A Very Important Topic,
Before I go into any detail, my answer would be honesty.
When you purchase products in real life like a tv, computer, car, why do you purchase the one with a better brand name?
Cause the one with a better name brand, you know the quality is there.
This all comes down to trust.
Building a business is a HUGE PROCESS, and making beats and trying to sell them, or being an artist, is no less. (If not harder).
So how do you market yourself to stand out?
Again, honesty. Honesty builds trust.
Trust is not given, but earned.
Remember that slogan. This slogan relates to anything in life. Business, friendships, relationships, you name it.
Once trust is lost, it’s even harder to gain one’s trust again than when you first started off!
Make sure you have ways for people to follow you
I try not to check out other people’s music for the fact I like to do my own thing, and everything = time. The more time I focus on other people’s music, the less time I have to focus on my craft and the skills the Lord has given me,
When I do check out people’s music, soundclick’s etc. MANY TIMES I have tried to check out their links, youtube, twitter, facebook, etc. and the links are broken! Meaning you click on the link, and it doesn’t bring you anywhere! Not facebook, twitter, no where at all!
Be aware of this!
How can one follow you if you yourself are stopping people from following you?
So go through your social media sites, click on the links, and make sure they are not broken! Especially on your soundclick pages!
Now this leads us into the next point,
Do you even have links that you are promoting?
Again, I’ve been to many twitter pages and the user has NO LINKS IN THEIR PROFILE AT ALL!
They have the descriptions like this:
Producer/Beatmaker, Artist, Likes Dolphins, Likes Cheese Wiz without the Wiz, Give me a color and I’ll make it look good, Don’t need a vacation cause I’m livin’ the life .. Worked with blah blah blah
So this person is a beat maker, but NO LINKS! This is bad marketing, especially since twitter is a free platform to market yourself on!
Sure, you can be as funny as you want in your description, but answer the question, how can people follow you without a link!
Don’t be this person who gets told:
I heard your a beat maker. I tried to check you out but couldn’t find your beats!
So post your links on your social sites!
At the very least post a link to lead people to all your other sites. www.About.me is a good place to start! Sign up, fill out all your twitter, facebook, youtube, soundclick, soundcloud, etc. then just promote that www.about.me page! See my about me page for an idea.
You can see on my soundclick page, http://www.GratuiTousBeats.com, that I have not only my facebook, twitter, youtube etc, but since I am an artist for the Lord, I have www.reverbnation.com up there to promote my songs. I should probably have iTunes up top with my other tabs too, but nonetheless my CD’s are below, and the information is there to those who are looking!
Make sure your Bio is up to date,
Bio, About Page, what ever you want to call it.
From the beginning of this website I wrote a biography on myself to share to my readers who I am, but in the time that Beatstruggles has started up, I’ve had many changes in not only my life, but my music career!
From working with a fairly well known Christian Rapper, Fresh I.E., to putting out TWO of my own CD’s on iTunes!
You can check those out here (Right here I’m taking advantage of free marketing by sharing with you guys my own products in this helpful article on how to market yourselves!)
So I had to update my bio! (This goes for your social media sites as well! Yes it takes time, but when you’re not on the internet, someone else is, and they could come across your page, and what do you want them reading, old info about you? Or the most up to date recent stuff so they can start to follow you and enjoy your music!)
This is interesting,
This is something I’ve just recently come across. I was on a couple popular blogger sites for people who are interested in mobile phones, gadgets etc.
THESE PEOPLE ARE AMAZING AT MARKETING THEMSELVES. YOU CAN LEARN HUGE INFORMATION FROM JUST CHECKING OUT THEIR SITES
And what I’ve learned is, in the top right of Beatstruggles you can see, About the Author.
So now, right away when anyone in this world comes to my website, Beatstruggles, they INSTANTLY get to know not only who owns this website, but writes the information they are reading, and not only that, they get to know me on a bit more of a personal level!
Branding is EVERYTHING
When someone comes to your site, and see’s your face with your name beside it, people will be like, “Oh ya, I know him!”. Cause you branded yourself!
To continue about the About The Author thing, there is also a way to get your face into google search for your blog posts by adding a snippet of code to your blog! This post that Yoast has written will explain more.
So when people search topics that Beatstruggles has to share on google, guess what? My face will be under the post and therefore, FREE BRANDING!
