Are You The Artist People Are Willing To Pay?

A lot of people are in the arts but very few people are in the arts industry as much as they may assume they are. Industrializing something has everything to do with the commercial aspect and now I know many creative people wish to get to a point where they can be paid for what they do but sadly many have
e spent years without ever materializing anything.

As an info-preneur who spent many years trying to get paid for his first artistic job I will cut the journey short for you today by actually outliningthe sort of habits you need to develop and other courses of action.

{You may also be interested in reading this}

One – Be Good At What You Do

Be good at what you do and take all criticism seriously even that which you may be easily tempted to brush off as easily destructive. Some people just have a bad way of giving advice and sometimes despite their rude approach what they are telling you to consider may need attention. Do not just practice for months without ensuring that you are practicing the right way.

do not have 10 years experience of doing the wrong thing.

Two – Be Seen Doing What You Do

You know that famous exposure and props thing artistes hate but still do? – Yes do it. If you get paid while you are at it that’s great but sometimes you must swallow your pride if you are an unknown in your field and actually get into symbiotic agreements with people you can help in exchange for your exposure.  I’m actually typing tis and thinking I could use a bit more of my advice.

Why?

The world today demands a sample that you are good at what you do. A demonstration. No one is willing to pay you for what you are qualified to do, but they are willing to pay you for what you can apply from that qualification.

If you say you are a social media marketer and you have not one client whose twitter account you can prove to have boosted, even if you passed Social Media Marketing in University a serious company will still rather higher some kid who has managed to market events and himself to maybe 100,000 followers without the degree.

Now I am not saying do not do degrees. If you must get good as mentioned in step one, study is not bad. However after you study, apply what you studied and create your portfolio through the so called “free exposure”.

Free exposure is only free to unplanned artists.

Three – Set up Shop

Now that you are good and you’ve acquired a lot of exposure why don’t you start prospecting for paid jobs, using footage on how you moved the crowd in your free shows or showing them the graphics you did for so and so. See up bank accounts and even a company if need be.

Some payments may not proceed for lack of a simple bank account. It all depends who you are prospecting to. Fix where the money is going to go and how it is to be used before it is even approved.

Four – Stay Prepared
Know your plan daily so that one day if you accidentally bum into a rare business man you benefit from it.

Most artistes will bump into Jay Z and only have a selfie to show for it, which is great. See if you have  a plan you should already know what you would say to Strive Musiyiwa if you met him other than can we take a selfie, because if you do not intrigue him in those few minutes he’s gone again.

You get some instagram likes, but as soon as the picture scrolls down the page it’s an opportunity lost.

So by set-up shop I mean simple things like, having easy to remember links to all your projects.

For instance I have this show reel under http://bit.ly/unthinqreel if anyone asks to see my animatin they can see a sample in 44 seconds. It wont cost much on their data. You can join bit.ly shorten links to your portfolios or just set up a website where everything someone needs to know about you is available.

The good part is it can even be a free blog but depending who you are marketing to some people may respect you more if it’s an exclusive domain.

When I was less organized I would send a potential interested person 4 or 5 full links which would obviously be a turn off.

Five – Distinguish Your Approach From Free Art

If the art you sell is the same quality  as art others are giving for free then there is really no need for people to buy yours even if it’s good. Since they can get other art as good as yours for free if you do not distinguish yours you will suffer.

Competition is always thick hence you need to add a unique selling proposition that they will not find elsewhere. Only your friends and relatives will buy from you something they can get free.

The more irreplaceable you are the more valuable you are.

 

Have fun. Yes I am back… the twitter handle is still @Mcpotar in case you were naughty and decided to unffollow me.

The Honest Reason You Are Failing To Sell Your Music

If your product has no demand to your target market, no hype can save you. No amount of ranting will raise your brand equity. Go out there and quietly learn the laws of demand and supply and brainstorm ideas to create that for yourself.

No one out there will create that for you unless you pay for consultancy. If you have no cash to do so, there are demand and supply models that have been made by others before you. (Read about demand and supply via this link)

See the good thing about our age is that all the information is on the web. Stop using bundles on Olinda and use it to educate yourself (unless of course you are studying her videos to see why many people like it).

You cannot sell to anyone something whose value they don’t see. Marketing is not hype, it’s the art of showing people why a product or service is valuable to them.

Money is valuable to people because it allows them to exchange it for things they need to use. So the amount of money someone is prepared to pay for something is affected by how much they have to spare and also how much they perceive it to be in money.

I am still talking to the artistes.

If you want your art, your music to sell. Allow it to add value into someones life. Migos making people dab is value, Immortal Technique teaching me about La Re Conquista is value, DJ Clock making me dance is value.

Now after people value your art make sure you sell it in some format.

See even if someone values a Benz, if it’s given to them for free it’s not like they will refuse to drive it and insist on paying.

With music perhaps, selling is not of the actual MP3 file, perhaps it is.

Or perhaps you sell a show. A show sells an experience that no one can get from a DVD. It’s either you are in the show or you are not. You can bootleg Eminem’s tour but you will never feel like that fan who was in there screaming.

That’s why that fan buys the ticket. That said, I urge you to improve the value of your stage presence because in this age that’s where the money is.

If you go on Youtube to look of most of Jay Z music nowadays you wont find it. Even the pirate sites. You might get a blank audio or a remake.

