Like any other aspect of life, following your dreams of becoming a rapper and recording artist requires dedication and hard work. Most of the rappers who have made it big have a rags to riches story to tell. They have kept their motivation levels up throughout the varied ups and downs of their careers. It is one of the reasons for the longevity of numerous artists such as Dr. Dre, Jay Z, and Ice Cube, etc.
Listed below are the stories of some of greatest stars in the hip hop and rap industry.
I know the only reason that I make it through,
Is because I never stop believing in you.”
Mixtapes are the best way to get your music and your message out in front of the people that can help you turn your passion into a hit. Right now, the market has been inundated with mixtape projects that have been freely released, without a direct purpose or mission. This has made it incredibly difficult to get your mixtape to catch the attention that it needs to. So how do you make your mixtape stick out from the mess of free and pointless submissions that have flooded this market? There are a couple ways to catch and hold the attention you need but they will require a lot of work and attention.
1.Before releasing your mixtape
Make sure your music is recorded properly and has the sound that you want.
Make sure the songs reflect your best work
Even if the mixtape will be released for free and your revenue will come from sponsors and advertising, it is vital that you give 100% on each song on the mixtape. If you don’t put everything you have into a song, the listeners and other potential sponsors will notice and that will damage your future outlooks.
Ensure that the content, cover and concept behind your mixtape are unique.
This will help your tape stand out from the clutter. The philosophy and mission that you define for yourself and your work needs to be clear. This philosophy will allow listeners and advertisers or labels to connect with you and find a place for your work.
If you include a remix of a popular song, be sure that your version is just as good as or better than the original. If you can find a flaw in it, then don’t include it on your mixtape until you can make it perfect.
2.Take it slow
There is a lot of hype around releasing multiple mixtapes quickly. It doesn’t help you or your music to release multiple mixtapes without promoting them properly. Release your first tape and give it the attention that it needs to have a chance to get traction. Make sure it has been marketed properly before you move on to release the next project.
The best way to succeed is to find a marketing strategy that works for you and your music.
Once you have found the method and process that works for you, each tape you release becomes easier to market and makes it easier to expand your fan base.
Twitter and Facebook are not the only ways to market
These are useful platforms and it is important to have a presence here both from a marketing standpoint and as a tool to help your fans connect with you and find out what music you are releasing soon.
3.Generate hype about your tape before you release it.
This can be done with press releases, or by creating contests and giveaways. Get reviews if you can and do radio interviews if possible. That also means making connections in these areas and sending them your tape to demo before-hand.
Your marketing strategy needs to include online promotion, publicity, e-mail blasts, video promotions, radio interviews, press releases, and possibly street or club promotions.
Marketing can be the most difficult part of any endeavor, creative or otherwise. Building a marketing plan that works for you and your music is the best way to get your mixtape heard. Along with this, it is crucial to develop your own website and social media accounts. The website can be used to give fans access to your music and let them know what you are working on. Demos can be released here as well as short clips of new songs so that they can have a glimpse of what projects will be out soon. Websites and social media also allow the fans to connect with you as an artist which can help you develop a loyal fan base that can be grown over time. Besides this, a website with a graphic design that is made for you strengthens your brand and your music. You can use the graphic design of your website to reinforce the philosophy of your music and help your visitors understand your music better.
Aside from establishing a website and other social media presences it is also important to identify your target audience. Where is it likely that your music will be played? Which age group is it appropriate for? Are you writing songs that can be danced to or are they more reflective or edgy? When you can identify where your music belongs you can more easily identify the groups you can target with marketing. If your music is appropriate for clubs and DJ cultures, find a few of these, maybe your favorites, and send them a copy of your tape. You can also try to reach out to some of these DJs or clubs online through e-mails or their social media sites.
Using Google’s keyword tools such as Adwords can make targeting your audience easier. When you setup an account with Adwords, which is free, you can see which keywords will have the most potential to generate traffic for your website. This can help you promote your mixtape more successfully by isolating the keywords that will work best for you and separate you from the thousands of other bands on the internet.
Social media accounts can be used together to create a strong presence across all of these platforms. There are widgets available for many of these that will allow you to upload songs to stream through your site. This allows you to have a song available for fans to listen to on Facebook that you can mention or tweet about on twitter. You can follow this up by posting an image of the cover art to Instagram along with a useful tag that ties it to one of your songs. Working through these social media sites can help you grow your audience organically as people like your material and that allows you to reach the people that they know without directly targeting them. Releasing a single to YouTube and other music hosting sites can also help you gain more exposure. Some of these sites have different requirements for what they accept, so make sure you meet the requirements before submitting a song to them and understand what rights you are releasing.
Rap Genius (www.genius.com) can also be a useful resource for rappers trying to get their music out. This site hosts songs as well as forums discussing current trends that have worked to gain an audience and get songs heard. This could be a good place to look for reviews or to just get a song out to an audience that is specifically interested in rap.
While it is important to build a fan base and maintain contact with fans through social media and other public sites, it is also important to target radio stations and agents that work in your genre. By sending your mixtapes and other marketing materials to these agencies it is possible to reach a broader audience and potentially gain radio time or interviews. Also remember the power of a single when it comes to marketing to all of these groups. This sample of your work and sound can go a long way to make fans curious and interested in your projects.
The more sites you can use to release your mixtape, the more people you will reach. This increases the potential fan base that you may be able to develop. Potential sites that could help:
To maintain your audience, it is important to update the sites that your fans can see frequently. Let them know what you are working on, where you are playing, or what will be being released soon. All of this lets them know that you are still there and working while reminding them how much they love your sound.
Hello, my name is John Rodgers. I am a Hip Hop music producer dedicated to helping rappers and recording artist's build a music career from the ground up.