Trying to grow your fans? Good idea. Confused about where to begin as a musician on TikTok? Perfect. Take away from this what you will, and let me know if there’s anything interesting you think I may have missed.
Note: this has been written and directed towards musicians, but anyone else in the music industry can infer best practices from it.
Have you ever thought that TikTok was is too hard? That you can’t be stuffed? You’re not alone. I hear it all the time from managers. Phrases such as, “I can’t convince my musician to post on TikTok”.
Where do you go from here? Do you force it or outsource it? SoundSmith may be the answer you’ve been looking for. Let’s dive in shall we???
Let’s start at the beginning. You’ve made an amazing piece of art, and now you want more people to hear it and connect with it.
First of all, you either have to make sure the track you want to create a campaign for is properly distributed or if you want to use an unreleased track you must upload a video to TikTok with the sound you want to use. Note that the latter option will appear as ‘Original Audio — @username’ instead of the song’s name.
Don’t worry! You don’t have to do it.
I promise that you don’t have to dance at all.
Now you have a few options here, you can do all the rest on your lonesome (I’ve done this many times and believe me, it’s a hell of a drag) or you can use a tool like SoundSmith which is a creator marketplace designed for your safety and convenience. That being said, it’s time to create a SoundSmith account (free). In doing this you get access to all the influencers signed up (700+). You’re able to see a whole lot of data about their audience, engagement rate, and their fee to help your decision making.
It’s time to get browsing! There are tonnes of creators on SoundSmith with so many diverse skills that you don’t actually need to create just a dance campaign, but for simplicity let’s keep going down this rabbit hole.
To help you out, I recommend filtering by ‘dancer’. Now it’s your turn to choose which one is your favourite! Who has the best dance moves? Who uses music like yours? One important question I love asking is: “Can you imagine them dancing to your song?”. If you can’t, it’s probably not a solid match.
Best practice: make sure you tell them that you’ll be getting more dancers to recreate it soon enough.
Okay so you’ve landed on your perfect dancer. Time to invite them to your campaign. Checkout and send them a message with any relevant ideas you’d want them to hear. For example, you can link them one of their vids you liked and say ‘Could you use this as inspiration’ or ‘Can you bring the heat to my track like you did in this vid?’. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to this!
Boom! Your invite is officially sent. Happy days!
Hey! You’re absolutely right. The journey is not over yet.
Once the dance creator you initially chose (above) has posted a dance to your track and you’re happy with it, it’s time to create the rest of your campaign.
Return to SoundSmith’s marketplace and browse your other fav dancers. The beauty of this step is that you are no longer limited to just one dancer. You can invite as many dancer creators as you like.
Once you’ve chose your next round of dance creators, you send them a bulk message at checkout asking them to follow the dance created by your first dancer (linking the vid in the message).
Best practice: remind these creators to credit the dancer who created the choreography.
That’s it! You’re done! Sit back, relax and watch the vids roll in. You just saved yourself a bucket-load of time.
Your song now has a TikTok dance campaign! Congratulations!!! You’ve come so far.
Okay… one more thing. I know I promised you that you wouldn’t have to do any dancing (and I’m not going to force you) but you do get bonus points for joining in on the campaign and contributing your own dancing vid.
Hear me out please!!!
All the hard work has been done for you. You don’t have to create any choreography, you just get to jump on and do a silly or serious TikTok dance that could help your fans engage with you even more. My apologies if your initial dancer decided to create an insanely complex dance. If you are worried about this you can always ask them to keep it simple enough that anyone can recreate it.
I always encourage people to start creating TikToks (or Reels or Youtube Shorts or whatever your platform of preference is) for your music. I’ve heard people say things like “If you can’t promote your own music, no one will”. Although that may be a very ‘black and white’ way of looking at it, there can be some truth to it. There’s an undeniable power behind these tools that has helped artists that would otherwise have never been found, and you could be next. Ultimately, do what you’re most comfortable with and what works for you.
If you’re an artist manager or label, it’s one thing to ask an artist to do something. It’s another to understand that they may not want to do it, or they simply don’t have the time or expertise to get the desired traction.
SoundSmith was developed to de-risk what people have already been doing. Say farewell to the days of shady DM’s and terrifying Paypal transfers based on good faith and not secure tech. So long to the 15 hour campaign wait times and say hello to 1 minute campaigns.
Thank you for reading! I know that this is just one way of doing this and I’m very interested to hear from people who have tried other alternatives and your experiences from doing so.