Click on picture to see!
Again, leading us into our next topic,
Pictures of your business/company = branding.
Post your pictures where ever you have the ability to and take advantage of the free branding!
Think about this for a second.
If you had an idea for an invention or product, how much money do you think it would be to promote the product on commercials, advertisements, billboards, pictures etc.
A lot of money!
Now.. I’m guessing you’re like me and don’t have thousands of dollars to promote your beats, music, and business.
So what do you do?
Take Advantage of Your Free Marketing/Promotion Tools!
These are facebook, twitter, youtube, forums! (Especially your signature in forums). But you must be professional in how you do it! (More on that below).
Use What Ya’ Got
These are free tools to promote your business, product, and brand. Use them wisely, and plan before you act. Nobody likes spam, but people do like to be kept up to date! And how can they be up to date, if you don’t post stuff?
So where is that border between spam and updates?
That’s something you’ll have to feel out as you continue to grow with your business! So be aware of SPAM and always keep it in mind!
So speaking of SPAM and making your clients, customers, and even friends want nothing to do with your facebook posts, this leads us into,
If you make beats and have branded yourself as a business, you are a business, and you must learn to try and act like one!
Don’t be silly on twitter and say silly things.
This will only turn around and have a negative effect on you. If you do something silly to just try and get your name out there in the very beginning of starting up your business, that thing could always come around again at a later date, maybe when you do start to be successful! Be careful before you hit the send button, and always second guess your decision.
Be yourself, but be professional. Be respectful and understanding. Be helpful, but don’t let others push you around. Learn to work together with others, and allow your gifts and their gifts to become a strong team!
If someone were to come to your twitter page and see a bunch of immature posts all over your page, what would the person, your client, or even another business who wants to do business with you think?
As for me, I am a representative of Jesus.
By that I mean, I must present myself in everything of how Jesus wants us to live, not just for myself, but for others.
What ever I do, I am influencing others, so I must set an example for others that they may be able to see how Jesus wants us to live and can change one’s life.
So now if I talk Jesus this, Jesus that, but one goes on to my twitter page, and sees a bunch of picture of naked girls, pictures of all these rappers holding money and smoking weed etc. But then in my music I’m preaching about Jesus.. it just doesn’t work.
I would be a hypocrite.
I must live the life of Christ not only in my Words, but in my actions, I must live the life of Christ, to be that role model for others.
And therefore, I am a representative of Jesus.
One more quick example to really get this point across, cause this works for both with Jesus, and with business.
Imagine I worked for God. Let’s say God has a business that is like Toys’r'us. So God owns a toy company.
He sends me out to the business meetings to try and get huge advances on money, so that we may be able to pay for a bunch of toys to sell them.
Now it is my job to make God’s company look good. So when I go to my business meeting to try and seal the deal and get this advance, I must be presentable and professional so that our company may be able to buy all these toys!
I must look presentable and professional in all actions.
If I came into the business meeting drinking a milkshake, with a chocolate stain on my shirt from a chocolate glazed donuts I ate before I came in, and while during the meeting I finish my milkshake, I start to suck hard on the straw to get every last drop and it makes that really loud and annoying slurping sound,
The BIG GUYS in charge of loaning the money to God’s toy company will probably want
nothing to do with His company cause I presented myself as a fool!
So if I post all these silly things on facebook/twitter, people will get the message that in order to follow Christ, you don’t have to be set apart from the world. I would be sending the message that to follow Christ you can do anything you want! Therefore, leading into corruption!
So this is very important for your business! I can’t stress it enough.
I post things that will edify people, encourage them, build them up and try to bring out gifts inside people that they never even knew they had!
So this story goes for your company.
Everything you do matters.
Be careful with your actions, think ahead and try to figure out what your decision is going to effect before you do it.
Is the outcome of your decision going to be good or bad?
What you say IS VERY IMPORTANT. Before you hit send, always double think what effect this is going to bring towards you and the people around you.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is definitely the most effective, and cheapest.
Having someone spread your name around by conversation is almost unbuyable marketing.
Again, this comes from honesty which builds trust. This also relates with the spam and updates too!
Very often, word of mouth comes down to your relationships. Are you just always try to sell someone your business? When ever you meet up with friends, family etc, is business the only thing you can talk about? Sure it’s great to share what you do, and people would love to pass on to others what you are trying to do, but again, there is that border between SPAM and UPDATES! Just keep it in your mind.