His music is on Tidal, if you not paying for Tidal and want a certain Jay Z track you lost, you wont hear it anywhere. You might get a live show, but after some months Youtube would have taken it down.

He is claiming back the value of music.

How To Have a Zim Hip-hop Award By 2018

Are you tired of being one of the sore losers at the end of every award show, throwing shade and discrediting ZHHA (Zimbabwe Hip-hop Awards) at every slight chance you get?

This is not about to be one of my satire articles where I hit you with reverse humour I promise. This is a concise tutorial on things you need to do to have a Zim Hip-hop Award by 2018. Whilst most of you may want to accidentally win awards, some of the greatest people that take those accolades plan and execute how they are to do it.

It becomes even better if you know which category you’re gunning for. We are tired of your ranting when you aren’t nominated.

If you do not think Zim Hip-hop Awards matter you do not have to proceed to read this. You can hop on to another tab and google what you think matters, but f you clicked this link you probably care.

Be exceptional

Ideally, you do not get an award for being mediocre, you get one for being top soil, so first and fore-most be exceptional at something. If you are interested in ZHHA it has to be something that they have as a category. In other words you may be great at graffiti Art and beat boxing both of which are elements of Hip-hop culture but in past years we have not seen any category with these.

However suppose you want best producer award. You have to get exceptional at music production and be aware of every little knob. Get exceptional artistes on your productions and so forth. Just depends on whether you intend to be Best Male, Best producer, Best Dancer…. The category has to exist.

You may be good at artwork, animation, making beats, rapping, writing but in a year you actually want an award you have to pick out one that you will be known for through out. One you will be identified with.

F.T.R and Yagi Dojo can rap, but music production is the first tag that comes to mind when they are mentioned. Enqore raps, but animation is the first tag to mind in as much as Begotten Sun is multi-skilled but more famous for management these days.

Carl can cook, but comedy is the tag that comes to mind at his mention, not that his food tastes funny.

You will barely win an award for a category the public doesn’t consider you as part of that’s why John Cena will most likely win a Wrestling Championship Belt than a BET for the rapping, because  in our minds he’s a rapper first. Of course he won an Oscar for acting a few movies, but com uhn WWE is acting as well.

What is it  that you are first in peoples minds?

Focus

A no brainer in any field really is if you want to increase your probability of winning in it, you have to focus on a certain category. Focused actions give specific results whilst random actions where you are just all over the place give miscellaneous results.

If you are a film director trying to win an award for short films, you have to focus on short films that year. You have to invest a lot into them, since you cannot win a short film contest for not having a short film.

You can choose to spread your brand quantitatively or qualitatively. Your choice. In other words you can choose to make many short films in that year (which is quantitative) or you can choose to work on one  extremely exceptional short film and put all you PR Marketing efforts on that (which is quantitative).

Both ways work.

Bus Stop TV for instance produces a lot of comedy short-clips per week, such that they can’t be ignored and have been award nominated.

Same applies with Hip-hop. If you are using quantity however it  still has to be of consistent quality. There is a year Cal_Vin would flood the streets with “Free Bars Friday”.

Anther way of creating quantity other than a series is to probably do an album.

In the end if you choose what you want to win for, you’ll invest more into that.

Visibility

Anything you do not know exists does not exist to you period. Thus you must be very visible in this time when a lot of things consume everyone’s attention besides your music. People generally have lots to worry about and even have alternative forms of entertainment.

I heard Kanye’s last album 3 months later but I didn’t die. There is o much music around for someone to actually live their whole life without ever caring about yours. This is a fact. So attention is a big commodity in the arts because any artiste performance where there is no audience is just a rehearsal.

Your work is given greater meaning by visibility. Do not take pride in, “I don’t care about being know.” Yet you know that being known does a lot.

Strive to educate yourself with multiple online resources on how to capture attention. Schingy and DJ Towers have long figured that part out. They dress odd, do songs about drugs and say outrageous things. It works.

Sharky managed to focus and stand out by dealing mostly with African sound in his sets and dressing accordingly. Before that he was just like every other rapper.

Takura decided to do a tour that would automatically make him news worthy. Try different ways of standing out making your brand visible.

One of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is to be first in mind. Regularly plan out how you will do that because when nomination time comes, the jury will vouch for whose work they know and have heard so many times about by word of mouth.

Perform

If you are an artiste perform and record your performances. Make sure they are well coordinated and practiced performances.  You will obviously need to do a day research to extensively know what it takes to be booked for a show.

Do not forget to take serious recordings of these things, touch them up and edit them. Put them up on Youtube. You can even keep your eye on updates for Festivals such as Shoko and so forth. This footage will be used when you are now compiling the material that you use to submit to ZHHA.

You should have your portfolio for submission ready before award submission time. The unprepared rapper will start running around at the last minute and then blame the process for being flawed. Some will realize that they did 13 performances, none of them recorded, spoken about in their blogs, in the press etc and thus unverifiable.

Market Yourself

You must market yourself with respect to your main focus. Focus on mediums you control more than the mediums you do not control. For instance you may not control ZiFM, Star FM and Power FM. These mediums happen to play you when it tickles their toes.

