For any independent hip hop artist, one of the most challenging aspects stems from using Spotify properly. Trying to get yourself heard and noticed on Spotify takes a lot of work, and frankly most people give up without a fight.

The major mistake people make is not having 100% rights to your publishing and master recording rights. If you do this, then you need to do a hell of a lot more work to make a good living with Spotify.

For independent musicians, though, such a problem is not going to get in your way. You own it all anyway, so you have total control over trying to build a successful platform with Spotify.

However, thanks to your lack of contacts and networking opportunity through a record deal, you need to be able to make up for that limitation by using Spotify intelligently.

Success, though, is still a unique challenge. To help you to get around such challenge, we recommend that you try and follow along with the following ideas. Each of these should help you to make a dent in your aim to be a better Spotify artist – and actually see long-term benefits.

Spotify Success Checklist: Getting Visible

  • The smartest thing that you could do at this point is to try and build a good bit of buzz about yourself. Spotify musicians without a record label doing all the pushing for them need to get involved with independent advertising when using Spotify.
  • Start off by making a Spotify for Artists account. Using tools like CDBaby, you can get your music up on Spotify and you can contact Spotify support for easy control and assistance with making your profile fully verified.
  • Verification is a small but important step to success, so get verified! CD Baby customers get this automatically, so it’s worth signing up with on that alone.
  • You also need to start making yourself more noticeable and, well, worth paying attention. You need to find a means of drawing attention to yourself; that’s hard to do, but takes work.
  • Start by appealing to all of your social media following and local following to follow and listen to your music on Spotify, helping to build a lasting appeal.
  • This means that you might need to do a bit of impromptu music education for dummies. Explain to friends, family and followers that you need to have a bigger following via streaming to succeed; it’s essential today.
  • Make sure that as many as possible follow you as this can help to boost your following and make you more interesting to the head honchos at Spotify.
  • Want to be more visible? Then check out our previous article on building a good Spotify playlist. Having your own playlist really does go some way to making sure that you stand out more from the crowd.
  • It helps you to show that you are musically minded, love other artists and want to help your followers discover more than yourself.

Spotify Success Checklist: Helping Out

So, you have used the above and got enough of a profile to be featured on user curated playlists and on a Spotify playlist. Well done! Now what?

Well, first off, tell the world. Tell them about this on social media. Encourage them to follow, listen to and share the playlist. Hey, they done you a big favour by introducing you to a new audience; the least that you can do is do the same for the curator and for the other artists in the playlist. Using that, you build a culture of gratitude that is sure to go down in a positive manner.

If you are serious about trying to make your streaming a success, then you can look to streaming promotion teams out there. Companies such as Streaming Promotions can do much of the legwork for you, letting you to concentrate on the things that you know best.

If someone does you the solid of trying to boost your profile on Spotify by sharing or featuring your music, then return the favour.

It would be foolish to not do so; you owe everyone who helps you to grow a little something in return!

Spotify Success Checklist: Digging Deeper

  • The next thing that you can do is to use the analytics that Spotify for Artists provides you with. This is literally a metric program that allows you to see just where you are going right – or wrong – on the platform.
  • You can use this information to help better learn about your demographic, how people are consuming your music – and for how long, on average – and also learn more about how to better promote yourself off Spotify.
  • Through social media and digital marketing, you can massively boost your visibility on Spotify. This means knowing your key audience, which the analytics found within Spotify actively tell you!
  • Using this is vital. It not only helps you to find out who your real audience is but also offers ready-made advice on how to contact and connect with this group in a way that you simply cannot beforehand.
  • Also, try and get out of the habit of releasing all of your music at once. We know that the idea of having an album release is a major thing, but it’s kind of dying out. People who use streaming want a few songs to enjoy; an EP of sorts.
  • So, instead of releasing a bit 12-track number, release 3-4 different 3-4-track EPs instead. This is much more likely to help get people alerted to your latest releases by Spotify’ automated alerts program, but it also helps to build a better buzz around your music.

Why let 7 tracks fester in nothingness when a playlist might only highlight your latest release?

Using the right approach of both analyzing who suits your music best based on listening details and when to release music, you can create a much more efficient funnel for success on Spotify.

It’s a hard road to walk on, but one that you can easily overcome with the right approach and by following the numerous ideas we’ve suggested throughout this article. Good luck with Spotify; it’s well worth the effort!

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.