The Successful Rapper’s Manual:
What a lot of indie artists fail to realize is that there are many other ways to make money with your art ASIDE from selling your music. As a matter of fact, with all the streaming sites out there now, music sales definitely shouldn’t be what you count on to fund your music career. You have to make money in other ways. Now we know that there are actually many articles that discuss the different ways that artists can get paid, but most of those articles talk about ways to get paid once you already have a big fan base built and already have songs on the radio. Our focus right now is to show the newer indie artists how to make money to invest back into their career. But before we can start selling your music and start generating a buzz, there are a few things you need to get established first, or at least as soon as you can, in order to become a successful musician in any genre.
First and foremost, anything that sells or that has ever sold is eventually seen as what we call a “Brand”. Even people themselves become “brands”, their name becomes well known and is sold everywhere because that person became valuable to the people they inspire. A brand is essentially a lifestyle, what do you hope to represent when people see you. This is what lazy bloggers mean when they say an image is everything, and for my brand, I believe that is true, but certain key elements get lost in translation.
When rappers talk about whether having a rap name is necessary or whether it will affect your career in the long-term or not. truth is when a rapper sings a song about how rap names suck and he is just going to use his name. that is totally fine and also a marketing strategy that still promotes and represents his brand, his lifestyle, the image of who that rapper is. in the end, that person is still a brand but they decided to use their name instead of creating one.
The point I am trying to get across is that what do you want to represent when people see you, what lifestyle do you most enjoy being a part of. That is where real authenticity comes from when you rap or sing. Even if you love the gangsta life but have never been in or around a “gangsta” like situation it still doesn’t matter. Your voice will still provide great authenticity and if you practice your lyrical talent and make quality beats plus music videos. Then you’re set, don’t believe me, look at rick ross a man who has done exactly what i just said could be done. When you rap about a passion it’s quite amazing how your true authentic voice comes out, your sense of rhythm kicks in allowing you to flow, and new ideas around the subject start to become more easily accessible increasing your flow of creativity as well.
Think of all the wonderfully talented musicians and artists out there. If you perceive yourself as just one of hundreds of talented musicians, it is easy to feel discouraged from pursuing the career of your dreams. This is where having a brand can help turn your career around. Once you see yourself as unique, it reduces the pressures of competition because you know that you have something special to offer. It is the start to trusting your gift and finding your voice. The same holds true when you know why are you are the ideal person to satisfy the needs of your target audience. If you truly believe that you are the best person for that audience, it reinforces your uniqueness. even for rick ross, he stood strong about what kind of music he enjoyed making even if he wasn’t anywhere close to being the true definition of a gangsta selling dope, but that is why he is successful that’s what makes his “brand”/image unique.
On a practical level, having a brand helps you define your career objectives. Having a brand also helps you work smarter, not harder, because your efforts are focused on the specific audiences you want to attract. Interestingly, having a brand also has a spiritual component. Once you see yourself as unique in this world, you no longer have the pressure of weighing yourself against the competition because there simply is no one else who has exactly the same offering you do. This is particularly important in the creative world. Instead of seeing yourself as one of many talented artists, you become aware of the abundance of the universe and perceive the world as a generous place with enough success for all individuals with their own special gifts. This helps reinforce your belief in yourself, which in turn helps you attract the right public and flourish in your chosen career.
If you value spirituality, connected-ness, abundance and authenticity, your brand is a powerful manifestation of those values. And the more you are aligned with your values, the more motivated and inspired you will be to pursue your goals. Now, what are the best goals you could set in order to become a successful rapper? Don’t worry I’ll list them out for you, of course, you are always welcomed and encouraged to take what I provide and find a way to improve upon it or change it to where it best suits your needs. Either way, I will list some important starting points every rapper should check off if they hope to be successful.
Here is a must do list for every rapper:
– Create A Facebook Page
– Create An Instagram Account
– Create A Twitter Account
– Create a soundcloud account
– Create A Youtube account
– Create A Pinterest account
– Create an email account with mail-chimp or similar
– Create a website or a landing page (I recommend Shopify)
– Get some quality pictures of yourself (can easily be done with an iPhone)
– If you go the shopify route then get the printful app and make some merchandise (can be done easily)
– If you can build a team (music and video producer, a writer/blogger, any fan promoters)
Alright, first off, The obvious thing Facebook has going for it is numbers. Facebook has surpassed Google as the most trafficked site in the world. People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook Your business needs to go where the people are hanging out. But getting on Facebook isn’t just about the fact that there are a lot of people there (Kinda Is). Facebook helps your branding. The more places you are seen on the web with your consistent brand message, the more you will be remembered. The playing field has been leveled. The small guys can now look big. Have a professional logo done or professional photoshoot if you are branding yourself. Everything about your Facebook Page can add to your brand philosophy. Even the links to other sites that you choose to share will help you brand yourself.
