Sunday, May 7, 2017

Music Success Week 9: The Real World. That's a Wrap!

Lot's of exciting completions to report in this blog. I have finished my first pass through Music Success in 9 Weeks by Ariel Hyatt and along with that my NEW MUSIC is now available on my NEW WEBSITE (which you are looking at right now) . Listen to Manifest Hustle !!!

(Music Success in 9 Weeks + The Original hand-drawn Artwork for Manifest Hustle vol. 1)

Now, as I mentioned in my previous post, though a lot of work has been done to bring these projects to fruition, in my mind, now is when the real hard work actually begins. Since it has been so long since I have released new music, this first mixtape in a series of many to drop this year was just about getting the music out and getting back in connection with my fans. I'm so grateful to this Music Success book for putting so much emphasis on that aspect of being an artist.

Week 9 gets real as the author discusses a wide range of topics from Networking, Press Kits, writing press releases plus finding and utilizing a publicist. As I read through the final stage of this information, I am thankful that I will have many opportunities to apply the steps more thoroughly with each new mixtape and album I release.

For so many years, I felt overwhelmed and I wanted to make excuses for why I wasn't ready to make new music, why I couldn't find beats, or producers or studios, but using Music Success in 9 Weeks not only gave me great content for my blog, but has given me a solid set of guidelines to make it all seem easier. I feel more equipped to continue this process, keep my fans involved, maximize my social media presence and start promoting in the right way so I can eventually make money from my music.

Some key points to note about Week 9: The Real World. When networking, think outside the box and attend events, parties, and social situations that align with your industry. For example, attending an event for musicians could help you find new band members but probably won't get you gigs. Going to a bridal convention, on the other hand, could help you book weddings. When you meet someone, make the conversation about them, ask them questions, and get a business card, then FOLLOW UP!! Following up is one of the most important things you can do that will make you stand out since most people don't. Finally, make sure you have a business card but don't offer it unless it is asked for.

Though you may feel that a Press Kit only needs to be online, it's important to have a hard copy prepared just in case. Not to mention, most journalists and writers prefer to have a jewel cased CD sent to them for easy access along with all your other relevant information including an engaging 1-page bio with your pitch from Week 2 in the first paragraph, contact information, photos and reviews/quotes.

When it comes to PR, Hyatt outlines how to create your own professional Press Release for new music, tours or other notable information about you, which can be really useful if you decide to do most of your own publicity. Otherwise finding a publicist is the next step to really getting the word out about your music via the internet, magazines, and newspapers. Week 9 leaves you with some helpful tips on how to save money with your publicist once you choose one.

I have absorbed all of this information, but it sounds like it will be more relevant to me once I start doing shows and have a little more traction, so I look forward to reusing this book from start to finish as I continue to make and release more music more consistently. For now, please let me know what you think of Manifest Hustle and my new website. LISTEN HERE!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Thank You to My Core Supporters: Manifest Hustle COMING SOON!

With inspiration from Music Success in 9 Weeks I came up with a plan for releasing my new music and the first piece of that plan was to drop the artwork. Since practically the first page, this book has focused on engagement. Engagement with fans, with other musicians, with bloggers and with partners. Eager to put this knowledge into play, I made a list of about 150 people of my Facebook Friends that I thought would be most likely to help me out and drafted an explanation of my vision for unveiling the album art for my new mixtape through their social media networks.

Reaching out to these people definitely took me out of my comfort zone. A lot of them are people that I hadn't spoken to in while, but it's been so long since I have released new music that I was curious to see who was interested and willing to be a part of my journey. Other than my Mom, Brother and Sisters, and immediate family, I had no idea who would actually respond and agree to help, but I was inspired and grateful for the number of people that replied and genuinely appreciated the idea.

For those that agreed, I sent them the album art along with instructions for how to post with my hashtags. The plan was people that I know, or am friends with on Facebook, but that I didn't reach out to, would see the artwork from other people in our shared network and create a little bit of buzz, and I believe it's working.

So thank you to every single person that participated in the release of my album art. I am so thankful to have done it this way because it was the first step in making that genuine connection with the people that are my true supporters. As per Week 8 of Music Success, I want to continue to get feedback from this core group of people. In my mind, if you shared this on your profile you have the right to help me mold and shape this music, so please reach out, leave comments, criticism, be active in this process so I can continue to keep you involved.

