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The Secrets of Viral Music Success

The Secrets of Viral Music Success

Author: Tom Frampton
View Tom Frampton on Plugin Boutique

Every aspiring artist dreams of that groundbreaking moment when their music transcends the confines of their home studio to dominate the airwaves and playlists around the globe.

But what really propels a track from the quiet corners of a bedroom setup to the bustling top of the Billboard charts? Is it sheer luck, a magic formula, or a strategic mastery of music and marketing?

In this blog post, we delve deep into the secrets behind viral music success, aiming to unravel the mystery and provide you with actionable insights.

The Secrets of Viral Music Success

Understanding the Essentials of Music Production

Mastering the art of music production is crucial whether you’re aiming to create viral hits or simply want to enhance the quality of your tracks. Before diving into the complexities of music marketing and social media strategies, let’s focus on the foundation of any successful music track: exceptional sound quality.

1. Get the Basics Right: Start with understanding your tools. From DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) to microphones and synthesizers, knowing your equipment allows you to extract the best sound possible.

2. Mixing Techniques: Learn how to balance your tracks effectively. A well-mixed song sounds good on any device, which is vital for viral potential.

  • Use EQ to clean up muddiness and clarify instruments.
  • Apply compression wisely to maintain dynamic range while ensuring punchiness.
  • Click here to download our free 300 page eBook on Everything You Need To Know About Mixing.

3. Mastering for Perfection: Once your mix is polished, mastering is the final step to ensure your track is ready for public consumption. Mastering involves fine-tuning details and enhancing the overall sound to compete professionally.

  • Aim for a consistent loudness level, especially important for streaming platforms.
  • Enhance stereo imaging and add final EQ adjustments for a clean and crisp sound.
  • Click here to download our free eBook on How To Stereo Master A Song.

4. Utilize Tools for Excellence: Leveraging tools like our best selling plugin REFERENCE can dramatically improve the quality of your mixes and masters. REFERENCE helps you compare your song to your favourite reference tracks and provides visual feedback, making it easier to achieve a professional sound.

By setting a strong foundation in sound quality, you not only enhance the listening experience but also increase your music’s chance of becoming a viral hit. Remember, a great song that sounds poor will rarely make it beyond the bedroom studio. Make sure your tracks are not just creatively compelling but also immaculately produced.

Using REFERENCE in a home studio

The Power of Social Media in Music Promotion

In today’s digital age, social media is not just a tool for socializing but a powerful platform for music promotion. Artists from all genres have harnessed these platforms to reach audiences far beyond their geographic locations.

Understanding how to effectively use social media can significantly increase your track’s visibility and likelihood of going viral.

1. Choose the Right Platforms: Not all social media platforms are created equal when it comes to music promotion. Focus on those that best showcase music and engage audiences.

  • TikTok: Great for catchy snippets and challenges.
  • Instagram: Perfect for stories, behind-the-scenes content, and clips.
  • YouTube: Ideal for full-length music videos and live sessions.

2. Engaging Content is Key: Simply posting your music isn’t enough. Create content that engages and interacts with your followers.

  • Host live Q&A sessions about your music production process.
  • Share stories behind your songs to create a deeper connection.
  • Post teaser clips and let your audience guess what’s coming next.

3. Leverage Hashtags and Challenges: Hashtags increase the discoverability of your posts, while challenges can help your content go viral.

  • Research and use trending hashtags relevant to your music style.
  • Start a challenge involving your music, encouraging fans to create their own content.

4. Collaborate with Other Artists and Influencers: This can help you tap into new audiences and add freshness to your content.

  • Collaborate on live sessions or remixes.
  • Engage with influencers who can promote your track to their followers.

5. Regular Updates and Consistency: Keeping your audience regularly updated creates anticipation and keeps them engaged. 

  • Schedule posts for new releases, updates, or general check-ins.
  • Use social media tools to manage and schedule your content for consistent posting. 

By strategically using social media, you can create a strong online presence that not only promotes your current tracks but also builds a lasting connection with your audience. Remember, the goal is to be seen and heard as much as possible—social media gives you the microphone to do just that. 


Case Studies: From Bedroom to Billboard

To truly grasp the journey from a home studio to chart-topping success, let’s examine some real-life examples of artists who made this transition. By analyzing their paths, we can extract valuable lessons that might help you replicate such success.

1. DIY Production to Mainstream Popularity: Many artists start with basic setups, using affordable software and equipment. Their breakthrough often comes from a combination of unique sound and smart online marketing.