It is not their role to make you famous, they are not PR Companies though most of them now have a PR side in their marketing department (which is paid for to advertise products). Other than that no one is guaranteed regular airplay (well of course sometimes corruption, nepotism and such intervene).

Firstly however focus on your mediums. Do you have a podcast, a Youtube Channel, a Soundcloud or a Facebook. You can sponsor a post about the product you are trying to raise awareness on or get sales from.

You totally control your Facebook and Twitter, both of which have ads. You can start testing different recipes of doing that, all you need is a debit card which you can easily get from any Bank these days for less than $5.

If radio picks up on you (which it will, if you doing great) then that’s great, but just don’t expend your PR efforts and frustrations on that side. Many people win ZHHA with no massive rotation on air.

However still actively find out the submission process per station and submit well branded material. Actively submit press releases to blogs such as mine and others till they listen. It is not a criminal offence to do so, but it is also not criminal for them to ignore or decline.

Just don’t let us control your emotions about industry, move on with your grind.

Get yourself in the paper, network with journalists and make them fans of your work. Remember, journalists, DJ’s and producers are humans. As humans, they too may actually become your fans and if they are your fans they will put you on for no incentive at all, period.

Submit For ZHHA

Self explanatory and obvious step but people always miss it. Even the Grammy Awards by the way solicit submissions but you will always find some guys complaining about why there is a submission at all.

If a platform requires a submission as a requirement just submit. That’s the requirement.

If you are interested in their accolade you have to adhere to their rules.

After-all no matter how smart you are, you will barely get a Scholarship that was not applied for. If you are exceptional at something and want to enter Guinness Book of Records you have to submit certain things and they will respond, watch you do what you do and judge.

All different award shows have many ways of selection and if you want their accolade just learn what they want and stop arguing with criterion that you wont change.

Know what you influence and control and what you don’t.

If you enjoy my writing feel free to follow me on @Mcpotar on twitter, find me on Facebook or subscribe to my updates.

Tips You Had Not Read On Becoming More Popular

Whilst seeking popularity is always frowned upon by many, it is a big requirement if anyone intends to make it into the mainstream or even as a micro-celecbrity.

A micro-celebrity is defined as : One who gains a cult or mainstream following due to viral INTERNET distribution. Does not refer to those who have gained limited or cult followings through traditional media. Does not refer to has-beens or “B-list” celebrities. (Urban Dictionary)

Law 6 in the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene says “Court attention at all costs” what is unknown counts for nothing.

The tips I will share here will help anyone get to micro-celebrity status or even further push into the mainstream. You will realize that nowadays that micro-celebrities such as Zimbabwe’s Floridah Mapeto or CST tend to end up affiliated with what is known as the mainstream.

I myself went from Facebook popularity to being on Good Morning Zimbabwe on national TV, several newspaper publications ( Newsday, Sunday News, Herald), speaking engagements, award winning’s and nominations and many other milestones which are affiliated with the mainstream. Likewise people such as Floridah who is in my example have been nominated even for Zimbabwe Womens Awards (ZIWA) for being outstanding. That are many other examples out there we can look at but I will proceed to give out practical white hat tips and routines you can take.

1.  Be your raw self:

That minute when you cut out the mask that we give to society is when you can truly start standing out. As long as you are trying to blend with “them” you are going to have a hard time standing out. If you have a strong rural background, do not try to mesh into the uptown persona by making up accents and so forth. Stand out and embrace who you are with no shame.

This is important and saves you in the long haul. A fake identity will later be exposed and trolled yet if people knew who you were from the onset.

2.  Dress  And Look Different:

You cannot be outstanding by dressing the same as the regular jaw. You need to be styled in a manner that is rare to most people. Our example, Floridah for instance tints her hair and keeps it short and though she didn’t come up with blond-tinted African hair she is one of a few girls you will see with tha look which makes her competition close to non. You can recognize and identify her.

Your look has to be easy to describe if someone were to tell someone about you. “Oh, don’t you know Dudu Manhenga, that woman who wears long hats, ” or “Sharky, the guy who is almost always in African attires and beads.”

Dudu Manhenga Branding
That’s the same hat different colours. Get the Gist?

Standing out is important in that, it opens avenues for your gifts or whatever value you offer to be seen. Value may be in the form of articles, music, posts, or maybe your value is just how you look if you’re a model.

Do not fear to be awkward, because Schingy and Team Bho went to the 2015 Zim Hip-hop awards wearing primary school uniform and they are one of the most remembered spectacles of the night.

3.  Speak Different

After you look different, you may as well still be part of everyone else if you do not speak different. Yes you can be popular as, “That guy who dyed his hair white and wears flip-flops with a tie” but it’s stronger when you tie that look to a purpose and speak towards that purpose especially when dressed like that.

Sharky (Soko Matemai) firstly dresses as an Afro-centric person, then he speaks as one including naming his album after his totem which embodies the African culture he embraces. This creates consistency as opposed to many other youth who may wear the same African attire as a fashion statement yet do not even know their totem or how to greet elders the African way.

In other words, whether the look you embrace is conscious, scientific, philosophical, goth, outrageously crazy or hedonistic you need to study much and embrace it as a culture. This is consistent with what I said in the first point. Fakes will be exposed.

4. Speak up

Do not be afraid to voice out against undertone issues that others whisper about. Speak up!!! –

Remember:

People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.