Manifest Hustle is the first of many new releases to come, but this release represents the making of the switch from music as a hobby to music as a profession. It's coming with a brand new website, and music video to kick everything off. In my mind, it is truly the tip of the iceberg and this is where the hard work actually starts. I'm not claiming to be the best rapper alive but I am claiming to be the best me. I built this vision through faith, positive energy, and pure hustle, and that is what I want people to sense when they see this artwork. I want to inspire people to manifest their hustle. Whatever that is, that dream, goal, life aspiration, I hope my music motivates something in you.

So thank you to:

Pat tepe
Ivey hedges
GTP Steele
Arron Campero
Amanda oWodrow
Xavier Sanchez
Jessica Campero
Joanne Salt
Jeff Holland
Youngace Fiveonethree
Scott LaKid
Josh mvi
Matt Heimbold
Mary Thomas
Issac Kabengele
Jimi Skwlkr
London Christopher Dicks
Mofab Bbr DoinHer
Christina Stegeman
Longway Longway
Aimee Collins
Oxlo Esastus
Kingsley Issac
Jason Opplinger
Candice Ross
James Frazier
Angie Campero
Nina Gibson
Brittney Miller
Carla Barwick
Mike Sexton
Shannon Loadholt
Julia Ward
Kristen Allen
Ashton Belle
Nadja Glassel
Lisa Carnes

People are still tagging and posting as I type, if you're reading this and haven't got around to posting, please do! If you're someone who I forgot to reach out to, please message me, I'm still sending the artwork out for people to post.

Friday, April 21, 2017

How Rap Drew - Unveiling Culture

Shout out to the big homie Drew, I definitely appreciate his work. I'm gearing up for my Manifest Hustle vol. 1 release and don't really know what to expect, just trying to leave no stone unturned.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Weed and Weight Loss?

I found this article recently and since I have been thinking along the lines of investing in the marijuana industry it was interesting to read about this new potential intersection between industries.

Essentially the articles explains that a variant of TCH called TCHV could have incredible applications for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes because of it's appetite suppression side effects. There is not much science on it yet but since the weight loss and marijuana industries are both worth about $60 billion a year, it's definitely something to keep in mind.

It's clear that the medicinal qualities of marijuana are still being discovered. It's becoming more and more accepted as it becomes legal for medical use in more states across the country and across the world and I'm extremely excited by the Marijuana "Green Rush" in general. Obviously I love smoking weed, and making money so those two plus the possibility of it helping a lot of people with serious health issues makes it a God sent in my opinion.

Check out the full article here: Can CBDs Found in Marijuana Be an Alternative Treatment to Diabetes

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Music Success in 9 Weeks: Week 8

Definitely trying to knock out this Music Success in 9 Weeks book before the release of my newest music. It's been a few years since I have put anything out, so I am really excited to have a real well-rounded product and I am using the content of this book to put my best foot forward when it comes to learning how to be successful right away. Now that we are in the final chapters, the information is all pretty new to me.

This chapter is all about creating a continuum program for your core fan base. In other words, getting them to buy from you consistently and repeatedly. And the first thing to note is that the following info will not be effective unless you have previously built relationships with your fans and they trust you. Most importantly is your email list.

Now it's time to create a Funnel that starts with your freebie (e.g. MP3 for email address) and gradually trickles down to more and more expensive offerings. What comes to mind first for me is merchandise. T-shirts, sweat pants, sox...I definitely see myself getting into the street wear game soon and I imagine my fans will be in tune with that vibe as well. As a higher tier continuum program for fans, I can see myself doing some kind of sneaker of the month club in which I design a T-shirt to match whatever Jordans are coming out and make it available only to those that pay the $2-$3/ month to be in the club.

The next subject Hyatt touches on is fan funding or crowd sourcing which you can create through websites like Indie GoGo, Kickstarter, Pledge Music and Rockethub. The key to being successful with fan funding is to set a reasonable dollar amount goal, know your fans, have a rapport with them, and recognize that it's just as much about their experience of being part of your community and the shared journey as it is about you reaching your goal. I did actually attempt a Kickstarter a while back and failed because at that time I didn't really understand that I needed to have a relationship with my fans and a foundation set in place prior to asking them for money.

Overall, I appreciate how this chapter clearly shows you how your music translates into financial success. It's teaching you how to convert your buzz into actual profit. I'm not quite ready to implement all of this but I know I will be ready when the time is right.