Also with word of mouth advertising it’s people being at the right place at the right time. But with God on one’s side, you see some pretty amazing “At the Right Place, Right Time” kind of stuff lol!
Free Advertising Through Your Beats,
I’ve just recently learned this one too since I just put out my second CD on iTunes!
It’s called ID3 TAGGING!
This means that when ever someone listens to a beat, song etc. that you sent them, or they have downloaded, they get to see the image art, and all the details you want to put inside that beat!
First, what do you see in this image that could be FREE BRANDING for you?
(Click and study the picture for a second)
I went ahead and put some arrows to show you guys the FREE BRANDING that I have given
myself through ID3 Tagging my beats!
From the top arrow to the bottom this is what I did:
- Even without ID3 tagging, you can still put your artist name like I have done here, so no difference from you just changing it yourself without an ID3 tag program. But still, if your artist name is on the beat, that”s more branding for your name!
- I put the image into the beat so that if people listen to it on their iPod, on iTunes or Windows Media Player, they can see all the information I want them to know!
- I put a way for them to follow me on the image in case the liked the music!
To explain a bit more in depth,
So besides the part of giving out a free beat tape, that is free marketing by itself, but on the image of the cover I put GratuiTous, AND MY BEAT STORE WEBSITE! I gave them a way to follow me in case they liked my music!
ID3 Tagging allows you to encode any information you want into the beat. Add any kind of image, any kind of details you name it! If the person right clicks on the song, and goes properties, if you put your beat store in the description, you may get a new customer or listener! (This works for MP3, not .WAV!)
Look at the details of one of my tracks and look at all the info I could cram into the MP3! (Again, you want rich info, not SPAM!)
The description part is great, cause you could just add your website into the description! Now if people pass along that beat, that’s 100% free advertising!
Again! — Use What Ya’ Got! — Take advantage of these free tools, who knows where your beat could end up. Someone looks in the details of the MP3, the next thing they know, they signed up to your mailing list on your beat store!
So ID3 Tagging is a super easy, FREE way, to capture your audiences attention. And again, FREEEE!
I use the program called “MP3 Tag”. Just google that!
What are some more ways for free marketing?
If you don’t have money to invest to start a website, which isn’t too expensive, you can get a blog! (Like a free wordpress blog!)
Forums are huge!
A forum is people just like you trying to find information, or share information.
So if you have the information for those people, these people are your market! If you bring them rich content, they may start to follow you and be interested in your company, website, and products!
Everyone likes RICH CONTENT. Rich content is helpful, eye grabbing, and actually useful. So therefore, if you have RICH and USEFUL content, people will continue to come back to your site, blog, beat store because you have built that name of a reliable source of information, and again TRUST!
Forums are a great way to meet people in your market, and build relationships with people who have the same interests as you!
When you sign up to forums, make sure you use all the FREE TOOLS FOR BRANDING.
What tools are there on a forum?
Well most forums give you a signature. (See Picture)
Again, Click picture to see FREE BRANDING opportunities!
Don’t Cheat! Look up top first, then you can see the arrows!
So in the image with the arrows starting from left to right then to the bottom left to right.
In my avatar picture I have my album cover that’s on iTunes. That’s free marketing for my CD and my artist/producer name GratuiTous.
Right beside it, they give you the opportunity to put your website. So.. take advantage of it and PUT IT IN!
If someone finds your post interesting, they will check out your user name etc. and see of ways to check out more information about you, and if your info isn’t there, how can they follow!
Now near the bottom in my signature this is just free advertising! I have my twitter and facebook for people to follow me. Then I have an image that leads to the Beatstruggles Sound Pack Flyer!
This is a forum where beat makers ask questions on how to do certain techniques, and very often there are questions, “Where Do I Find Good Sounds?“, if that person happens to come across your signature, you may of got yourself a sale, and if not a sale, you have at least made them aware of your product, website, and store!
Other Freebie Advertising!
Create a facebook group or event, that way you know people are aware of who you are, and what you do! Even if they don’t join up, they are at least aware of what you are trying to promote!
