and make it look a bit more professional. But those take a little time to learn and master.
Take some time to browse around in YouTube in the genre of music that fits you most closely. Are you a rapper? Are you a rocker? Play soft acoustic? Watch videos, read comments and keep clicking on the suggested videos. Learn what fans get most excited about. For rap, you might found out that cypher battles are very hot right now. Record one with a friend. Acoustic fans might love covers that were converted from hip hop songs. Practice, practice, practice and put one together for a popular song on the radio right now. These types of techniques will lead to more traffic coming to your site from potential fans who are interested in those types of styles.
Complete the Information Fields
Headlines, descriptions and tags are very important. This not only helps people learn who you are, but it’s also how people find you within YouTube and Google. Don’t be silly or vague with your video file names like, “Awesome rock song.” Instead, be specific and thorough. “[Artist Name] Performing Acoustic Rock Version of ‘Started from the Bottom.’” Then in the description, take time to include a more complete explanation:
[Artist name] doing a live acoustic cover of Drake’s “Started from the Bottom” from his third studio album Nothing Was the Same. This is in preparation of [Artist’s] upcoming EP “XXZ.” Find more covers and original material at [artist’s website’s], where you can also download the mp3 of this song. Feel free to contact me on Twitter @XYZ.
Always include your website and social channels at the end of your description. You want people to be able to find you as easily as possible. Furthermore, if it’s an original song, include the link for fans to download it. In the tags section, include all relevant keywords. Acoustic. Rock. Nothing Was the Same. Drake. Singer. Songwriter. Upstate NY. Etc. These tags help users find your video as they are navigating through YouTube.
YouTube is a great way to showcase yourself and your music. Record often and be proud of your work. Finally, don’t forget to share those videos on your Facebook and Twitter channels. Who knows, you might be the next YouTube sensation. If not, it still will help you practice your stuff and get in front on a lot of new fans. Good luck and happy YouTube’ing!
About the Author
Thomas J. Armitage is a marketing communications professional from Central NY. A music fanatic, he reviews songs/albums and follows industry news in a variety of genres. He has a special interest in hardcore rap and modern punk. In addition to DJ’ing under the alias White Noyes, he manages a local hip hop artist and is a freelance blogger. Connect with him @thomasjarmitage or visit thomasjarmitage.com.
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