Killer Mike’s Guide to the Grind, Cont’d
Step 6: Pushin'
If you're pressing up mixtape cd's and you think the cd's are dope, package them as a real record that a store can carry. That's the difference between a product that can sell for two dollars and seven dollars. That's the first time I've told people that secret, that didn't come to me for free, I had to pay for that.
Also, direct people to itunes. Set up an itunes account or deal with Hi-Fi or one of the other cell phone go-betweens. If you can get a hot ringtone going in your city, that's 60-70 cents a ringtone.
You should also think about merch. What about your brand is worth buying? You need as many streams of additional revenue as possible. You also want other things (besides music) that your audience can buy. Look at Paul Wall and Chamilionaire. You could still buy tapes from them and they would do your grill. Chamillionaire did my grill. Chamillionaire don't have to do grills! You can build what you talk about and rap about and bring your audience to you. Soulja boy named his album his website, if you go to his website you can buy his merch...that's innovative as shit, I applaud that young man.
Step 7: Mobilize Your Audience
Now it's time to mobilize your audience. You have to get your audience to come out and see you. Use Myspace and Facebook to let people know when you're coming to town.
Step 8: Bulid a Relationship with Your Retailers
Let's say you're an independent artist. In your neighborhood, you can sell 300 copies of your album, but you can sell 300 more if you expand past your town. You can now direct people in every town via Myspace to a particular store. You go and do a signing and order three pizzas and give out free pizza. If you sell twenty albums, you just paid half the employee's weekly pay. Now you're an asset to that mom and pop store.
Step 9: Communicate with Your Distributor
If you're able to get distribution, communicate with them. When I go and talk to the marketing department at Fontana. I'm educated. I come in like "Help me help you to figure out the best way to market your product." If I need to be at the store then that's what I want to do.
Killer Mike's 'I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II' drops July 8th. Consider this a freebie, young buck. Check back next week for Part II, where Mike discusses management, securing features and looking for the perfect beat.