  • Example: Billie Eilish began recording songs in her bedroom with her brother. Their homemade song “Ocean Eyes” went viral, catapulting her to global fame.

2. Leveraging YouTube for Exposure: YouTube has been a launchpad for several successful careers by allowing artists to reach a global audience without the need for a record label.

  • Example: Justin Bieber’s career was kick-started by YouTube videos of his performances, which caught the attention of music executives and led to a record deal.

3. SoundCloud and Streaming Platforms: Independent artists often utilize platforms like SoundCloud to distribute their music. This can lead to viral hits if the tracks resonate well with the listener base.

  • Example: Post Malone gained initial fame with his song “White Iverson,” which he uploaded to SoundCloud. The track’s success led to a record deal and several chart-topping albums.

4. Collaboration and Networking: Collaborating with other artists and producers can amplify your music’s reach. Networking within the music community can open up opportunities for growth and exposure.

  • Example: The Chainsmokers exploded in popularity partly due to their ability to collaborate with a diverse group of artists, blending different genres and styles.

5. Persistent Quality and Branding: Consistency in quality and maintaining a unique artist brand are essential for long-term success. Engagement with fans and strategic branding are crucial.

  • Example: Taylor Swift’s consistent quality of music and masterful use of social media to engage with fans have helped her maintain her status as a pop icon.

These case studies illustrate that while the path to music success varies, there are common strategies like embracing online platforms, engaging directly with fans, and consistently producing high-quality music that can significantly increase your chances of success.

Famous Singers

Mastering and Polishing Your Track

Once your music is arranged and mixed, the next crucial step is mastering. This process polishes your track, preparing it for public release. Mastering is not just about making your music louder; it’s about ensuring your track sounds good on all playback systems and stands out in the competitive music market. Here’s how to master your tracks effectively:

Understand the Purpose of Mastering: The goal is to balance sonic elements and optimize playback across all formats and systems. It involves subtle adjustments to enhance sound quality and consistency.

1. Use High-Quality Plugins: Tools like BASSROOM and MIXROOM are essential. These plugins help you adjust the EQ and dynamics to achieve a clear and cohesive sound.

  • BASSROOM is perfect for fine-tuning the low-end frequencies, ensuring your bass and kick punch through without muddying the mix.
  • MIXROOM targets the mid and high frequencies with mid-side precision, enhancing clarity and presence.

2. Check Your Levels: Maintaining proper headroom and dynamic range is crucial. Aim for a true peak maximum of -1 dBTP (decibels true peak) and a loudness of around -14 to -9 LUFS (Loudness Units relative to Full Scale) for streaming platforms.

  • Avoid over-compression, which can squash your mix and remove its dynamic life.

3. Reference Other Tracks: Compare your track to professionally mastered music in similar genres. This practice helps you gauge how well your track holds up in terms of loudness and frequency balance.

  • Use REFERENCE to switch between your mix and the reference tracks easily, ensuring you maintain a competitive loudness and tonal balance.

4. Final Quality Control: Before you finalize your track, listen to it on various audio systems (car, headphones, home stereo). This step ensures your music translates well across different listening environments.

  • Make adjustments based on these tests to ensure your track sounds great no matter where it’s played.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your track is not only ready for public consumption but also has the potential to stand out and make an impact. Mastering is the final touch that can elevate your music from good to great, making it ready for anything from streaming services to club systems.

Mastering the mix plug-ins

Marketing Your Music

Once your track is polished and ready to impress, the next essential step is to get it out there. Effective marketing can make the difference between a hidden gem and a viral hit. Here’s how to approach marketing your music to maximize your reach and impact:

1. Establish a Strong Online Presence: Create a professional and cohesive online identity. This includes having an updated website, active social media profiles, and a consistent aesthetic that reflects your music style.

  • Your website should include a bio, a discography, contact information, and links to your music on various platforms.
  • Engage regularly on social media to build relationships with your fans.

2. Utilize Digital Distribution: Distribute your music across all relevant platforms to maximize accessibility and exposure. Services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Bandcamp are essential for reaching wide audiences.

  • Consider using a digital distribution service that can handle the distribution for you and ensure your music is available worldwide.

3. Create Engaging Content: In addition to your music, create content that can attract and engage your audience. This might include music videos, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and live performances.

  • Regular content keeps your audience engaged and helps maintain visibility in a crowded market.