People don’t like being “sold to”. Learn how to build relationships and learn how to offer what it is you are selling! It could even be by starting off the conversation like “Hey, how’s it going?” And actually let them reply.. lol Then you can be like “hey, I have a business card for you!”.
Giving Credit When it is Due!
This is a huge one!
This is probably the best way to build a relationship in life in just general.
If someone has done something impressive, tell them! Everyone needs encouragement, and it’s an awesome way to start, and build a relationship!
If you liked someones beat, tell them. If someone was good in an interview, tell them where you think they shined the most!
Giving credit when it is due can not only bring huge benefits to you by starting new relationships,
But it shows others where your heart is!
Here are some ways of marketing that cost some money,
Business cards were probably the best investment I have invested in for not only myself as GratuiTous, but for Beatstruggles.
You go out grocery shopping, walking down the street, go to the gas station, where ever you are. Stop and build a relationship with someone, and give them your business card!
Make sure your card has your business logo on it for BRANDING PURPOSES, your email, and links you want them to check out. If you don’t give them the information that you want them to check out, how are they supposed to check it out?
If you do get into the business card route, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, here are a few things to look out for ( which I have learned from experience ):
Go with the flow on these, they are not “Rules”, but things to look out for lol
(This all goes with being professional and respectful)
- Don’t give a card to someone while they are eating
- Don’t give a card to an employee at a store who is busy working
There is a time and place for everything
I have done both of these things as mentioned in 1. and 2., and they have worked out great, but just be aware of the situation and have discernment on how you approach people and market to them!
Aside from business cards, you could get stickers. Who knows where your sticker could end up!
Paid advertising (P.P.C.)
Now this is a bit of a different kind of advertising. It’s called PPC, which stands for Pay Per Click.
Which means, you will not pay for your advertising unless someone clicks on your advertisement.
It is a bit newer, and is becoming more and more popular, but as for starting up, use what you got, there is so much free marketing that you may never have to pay for it if you do it right!
But here’s a few options of paid advertising:
- Be careful of impressions (such as banners on websites). Many times websites charge large amounts for impressions, and impressions can rip by even if people don’t click on your banner!
- Soundclick’s banner above, front page spotlight etc. (Which would be directly to your targeted market).
- Google Adwords
- Other beat websites which offer similar things to soundclick’s
- Facebook Ad’s (all 4 of these are very similar in how they work).
Paid advertising may help you out, especially something like the Soundclick banners, because soundclick is full of artists and beat makers, which is directly targeting your market.
AdWords by Google is something to maybe keep an eye on that once you grow that big, you may be able to take advantage of! But again, Use What Ya’ Got!
But I want to share more of “free ways” to market, and how to pursue and obtain what you want to achieve; which is success in your hobby, love, dream, etc.
How are you going to obtain your goal and reach your market?
I can’t tell you this enough.
WRITE THINGS DOWN.
I MEAN EVERYTHING
When you get an idea, write it down. Cause you may not have time to do your idea today, and may be something you want to get done, but what happens is life gets busy, and guess what! You forget what your idea was!
Now to stay on track with writing things down,
You have a goal, and how are you going to reach it?
Let’s say you want to be a chef. How are you going to do it?
You gotta get your information!
Take a day, slow down life for a bit, and THINK. Plan ahead in your life.
If you want to be a chef, how are you going to obtain that goal?
Get out a piece of paper, and try to figure it out in order what it is you’d have to do.
- Do research on schools to see what they have to offer
- How much is it going to cost
- How long is the course
- Is it really something you want to get into with all your heart
- Is this a job where you could support your family, and not allow your job to control your life?
These are the kind of questions you have to ask yourself! Even if it’s just scribbles.
As long as it’s on paper, your thought is not forgotten!
Check out this video, and for real, everything I write down!
So I guess that concludes what you need to do in order to market yourself in this social frenzy! If you stick to it and don’t give up, who knows where your hard work will take you!
Again, this is Riley Weller, better known as GratuiTous, you can hear my new CD here:
One more thing! — This is something my Dad mentioned to me with being honest in your business:
If you’re honest, you never have to remember anything
– Poppa B
What he means by that is when people lie, they have to remember their lie to protect themselves. But if you just keep it real and honest all the time, you have no worry about anything cause you’ve done nothing wrong!
And other than that, I’ll talk to you guys on the next thing I put out!
Share how you market yourself, what you do, and what you’d add!