Promote Music Online Like A Street Vendor – By Mcpotar

In March 2013, I commissioned myself to a mission I call frequency. This mission is to share hip hop songs and posts on rap music frequently till the intended message is heard. I figured I used to post links once in a while and wait for people to discover my music. It wasn’t helping much, I wasn’t getting heard. I mean different people are online at different times, so if I share a song at 8am, why not try again at 11am, perhaps for that lazy guy who’s just woken up. In fact why don’t I tweet the download link every 3 hours; certainly it will annoy many, but if the message is consistent, someone will hear it.

A vendor, who sells phone credit (a.k.a airtime) in First Avenue in Harare, is certainly not too proud to shout out to people walking by to buy. Many ignore him and are annoyed by his redundant shout, but those in need of airtime immediately identify where it is without trouble. This is similar to tagging people on Facebook and posting very frequently beyond the regular person such that you can fill a person’s home feed from top to bottom (especially if the rest of their friends are boring).

An airtime vendor does not randomly get into First Street at 12 Midnight to shout, the streets will be empty. He has studied the streets and times that have the most people; not only the most people but also those who might be able to afford. This guy has been equipped with bright vests so that he is easy to spot. At one time Zimbabwe had illegal forex dealers identifiable by white clothes they wore in Bulawayo . How does that apply to  promoting music?

If you are going to be using that frequency thing to air a message to hip hop listeners, there are certain times hip hop fans are likely to be most online. Not only should they just be online, they should probably have that internet connection at work that allows them to download your songs which they can later share with their unemployed home boys perhaps. It is not very easy to spare an Econet data bundle to download a song on reverbnation which may be poor quality at the end of the day.  There are also words and slang (just like the bright vests) that allow you to make your music stand out. There is a certain dress code associated too, maybe you have that on your reverbnation profile, rather than an avatar from a wedding you were best man in, unless it was a Hip hop themed wedding.

As much as the airtime vendor seems based in one location, sometimes he must move around with his airtime stick and market his cards to other people, as much as your wall is not the last place you should share your music. Now before you spam people walls; make sure you’re good like that. I prefer that you find a Facebook group to share in. If it’s a group about hip hop, its members are in there because they love hip hop. Find friends in that group and soon they will be able to see your links in their feeds when they accept your friendship. Probably in the past you started a little Facebook Artist/Band page and thought you’d end up with 500 likes because you had 500 friends. You are probably still in your early 90’s. This is because; of your 500 friends maybe only the 90 cared about ZIMBABWEAN hip hop music. Yes, some may care about hip hop, just not Zimbabwean hip hop. Now, start befriending all those people in Hip hop groups, slowly they will accept at their pace, invite them to your page later. Frequency


Finally, when someone posts a link in a group rap artists should quit the habit of replying with another link. If they would like to do so they should do so in a very clever way, perhaps by first downloading, listening and reviewing the work of the guy who posted then suggesting. “You can also download my music on…”

Meanwhile keep shouting out loud till your presence and music is felt. If you’re not yet in the Zim hip hop artist directory feel free to add yourself and also check out other artists that have done so.

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