As  long as it looks just if you can use this method. You can throw satire at the institutions that screw over people, diss or make fun of perceived Villains. This doesn’t work however if you try being popular by “throwingshade” at a group which is oppressed.

Floridah Mapeto is popular for speaking on behalf of women for instance. The things about relationships they think about or whisper but never say for fear of societal judgement. She is ready to take a shot for the team and get trolled and heckled as long as she has aired it out.  Obviously both men and women have risen to respect her for that honesty.

Pastor Evan Mawarire made headlines in months for airing his concerns against failure by Zimbabwe’s political leaders.

Pastor Evan Mawarire

 

People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies. – Thousands gathered outside the court in solidarity when he was charged with subversion by the state. Wow!!!

Now your cause may or may not be a political one but the rules stay the same.  What are the problems you think you can take a bullet for?

Standing up against an oppressed minority will get you popular through the backlash but the problem is you will be popular, yet no one will like you or want business with you.

5. Be Awesome At What You Do

Self explanatory but the importance of this can never be exaggerated.  Work on your craft with such alacrity, patience and perfectionism (though perfection is un-reachable). Do not take any chances with the craft you want to be popular for otherwise the popularity will just be hype.

Imagine waiting for a movie all year only to get a mediocre, basic plot that’s been done before.

6. Networking and Support

Attend the events of your niche and support others initiatives. Those people may in turn support yours. At events you have the chance of getting contacts that build bridges to take you to where you want to go. Word of mouth is a very big tool and it’s spreads better when people like you as a person.

7. Improve Your PR Strategy

If you do not have journalist contacts and press release templates yet, you need to improve on that. Collect names and contacts of journalists, bloggers and and any media personnel in your niche. Nurture ethical relationships with them and when you have a newsworthy milestone let them know.

Most of these people already get a lot of messages from people who want features that’s why standing out as outlined in most of the article will help you get their attention. Another strategy is to deal with college students studying for journalism because it is a no-brainer that they may not be at the Herald today but chances are they will be in the next few years.

Be strategic by nurturing an ethical relationship before they are on demand. If you are definitely newsworthy they’ll never ignore you and once you’re min the news whether via an intern or an article by a rookie, the thing is,  the paper will still be bought by over 68,000 people a day.

Even the most boring television programs are said to be streaming to over 900,000 viewers at a time.

It’s a wrap.

Follow @Mcpotar on twitter.

 

6 Key Lessons To Learn From Evan Mawarire

Watching the rise of Pastor Evan Mawarire I have been so inspired over the weeks he has managed to make politically by airing his voice through social media. I am an early critic of the guy in his first weeks but over-time I began to follow what he was saying and realized he was serios. Note this will come up later in this write up and it is important.

Note that this article is not asking you to support the #ThisFlag movement. You are at liberty to have your own political opinions on any subject. However I am going through some things you can learn from it to boost your brand whether you think it is a good movement or not.

It is no doubt Evan is indeed successfully a big brand. Having 50 lawyers represent him on his case with the state voluntarily and over 2000 people outside the court is not a joke. If you’re going to ignore this article because you hate Evan, do it at your own peril.

Like my friend says, “Air sometimes occupies the space between peoples ears.”

This is not an article for artistes who still want to joke around. It is for people willing to establish more and more momentum than they have ever before.

What’s In Your Hand?

Metaphorically people now refer to Evan Mawarire as the Moses of Zimbabwe. There are quite some similarities too if you know of the Bible story on Moses where God asked what Moses had in his hand. Moses had a stick and so the stick he used through-out to free Israel’s people.

Evan in this case had a phone, a Facebook account to post on, a flag to wrap around his neck. That’s all. No big dinner, rally or hiring out a stadium to tell the masses his concerns. Given the number of views he gets per video it is similar to him holding a rally daily at supper. A rally everyone is dying to attend. A rally no one can get intimidated not to attend because it happens it happens in the privacy of their palm for 3 minutes. Wow

Do you have a phone, do you have a Youtube account? – An idea is all it takes. An Idea was his biggest idea… not the flag… The idea.

No Idea Is Too Small

Now that you have the idea, do not shoot it down for any reason. Embrace the idea, execute it and improve it as you go. This Flag once again began from just the selfie videos which many of us considered redundant rhetoric. We thought the idea would have no life beyond May and i even had friends who study journalism quote that “by the theory of such and such, this should die out by such a time.” – Well it extended.

Obviously the idea evolved into something bigger. There was practical action when the #ThisFlag  Movement managed to have a citizens debate with RBZ Govenor and challenged him on the issuing of bond notes. This is now action. The Undenge Must Go petition and the successful ShutDown of 6 July 2016. This is now action and action especially in the physical creates more believers and more ambassadors of a movement.

What action are you taking on and offline? Are you participating in what is going on in Zim Hip-hop, are you present at other peoples launches to support them and even be inspired? Are you going to get up and ask Spencer Madziya for a slot at The Volt even if he says no? Or are you going to sit and assume it’s too small?

With ideas, size doesn’t matter. After-all micro-SD cards have more capacity than 3.5 inch floppy disks.

Social Media Can Out-do Traditional Media

With no support from mainstream media sources #ThisFlag via their twitter page revealed the back end of their social media metrics. A screenshot that proved they reached 1million people a day through their page and it is believable. It is doable. Social Media can out-do traditional media and is measurable.

