Over the years, I have witnessed artists completely do things backwards and wonder why they’re never getting anywhere with all the “HARD WORK” They are putting into their careers. With April being “Music Month” I, the guy who knows what he’s talking about, will help you get your brand off the ground. Of course I’m not going to give away all the free game, because part of your duties is to PAY professionals to assist. However, here’s the start.
1. Investments – A pet peeve of mine is an artist in thousand dollar plus outfits doing cheesy videos and then asking me to post those cheesy videos or get those same videos placed on other sites, for free. Music is a business. When most people start businesses they never collect a check because they are re-investing their money to get their business to where it needs to be. How are you looking like a million bucks but your video is looking like $100 bucks? You and your homeboys’ standing around waving air pistols at the lens. That is not a good look. Let me help you out.
A. Most of you are unknown and pointless in the grand scheme of things – to anyone with a successful site. Therefore asking for FREE post/promo makes no sense. Create a budget, set some targets, and execute. Here’s a useful tip: approach a solid, decently known site with an offer, don’t try to freeload because then they will quote you their top rate and may refuse to budge. “Hey, I’m an up and coming artist, I have $50 for you to post my MP3 to your site. I can also have all my people retweet the link so that it also brings some traffic to your site.” That will get you much further than sending emails that never get opened, sitting in someones mentions sending links that will never be read/clicked. The thing about business is, “what do you bring to the table?” Time costs, web hosting and servers costs, space costs as does marketing and promo. OR you can go to Worldstar..
B. STOP GOING TO WORLDSTAR TO POST VIDEOS: Absolutely no one goes to Worldstar to check out unsigned artists anymore. If we go, its to see fights or naked video vixens. The numbers on the post are fudged so If they don’t pick up your video on their own or out of love, don’t waste your money. What are you paying for? To say you were on a site that we all know you paid to get on and/or paid to have your numbers adjusted? Why would a label, that knows this, use Worldstar as a measuring stick? We all know whats going on. Besides, how many people truly surf WorldStar for unsigned artists music? “You’re on WorldStar? Cool.. What are your Youtube numbers?
C. YouTube represents the intellect and lack of intellect in artists. – Always post your own vids on Youtube. Youtube pays you for your views in a partnership deal after a certain point. For every 10k views, I believe, you see a check. Therefore don’t let your video director upload the video. They’re collecting the check while you’re still paying people to post. Think about it, you approach a few sites with a solid offer to post your video or make it the feature video on their sidebar and every time their site get a click, you get a click. Why work harder when you can work smarter? This guideline shows us the SMALL business acumen of an artist. You investing in yourself to see residuals. If you can’t carry yourself as a business on a micro level, how the hell can you manage an influx of money and handle things on a macro level?
D. Digital and physical street team – You should never have people or pages that are strictly for promo. Those pages are irritating. I wouldn’t even follow a T.I. promo page. For what? Add real live humans to your team. They’re online, interacting with people, and whenever you release something new, they post it or retweet/pin/add it to their Facebook wall. What you have done here is created a chain and a network. Because this person who has relationships with people, hundreds or thousands, quite a few people at least a nice percentage will check out the link over time. May not be the first time but eventually all of us have had the “who/what is this that this person keeps promoting?” and If you have actually put time & quality into each release, you will slowly but surely see your fanbase grow. The same goes for offline. For special events/festivals have your group of 5-10 people work the crowd, hand out merchandise, give away a towel or something if its an outdoor event and hot. To this day I still remember the bottled water and towel I received from “Sobe Entertainment” at BET Spring Bling in ’05. Why? Because I needed both, and I thought it was a great idea. It left a positive impression in my mind and that’s a major key to branding – how the people remember you. Don’t be remembered as the “fly” dude with the wack videos who has no budget to push his brand. Be remembered as the person who believed in themselves enough to invest in themselves and would stop at nothing to reach their goals.
Come Back Next Week For Part 2.