How to Promote Rap Music: The Ultimate Guide

With the constant rise of so many new musicians, it’s easy to see why so many hopefuls lose their patience. Rap is an ever-changing industry, so it’s virtually impossible for the market to become saturated. All it takes is the right beat, lyrics, and timing, and you could see yourself become an overnight success.

To promote rap music, you’ll need to use social media platforms, Soundcloud, and word of mouth. You’ll also have to focus your efforts on a handful of promotion avenues rather than spreading yourself too thin. Offer free music distribution and your services at clubs near your hometown.

Throughout this article, you’ll learn the following information about promoting your rap music:

  • Which social media platforms work and why
  • How you can choose which route is best for you
  • How to stay focused and dedicated without giving up
  • Where you can go to promote your music in-person
  • How to set up performances for concerts at local venues

Use Soundcloud

If you’re considering a musical career, then there’s a high chance that you’ve heard of Soundcloud. For those of you who haven’t, Soundcloud is an online music streaming service that allows everyone to share their content. In other words, it’s a modern-day version of handing out CDs to friends, family, and strangers.

Taking advantage of Soundcloud boosts your rap opportunities indefinitely. There have been countless celebrities whose careers have started out on this platform. Ignoring the chances is basically telling yourself that you’re not truly ready to commit to your career dreams.

Here’s a list of reasons that makes Soundcloud such a worthwhile endeavor:

  1. You can track all of your stats on one page. Rather than guessing how many people visited or how long they stuck around, you can analyze everything from the front page of your profile. It also lets you see which songs are a hit, and which ones are a miss for your upcoming performances.
  2. Another huge benefit of using Soundcloud is that you can connect with your fans. Soundcloud has a unique feature that lets you chat with everyone in the community, creating a bond between you and the people who listen to your content. It also allows for constructive feedback and local opportunities.
  3. Soundcloud lets you get paid for your music. Most people think you need to be famous to start pulling in money for their rap songs. However, Soundcloud offers a service that lets fans pay you or tip you when they’re listening to your music. It’s an excellent way to put money back into your work for other promotion tactics.
  4. You can link your songs to any online platform from Soundcloud. Rather than attaching a buggy video or asking for peoples’ emails, you can drop a link to your latest rap. They’ll be able to click it and listen right away without having to go through a series of pages or clicks to get there.
  5. Soundcloud is made for creators, by creators. People who know how seriously this career path is are at the forefront of the operations. They’ve integrated multi-device connectivity, live statistic updates, instant streaming services, and many more updates for you to promote yourself as much as possible.

Create a YouTube Channel

YouTube is another great platform for self-promoting your rap music. If you want to blow up, then why not start out on the world’s largest online video website? You won’t see overnight success since it’s flooded with endless hours of content, but you can grow a steady stream of followers over the years.

Whether you’re looking for local deals, celebrity recognition, or a few dollars to back your paid promotions, YouTube is an obvious choice. Despite the fact that it’s known for the video content, you can upload your music to a blank screen. Better yet, create music videos to go along with your raps.

If you’re already promoting yourself on Soundcloud, you can copy-paste the same music onto your YouTube channel. It’ll double your chances of being found. After you post the video, add a link to your Soundcloud account in the description to create a bridge for your followers.

Hand Out CDs

Handing out CDs might seem old-fashioned, but it’s actually one of the best ways to promote yourself. Most cars, computers, and gaming consoles have a CD slot. You can hand out your CDs to people you know, or stretch your audience to a local mall for more publicity.

Giving out a CD to someone shows that you’re willing to put in the groundwork. Even if you only have one out of every ten people listening to your music, it could make a huge difference. Producers and songwriters could come across your CD, which is all you need to make it big.

Handing out CDs is hard work, but so is trying to promote your rap music. You need to be willing to grind every day if you want to see real results. It’s far from a simple task; Otherwise, everyone would be doing it. Copy 100 CDs, head out around town and start handing them out in person.

Note: Consider finding concerts in big cities nearby. Walk around the area handing out your CDs to fans who already enjoy the type of music that you create. Don’t get yourself in trouble by approaching the venue and self-promoting, but stay in the area.

Get Your Music on iTunes ASAP

Tunecore has an excellent guide for signing up on iTunes for your music. iTunes has been popular for over a decade, and there’s no sign of it going away anytime soon. Everyone can stream it for a low monthly subscription, whereas others get it for free.

Such a broad audience that includes millions of listeners seems like a no-brainer. When you’re going through the process of publishing on Soundcloud and YouTube, remember to add iTunes to your list. It takes a few extra minutes to triple your reach right away.

Another great fact about using iTunes to promote your rap music is that you’ll eventually become a suggested artist on similar musicians’ pages. This process means that you can promote yourself, but listeners will naturally do it for you thanks to the algorithm that Apple set up.

Remember to Try Word of Mouth

Much like the grind of handing out CDs, word of mouth can prove effective. Not only does it show your dedication to the music, but it also allows people to put a face to the name. In other words, they’ll be able to keep your image in mind when they’re listening to your music.

Image is incredibly important in any music genre. Think about famous articles who’ve driven their careers with unique appearances, such as Post Malone, Lil Pump, Beyonce, KISS, Queen, and more.

When you’re out promoting yourself, try to wear something unique. Piercings, appealing tattoos, clothing, and other ideas could be enough to make your appearance stick in the minds of everyone you come across.

Make Social Media Accounts

Social media is the undisputed king of the internet self-promotion sphere. If you want to make it big online, then you’re inevitably going to deal with social media accounts. Get it out of the way and get started right as soon as you can.

Let’s examine four of the best social media platforms to launch your rap music career:

Twitter

By now, almost everyone who’s used the internet knows about Twitter. You can promote yourself with paid ads, tweet out your content, take advantage of popular hashtags, and chat with your fans from any device.

