Quite a few established and aspiring artist have been asking us, how to have a higher rate of success at getting their music on Online Publications. We’ve been around long enough to pick up a few clues on what might get you on the right track.
Our editor Justin Jay Beats, who is also a producer and has been through the same problems as most artists trying to submit, and has put together this top 10 tips on why online publications might not be giving you a chance.
1 – Your taste in music might be completely different from who you’re interacting with which means you’re promoting to the wrong market.
- What would be the point of promoting your mixtape to some random grandmother or a 45 year old bank teller somewhere in Istanbul? Chances are they won’t be interested in your music. To be more specific, why would you link your conscious Hip Hop album to someone who mostly listens to pop music? If you’re a producer, would another producer who doesn’t rap be interested in your hip hop beats for sale? They may listen to your beats but the chances of them making a purchase are pretty slim. Also, do you think someone who listens to Heavy Metal is interested in hearing a Trap mixtape from someone they’ve never interacted with? The answer is NO. Even if they did listen to other genres, they wouldn’t waste their time with your music for one obvious reason: They don’t know you.
Here is an example. Kendrik Lamar circulated his mixtape called Youngest Head Nigga in Charge way back in 2003 to very a targeted market. He was so successful in getting his tape in front of the right people that he’s built a very successful career and is now a favorite for Album of the Year along with 10 other nominations.
2 – They don’t know you and you’ve probably irritated them by spamming your link.
- Don’t feel bad, we’ve all done it before. No need to explain why this is a no-no, I’m sure you can figure out why spam can be highly annoying.
3 – You haven’t built a relationship with them.
- Before you can share your music with someone, you must build a trustful relationship. If you simply spam your link, nine times out of ten it will get ignored. Most online publications will give your music a chance if they are familiar with you.
4 – They don’t feel any obligation to listen to your music.
- That is why conversing with someone is important when sharing your music. It gives them the obligation to check you out. Having something other than your music is another sure way to make them feel obliged to listen to your work. Make each conversation personal and most of all; be genuine. People can spot a scam artist.
5 – If you don’t appear to be a professional, they won’t take you seriously.
- If you do a ton of self-promotion; most likely it’s not going to be effective. Most professional artists might share a new song once or twice or find ways to do it subliminally. What you want is for people to share your music or be seen in hip hop blogs and other media platforms.
6 – You look like everyone else. If you want to be noticed, you have to stand out.
- With all the cookie cutter rappers out today, people want something different. Even if your style is based around a certain trend, you can still flip it in a way that’s unique to you. As long as you can find a way to add your own twist, people will notice because it breaks the mold of what they are normally used to.
7 – Your introduction email to the hip hop blogs is bland.
- If you think regular people hate spam messages, the staff at most hip-hop publications hates them with a passion. In fact, they go through so many music submissions, they can tell if you’re worth considering just by the way you format the email. They don’t even have to read one word. This is where you’ll need to be creative and professional when bartering with them.
8 – Social media is your only platform and you haven’t thought outside the box.
- Imagine if you were banned from popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; where would you find people to promote your music to? One goldmine to find people to build relationships with is in music forums. Forums are actually better than social media sites because the market is laser targeted. It’s basically the opposite of your oversaturated social media, where you can only find 20% of people who like your music while 80% couldn’t care less. Forums are completely different as 80% are musicians while 20% are either lurkers but yet highly interested people. Always consider the 80/20 rule when it comes to marketing your music.
9 – You’re are not investing in yourself.
- It takes money to make money. In fact, start thinking of your fans as one dollar bills. You want a million dollars right? Well, you’ll need a million fans. The problem is that you don’t want to spend a single penny because you don’t understand how advertising works. Think of your favorite brands. How did they get their product in your brain? Now get more specific and ask yourself, how have you heard of some of your favorite underground artists. Sometimes, investing doesn’t even have anything to do with money. If you are a low budget artist, you can invest your time into finding ways to advertise for free. You got to believe in yourself in order to invest into your art.
10 – You can’t get past your own ego.
- There are a ton of artists online who don’t promote their music. They assume their music is so hot; people will just flock to wherever their music is posted and go viral without any type of legwork. This may be true for some artists but the chances of that happening are one in a million. If you’re this type of artist, you better get back down to Earth because if you don’t even have 100 plays on each of your songs, in music currency, that is pennies.
If you can avoid doing these toxic habits, you should be able to get your music in the ears of people and potentially turn them into fans. The basic idea here is to build relationships with people and not be annoying. The reason so many people like to spam is because it is easier than actually talking to somebody or even just chatting with them. Nothing great comes easy so you must be willing to go the extra mile if you want to be great. Most importantly you want to grow your fan base.