With some recent Facebook Page changes, you can now comment on other Pages as your Page and Like other Page’s posts. If you have no idea what that sentence is about, don’t worry. Just know that this feature will give your Facebook Page much more visibility than it had before and make it easier to participate on Facebook as your business. As with any online posting, use this new feature wisely. Make sure you aren’t just spamming other pages, always add value to the discussion. With 1.49 billion members worldwide and 22 billion ad clicks per year, Facebook is providing businesses with the largest advertising opportunity since search. So yes, your audience is on there somewhere – it’s just a matter of finding them.
But, how does someone find me on Facebook? Advertising! It’s never been cheaper to build your brand and create new demand for your products and services. If you aren’t already advertising on Facebook, you’d be crazy not to. Especially if you want to grow like crazy in 2016. Facebook is too huge for a business of any size to ignore. Your business needs a Facebook page. You know this–and so do 40 million other businesses. Facebook is where your future customers hang out.
Instagram, twitter, and pinterest are just other areas where you will market yourself and your brand’s image. Instagram should be images of what you are working on or short freestyles every day which is a marketing strategy and also great practice as a rapper. Twitter should be used to strictly promote your new song and anyone else’s new song through likes and retweets and trust me your account will grow. And last but not least, pinterest, if you use shopify, can help with promoting your t-shirt gear and such as you put your brand name on it and have them made and shipped everywhere with no cost for you, no inventory either. Thank you to printful you can have a second source of income and promotion when you and your fans wear your own brand logo on a t-shirt. and pinterest can help share your clothing line around easily being another image-based social network that provides links back to your site when someone clicks on the pin.
Now soundcloud and youtube are two obvious sources for any musician who hopes to get noticed by anyone. youtube is the source of all music videos and the content king when it comes to being know. granted you better make quality videos. but youtube and soundcloud should be your two main sources for uploading your music.
Now a website and an email responder go hand in hand. you can have a website with multiple pages and a whole unique set up or just a land page which is just one main page that has everything on it. Now both of these options can be great, a full website can be beneficial for many reasons, too many to count, more than a landing page could have. Now, why would I suggest a landing page if a full website supposedly seems like the way to go. Simple, The short answer is because they help increase your conversion rates. The main reason for this is that targeted promotion or product specific landing pages are focused on a single objective. If you consider the example of sending fans to your homepage vs. a standalone landing page, you can understand that your homepage is designed with a more general purpose in mind. It speaks more to your overall brand and corporate values and is typically loaded with links and navigation to other areas of your site. but, Every link on your page that doesn’t represent your conversion goal (people who click on your songs to actually listen) is a distraction that will dilute your message and reduce your conversion rate hence, the landing page. which one is best to use, well that can depend on your goal. I would use both and with mail chimp & shopify you can do that exact thing. Use mail chimp to get emails to tell people when you made something new and don’t worry you don’t have to make a separate email for everyone. That is why email responders are so great, a business that wants to get sales or increase sales knows that email marketing should be your first go to when selling anything, and I mean anything. Email marketing will always win over anything else you do. And a landing page can be great for focusing only on getting emails from fans while your main site has everything else they look for.
if you can get all of these things set up and going then you are already closer to becoming a more successful rapper than most other aspiring rappers to date. If you want to get noticed and become the next best. Then get a beat or make one, find a way you can record yourself (quality recordings only), mix it, master it, make and music video. Then post your new hot track on soundcloud (No FREE Download), put the music video on youtube, put the video on your website/landing page. Now to get attention to it run a Facebook video ad of your music video targeting the people who like music similar to yours. If the song and video are both the best quality it can then you should have no problem seeing the impressions and engagement it receives grow, increasing your brand awareness. If you do use printful and make your own t-shirts with your logo on it then give a few away for free to people who have 100k or more followers on their social networks and in exchange they market your gear to their fans and they come see your music. Getting a Gig will become a breeze when you start getting traffic numbers that you can show the vendors you’ll be playing for, making their decisions easier when they see how many possible customers might show up to see you rap which is great business for the owner of the club your rapping at. Getting know is something that must be built, you grow your brand you grow closer towards making a living from your music. Get enough fans and you can start charging companies for advertisement, making money simply by representing a clothing brand’s new shirt or hoodie and etc..
Either way, if you can at least get these things up and running then getting traffic and attention will become a breeze. And if you work at your craft and come back to us to learn all your marketing needs to help you make more sales. So If you found this helpful then share your findings with others trying to reach similar goals? While each of us has our own big dream we’d love to achieve, remember that no one is an island.
Your first step now is to TAKE ACTION!
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