Getting your music to rank on one of the Billboard charts can often be the big break that helps kick an artists career up to the next level, and if you have a single or new album headed for release, there are a few things your fans can do for you that are guaranteed to up your music's chances of charting.
Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog
Every week, the Billboard charts list what the most popular songs and albums in the U.S. are, with streams, sales, and radio play all affecting where a piece of music ranks on various tallies. Getting placed on one of them, if not several, just might be the big break you’re looking for.
If landing on a Billboard chart is a dream of yours and you have a new album, EP, or single coming out soon, we’ve come up with some surefire ways your fans can assist you in making that dream a reality.
Let’s get to work!
This is the most obvious way to make sure your song goes somewhere, but with that, you should also be adamantly telling your fan base to help you out! If you’ve done your job when it comes to promoting a new piece of music before it’s out, they should already be aware of the upcoming release, and they should, hypothetically, rush to press play on the tune the day it arrives. We all know that’s not exactly how these things work, but that’s the best you can do prior to the song or album’s drop.
Now, once the record or tune is finally released, don’t hit pause on the work you’ve already done. Keep promoting it. In fact, this is when you should be pushing people to stream it even more than you did in anticipation of the music’s release because now, they can actually hear it, as opposed to having to remember when it’s going to arrive.
If you have the budget to do so, start doing some cheap advertising on social media. Push the public to one of the major streaming platforms (or better yet, a website with links to all of them) and see how many plays you can rack up in a short period of time!
Albums don’t sell nearly as well as they used to, and the idea of buying a single on Amazon or iTunes seems like nothing more than a memory, but it’s not entirely gone. In fact, while people used to have to buy everything they wanted to listen to whenever they wanted—a business model that has been decimated by streaming—superfans will still shell out the money to make sure they are supporting the music and the musicians they love.
If you have people who love you and the art you create, ask them to buy your song or album. The Billboard charts weigh sales differently from streams, and even a few purchases can go a long way, especially when it comes to sales-specific lists.
If these fans are really dedicated, they could buy and stream your music, and if you’re comfortable reminding them of that fact, by all means, do so.
Stream It (With A Plan)
The average listener may come across your music on a playlist, or they may seek it out and stream one track or part of an album. That activity is certainly helpful, but there is so much more they can do that’ll benefit you, especially when it comes to first-week stream counts, which matter the most.
If you’re really dead-set on trying to make it onto a Billboard chart, tell your fans that they can help you by streaming your song over and over again or by making sure they listen to your full album. Repeats count to a certain point (there is a cutoff), but there’s nothing that says anybody actually has to be listening.
Ask your friends, family, and even your fan base to put your album on repeat on Spotify or Apple Music, turn the volume down, and go to bed. You’ll rack up streams, make some extra cash, and it won’t cost them a dime or require almost any effort. Sure, it doesn’t matter much if only one person does this, but if you can get a good group to participate, it might just be the thing you need to become a Billboard charting artist.
You may have a few die-hard followers who bring friends to your shows and who preach the gospel online, but if you want your fans to spread the word about the music you’re making, you have to ask them to do it! You can simply request they get some of their pals and followers to stream your latest creation when it arrives. If you want to, you can equip them with flyers and links that will help you out, creating a sort of new age street team.
If you’re serious about charting, you’ve got to do everything you can to make it onto those tallies!
While radio play might not dictate what the public is listening to like it used to (in fact, traditional radio now seems to be following trends created by streaming platforms, not setting them like the format once did), it still matters when it comes to charts, especially airplay-specific ones. Radio is notoriously tough to crack. It can be very expensive, but if you get your fans to call, email and reach out on social media to their local stations and ask them to include your new song into future rotations, you could see your name appear on a Billboard chart that focuses on radio airplay in a specific genre.
Securing a spot on the Billboard charts could catapult your career onto another level, and with some consistent work, it’s far from impossible. It’s always good to ask for help. Your fans will always want to see their favorite artist make it big and if they’re true fans, they’ll jump at the chance to help you reach the success you deserve.
Remember, nothing worth having comes easy, so get to work!