Making beats and bars won’t get you that far. Promoting independent hip-hop can be the most challenging part of making money in the music industry, and requires just as much creativity as the records you make. You can rap 16 bars, but can you get 16 people to show up for a show?
Before you can pack a club, you’ll need to create more than a few songs. Every independent hip-hop artist should define their image along with their music. Are you Ghostface Killah or Frank Ocean? Your persona will help you promote your independent hip-hop music by providing a consistent theme throughout all of your marketing efforts.
We recently posted about creative ways to market your band offline, but know that each genre has it’s own history, culture, fans and requires different tactics to be successful. A promotional strategy that works for a country singer probably won’t work for an independent hip-hop artist. Once you’re done in the studio…
You’ve Got to Get Up, Get Out and Get… Offline
Getting your songs posted by hip-hop blogs, and growing your fan base online will happen much faster if you don’t ignore your local audience. There is no better way of promoting independent hip-hop music than through live shows. This is where your image comes into play.
You’re going to need to print promotional flyers to advertise the show. Your design should reflect the image you created. Look for examples from other artists that make a similar style of hip-hop for influence if this is your first time creating flyers. Take it a step further by printing tickets for the show that you can sell in advance. Sell enough, and your fans will think that you’re a superstar.
Superstar or Superhero? Be Both!
The show went great – you killed it on stage, and now there is a line of people waiting to meet you. Of course you will have already printed CD covers that prove you’re a superstar, but did you create hip-hop trading cards to turn yourself into a superhero?
Separate yourself from other artists by printing trading cards with your image, story and stats in the most creative format possible – include a few with each CD you sell!