Mixcloud by DJ Mr Lob
Mr Lob has over 500 mixes on Mixcloud so who better to ask for an overview on using the DJ platform.
8 years ago, I released my first mix on Mixcloud, it was called ‘Funkee Feelin’ and it’s still sitting there, followed by 499 other mixes, radio shows, collaborations and guest mixes I’ve done since that inaugural moment.
It set me on the path to which I find myself still adhering to 8 years later and that is to drop a weekly mix/radio show, at the same time every week, except for holidays, sickness and breaks and if we add that up I should have released 416 shows in that time, so I’m 84 shows ahead!!
Mixcloud for me came about as I was getting my mixes thrown off Soundcloud for copyright violations and I was super disappointed as I’d built a good audience there and had a lot of mixes that had done well. So I guess someone suggested it to me or I stumbled across it in my hunt for an alternative.
I also decided to approach it much more professionally and I looked at how the site worked especially with tags, charts, genres and what was popular.
I also wanted to use it as an avenue to put sets together that featured music that I loved that I didn’t get to play out as a working DJ. I have always been known as a Funk/Hip Hop/Soul DJ but I’m also a deep lover of Jazz in all its forms, trip hop, jazzy hip hop, Afro, Reggae and Latin sounds.
Before I even started uploading sets myself I sought out and listened to other DJs that were posting mixes in the genres that I loved and looked at how they presented their sets, their tags and their descriptions.
I still do this to this day, I always leave a comment on a mix I listen to, I thank those who repost with a private message and I let the DJs know how their mix made me feel. Mixcloud is a community and through these comments, I made so many great connections, many of which are good friends today.
In turn these people supported me and listened to my mixes and encouraged me with feedback. This led to many of them asking to collaborate, or asking for me to provide a mix as part of a mix series they were doing or their radio shows. I still pretty much say yes to all requests for mixes, as I want to support what people are doing and to be honest, I like the recognition it brings for what I do. If you give, it will always come back and when it doesn’t you don’t need it.
At this time on Mixcloud, they had what they called genre ‘Ambassadors’ and I wanted so bad to become a Jazz Ambassador but first had to build a following of 500 and average 250 listens per mix. The fact that I had already established myself and did many of the things above, brought people to my page and mixes and slowly but surely through persistence, my audience built to the point that one of my Jazz DJ Heroes ‘The Hedonist’ contacted Mixcloud and requested that I also be made a ‘Jazz Ambassador’ like he was. It worked! Overnight my audience doubled, then tripled and my listeners went up from 250 listens per mix to an average of 1000 – 3000 per mix per week but with many going up over 5000 and 10,000 listeners now.
So in May 2020, I find myself with 19,000 followers, 500 mixes, a Pro Account and a Select Account with a small number of paid Subscribers (I’d like more!!).
How did I get here, what would I suggest others do to help build an audience and presence?
Firstly, support the community, let people know who you are, actively support other DJs by listening to, commenting on, sharing and reposting their mixes. Connect with them on other social media formats, collaborate and use your own base to support the work of people you admire and do it in good faith. Make the time.
Secondly, drop mixes regularly at the same time and on the same day, change the styles up, do different series focused on genres, artists, record labels and whatever interests you. Provide track lists, respond to comments and reposts graciously.
Thirdly, don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t compare yourself to others unless it is to learn from and grow, believe in what you do, keep the quality high, avoid filler tracks or music that is popular as everyone else is doing that. Tag your mixes correctly!
If you are organised and can afford it, get a Pro Account, as it gives you lots of useful data but also the option that I love the most, the ability to upload multiple shows and set the date and time when you want them to be released.
I already have my next 8 shows uploaded and of course they will drop at the same time and day each week!
I hope this gives you an insight into how I use Mixcloud and have built my audience.
For me it has been an amazing tool and it has taking me to Sydney, Perth and Thailand on multiple occasions to live out my DJ dreams and hopefully one day Europe and the USA also.
Good luck, stay safe out there.
DJ Mr Lob