Making a living as a recording artist can be a tough way to earn a buck. The dream of playing for millions of fans will always be just that if you do not take proactive steps in finding and keeping an audience. Today YouTube is one of the best places to turn to build a quick following. But before you take to the popular video sharing service, keep in mind that the same rules of marketing still apply. In other words, you can't just throw your video up on the site and expect great things to happen overnight. If you are considering this step, you need to start with your content and keep the following five considerations in mind.
Production values matter. You've got a good band, clever lyrics, and Internet moxie. So this should come easy for you, right? Think again. Your song may only last 3 to 5 minutes, but the work that goes in to a proper take could last longer and cost more. Make sure that you are filming with a quality piece of equipment. Shoot for high definition quality if possible. This is your chance to be seen by millions of potential users and build a following that will fill your live shows to capacity. Give your audience a reason to attend by putting forward the best possible representation of yourself. Make the finished product flawless, easy to hear, and pleasing to the eyes.
YouTube is a gateway. In other words, it is not the only place online or in the brick and mortar world where you must turn if you plan on making your music into a career. YouTube is perhaps the best place to get started, but if you don't have your own website, you're going to have a tough time reaching sales goals in the digital world. Allow your customers to find you where it is most convenient. That means getting listed on Amazon and the iTunes Store. It also means building a relationship with your fans.
Technical knowledge is a must. In particular, you want to name your music to be easy to find on YouTube. That means having some knowledge of keywords and social media to make sure that your song shows up in the YouTube search results, and that your Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace friends know where to find you.
Viral marketing works. And it doesn't have to be confined to the online world, though more and more, virtual and tangible worlds are intermingled. Get out into your community and let people know about upcoming shows. Harness the power of your friends, their friends, and their friends' friends.
Once you have a product you believe in, YouTube and the power of the web is a great way to turn your dream into a reality.