4. Leverage Email Marketing: Build an email list to communicate directly with your fans. Send regular updates about new releases, upcoming shows, and exclusive offers.

  • Personalized messages can help deepen your relationship with fans and encourage more direct support through merch sales or concert tickets.

5. Get Playlisted: Being featured on playlists can significantly increase your music’s streams and exposure. Pitch your songs to playlist curators and leverage Spotify for Artists to submit your tracks directly for playlist consideration.

  • Research playlists that fit your genre and style, and reach out to the curators with a personalized message.

6. Measure Your Impact: Use analytics tools provided by social media platforms and music distribution services to track your progress and understand your audience.

  • Adjust your strategies based on what content performs best and what resonates most with your audience.

By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your visibility in the music industry and increase your chances of success. Effective marketing not only helps sell your music but also builds your reputation as a professional artist.

music marketing

Staying Persistent and Adapting to Feedback

The journey from producing a track in your bedroom to watching it climb the charts is not a straight path. It requires persistence and a willingness to adapt based on feedback and changing trends. Here’s how to maintain momentum and stay adaptable:

1. Embrace Constructive Criticism: Use feedback from your audience, other producers, and industry professionals to refine your music and marketing strategies.

  • Actively seek out feedback through social media polls, listener emails, and direct conversations during performances.

2. Monitor Trends: Stay updated with the latest trends in music production and marketing. This doesn’t mean sacrificing your unique sound, but adapting your approach can help you remain relevant.

  • Subscribe to music industry newsletters, follow influential music blogs, and participate in online producer communities.

3. Set Realistic Goals: Establish clear, achievable goals for each release. This helps you maintain focus and measure progress in concrete terms.

  • Goals can range from the number of streams or downloads to securing specific playlist placements or performing at certain venues.

4. Learn from Failures: Not every release will be a hit, and not every marketing strategy will pan out as expected. Analyze what didn’t work and why, so you can adjust your approach in the future.

  • Reflect on these experiences in your blog posts or social media updates, sharing your journey and lessons learned with your followers.

5. Stay Consistent: Regular releases and consistent engagement with your audience can build and maintain momentum.

  • Plan a release schedule that keeps your audience engaged without sacrificing the quality of your music.

6. Invest in Your Skills: Continuously improve your technical skills and industry knowledge. The more skilled you are, the better your music will sound, and the more professionally you can present yourself.

  • Consider online courses, workshops, and collaborative projects to broaden your skills and network.

Persistence and adaptability are key to long-term success in the music industry. By staying committed to your craft and responsive to the music landscape, you enhance your ability to make meaningful connections with your audience and achieve your artistic and professional goals.

Positive Feedback Loop for a Music Producer


Wrapping up our journey from the cozy corners of a home studio to the dazzling heights of the Billboard charts, it’s clear that the path to musical success is multifaceted and requires diligence, creativity, and strategic thinking. Here’s a recap of the key strategies we’ve discussed that can propel you forward in your music career:

Master Your Craft: Continuously hone your production and mastering skills. The quality of your music is the foundation of your success.

  • Regularly update your software and plugins to ensure you’re using the best tools available, like those from Mastering The Mix.

Embrace the Power of Social Media: Use platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to expand your reach and engage with fans.

  • Create and share content consistently to build a loyal following.

Collaborate Widely: Work with other artists to explore new sounds and reach new audiences.

  • Networking can open doors to collaborations that might lead to your next big break.

Leverage Feedback and Data: Use insights from your audience and streaming analytics to refine your approach.

  • Adapt your music and marketing strategies based on what the data and feedback tell you.

Stay Persistent and Resilient: The music industry is competitive, and success doesn’t come overnight. Keep pushing forward, learning, and adapting.

  • Celebrate small victories along the way to keep your motivation high.

Do This Next: Start today by reviewing your current music projects with a critical ear and ask yourself how you can apply these strategies to enhance your work. Are your tracks perfectly mixed and mastered? If not, consider exploring Mastering The Mix’s plugins—they could be the tools you need to elevate your music to professional standards.

Remember, every artist’s journey is unique, but the ultimate goal remains the same: to make great music that resonates with people. So, why wait? Dive back into your studio, implement these strategies, and take your music from the shadows of obscurity to the spotlight of fame.

Sign up now for Mastering The Mix’s newsletter for more insightful tips and tricks, or start your free trial of their innovative tools today. Let’s make your music heard around the world!

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