You have control over it. Despite that State Media and pseudo-private owned media tried hard to downplay Evan Mawarire’s progress people still went on to Shut Down the country on 6 July, 2016.  Learn the basics of social media. The biggest rule with social media is to add value to the target market. It is that simple.

Consistency Is Key

I promised I would come back to this. Early in the article I said I once was one of the biggest critics of this flag, because I took it as slacktivism. The consistency with the updates and with improving the modus operandi is what bought me in by May of 2016. I began to see how this was a citizen movement.
Had Evan Mawarire gone silent the movement would die. I am sure in Hip-hop we have seen many blogs that are growing cob-webs on the web. We have seen many weekly events that died down including the notorious Zim Hip-hop News by some dudes who were trying hard to be me. #sigh

Speak To Peoples Self Interest
In all this you can never win till you throw stones at peoples common enemies and make them feel important. The psychology of human beings is not that complicated. Let’s forget all the big words in psychology books.

Influence is related to self interest. Does your idea serve self interest to your audience. How does your album make people feel, does it make them better people. What is the value addition?

What’s in it for them?

In Evan’s case he highlighted the bond note issue which many are furious about, he highlighted police roadblocks and corruption. All these are things the common citizen is concerned about. There is no way he was not going to get support from a hungry multitude with late salaries.

Absolutely no way.

We have known this but we go on to spit Compton’s reality and ask people in Mbare to buy it. Our lyrics selfishly praise us and it’s all about what we have.

Let’s improve on that mentality.

Be Identifiable

In case you haven’t noticed pastor Evan mawarire has a standard way of greeting people on his videos, “Fellow Citizens…”

I am sure he has a team but he always records the selfie vids holding the camera himself. He always has a flag on and emphasizes it. There type-setting for his graphic text and so forth.

Be identifiable as an audio and visual brand. People should be able to identify your signature in how you address thins. For instance Evan Mawarire says #ThisFlag never meets, their method of communication is by selfie video. No rallies… That’s an identity.

This means if anyone passes a message that there is a meeting on #ThisFlag true supporters of that movement will know that, it is certainly not from Evan unless he appears on video saying it is him.

The identity creates the tribe. The tribe has distinct features and common knowledge within itself that it identifies the brand with.

Conclusion

In conclusion this has been a very lengthy article and i myself am challenged to do all these things to raise myself up. I figured if I shared with you I would grasp it better.

Feel free to follow @Mcpotar on twitter

Other Material To Watch

Seth Godin – How To Get Your Ideas To Spread(This one helps you learn key feature of building a tribe i.e Fan Base that Acts As  A Family)

Everyone Works Hard – Winners Work Harder

Okay, I know what you’re always thinking when hard work is talked about, “Don’t work hard, work smart.” Well that’s kind of true but do you even know what that may mean? I mean working harder might actually be what working smart is.

Disagree?

Well everyone in a certain industry who is serious about winning does exert quite a lot of considerable effort to become acceptable or play above entry level. This kind of hard work keeps them winning or earning decently. I mean even many writers are neither good nor bad. They not bad-ass writers however. They work hard.  Winners work harder however.

If in basic practice per day for everyone else does 5hours of work  winners will take one extra hour. Winners will do 6 hours.  In 6 days that extra hour is 6 hours and in 24 days they have had 24 more hours than their competition. Imagine how many extra days of practice they have in 2 years, 3yrs and so forth. In reality by the time your competition tries to catch up with you it will be too late.

This is because people try to catch up with talent when it has already done it. When it has already matured but by the time they actually notice it that talent will be miles away.

I grew up seeing Ernest Mackina take a snapshot of every living thing that inspired him, graduating from 2-mega-pixel phone lenses when we couldn’t afford Nikon’s to the complex lenses he now uses to live an appealing existence. Corporate gigs and globe trotting to Hong Kong.

Not bragging on his behalf but practical examples matter. Otherwise what I am saying may as well be an opinion.

I am not talking about an artistes branding here or the other superficial additives we add on to them after they make the cut. I am speaking of the raw talent you find in Ahsayn Beatmaker, the prowess in Cashbid’s delivery patterns. The mastery of Sharky performances was not built in one day.

When your former favourite rappers fell asleep on a page, he was still writing. Tearing pages, rescripting. Chucking whole rhyme pads into trashcans because average doesn’t cut it if your ambition is winning.

Notice people only kick in to want to brand that talent when it has proven it is worth branding. You can only be an example in this website if you are an example in life. No tea company just takes a leaf and puts it in a pack, pays for printing, packaging and advertising before that leaf is proven to be the tea that will sell in it’s raw state.

By the time you notice these people they are that good… It is already too late. Only underdogs who practice as much or more can catch up. I know there are many examples out there, unmentioned underdogs. Writing, tearing pages, practicing and picking up.

But here are my calls to action.

Stop working in the average lane. An hour maybe a lot depending what you do but add an extra 10 minutes, even 5 minutes to your daily hardwork. If you already work hard. I am not talking about people who don’t work or practice at all here.

Continue working smart too but realize that working hard is also working smart. If there is extra knowledge you must get to make your job easier get as much of it. Just like the hourly rule, go the extra mile.

