Going viral is becoming easier and easier for upcoming artists in 2021. Given the increase opportunities via music distribution companies and social media websites like Tik Tok & Instagram. Platforms are continuing to cater to cult-like followings with algorithms that are religiously serving up new content for consumption.
With the increase in accessibility for music comes a deeper need to focus on systems and infrastructure. For many artists, going viral is a dream come true — undoubtedly — but if you’re not in a position to capitalize on the growth it can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Hip Hop and the music business in general is a full-fledged blood sport. You have people that use hip hop as a vehicle and you have people who’s main focus is to keep their position in the game. Your job as an artist is to put yourself in the best position possible when it comes to your journey.
In this article, I am going to discuss three things:
- Having a team in place.
- Building a core fan base.
- Creating a solid brand.
Check out the video below.
There are a number of things that you can do to prepare yourself for going viral. Having a system in place is a necessity and not-so much an option.
When you include the need for growth coupled with politics, you can understand why so many artists become one-hit wonders.
If you logically think about it, being in position can only make you more money and increase your odds of success after any deals.
Now let’s deep dive into ‘3 Things To Do BEFORE You Go Viral’.
1. Have A Team In Place
This is probably the most essential aspect of preparing for success. If you’re new to music or have made the decision to do music. You can’t forget that music is a business and one of the highest grossing businesses at that.
Not only, should you have a team in place for day-to-day activities. You should be networking and putting the appropriate pieces in place that can handle an increase in opportunities.
Networking in business is probably the one of the single most important actions that a person can do to further their career. If you work in the music industry or content business. You fully understand the weight that comes with knowing the right people or just simply being surrounded with like-minded individuals.
I would definitely consider networking a growth strategy. The power of networking is simple. There is direct correlation between the number of connections you have vs. the number of opportunities that will come your way.
More connections = More opportunities
3 Things Artists Should Do When Networking
Learn How To Get Involved, Build Relationships & Create A Powerful Network — Music Marketing
2. Build A Core Fan Base
Building a core fan base before going viral is often over looked when it comes to the success of artists. This aspect of preparation can pay dividends in many different areas.
First, you’ll always have support to fall back on and the foundation to sustain growth. Second, having a core fan base puts you in a position to secure a ‘profit-split deal’ over others. Third, these are valuable individuals who are willing to buy into your brand.
Having a solid core fan base will only add to the opportunities that going viral provides artists. Especially when it comes to collaborations, experimenting with music and merchandise. Fans are assets, just like in any business there’s the economic effect of supply & demand.
For all artists, no matter if you’re signed to a major label or independent. It’s essential to understand the importance of leverage and how to use it. Turning your fans into assets is about positioning. What do you have of value that people want and how can you take advantage of that leverage to help you achieve your goals.
Music provides the leverage. But how do you truly turn fans into assets? Own the data. If you own the data, you own the asset that can be leveraged against. This can be accomplished by beefing up on your “Owned-media properties”, which include your website, email lists and music (videos & streaming).
The true power lies in control, social media platforms are a great place to increase awareness and engage with fans. But as we’ve seen with Boosie and Instagram, having a presence on social media is a privilege and not so much a right. This is why gathering data from emails and your website plays a major role in turning fans into assets.
Just like an artist can use data to create content and book shows. The study of economics can provide some key insights into helping you turn fans into assets. Economics is based around a number of actions, which weighs heavily on human behavior and key assumptions.
For example, artists can assume that:
- People consume content (music & videos).
- People attend concerts.
- People buy merchandise.
How To Turn Your Fans Into Assets
Fun Fact: At Any Given Moment There Is Over Two Trillion Dollars In Rotation All Over The World
3. Create A Solid Brand/No Gimmicks Out The Gate
This is a case for awareness, pay attention to artists that deploy gimmicks vs. artists that are focused on building a solid brand. Branding is mainly about sustainability and putting the appropriate cues in place before gaining more attention.
For artists, musicians and content creators your brand should always be your main focus outside of your core product. Having a strong brand will help you to develop a strong connection with your fan base and help expand your reach.
Once fans have an idea of what you’re offering through the music. They are more likely to provide recommendations and help spread your message through social currency.
“In the music space, going directly to your fans is really easy now. If you’re an artist, create music and put it out on the internet.
If you do this consistently, your fan base will continue growing, and that will power your entire career.
The internet cut out the middle man, so winning comes down to being able to communicate directly with your fans.”
— Russ via Forbes