So you are a rapper/hip hop artist, or you’re a producer who makes the instrumentals. You know you got the flames the world just needs to hear, but you want to know how to properly get the content out to the masses and stand out in a crowded field. If you are the person I just described then you are who I am writing this for. If you read this post and the ones that follow, I guarantee you will learn how to effectively market and promote your music and in return make money.
Who am I to tell you about how to effectively market and promote your music?
- I have been working in the music industry for four years now. More specifically, I have worked at two successful nightclubs, one concert venue, and one national booking agent/concert promoter. That experience has given me first hand knowledge on what venue’s, booking agents, and the fans are looking for.
- I have recently completed my Bachelors in Entertainment Management.
- I have been listening to, observing, and studying Hip Hop / Rap for 10+ years. I have analyzed the routes of success for countless rappers because I watched them go from nobodies to big names. For example, at some points throughout this series I will be analyzing the paths of Wiz Khalifa, Speaker Knockerz, Immortal Technique, T.I., Atmosphere, and Mac Miller, as specific case studies.
Enough about me lets get to why you wanted to read this, finding out how to effectively market and promote your music.
Duh. this is a given. You need Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumblr.
Ok, but how do I start getting eyeballs to see the content I have, besides the people who already know about me? One of the quickest ways to do this is to start going after specific locations where there are large concentrations of people that would potentially listen to your music. For example, if you are a producer or rapper from Rhode Island, you don’t necessarily have the largest consumer base to expose your music too. You need as many people to hear your stuff, because truly, this is all a numbers game.
No matter what you are making, someone, somewhere, will think it is good. Even if only 2% of people like your music after they see your videos, or listen to your tracks, that can still be a large number. For example, if you are a rapper and you have a video or track that is played by 10,000 people, but only 2% end up liking the content and following you, that’s 200 new fan’s!! Hell, even if your music is super super unique/indie, and only gets 1%, or a half of a percent, that’s still 50 to 100 new fan’s! 50 to 200 new fans you now have who will show your music to other people and that you can potentially make money from.
If you a a producer and you put a beat and it gets seen by 10,000 people and only .5% buy a lease of the beat. That’s 50 people x $? per lease = $????
But how are you going to reach 10,000 people or more? Well it is relatively easy nowadays with Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook at your disposable.
1st: DONT PAY FOR LIKES OR PLAYS. ITS STUPID. PEOPLE WILL KNOW.
2nd: Use the social media to go after specific regions.
One of the easiest ways to target specific locations, is when you are uploading/posting your content, use hashtags for the specific cities and states you want to target. It can come off as a little spammy but don’t worry, after a while, you will be able to stop doing this.
In another article, we are going to discuss how to promote and market outside of social media in cities and states that you aren’t in. But for now let’s discuss the absolute best way to specifically target these locations through social media, and that is Facebook’s Boost Post tool.
On your Facebook page for your music, even if you are a producer just trying to sell beats, every time you upload music on YouTube or Soundcloud, create a post on Facebook linking to the track. You can include hashtags if necessary, but its not needed. Once you have created the post press boost post and create a specific target audience to market this post too.
This is an example of a target audience I recently used:
- Age:14 – 30
- People Who Match one of these interests: Hip hop music or Hip Hop & Rap Music
- And Must Also Match one of these interests: Yung Lean, Punk rock, Synthwave, Riff Raff (rapper) or Vaporwav
- And Must Also Match one of these interests: Skateboard, Thrasher (magazine) or Skateboarding.
What do I pick for location? For now we are going to think nationally,we will talk globally later. For location, if you are simply trying to go for the largest markets, you should include these places > • New York City • L.A. • Toronto • Houston • Miami • Atlanta • Chicago • New Orleans •Detroit • Baltimore • Philadelphia • Nashville/Memphis
Why these places? They all share two key things in common;
1. Huge rap scenes that have and continue to produce many large names in both the mainstream and underground / indie music worlds.
2. Large populations. Large populations are important in general because Hip Hop/Rap is the most played genre in the world (http://corneey.com/qAhHcw).
Less obvious places to market and promote your music to:
The following are some cities that a lot of people forget to market to and due to that you can reap the rewards by marketing to unsaturated market.
• Pittsburgh, Pa: People often forget about Pittsburgh, Pa because they only have two really known artists, Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. However, here’s a little tip for up and coming rappers and producer’s, Pittsburgh is actually one of the largest indie music scenes in the country. Hundreds of publications / websites / magazines have rated Pittsburgh in the top 5 and top 10 indie music scenes for years (http://corneey.com/qAhLwg /).
It has dozens of venues including house venues that routinely feature hip hop, has six major colleges, a thriving underground rap scene, and a large population that consumes hip hop music.
• Cleveland, Ohio and West Virginia are both included on this list due to their similar demographics as Pittsburgh, Pa (a lot of college’s, income, race, etc.), own respective music scene’s, and then location and proximity to Pittsburgh and other areas listed in the article.
• Minneaopolis, MN and Kansas City, MS: Rhymesayers Entertainment is one of the longest running and most successful independent hip hop record labels ever, and they are based in Minneaopolis. Every year they also throw a huge festival that tens of thousands of people go to. Clearly there is a market that digests hip hop here. For the producers, there is a large pool of rappers and newbies looking for beats.
Kansas City, MS: Because they have a large rap scene that mirrors Rhymesayers Entertainment out of Minneaopolis. Kansas City has produced Fat Tone, Mac Dre, Mac Lethal, and Tech N9ne and his whole strange music label.
Here is what your boost post should look like when you are finished
End of part 1.
Notes from the author:
- Stay tuned for part 2 coming asap.
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