This week at MusicIsMyDayJob, we are looking at ways to determine who your audience is and how best to reach that audience, especially when starting from scratch. Don’t miss our other articles in this series, and check back later in the week for articles on using Twitter to connect with new fans, as well as a recap on Friday of suggestions and recommendations from our readers.

There are many articles and forums to help you determine how best to find an audience on YouTube, as well as examples of people who are doing it successfully (our favorite is here, but you can also find some great tips here, here and here).  While we do not want to duplicate most of what is already out there in excess, there are some specific things that musicians should be doing to find and network with their audience on the popular video sharing website.

Customize Your Profile and Channel

Make your channel look like you and your general aesthetic–change the colors and font, use a background image that ties into an album cover or other appropriate image, and make sure that your contact info all completely filled in (official website, bio, etc). Also, don’t forget to properly tag both your channel and your individual videos with your name as well as other appropriate adjectives, as that’s how people will find you.  For more on how to do this, read this article.

Create Individual Videos With a Specific Goal in Mind

What are you hoping to accomplish with your video? Do you want to show that you can play the most unique version of Flight of the Bumblebee? Maybe you want to prove that you are a guitar prodigy? Maybe you want to stun your potential fans with a visual artistic interpretation of your music?  Maybe you just want to let your fans see what you are like off-stage?

Whatever your purpose, stick to that and don’t get distracted. If you are showing your band perform your best song live, do that and nothing but that–don’t take away from it with backstage antics or other unrelated content. You can always post a second, third and fourth video for whatever you left out of the first. Attention spans are short on YouTube, so make sure that each view counts and each video stays “on task.”

Use Standard Opening and Closing Images

Make sure that people know that your video is coming from you (and not a fan or other content creator) with a standard opening and closing sequence–it works for television shows, and it will work for you.  Ideally, the image will be one that is similar to your customized background and album artwork. Even something as simple as an image with your name, your website, and a reminder of where people can find your music is fine as long as it looks professional and you use it consistently across all of your videos.

As YouTube videos can be embedded in blogs, websites and just about anywhere else on the internet, there is no guarantee that people will be watching your videos on your YouTube page, so make sure they know which artist the video is from.  Low-cost programs for creating these abound, though we recommend picking up Kinemac as part of the MacHeist bundle today, as you are never going to find such a high-quality program for so little money and support worthy charities at the same time (ends 6 April 09 so act now!).

Be Social

YouTube is more than just a place to watch videos–it is a video-based social network, so you need to treat your fans there just like you would those on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook or any other social networking site. Comment on people’s videos; choose favorites that are not your videos and display them on your page; and send video replies as any other user would.

Perhaps most importantly, as people start to find you and your music, implement YouTube-specific marketing campaigns that speak to YouTube-users’ particular strong points–invite fans to make a video of one of your songs, mention specific users in your videos, and give fans something special that they would not otherwise have access to such as backstage interviews (conducted by a YouTube fan?), video journals and more.

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Comments? Thoughts? We know that this is just a small portion of ways that musicians can use Twitter to find their audience. Share your favorites in the comments below or via Twitter.


Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for more in our continuing series on Finding Your Audience.  Too much trouble to remember? Subscribe to MusicIsMyDayJob via RSS or email and let us remember for you.

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