The same goes for the Music Industry, the standard stereotype is that once you are in it, you will have people doing everything for you. But once you start your music career as an indie artist you will slowly find out that’s not really the case.
What is happening more and more these days, is that artists are doing it on their own. From recording to marketing, even booking their own shows. Being a artist is expensive, and you can some times rarely see the monetary rewards of your labors. One way to remedy that is by gaining exposure and getting fans. How do you get more fans?
The best way any hip hop artist can begin to get any kind of exposure is through booking performances. Even if its as an opener for a major artist; being heard, literally anywhere, can help you get attention. If you’re talented enough and are passionate enough, you will perform any where you can. That’s how you can get your foot in the door.
There are many other ways to help yourself get shows. The most vital thing above anything else is being good. The hard truth is that not many people want to go see a rap artist that can’t rap. Practice is essential. While it might seem like a silly thing to suggest it’s true, performing can help with your stage presence and how to perform your song in front of a live audience.
One suggestions is to make demos of your work, because these aren’t going to be commercially released, you don’t have to worry about it being absolutely perfect, or if you do any covers. It just has to be good enough to showcase what you do and catch attention of the venue owner, so he can consider booking you again. These demos are to be done through online distribution. Cutting demos and putting them on CD is dead and gone. This is the days of online media, and cutting a demo on CD will make you look old!
The new method of marketing your demo is putting it on your social media pages: Soundcloud, Audiomack, Reverbnation etc and directing venue owners and booking agents to your work. Another vital thing to do is to network. Meet people, be polite and professional. Carry cards around with you that has your name, number, website, gmail, and social media sites where your music is hosted. But connect with people, whether it’s other artists, managers or owners of a venue. If you meet people who see how talented you are, they are more likely to want to collaborate with you on a project. This can lead to you gaining more exposure to their fans and a broader audience.
Don’t be afraid to email people at venues or festivals. Keep it short and to the point though. You don’t have to include your entire press kit, but include previous shows you’ve played, and any links to social media.
Also, as I said in the beginning don’t be afraid to play where ever you can. If you find yourself not being able to book shows, look into getting some other artists together and creating your own show a venue you can rent out. Create flyers and invite your friends. Don’t ignore open mic nights either. That can be a great place to meet other artists or even gain a few fans.