A good friend asked me the other day what advice to give a singer / songwriter he knew who was doing a round of pub gigs in order to get herself more attention.

She already had a website, so I looked at it and saw that she had a few videos of her performances in pubs – that looked awful. Long shots, crackly audio and no vibe. But, she was obviously confident enough to film her performances, which were strong.

My immediate reaction was that she should do what she was doing, but do it better.

And I realised that in the last year or so I have become utterly convinced that video is the medium to get you noticed. On your own site, on Vimeo, or best of all, on YouTube.

See this clip on the site for a very hotly tipped band, Brother. It didn’t get them signed but it got them lots of attention and helped them get there.

My love of Pomplamoose and their practice of releasing YouTube ‘Video songs’ is well documented.

YouTube obviously rules in this space – and it’s simple to see why. I think I’m right in saying that it is now the most internally searched site.

So, if you put great stuff up and use your brain to make sure you get found, it’s got to work.

My advice to my mate was this:

Have her video herself doing covers of the very latest hits by major artists on an acoustic guitar – well shot, on a $150 flip mino hd cam – and start a YouTube channel with them on.

Make sure she titles the videos with the name of the artist and track first and then her name and ‘cover’ – eg – ‘Katy Perry “Firework” [Her Name] cover – Acoustic’.

People WILL find her on YouTube because of that. Then, in the description on YouTube put the web address of her site with the http bit, so it’s a clickable link – so: “http://www.%5Bherdomain%5D.com – Visit my site and get free downloads of more of my acoustic covers.”

Put a sign up form from this software system (Aweber) on the top right hand side of all her site pages (in fact, redesign her site to look like this – http://www.scottandrew.com/ – a great example of band website best practice) using WordPress. When people sign up, the system points to a ‘hidden’ page on the site where they can download tracks – might require a geek to set that bit up, but it’s not that difficult.

Put a up a video EVERY week on Youtube and on her site. Write a blog POST every week about what she is doing musically in her life.

People will find her.

You don’t HAVE to do covers to get noticed, but you do need to find a way to get turned up in search, and that is the BEST way. You could do ‘response videos’ or film you and the band doing stuff that finds a natural audience and fit it around your music – I’ve seen a band edit that week’s goals from Match of the Day to their club tracks and get LOADS of exposure from that to their channel – where they have other just music stuff. A great idea.

So, if you don’t have an Artist YouTube channel yet, get one and start filming stuff. It WILL help you get noticed.

That’s a link above to a post on the main site where you can get YouTube’s guide to a branded channel. Those are specialist channels for brands and cost cash to have, but the pdf has some good basic advice as well that applies to any channel.

And, have a look at Little Boots from two years ago, using the covers tactic (songs chosen by friends on MySpace, I think, as an additional way to engage fans) and doing very simple piano covers. Have a look at her channel and see what else she does – plays with her studio kit, introduces her friends, and drops in her major label videos with 5 million views!