With major labels returning to profitability and again delivering monster hits, alongside the demise of several direct-to-fan startups, some have begun to question if D.I.Y. really is a path to success. I see examples to the contrary everywhere, and one that stands out because of his extraordinary drive and hustle is emcee Kosha Dillz.
Guest post by Billboard charting indie emcee Kosha Dillz
For me it is quite an astonishing feat. When you read this, I might already have 12 years clean and serene from drugs and alcohol and I figure what better way to celebrate than to write an article with free information given to you on how to really succeed in record sales!
But I don't know success really. I feel some days I'm happier than others, and sometimes I just wanna hit my goals. My brother Zach is always talking about goals. He is a strength trainer with multiple gyms. He was ahead of all the fitness craze. He films hard core videos of squatting and lifting tires before it was cool, and wrote an encyclopedia for underground strength training.
Recently , my goal has been to hit the billboard charts for record sales. How Can I do that?
"No one sells records anymore." said the manager.
Well I wanna sell some records.
"What a great time to sell records, since no one is actually even trying to sell them!" said me.
I hit up my friends. I asked them to let me rap. I asked them to sell merch. I asked them to help me. I ask them if they need help.
Wait what? You asked them if they need help??
Yes. Believe it or not, I offered to help people to give me opportunity. It wasn't my talent. It wasn't my resilience. It wasn't my epic music that was so artsy that you need to buy it (well I guess you need to) . I have some key things I did to start me up the right way to do it. Check out a list below.
1. Distro Deal – Getting your music to sell is an amazing thing. Getting your music up for pre-order is a possible thing as well. I used a boutique distro company. There are bigger ones that might seem more glamorous. Orchard. Empire. Hell they may even be better ones than this one that I use. I had a specific deal with my people to open my own imprint, OY VEY! which is also the name for my official SXSW showcase. Being boutique meant that I had all the attention. Imagine dating a really famous person. Ok. Now… imagine dating a normal person.
You already see how that is different in your head?
Same thing with your distro. Keep it simple and tight knit. They got me placed on priority lists so I got top treatment.
2. Tour Dates – I was able to get a tour that lined up my merch sales to soundscan them at each show with merch venue settlement sheets. When you have tour dates and a release show, I was able to sell a lot of units and be playing live as my album just came out! It is hard to sell cars when you are not at the car lot right? You will see Warped Tour bands Soundscanning a lot of units since they are selling every day.since they have 7 shows a row on certain weeks with 10,000+ people and they will push 100-150 a day. You can also pre-sell albums physically and not only on itunes. You can do bundle packages, like ones on my site. Every tee and tank come with a digital copy sale. Some can even come with physical. You can set up your album release show so that every ticket sold comes with an album. That can be up to 200-300 album sales in one night!
3. Radio Campaign – Radio is the most important thing you can get for your record because the wow factor and interaction with hearing your tunes in guaranteed. Shazam helps wonders and can really give you a boost. People call up and some radio people love music so much they'll book you on campus
4. Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads – Money in Ads helps you a lot. Facebook ads are epic. Bump money into it. It appears bigger. Looks bigger. Gives people the impression that more is happening. The law of sales needs to happen 9 times before a buy , which is really 27 times since 2 out of the 3 times someone sees it , it doesn't even register to them! Pump up those ads! $20 a week or $20 a day. What ever you can afford. But trust me… you can afford it!
5. Organization –Making your stuff chart isn't something you decide to do a week before or even a month before. It is a big process. All your I's need to be dotted and T's need to be crossed. ALl the codes of this and that, need to occur, and it can't just be digital. It has to be physical. You have to be able to report through your label or distro, and they might not even know.
6. Licensing - Having someone in line to help you with your push is key. The money is coming along slowly but get yourself one big license you will be massive! If you happen to line something up with your team during your release it can be key in sales. better yet, if it will be so big, you can create a campaign specifically around the week your song goes to TV (ie. Superbowl, reality tv, EMPIRE) and have a collective push. This didn't happen for me this time, but it has happened in the past where my sales jumped.
7. Announcing my goal –This is probably the most important thing of mine for me. This is like the end 24 hours of the kickstarter! People are willing to follow suit if you push them to. Make it fun. FYI, they call it "the game" because that is what it is. Now that I hit Billboard Charts, set a new goal for my fans. You can do this easily with music videos (lets get 100 comments!) or album sales or youtube hits. You can also do it with itunes charts etc!
8. No rock untuned for the sale - ASK FOR THE SALE – Mom , Dad, cousins, phone lists, facebook, snapchat, youtube, periscope, live.me, facebook live (big up to MEGA RAN on that idea) Most importantly…text! call! I have 5000 phone numbers in my phone and you probably have at least a 1000. It isn't the worst to hit them up. Andy Dick still texts me fliers to his shows and he is 50. He has been in massive movies and small movies and has his own $5 comedy show. Don't think you are too big to ask people.
Well, there you have it. I am writing an article for those who are interested. Most likely, "What I do all Day" will be off the charts, but my streams and purchases are still going up. I hope to use this as leverage to get a bigger and better deal that will help to market my album. Just remember guys…NUMBERS DON'T LIE! If people see your numbers, they can't say anything bad about it. They can only respect it. It is hard to make numbers move, and if they are moving, you must be moving too.
OK there is one more thing.
Make a good album! That is the only thing that will make sure people will listen more than once. That earns you fans, which are more important than anything in the world for a musician.