Here is one big DON’T – 
Don’t do drugs or substance abuse to kick it at that level. You would rather be average than gain the world on drugs.

Everyone is good. People do okay because they work hard, but winners work harder.

 

Why Tongogara Pre-Order Was A Genius Plan

We are living in the digital age where your exceptional effort can be converted in a pdf, mp4 or mp3 file and go for free online. Some call it the free-conomy, but it has the whole music industry running around to look for solutions at a global scale.

 

In the western world streaming services have come to the rescue  but where I’m from the connection may sometimes take ages to poke a Facebook friend.

 

Until Zimbabwe is digitized, i-tunes and spotify may not be the best idea if you want your Zimbabwean fans to listen. Years ago Olova Music created an app but I doubt many people consume music via it.

 

The solution…

 

KYN Records decided to go to Star FM in early February so that Jnr Brown could kick a track called Tongogara which fans naturally expected to have a free mp3 link the next day. See, prior to this they had managed to raise our attention to Jnr Brown who had been quiet for a long time by freely dropping “We Run It”, a war like track which received mixed emotions from the crowd.

 

It was perceived to be a diss to Cal_Vin and Noble Stylz and since got replied by Jungle Kid and Cal_Vin. The attention on Jnr Brown’s return has been established.

 

This week instead of a free link, Begotten Sun (Kudakwashe Musasiwa), Alex 2.1 (@Zezururockstar) and Atenno (Innocent Tafangepasi) went online to advertise a pre-order which is reportedly floating above 3000 orders. This is information from the label and though unverifiable, even lizards under a rock will tell you Jnr Brown is trending. After digitization there will be more Wi-Fi under rocks.

 

How does this work?

 

Look if Jnr Brown had tried to sell his new single and Whatsapp it immediately, then the first buyer would forward it to groups and they would miss a number of sales.

 

A pre-order allows them to sale the mp3 before anyone gets a hold of it and unless somebody leaks it they will make a lot from it because what we sell in music is not really the CD or the MP3. It is the experience.

 

The Freemium Model

 

Dropping We Run It for free and the Star FM freestyle was meant to make the staunche fans hunger for me and confirm Jnr Brown’s competence was still intact.

 

Free-mium is made up of two words, Free and Premium.

 

So after the free stuff the premium value is the song we are waiting for on the 12th of February. It will be sent at one go to all who requested it and twitter will roar again.

 

I’m not sure who to credit for thinking this but I’ll say Jnr Brown and his team have been working hard.

 

 

Carl Joshua Ncube On Why One Hit Viral Comedians Fail

Carl Joshua Ncube is one of the most successful stand-up comedians in the country, having maintained his brand for years, through it’s ups and downs he decided 2 days ago to give insightful advice on how one can stay on the radar after his break out offering. He originally made this for comedians because he is a comedian but the message still applies to the music industry if you ask me. (Carl actually does a number of things other than comedy. Social Media, Advertising, Animation, Branding, Sleeping… you get the gist)

Carl Joshua Ncube

Why VIRAL or internet sensations FALL OFF THE RADAR – by Carl Joshua Ncube

Before you start waving the sour grapes card at me I will ask that you keep a very open mind about what I am writing about. Being in the comedy industry for a mere 5 years I have seen a number of VIRAL ACTS suddenly appear and then fall off the radar like clockwork before the year is out. I have been in close proximity of such acts and deduced the same characteristics to their downfall and I have listed some of those reasons below.

In order to go viral a couple of things happen, the video has to be FUNNY, STUPID, PROFOUND or CUTE but the following mistakes are common amongst those that fall off the radar

Theres no THEN WHAT? STRATEGY

Most internet sensations can’t explain to you why they got famous so therefore cannot explain to you how to sustain or maintain unknown fame. This is a problem if you remember the expression FAILURE TO PLAN is a PLAN for FAILURE

Revenue streams

Most viral acts have no idea how to put in revenue streams to help sustain their new found success. Remembering that you have gone viral because someone has consumed your content for FREE! Not having a plan to recover or make money and keep the integrity of your work is a balance most fail to strike.

Advisors

Particularly in Zimbabwe we have a huge bunch of experts on what the next viral sensation should have done. Due to the fact that the ACT had no plan listening to what everyone says is the biggest downfall as most advisors are not in the field to make that call in the first place. Stuff like IMPROVE QUALITY, MAKE MORE CLIPS, DO STUFF IN SHONA are examples of such advice. My question always is WHY WAS THIS ADVICE not available BEFORE WE BECAME FAMOUS? Didn’t we get famous without all this GOOD ADVICE?

Growing with your fans

VIRAL internet sensations don’t get the opportunity to grow with their fans and learn to interact with them and build long lasting relationships with their fanbase. You wake up and suddenly you have 200,000 likes on your page but you didn’t even know how to interact with 200 friends on your profile.

It wasn’t just you that made you famous

Due to a lack of understanding that it wasn’t just the video that made you famous, leads the internet or viral sensation thinking that’s all it was about and hence a failure to figure out what to do next. Your first hit can often be the very thing that brings you down. The reason why you were famous was relevance, at that time there was just something in the air that made a great idea explode and the right people shared it and viewed it and responded and thats why you are here today.

Greed

Most just suffer from wanting to milk this thing before it disappears instead of making a plan to bottle and distribute in a systematic manner. Getting water from a well versus building a pipeline. So most VIRAL sensations worry about GETTING the money from the one thing.