Twitter also allows you to convert your account to a business account, which opens up all sorts of useful features. You’ll be able to see which tweets gained traction and which ones were less popular. You can also see how many people visited your page, top fans, top tweets, and what times of the day gain the most attention and interaction.

Facebook

Facebook is the leader of all social media platforms these days. You can pay for ads, much like Twitter. However, Facebook has the unfortunate downside of appealing mostly to an older generation, which could lead to fewer interested viewers.

Another problem is that the algorithm prefers to keep people on the website, demoting your posts about Soundcloud and other off-platform links.

That being said, Facebook communities are free groups that you can create to gather your fans together. Consider making one of these communities to bring people from other social media platforms to one place.

Instagram

Instagram is all about the aesthetic. As you read previously in the article, your appearance plays a huge role in your success. Artist Shortcut explains that you can take advantage of paid-for ads, bios, pictures, and videos to promote yourself fairly easily on Instagram. Much like all other social media platforms, you need to use the right hashtags to get some attention.

TikTok

Finally, there’s TikTok. Although it’s often marketed as a lip-syncing platform for younger people, TikTok offers three reasons to try this free social media platform to promote your rap music:

  1. You can reach the ever-growing audience of billions of users. That’s right; TikTok is growing at a faster rate than any social media platform ever has, including Facebook when it was first invented. Now is the time to take advantage of this online goldrush.
  2. You can use videos to go viral in a matter of days. Tiagz, a now-famous TikTok user, started off without any fans at all. After using the TikTok algorithm to his advantage, he now has a handful of viral songs and millions of followers. These overnight success stories are far from rare.
  3. Take part in trends, challenges, and hashtags outside of your music. Showing the character behind the music is what most fans enjoy. If you’re being a part of the community, people will want to listen to your music. It’s an excellent way to gain true fans, which are the high-paying and most loyal of all.

Focus Your Efforts

According to Cole Mize Studios, you shouldn’t try to satisfy everyone through every avenue. The truth is that there will always be people who don’t want to hear your music, and that’s fine. Instead of begging or spamming to get everyone to love your content, focus on the handful of people who already do.

Even if you only have a small group of ten people who go to the nightclub when you arrive, they could be the seeds to your success. Hand out fliers and ask them to promote your music why you’re hard at work. Exponential growth is the name of the rap game.

This principle applies to social media platforms more than anything. Although they’re all effective, don’t have five different social media accounts; You’ll go insane.

Instead, focus your efforts on the ones that you enjoy the most. Music is all about the sound mixed with the image. Following those guidelines, the best three would be TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter.

You can use them all throughout the day and connect the profiles together. When you post on TikTok, it will automatically send the video to your Instagram audience as well. Then, use twitter for one-on-one fan talks, quick thoughts, and hashtag trends.

Consider Paid Promotions

Paid promotions are never fun if you’re running on a tight budget. However, if you really want to make a rap career come to life, then you’ll have to sink your efforts and cash into it.

Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all offer decent paid promotion deals. All you have to do is follow this simple process:

  1. Choose the picture that you want to promote:
  2. Set the date range that you want to be promoted.
  3. Decide how much money you’re willing to spend on it.
  4. Select the targeted demographics.
  5. Start the promo.

As mentioned by Artist Push, paid promotions are the tip of the iceberg. You’ll eventually have to pay agents and producers as well, which both can help get you even more publicity. Set a monthly budget that you’re using strictly for promotion. It could be the difference between you and someone who refuses to pay for popularity and recognition.

Always Offer Free Music

Any business guru will tell you to offer your best content for free. Rap, and the music industry as a whole, are no different.

Think about online courses that come from YouTube videos, or singers who release singles. How many people do you know who pay for their songs as opposed to those who listen on YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, or iTunes?

You’re consuming the songs for free, but it makes you want to buy apparel, concert tickets, and other products that directly support the artist. In the end, you’re listening to the best content (their music) for free, but paying for other products that add to the singer’s bank account.

Don’t be one of those artists who want to get rich right away. Nobody wants to pay an unknown, and that’s what almost all musicians start out as. Think about your rap career as a life-long passion before you try to start making money from it.

The best way to know if you’re really going to succeed is if you’ll be able to stick through the hard work without getting paid. Take it to the next level by using paid promotions to broaden your audience, and you’ll definitely be good to go.

Contact Local Music Centers and Clubs

Once you’ve done everything you can to follow the aforementioned steps, it’s time to start doing live performances. Again, don’t try to get paid quite yet. Offer your services to local music centers, clubs, bars, and coffee shops.

As long as you stay persistent with asking managers and shop owners, you’ll end up with a handful of opportunities.

In many large cities, music venues allow you to pay and reserve a spot well in advance. This step will give you a chance to meet fans, set out fliers, and get a feel of how new people enjoy your music.

You’ll have to do all of your own promotion, but you could consider hiring a promotional agent for the weekend, week, or month ahead of time. Get the attention out there and fill a 100-capacity venue.

Once you’re comfortable, stay consistent. One performance per year won’t cut it; Aim for one concert per month if you can swing it financially. If you want to succeed, rap can’t be a hobby, a part-time job, or a money grab; It has to be a 24/7 passion that you pursue whenever you’re not sleeping or working.

Conclusion

Promotion yourself as an up-and-coming rap artist is far from easy. However, in the days of social media, it’s better than ever to meet people you’ve never known and spread your music across the world.

Choose the platforms that you want to focus on, stay persistent, pay for promotions, and always work vertically rather than horizontally. Remember to set goals for audience members, albums distributed, and concerts. Once you reach those expectations, keep pushing until you’re a household name.

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