1. You Need Quality Material
It may seem obvious, but before you even decide to promote your music you need to have quality material to promote. Otherwise, it'll be a waste of time and money with no progress made.
Not only do you need a quality song (you can read "How to Improve Your Rap Song" for tips on how to do this) you also need promotional material such as mixtape covers, music videos, flyers, professional photos, etc.
Bonus Tip: Having more material to promote will help you in getting your followers to interact. By only promoting one thing, they'll get annoyed and could possibly see you as spam.
Think of it this way. Anything you do, make sure you have the highest quality possible:
- Music videos (1080p)
- Mixtape Covers (PNG files, high resolution, etc)
- Flyers (organized clean look, not overly complicated)
- Music (vocals professionally mixed, mastered, etc)
Also, having correct grammar is a must if you want to be perceived as a serious artist. Otherwise, it'll look cheesy and unprofessional.
2. Spend Money to Make Money
I'm sure you've heard the phrase "you need to spend money to make money"
And unsurprisingly, it's basically true.
Spending money on promotional campaigns will skyrocket your music plays (which will make you money later when you start selling your music). The hard part is you need to make sure you are investing in a legitimate business that does this, because there are several scam artists out there looking for artists like you.
Bonus Tip: If the promo business gives you a guaranteed/specific number of plays/likes/shares, I would stay away from them (it's impossible to predict real human behaviors).
Look for blogs, internet radio stations, and clubs that promote upcoming artists. You can go to Fiverr and find people that own popular music blogs, radio stations, etc that charge a minimum of $5 to promote your music! (But be be careful, because I've seen a few that look fake. Just remember to see if they're giving you specific stats or not).
3. Build Connections
Everyone should know that using social media is a must if you're going to be promoting yourself. Which means you should be using the most popular ones in today's age, which right now are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (and even YouTube).
Bonus Tip: You can use HootSuite to create pre-written tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram posts so you don't have to be physically using all of them at the same time (so you have more time to work on your music).
Hopefully you know this by now, but posting your link every six seconds to random people on social media is spam. Doing this for an hour will probably result in two clicks (if you're lucky). Instead, talk to people that have similar music likes as you and have a conversation with them. Then just mention that you make music and the probability of them checking you out with increase dramatically.
Although you might only reach 10 people in a day, the chances of them sharing it for you will be so much greater than telling random people to share your link with out a conversation.
Also, this concept applies in face-to-face interactions. Don't just rely on social media, talk to people in real life at concerts, music festivals, etc.
4. Create a Mailing List
Okay, so let's say you've been getting 10 clicks to your link a day for the past month, that's 300 potential fans that can possibly share your music to 300 more!
You don't want these people to just listen and never listen again. You want them to be updated on your latest releases. To do this you need to create a email list so you can send out email blasts to the ones that chose to sign up.
You can use MailChimp to send out your emails with (it's free for up to 2,000 emails).
As you are having your conversations with your potential fans just let them know that they can be updated if they're added to the list. Once they say yes, add them. Then whenever you have a big announcement just send 1 email and they'll check you out.
5. Be Genuine
This may seem simple, but a lot of people try to sound too professional (especially online) when they're promoting themselves.
When talking to people online there has to be a balance between being too proper and being unprofessional.
So when you are posting on your Twitter for example, don't just post 100% of your stuff about your music. Post about things you find funny, interesting, helpful to your followers. Or, if you are really genuine, promote another artist's music (who knows, you might end up collabing and getting more promotion).
This shows your followers that you are a real person and aren't some robot spamming them.
Becoming Successful Is a Lot of Work
No one said it was going to be easy to become a successful hip-hop artist.
It may seem like a lot of work at first, but if you want to start seeing better results try it for a month and see what happens. Hopefully these tips help you out in some way.
Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions!
Thanks for reading!