One of the things I hear more often than most from “Upcoming Artistes” is that “I don’t have money”. And because of that they do not market their music properly.
To be brutally honest if you do not have money then maybe you should consider another career choice that is less expensive because the excuse of not having money will not cut it. You might as well go learn a trade or something. Excuses will not cut it.
However If you’re one of those artistes who don’t have money, but are certain that a music career is the path you want to pursue,then continue reading.
Now here are a few things you could do on a budget that will get you and your music to your intended audience.
The first thing you need to do is create great music, this goes without saying I suppose because if you make bad music no matter how well marketed your work is, it would still be terrible and you’d have set yourself up for an epic fail, if this happens and I hope for your sake it doesn’t, you had better retire.
You should know that there is no magic formula to this thing called stardom, especially as an artiste, you probably think that all you need to do is get signed to a major label and then the money would roll in in bullion vans and you’d glitter like the stars in the heavens, truth is there are a lot of people who have gotten signed to some label or the other big or small and didn’t quite cut it, fact is there’s no telling, everyone from record execs to publicists just do the best they can with a proven structure and the rest is left to you, but since you’re still unsigned and we want to find out if you’re that artiste with the star quality, here are a few other tips to market
Cover Songs provide you with an opportunity to see where you are musically but also allow avid music listeners enjoy the songs they love all over again with a different feel to it; a good cover can do miracles for your career and provides people an opportunity to see how good you really are. Doing a cover song helps you build on an already existing platform created by an already successful song and artiste which is a good thing as the most successful people claim to have stood on the shoulders of giants, you’d be doing the same and hopefully you’d be successful as well.
You are going to have to perform, over and over again, whenever the opportunity calls you take it, if you get paid in cash or in zobo it really doesn’t matter if truly you want this as much as you have us believe whenever you run into us, if you want to be successful at this you’ll pay your dues and you will perform, perform and perform till your knees ache, a great performance will always stay in our heads and so will your song and your name, but if you don’t perform, it will never happen. Funny how I still remember a few performances from Idols from years back.
Friends and Family.
There’s no better marketing tool than friends and family, when people start a business their first clientele are usually friends and family and these same group of people help get them more clients by word of mouth. I’d say put them to work, get them to spread the word, threaten, beg, do whatever but make sure they spread the word, give them a ringtone, push them hard or maybe not I guess it all boils down to how much you want this.
This is something you’re going to have to get acquainted with very closely; truth is it will take a lot for me to buy your CD off you if you are an unknown quantity to me, same goes for the average Joe out there. So be ready to give away a few CDs or a lot depending on how much work you have cut out for you. I have found out that I am more willing to listen to a CD someone gives me for free than that I may have paid a token for from you when you accosted me on the street or wherever. The fact is; we all love free stuff, Also don’t forget the club owners and DJs, you would be surprised how far they could take your music.
Compare yourself to someone else; I see a lot of press releases with all sorts of stuff from claiming to be the most exciting act ever, DO NOT TOW THAT LINE. Compare yourself to someone else preferably someone retired or great, say something like your style is like Rakeem, or you sound like the Beastie Boys or somewhat similar to Sade or Aretha Franklin, this gives the reader an appreciation for your music already especially if they love who you compare your style or sound to so, say for example you sound like Frankie Lymon, the Frankie Lymon fan out there will probably be keen to hear your work and will most likely be ready to pay for it.
Choosing the right platform to get your music out there is very important especially as an unsigned act; you probably do not have a distribution agreement so the question is; what is the best and most effective way to get your music out there? But when saying out there you need to have an intended destination. There are over 150 million Nigerians living in the country and approximately another estimated 17 million in diaspora, meaning
that there are approximately 167 million Nigerians and this is your primary market, you look at sub Saharan Africa, Africa as a whole and then the entire planet at your disposal and so the question is what is the most effective way to get my music out there? Because where your music goes, ultimately so do you.
Article written by: Charles Oyarekua
Follow on Twitter: @charlzimperator