Hitting the publish button on SoundCloud always comes with a jolt of adrenaline. Will my song take off? Who’s going to listen to it? How can I get free SoundCloud plays?
Maybe you’re excited because you’ve heard about promotional companies offering ways to boost your visibility on SoundCloud—some might even offer free SoundCloud plays.
But are these companies offering free SoundCloud plays, added visibility and more fans really there to help you?
Or are you jumping into a viper’s pit that could hurt your music career in the long run?
There’s many legitimate ways to promote your music on SoundCloud.
But, there are some major red flags that should be running up the pole if someone is out there offering free sound plays, playlist placements and followers.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few things to look out for and explain why sketchy music marketing tactics are only hurting your career.
Plus, we’ll also look at a handful of promotional tips that are proven to work and which you can definitely do for little to no cost.
Why free SoundCloud plays are too good to be true
If someone is offering you a specific number of free SoundCloud plays, especially if they’re offered in exchange for an email, account signup, or something else—be careful.
Usually, these offers come with an upsell to get more SoundCloud plays for money.
You should never pay for plays on SoundCloud or any music streaming platform as a rule of thumb.
These activities can get you banned and even result in legal action in the case of paid streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music.
Paid or free streams are fraudulent and could get you banned.
Getting some free plays on SoundCloud from a service that offers plays for a price is no different and these streams are just as fraudulent.
How to promote your music on SoundCloud for free
There’s plenty of completely legitimate ways to get SoundCloud plays for free that’ll actually help you get fans and find more exposure.
Let’s look at three budget-friendly SoundCloud promotion tactics to help you get your new release off the ground.
1. Interact with the platform
SoundCloud is a music streaming service, but it’s just as much a social media platform.
In fact, it’s probably the social media platform that’s the most artist-friendly out there.
Plenty of break-out stars got their start on SoundCloud by making connections, new friends and new contacts in the industry.
So get out there and start following, commenting, reposting and making new connections of your own.
Start following, commenting, reposting and making new connections of your own.
Harnessing the power of SoundCloud’s social network it a proven way to get more plays on your music and yes it also happens to be free.
Of course, you only get what you put in, so post a lot of content and get your name out there.
Share remixes, demos, ideas and more—SoundCloud is such a great platform for getting feedback putting yourself out there.
2. Plug your SoundCloud page everywhere else
If your goal is to get more plays on your SoundCloud page, you should be pointing everyone in your network towards your SoundCloud.
Simple things like linking your SoundCloud in your Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter bio is a great way to create a focal point for your social media posts.
Every time you put a new track or remix up, heck, every time you repost someone’s music is an opportunity to tell your followers on other platforms to check out your SoundCloud.
Create a focal point for your social media posts.
It’s all about lining up your message and making it super easy for your followers to go check out your stuff!
3. Apply to legitimate playlists and repost groups
While you absolutely should not be paying for SoundCloud plays or playlist placements of any sort—there’s still plenty of reason to hit up curators, radio and other artists who are open to your music for reposts and playlists spots.
We’ve written about the pitfalls and benefits of playlisting your music, but in general, there are lots of playlist makers out there who are always looking for cool new music to feature.
I’ve always been a fan of radio-style curators like BIRP, Resident Advisor, NTS and local college radio stations as sources of interesting new music—so check out what playlists you like and submit your tracks!
You may also be interested in Repost Exchange—which connects creators with other artists who are interested in exchanging reposts on SoundCloud as a way of helping creators in similar niches help their fanbases find similar music.
Focus on your music and the fans will come
You can’t rush your career. It takes time to capture the imagination of a generation, so focus on the day-to-day.
Work on your tracks, make good music and share it with the world around you.
It takes time to capture the imagination of a generation.
Play shows for your local scene, meet new artists, network in-person and online and you’ll slowly grow your following.
There’s no one way to grow your following, and surely paying some sketchy click farm to get your tracks a couple more plays won’t actually get you anywhere.
Save your money—you’ll need it for that special piece of gear you need to make your next track shine.
Remember, when you’re ready to release it’s a good idea to get your music on all the streaming platforms beyond SoundCloud—especially the ones that pay streaming royalties.
LANDR Distribution is an excellent option for getting your music on Spotify, Apple Music and all the platforms that matter.
Alex Lavoie works as a staff writer at LANDR by day and moonlights as a drummer for folk-rock outfit The Painters.
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