There are plenty of ways that you can promote yourself and your music on the internet, such as on social websites like Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, etc., but there is also another great way: forums. Some may still refer to it as a message board, others (like myself) will call it a community. Unfortunately, because of social websites, forums have taken a nosedive over the past few years because everyone is much more comfortable posting on social media. The good news is that there are still forums around that you can be a part of, and promote yourself.
Finding a Forum
The first step is to find a forum that you want to participate in. There’s some that are technical like Gearslutz, and the Native Instruments’ Maschine area, but there’s also IllMuzik and of course, myFlashStore.
There are some others out there, but you must be careful in choosing which ones you want to get involved in. Some are not managed properly (moderated), and others are not even worth signing up to because they’ve been abandoned.
1. Your Signature
Using your signature as a way to promote your music is one of the easiest ways. It’s a simple concept: you create a signature with a few links to your websites and beats, and maybe even a quick biography about yourself. Then what you do is regularly post on that forum, which will result in everyone seeing your signature each time you post. The more people see your posts, the more often they will see your signature – and your information.
2. Get Involved In Conversations
I’ve seen it first hand where there’s members logged into a forum, especially newbies, and they’re afraid to post. It’s understandable because they’re new and they’re not sure how the current members will reply to their posts, and whether it’s worth posting or not. So most of them kick back and just read others’ posts.
The problem is that if you don’t post, nobody will know you, thus they won’t see your signature and your information. It’s kind of like when you go to a new school, or a new workplace, you don’t know who’s who and what to do, but there are times when you have to just dive in and start posting.
3. Post Regularly
Once you start posting, you have to keep doing so regularly. I have seen plenty of members post for a while and then disappear for a few weeks, months, and even years! I understand that some people have different things going on in their lives, but if you want to promote your music, you have to work hard at it, and posting in a music production forum is one of those things that you just have to do.
Posting regularly will not only make everyone else notice you, but it will give you the chance to get to know them as well, which you can then start to network with them.
4. Promote Yourself
The key to promoting yourself on a forum is to never, ever spam. I know you’re thinking that it’s hard to promote without coming across as “spammy”, but it’s actually not that hard. The key is to follow what I’ve mentioned already:
Get involved in the community and its posts.
Have information and links in your signature.
What happens to most people is they become very impatient and don’t like the fact that it takes time. When you start posting on a forum, it doesn’t mean that everyone will notice you right away and then go to your website. It may take a while to get people to visit your websites and listen to your music, but it will happen – in time.
There are some forums that have strict guidelines against posting spam. On my forum, for example, I don’t allow spam posts, but I do have “The Promo Spot”, where you can post a topic about your music, for example, and promote it. So you can post something like:
“Check out my Hip Hop beats on my website, here’s a link to my website and more information about me and my music.”
What you have to realize is that when you post something like that, it’s not just for that forum’s members to see, but for every guest that visits, and that includes search engines like Google. This means that if you post a key phrase such as “Hip Hop beats”, then the search engines will pick up on that. So if someone is searching Google for “hip hop beats”, your post on some forum might show up!
5. Promote the Forum
This all comes down to one thing: community. The reason why I refer to forums as “communities” is because if more people treated them as communities then it would help everyone in the long run. If you post on forum X, but you also post on forum Y, then you can help both of those forums out by giving some positive feedback about each forum, on each forum.
For example, you can go to forum X and someone might be asking about how to properly apply a reverb effect to their mix, and you saw a tutorial on forum Y about it, then let that person know on forum X. Nobody is competing with each other, and in fact if all the forums and websites were to link to each other, it would be like a giant music production network! Wouldn’t that be something?
By cross-promoting, you will be sending traffic to each forum, which means that more people will sign up to each forum, which also means that more people will now see you, your posts, your information, your music, which all comes down to one thing: networking. You will now have more and more people to network with, and to promote yourself. And the world keeps on spinning.
Don’t be afraid to sign up to various forums in order to promote yourself. You don’t have to be blatant with your promotion techniques, because then you will be known as a spammer, and that’s not a good thing. Get involved, post regularly, and work hard to get to know other forum members, which will all result in you networking and getting your music heard.