Promotion is simple, over complication can make you lose a lot of peoples attention. When you are trying to put yourself out there, you need to have a message and it needs to be concise, clear and easily understood to gain the attention of the masses.
If you put out a flier with 30 different things on it, then what do they pay attention to? The next flier, that’s what. Misspelled, grammatically incorrect fliers are potentially just as bad.
Low resolution pictures, grainy and unfocused make you look as though you don’t care about your music. Professional promotional materials say a lot about you and your art. Image is important, yours should be professional and consistent.
Choose to be you, there is already a Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg and a Jay Z. Don’t copy their styles or images and definitely not their sounds. The first is usually the best and most remembered, so be unique.
If you don’t know how to put together a great design or have no sense of aesthetics, then find someone who does. Don’t know how to write copy? Get someone with a great talent for words to operate your social media, write out your fliers, create your own website and bio.
You’re the artist, you don’t have to be good at everything, get people to help make you stand out. Know what your role is and delegate the rest. Teamwork is vital.
When you are just starting out, stay simple. You are not likely to have the budget to market yourself in every style that can be done, so pick one that you would like to first be known for and then stick with it. You don’t have to try to market yourself in swimwear, a suit, and street clothes.
Pick one you like, and use it for everything at first, website, fliers, CD cover etc. Fans don’t remember new artists names, there are way too many.
Most of the time they will go to the store and ask for the new kid who is posing next to a limo, holding a mike. Keeping it simple means that people can find you, one strong image used to market yourself will set you apart from the crowd.
Marketing is how you get heard, seen and recommended to others. You may not have a million dollar budget to begin with, but what you do spend on marketing should include some mix of both traditional and online tools.
Using the internet is the greatest tool available to up and coming artists. Forgetting to utilize the internet can be detrimental to your music, going viral is an artists dream these days. We may not be 100% digital yet, but it is still a vital part of our society.
With a low budget, the internet can be your best friend. However, it shouldn’t be your only marketing tool. It is inexpensive, but it is also just a small part of your what your strategy should include.
The streets, stores, clubs, in other words, the real world promotion is still needed. Keep your message clear, spelled correctly, grammatically correct and well designed and you will be fine.
Finally, be sure that the people you are reaching out to are the ones that are interested in your music and that your design and marketing techniques are geared towards your target audience. You don’t promote hip-hop at the local biker bar for example.
If you ever need more tips on how to promote yourself as an independent hip-hop artist, make sure you check out Stop The Breaks’ resources:
- For tips on how to engage with your fanbase via Instagram, make sure you check out our case study on how Nipsey Hussle uses Instagram to connect with his fanbase.
- On building a fanbase, then you need to check out our articles on Kevin Gates, Logic and J.Cole.
- If you want to look at different ways of distributing your music, check out our case study on how Currensy used BitTorrent or read our interview with BitTorrent’s VP of Marketing.
- If you’re interested in building your brand then you definitely need to check out our articles on Floyd Mayweather and A$AP Rocky – two masters of building and leveraging a brand.
- Our independent hip-hop record label profiles will be helpful if you’re interested in one day starting up your own operation – 300 Entertainment, Jet Life Recordings, Mello Music Group.
Keeping these tips in mind will set you on the right track and put you another step closer to success regardless of if your plan is to continue as a successful independent artist or get signed to a major label.