Musicians particularly rappers are a dime a dozen these days, everyone has an album or mix tape these days. Music is highly saturated these days its no secret. Part of the reason for the saturation is the availability of technology, it’s now easier than ever to access equipment that used to cost 10s off thousands of dollars for a fraction of the cost. In the end though it comes down to Talent, Persistence and Smarts. The extra access to technology is a double edged sword, there’s a great side in that artist and companies have more access to the market through the internet. There is also a bad side in that artist can oversaturate the market and more access to technology also increases the amount of whack shit being released. I could fill a swimming pool with names of artists in just the hip hop genre who over saturated the market or came with the wrong music at the right time (and vice versa). Here are a few tips to help u get farther while working smarter not harder.
Use your time wisely: as an independent artist you have to take on a lot of responsibility, you’re the boss and you decide when you work. Your shows, radio & TV appearances even studio sessions are a chance for you to network. Remember you are networking at all times with everyone including and especially your supporters (not fans). Your supporters are supporting YOU not just your music. In this social media age your supporters want to know you not just your music. When you do a show you are at work and that doesn’t end when you get off stage, actually the real work starts when you get off stage. You want to connect with people while that great performance is fresh in their minds also they may be a bit more inclined to buy some of that merch that you’re selling, your show is like a commercial. Another important point is courtesy to your fellow artists, there is nothing worse than to get off stage and leave immediately because your crowd typically leaves with you. Its rude and it says “we didn’t really come out to support the music or the culture we just came for the people we know”. You as an artist are a sort of leader to your followers and if you stay not only will you move more merch but you are also showing solidarity with fellow artist and hopefully gaining new fans. You may also find some new artists too collaborate with. A good rule of thumb is to stay at least 30 to 45 minutes after your performance. Again timing is everything!
2. Internet Tips
Don’t make yourself hard to find on the internet, make sure u tag all of your content and always spell your name out if you spell it differently than the normal spelling. Keep it simple and think like your consumer, think about the experience your consumer will have on your webpage. That kool way you spell your name is something that may keep people from finding you online so you want to tag with every possible way someone would spell or mis-spell your name. Come up with a tag that you can use across the board for all of your social network. If you have a name that is sort of common you may want to add something to the end like numbers or maybe the city or state you are from to diffentiate yourself.
Make sure you take time every now and again to thank your followers on social media. A good rule of thumb would be every other week and make it as personal as possible. Ideally you would thank them all one by one, but realistically who can do that? Most new artists have their twitter, fb, youtube, instagram etc all synced up to their smart phone. It would go a long way to take a second to acknowledge that new follower and follow them back. If you use some type of auto-generated message service make sure you change up your message every now and again. The trick is to make the non-personal internet feel personal and alive.
3. Be as self sufficient as possible
Do as much for yourself as possible, but it is very important to know what u do well and what you don’t do well. Make an effort to learn the things you don’t know, it will make you more effective to learn more parts of the process. For example; if you are a rapper learn to produce beats then learn how to promote shows then get yourself a camera. There are many benefits to this approach such as the money you can save, the knowledge to advise others who may perform these functions for you, the potential to make $ by performing these functions for others. Being knowledgeable on different subjects also gives you leverage to go into other entertainment fields and makes you more valuable. The goal is to do as much for yourself as you can.
4. Make sure your “crew” is functional
Dont have a crew just for numbers sake, everyone in your crew should serve a purpose. Everyone needs to bring something to the table. You all should share the knowledge with eachother also. You all should know a little bit about the functions of the other members so that you can make sure its being done correctly. Everyone in your squad shouldn’t be an artist, you need a few people that are thinking about business and economics. Dont have a crew full of friends the people in your crew need to understand that their involvement in the crew is based on production, it’s business.
5. A bunch of small steps can lead to big things.
DO SOMETHING EVERYDAY, no matter how small it may seem. Start with a list of possible things you could do and the benefit that you will gain from it. For example
*Research talent buyers in a particular region = possible show in the future.
*Send music submission to 3 radio station = possibly more radio play.
Make sure its something business related. Its natural to be in your studio for hours upon hours because creating is your natural place, but its about what you do after you create that hot song or album. Thank you for reading and hopefully this will benefit you.