By Carlos Castillo
A lot of music biz teachers will tell you that you should commit time to releasing cover songs on YouTube because you’ll get all kinds of organic growth and attention.
This is a proven strategy that has been working for several years. But, especially now that so many musicians are applying it, I’m not sure it’s all that it’s cracked up to be anymore. And it’s not as simple as picking songs you like and recording your own versions.
It’s true that YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine. Which means that if you post songs that people are ALREADY looking for, you can show up in those searches. So your Lady Gaga covers might get some traction. But your Journey covers probably won’t.
In order to REALLY make that strategy work, what you have to do is cover POPULAR songs as soon as they are released. I’m talking the DAY they are released or within a few days at most.
Remember when Adelle released “Hello” and everybody and their cousin covered it on YouTube?
The problem there is that you put yourself in a situation with a LOT of competition…
…AND you’re playing someone else’s songs.
So if your goal is to build an audience for your ORIGINAL music, before you put any more time into YouTube covers you should try something different.
Just trust me…
And follow my instructions exactly for a 7-day Facebook Live challenge.
Here are the rules:
Each day go on Facebook Live and play one of YOUR songs.
Don’t do it from your fan page. Do it from your personal profile. More people will see it that way.
Before you hit “Go Live” add a link to your squeeze page in the video description.
Mention 3 different calls-to-action during the broadcast:
1: “Please turn on my live notifications.”
2: “Please share this video or invite people to join.”
3: “Please subscribe to my email list.”
I promise that if you do that for 7 days in a row, you will not only get MORE subscribers and engagement out of it than your last attempt at a YouTube cover, you’ll do it playing your own songs.
For extra credit try it out on other platforms where you can broadcast live like: Periscope, Twitter, Instagram, & YouTube.
Not only will it help you identify which social media platforms are the most responsive for YOUR original music, you can also repurpose the videos as blog posts for your own website and put them into rotation as content that sends traffic there!
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Carlos Castillo is a Musicpreneur, Artist Business Developer, International Road-Tripper, Lap Steel Player, and Captain of the Schwilly Family Musicians. Find him at Schwilly Family Musicians, or on Twitter at @CaptainSchwilly