Marketing Invest In Yourself

Published on November 19th, 2013 | by FuNkwoRm

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Why You Should Pay For Exposure

Invest In Yourself

Every other business does it. Why shouldn’t you? If you’re a business, you need to market and advertise. Somehow a lot of up and coming artists think that they can bypass this important necessity in their careers.

Even Jay Z needs a marketing budget for each release. “Well, I don’t have the money”, you say. Well you should find an investor because it’s going to be a hard grind if you don’t. Where should your money be spent? Wherever it’s affective. Do the research. Some of the ones who spend the money, don’t do the research and get suckered by wack promoters and publicists. If you have a new release, buy banner ads on hot blogs, or try Facebook ads. You know those ad videos that pre-roll every time you watch a YouTube video? Find out how much it costs to run one of those and target your audience.

You’re not just competing with other rappers you know? You’re competing with social networks, Grand Theft Auto, TV shows, and any other thing that’s taking attention away from you. And your competition is paying big money for marketing. That song you think was a viral sensation was most likely a well thought out marketing campaign made to appear that way.

Plus people know you’re serious when you’re spending money. You’re sure to get their attention. If there’s a DJ who wants to be paid for support, and you see that he’s effective at creating a buzz for artists, pay the man. If your research shows that a pay-for-post blog or magazine is creating results, spend the money. Invest in yourself. I don’t charge for posts here because I like to stay selective about what I post. But believe me, after running this blog for almost 5 years, I understand why some bloggers do it. For the exception of a few, the artist posting part of this is a thankless endeavor.

Bottom line is, you need traction. And a blog post here and a blog post there, separated by weeks or months, is not going to cut it. You need a marketing assault with some clever ideas to get attention. And even then, you better hope that you’re product is good enough to convert the listener once they give it a chance. I’m sure Eminem spend a truckload on his marketing campaign, and I still haven’t heard the album yet. I will eventually. Many others I know haven’t either. Not that it’s bad. We haven’t even taken the time to listen to it yet!

On the other hand, you can build and intimate tribe of followers, one person at a time. This takes time though. But if you want to make and impact, and you want to spread your message, you’re going to need a significant budget, and some smart people around you that know enough not to throw it down the toilet on bullshit. In the meantime, read some good books on marketing or Google the information. That education will do you good no matter what business you’re in. And it may save you a lot of time and money.

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About the Author

FuNkwoRm is a music producer, creator of the hip hop comic strip, Rap Ratz, and has a dope backspin.



  • Def Note

    Great Read! This is why I follow you!! LOL Can I get answer to a question… I now have several promotions planned. I know if I did them all at once it would be better, BUT I wouldn’t know which was the most helpful. I want to know how well each one does on its own to know and if its effective enough to try again. Is this a good strategy? It’s my first time promoting something and I want to know if it’ll be useful in the future.

  • Thank you! There are a lot of variables that can determine whether or not a campaign is successful or not. Timing is a major factor and the only way to exclude it as the reason an individual campaign failed or not is to launch them at the same time. That’s just my opinion.

  • Billa

    True That

  • Jeremiah Anderson

    This is a great article. Using your marketing budget effectively when starting out is one of the most important aspects when it comes to building your BRAND. This is important no matter how big or small your budget. Google Adwords usually gives $100 coupons to first time users so it’s check out the Adwords site. It will pay off to take the time to understand how Google Adwords works, or find someone who does. Free documents explaining everything about it are available on the site. I would just try and understand the basic concepts and spend the rest of the time on music.

  • Very true. And the lanes are wide open for the use of tools like Adwords because a very small percentage of artists even know about this stuff.

  • Humpasaur Jones

    One thing we’ve found testing for World Around is that meatspace has a higher ROI than online ads do. Most online “promotions” are entirely framed by the vendors — for instance, when you pay for Facebook to “promote” something, they tell you how to measure it. But do new “followers” or “likes” actually equate to sales? Generally, no. Facebook especially is insanely low engagement — you’re not actually getting attention for your money, just a click. (Those are worth $0.00, for anyone keeping score at home.)

    Meanwhile, postering your nearest big city market will get the attention & awareness you actually need. I would definitely recommend FedEx/Kinkos over Facebook/AdWords for new independent artists.

  • Ignoring the advantages of cyber promotion unfortunately only limits artists to local reach (assuming that they don’t have the resources to tour). Not to take anything from working your city. You you can blow up the spot at home and do just fine. I find that most artists just don’t know how to use platforms like Facebook effectively to cultivate their followers. Here’s a great article about Steve Aoki that talks about just that.
    http://blog.justgomusic.com/how-did-steve-aoki-become-so-famous-we-interviewed-his-manager-matt-colon/

  • Humpasaur Jones

    I think it is safe to assume most folks don’t have the resources to tour, though.

    Also, the bigger point I wanted to make is that followers are not fans, and if you want to tour, you need those.

  • Jeremiah Anderson

    It all comes back to doing the research. I majored in marketing for my degree so I appreciate your viewpoint on this topic.

  • Def Note

    Thanks for the reply 🙂

  • Eric Gomez

    Great post! I worked in major brand marketing as a senior marketing producer for Walmart.com for some time; and I watched how the major brands POURED MONEY into their campaigns. The results were even more astonishing. I have always argued that marketing with the same vigor and direction is necessary for indies.

  • Thank you! And thanks for sharing your valuable experience.

  • Def Note

    Thanks for link! I found it very helpful

  • Billz

    This article is so full of BS. First off paying to be featured on a blog is considered unethical in the journalism community. Secondly, if you have to pay to be featured that means your music is just not hot enough and that blog obviously doesn’t support true talent. This article mentions nothing about fan engagement which is probably the most important aspect. I’m surprised they didn’t mention the prospects of buying fake followers for support. Sure we as artists have to invest, but not in coverage. Branding, and actual marketing campaigns should be the focus of investments. Major artists don’t pay off radio execs to get their material played. To my fellow artists, don’t fall this mumbo jumbo crap.

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