No Brand Identity

Not listening to what your fans are saying because that is what your brand is. If you are that group called US two then you are really Zimbabwe’s Cover Girls thats what people fell in love with that’s what you need to do more of. I had to plug my girls in this am such a fan ‪#‎SHAMELESS‬

Money

Not thinking about how the money is going to work will make internet sensations crash and burn. You start getting offers to endorse this product and the next using that one hit and you get paid and you haven’t thought about who gets what. We have seen it many times, fall out with managers splitting facebook pages.

Work ethic

Because of the one hit its possible to get wrapped up n the hype and excitement and forget to put in any work after that. After all they know you coz of the one thing and go crazy but the very reason they loved you is the reason they will abandon you.

Hierarchy

Before you start thinking you are a legend because you are now viral remember there is still an industry of the that have been there for decades. Harnessing that knowledge and respecting it will be what keeps you in the game or what sinks you into oblivion.

This is just the ramblings of a stand up comedian by the way but nonetheless very important for any artist that has had the gift of going viral is to remember it is a gift, how you use that gift can make you or break you…enjoy it while it lasts and also work hard to make it LAST even longer

If you found this useful you may want to read this article on how to use your Milestones as ladders.

How To Mean Something To Zim Hip-hop By 2017

The greatest enemy of any creative is to be irrelevant. To speak and not be heard, especially by their intended audience. Which is why over the years a lot of artistes have lashed out at radio shows, blogs and award shows for lack of acknowledgement. We all want to be taken seriously for what we do.

I know many have claimed not to care about radio, television, press or award shows but that’s akin to self comforting statements by a jilted man about the prom queen who said NO!!!. The best way he can cover the scabs of his bruised ego is to claim that he didn’t love her to begin with. He can even insult her by calling her a whore.

We all know if she showed signs of taking him back he would rise up and jump into her arms.

That said. You want to make so much of this year (2016) that you will be relevant by 2017 and you can if you start realizing that only you are responsible for making you great. Others may join you in the journey but the biggest responsibility lies with your mindset. Your willingness to learn and your hunger for victory.

  1. Know Thyself

In order to be relevant you have to know yourself. Your “SWOT” – Strengths , Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. What are you good at? What are you bad at?

Knowing what you’re good at, what are the opportunities open for people that can do what you’re good at?

Knowing what you’re bad at, how are you going to reduce the effect of that weakness on your work? Are you going to avoid it or take a course to improve it. Does it pose any threats for you on the market?

Who is your competition and what’s your unique selling proposition over them.

It may be a bad idea to try and out-do Noble Stylz at Shona wordplay, or embarrass Tehn on Twitter when he has 15,000 followers he doesn’t necessarily follow back than you. Know yourself, your audience, your threats. Stay in your own territory. (by the way if you want to take on the examples given, you might actually pull it off if your SWOT analysis shows you will win, after-all no-one is infallible… but why risk?)

2. Stop Ranting

Ranting is for victims not victors. People may entertain your ranting and comment in their hundreds but still not view you as a leader. You will just be a fellow victim. When you rant what you’re simply doing is presenting complaints and problems with no solutions. Usually these things are also not in your sphere of influence.

People would rather follow a leader who solves problems he/she highlights. As long as anyones language is “They won’t let us in”…. he/she is not worth following. So whilst you stop ranting, also stop following ranters. It doesn’t matter how justified they sound.

A common rant is about how the so called “North” should help out people from the so called ,”South”. That’s a lazy argument in which individuals play victim and assume the so called “North” is their dad. Engage in that no more and gather your own resources.

No one owes you anything.

3. Provide unique Value

Having a unique selling proposition is the best way of standing out, that’s why this blogpost talked about 2017. many blog-posts are currently putting 2016 in the headline. Do not be the same as everyone because you are not.

Provide great value but give it a unique twist. Rappers have always found a day of the week where they give out a freestyle weekly like Cal_Vin’s Free Bars Friday. However a rapper in Vic Falls by the name of Platinum has decided to do a free verse Sunday but his unique selling proposition is that he opened a website specifically for that purpose (read it here).

4. Be Consistent

Whatever value you decide to give, it will not show you much results for a long time so the challenge is to be consistent. In other words some people may actually start noticing what Platinum began on Sunday in the last week of November. Mind you, Zim Hip-hop Awards may not look at it, maybe until the next year. I have seen this. However what is key is consistency. Consistency pays.

5. Work On Image

Take photo-shoots and have awesome pictures on instagram and social media accounts. Videos county as well and if you have a CONSISTENT logo that’s even better. Invest in a professional website. i know a place where you can get a site for $2 a month in Zimbabwe, which really is all about sacrificing a bit of airtime money. Drop your music on yourself.com (that way you wont rant that Mcpotar didn’t drop your song on himself.com). Look important and play with peoples cognitive biases.

6. Get Co-signs

Still on the cognitive biases thing. If you can get figures you consider more influential than you to bless your work on a public platform you’d have done a lot of work. Whether you like it or noty, some peoples influence has ability to silence any doubts about your work. What if Begotten Sun, Mox, Take Fizzo, Yagi Dojo, Audius or Metaphysics said you were the future? Would some unknown know it all’s opinion matter there-after? I don’t think so.

