Being in the music industry for around 10 years, I have tried a mirage of marketing tactics in an attempt to MAKE IT in this world.
I’ve seen different waves of social media and advertising transform dramatically. I started with MySpace messaging people then moved to handing out flyers, reaching out to blogs etc, and these days I’m constantly studying the ever changing advertising opportunities from Facebook Ads, Playlisting, IG Promotion, YouTube Ads and just leveraging content / virality in general.
I could go on and on about all the success and fails over the years, but today, I want to zone in on some tactics that could be really helpful to rappers and musicians in general going into 2021. I sat down to discuss what’s going on with music marketing in general with my good friend and fellow artist, PATx. I chose Pat because I’ve watched him grow slowly and steadily over the past 4 years by keeping his finger on the pulse on a variety of marketing tactics with steady pressure. We both inspire each other with our constant effort so it was time to sit and chat about some things we’ve been doing. I’ve struggled with exactly how to break this general overview down. I won’t be able to show you everything to do, but I hope this can act as a resource to motivate you to take action in building your career’s foundation if you haven’t yet.
MAIN TAKEAWAY: In 2021, rather than spending all of your music budget on streams and overhyped, risky facades, consistently build a foundation of followers and/or emails that reveal your niche in the market through fan finder ad campaigns. Okay, with that being said, how do you do that?
Well, this article is not to go step by step with you. Rather, I’m giving you a break down of your options, and later, we will get specific. First, I want to talk about some of the things that have helped me over the years to learn how MARKETING works.
Music Specific Websites:
- Smart Rapper
- Founded by Rob Level, a rapper, Smart Rapper teaches tons of stuff to up and coming rappers utilizing their website and YouTube. Lots of jewels in their content. If you are an experienced artist, you may have to dig deeper, but the content is still there!
- I found Indepreneur in 2019 but didn’t invest into their courses until 2020 during quarantine. I didn’t even personally get to take all the courses I wanted, but they have some really good stuff. The focus on foundation building and EVERYTHING they teach is super realistic. I’ve been super inspired by the work their founder put in to get this off the ground and how he strives to build the company and do music simultaneously. They also have a podcast that is helpful if you take the time to listen!
Marketing Gurus / YouTube University:
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- This dude will inspire you in more ways than one. Talk about motivation. His content can teach you SO MUCH about business and marketing. I’ve spent days and days listening and reading his stuff.
- Studying Facebook Ads Through Various Dropshipping Marketers
- I dabbled with dropshipping in 2020 as well and actually made some money. After spending some time on it, I realized I didn’t feel good about the products I sold. So I stopped. But what I did feel good about was the insane Facebook Ads lessons I learned a long the way. I became REALLY good at advertising on Facebook. I’m really excited to implement some of the strategies I learned in 2021. Some examples of channels I checked out were: Scott Hilse, Gabriel St. German, Verum Ecom to name a few.
- YouTube University (Too many to Name)
- Just bouncing off the above. You can honestly learn almost anything you will ever need on YouTube. And if you can’t now, someone will fill in the gap soon. Take advantage of these free resources.
- Pat talks about this in the video up top. Check the timestamps.
- I use ClickUp to organize ALL of my content. It saves my life.
- I am decent at photoshop, but I am still on Canva every day, multiple times a day. Canva is a POWERHOUSE when it comes to photo and graphics editing. I’m going to create some more resources on it in the future, but for now, just got check out the free version. Fun fact: the thumbnail was made with Canva. 🙂
If you want to be successful as an independent artist, I highly recommend checking out and or studying everything I just mentioned.
Great examples of artists living off of music / hustle who aren’t SO FAMOUS:
It’s helpful to not only support them if you like them, but also see what other independent artists are doing to survive and thrive solo.
Huey Mack, Mike Stud, Asher Roth, Kota The Friend, IllMind, Rob Level, Cal Scruby, Masego, Mod Sun, Kenny Mason, Nascar Aloe, Silk da Prynce, Kamiyada+, Zotiyac, Oddisee
So with all of that being said, here are the avenues we are currently using or have tried in the past year or so and found beneficial to our music careers. Even though I’ve put d*mn near close to 10,000 hours into marketing in general, I can’t say I’m an expert on each of these. So please take this with a grain of salt.
WAYS TO MARKET:
- PlaylistBooker (Spotify Playlisting)
- IG Pages
- Facebook Ads
- Google Ads
- YouTube Ads
- Content Creation
- YouTube Channel
Now, in conclusion, here’s what both PATx and Cole Connor plan to focus on in 2021.
Cole: “Creating a variety of content consistently, building a 5 figure marketing budget and launching fan finder campaigns to begin to rebuild audiences.”
PATx: “Scaling my legitimacy, influence, numbers, profitability and happiness.”
There’s a lot to learn and even more to execute but REMEMBER, just like any career, this is a lifelong journey with ebbs, flows, ups, downs and adjustments along the way. You got this. Just enjoy the journey. We’ve only got one life. No regrets.
I’ll be going into specifics on more of these in the future, but in the meantime, please drop a comment if you found this helpful. Let me know what we should dive into next!
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Learn more at coleconnor.com