Up-and-coming rappers have it kind of tough. In an era where instant gratification and overnight viral sensations abound, one can easily get discouraged with what seems to be slow, or little progress in his or her career. With so much information and platforms available, there appears to be a multiple inexpensive labor-saving approaches to the top.
Focus On Releasing Singles, Not Albums
It’s very difficult to gain a fan base by overloading them with a dozen or more of your creations at once. By releasing singles only, you set yourself up to potentially spread a consistent campaign out for twelve months versus twelve weeks - the typical promotion window for an album. Not to mention, your songs’ play counts will likely increase when there’s less music for people to choose from. In short, always keep fans wanting more.
But if you must release an album, keep it to 10 songs or less and use any extra songs as promotional singles. Up-and-coming artists in 2018 should focus on landing on curated streaming playlists rather than the more conventional “album of the year” contention.
Rethink Your Marketing Campaign
Spending money on a publicist and a press campaign may not be the best option for an up-and-comer. Rather than invest $3,000 in a traditional press campaign, use the budget to partner with social media influencers. Find YouTubers, Instagrammers, and/or Tweeters with substantial followings, send them a professional email or direct message, and ask if they’d be interesting in premiering your music in their next video or social media post. Put your music, videos and promotional content where the most eyeballs are.
Find New Revenue Streams
Don’t be afraid to work a 9 to 5 or even part-time. You shouldn’t kick yourself for not being able to make money off of your craft just yet, as long as you understand that your day job is a means to invest in your career.
To avoid working a job that you have no passion for, determine a skill set that is marketable to other artists. If you’re organized and detail orientated, consider tour managing to get your foot in the door. If you have a knack for organizing events, throw a concert for a more established act and book yourself as the opener. Both options not only allow you to gain exposure, but you will also gain valuable experience in the industry. And, if done correctly, will also put much-needed cash in your pocket.
Use High Quality Graphics
With so many rappers failing at this, it is easy to get high quality custom graphics in todays world. You can either pay someone fairly cheap to create dope graphics or use an online service. I like www.canva.com personally, it is a free site where you can layer images to create graphics. They even have set dimensions for you such as facebook cover, flyer, youtube thumbnail, etc... You aren't going to get the tools like photoshop has, but I have made some pretty dope designs on there.
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