Myke Pimp, Sharky, Mile and terry Shan have gotten co-signs from some of these figures. In fact Terry Shan, got a co-sign from Begotten Sun a few weeks ago and ended up getting his very first ZiFM interview 3 days later.

This is why people keep tagging The Ignition, Misred, Begotten Sun, Tehn Diamond, AHHB and so forth in their tweets.  Confirmation that you’re legit is something you want from an authoritative source.

7. Be Dope

You can apply all these other things but you wont be relevant by 2017 if you’re wack.

Please follow @Mcpotar on twitter and Instagram for updates on the go.

The New Definition Of Zim Hip-hop 2016 and Beyond

Zim Hip-hop did great in 2015, there was a lot of life in the industry, though some may have seen the beef culture that began in August as regressive. As the Potardent I am happy to announce my new definition for Zim Hip-hop which you may adopt for 2016 and beyond. You will easily notice it is made up of the acronym Z.I.M.H.I.P.H.O.P

Z -imbabwean :

This is a no-brainer! In order for our culture to stand out it has to be Zimbabwean . This means to say it has to be in a format that characterises the identity of a Zimbabwean. I am not talking about language here. I mean to say that music must be packaged in a way that a person from India can tell that this must be from Zimbabwe.

-mage :

Artistes must now focus on image more. A few artistes like Simba Tagz, Sharky, Tehn Diamond and cal_Vin have managed to create certain brand images for themselves that make them distinctive. Image is important in getting hip-hop taken seriously. My friend Leroy Dzenga, a student of McLuhans teachings always quotes, “The medium is the message”. Let’s dress and look like authoritative mediums. Album art, the way emails are written and Facebook pictures must not be taken for granted.

M-onetized :

Money is the most widespread medium of exchange of value. I quoted McLuhan’s “The medium is the message”, now additionally I’d like to suggest that , “The message is the money”. In order to start deserving money for the value we give, we must begin to give a message that adds value to our target markets and adds value to their lives. Whether it’s a party track like Winky D’s buzzing disappear to get them past struggle or a typical Tuku theme to spread wisdom. Let’s do this and actually monetize our music… especially those who have been on exposure payroll for years.

So now that we have dealt with the Z.I.M in Zim Hip-hop let’s go on to H.I.P.H.O.P

Hip:

Hip-hop must always be “hip”. “Hip” is a word that defines something that is adaptive to trends. I know many Hip-hop heads are enemies of trends and stuck in Run DMC’s time but what they do not realize is that the pioneers of Hip-hop when they created it were actually creating a new trend. Had they been conforming to the old rules of “how music should be made” they would not modify scratches, West African griots poetry progressions and so forth to create Hip-hop.  So I believe, we can’t say we are being “hip” by sticking to the so called “Real Hip-hop” because the REAL HIP-HOP was made by trendsetters.

I-nnovative:

While we adopt to trends we should also be innovative as a people to create our own trends and also support our own platforms. I was happy to download a new application for music on Google Play Store called StereoGuru , it is in it’s beta stage and will be monetizing Hip-hop and other music content. We are not going back on the monetization process and Zimbabwe will support us if we craft our images to make good messages.

P-atriotic

Not in a political sense. I don’t talk politics but this one is for the DJ’s, events organizers and online curators. It’s time to be patriotic by giving local hip-hop airplay over other countries that probably do not have us yet in their playlists. Like I have previously said, Nigerian or South African Hip-hop is great but they did not climb those ladders by their only curators giving special preference to the music of another people. There is so much talent in Zimbabwe and we can’t be having 95% of a party playlist being foreign. Stop it!

H-elpful

Zim Hip-hop has become such a little society. I think the number of people I see in Hip-hop circles can now actually fill a neighbourhood or more. Therefore any societies growth is dependent on people helping each other mutually. I am not talking about one sided help.Let’s help each other achieve our goals… appeal to people interests and they will listen to you. Share tracks together, help each other to perfect tracks. Give others opportunities that you think will be best handled by them.

O-utstanding

I was going to have my O as original, but that’s already defined in Zimbabwean. However I want you to be OUTSTANDING and Outspoken (like the Humble Neophyte). In attempts to be hip do not focus on rap delivery styles that are beyond your cadence abilities or it will come of fake. If you sound wack in English raps and are home and comfy on Shona bars, then do those. Don’t come up with enunciation like drayzie when you mean drezi it’s not cool. Perhaps what i’m saying is do you what you good at exceptionally, there’s no more room for being “ayt”. No more making “Okay tracks” and I will not as a curator have any flattering reviews for “okay tracks” no matter who you are. Yes, even if you are Tehn Diamond and have fans that can practically squeeze my nuts with a pliers for saying, “hmmm that was weak.” – I am waiting to playlist The Perfect Tehn and other projects.

P -ractice

Practice will burn out all the impurities of the game. Actually have dedicated sesssions like Church Choirs do to learn and know your songs before you hit the mic, even when you have no show the next week. PREPAREDness would have made a good P. In order to monetize properly you have to bring a polished act.

That’s it from The Potardent,  this may or may not be my last blogpost before we end the year. My family is in the background calling me for more cake so cheers and happy holidays. Please folow @Mcpotar on twitter for more Hip-hop updates on the go.