Mixtape Marketing Podcast #18 With Darius Burgen From Artistshortcut.com

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Visit Darius Website Here:  https://artistshortcut.com/

Interviewee: Darius Burgen  Rap Music Marketing Consultant

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Interview With Darius Burgen From The Artistshortcut Music Marketing Blog

Hey guys, The Corporate thief Beats here and you are listening to another episode of the Mixtape a Marketing Podcast this is episode 18 and I am very happy and delighted to have today’s special guest on the mixtape marketing podcast his name is Darius Bergen from the hip hop Music marketing blog, the artist shortcut.


The goal of Darius website is to close the knowledge gap between very successful rap artists and those that are just starting the career in music. And thanks to the internet and search engines out there like Youtube and Google, the playing field has been levelled out.


However, the amount of music marketing or music business information and content available for the specifically hip hop is very low and that’s why he’s created this website the Artistshortcut.com.


Welcome to the show Darius and thanks for joining me in this discussion. Thanks for having me Dan on the mixtape marketing podcast. Darius if you don’t mind could you just give the audience a brief background on yourself and how you how you came up with the artistshortcut.com

Yeah sure, so grown up I started to get into hip-hop in general about an about two years ago. I started off as an artist. I was pretty young I didn’t really know much and like every young person, I wanted to be a hip-hop artist by just making music releases and I hoped someone notices it. Then that person would help you out. You know make you famous and successful overnight as the media say is in the music industry.
After a while, I started to notice that I wasn’t getting any real results. So with the lack of results, I went on to different things like being a music producer and graphic designer along with some video editing.


[sociallocker id=”2645″]

How To Improve Your Pitch To Hip Hop Blogs


Eventually landed on music marketing which seemed to stick with me. I felt I had a knack for it and it was something that I really enjoyed.
I really enjoyed the fact that I was able to take some artists from no fans to some fans, then to a lot of fans or just to take them in a position where they can actually now manage their-their career from a marketing standpoint. So far it’s been successful and I have a great run at helping these new artists out at the start of their music career.


Finding Your Target Audience

So Darius what is the procedure you undertake when a new artist comes to you for help with their music marketing. Let’s say for example Artist X comes to you and says I have a great professional product {Album} I don’t have a large budget or funds, but I am willing to invest my time into the promotion of my album.
I don’t really understand music marketing or Facebook. Do I just upload it on Datpiff and that’s it?




I feel that a lot of new artists have some good music or some good songs. Maybe not mixed or produced like an industry record, but close enough for the DIY Musician.Usually, when an artist comes to me to me like that, my first question to them is usually what is your target audience because whoever you’re-your target Fans are, that’s going to dictate how you promote your music.

If your fans, for example, let’s say your fans are our video games like playing video games so they’re into let’s say you’re into fashion video games. The way you promote your music to them is going to be much different than the way you promote your music to street people. Who we will say doing illegal things they shouldn’t be doing.
Just a difference in culture and order or not even not even in culture, but the difference in and lifestyle will dictate how
you promote to them. I ask new artists what’s your target market? Or what is your ideal audience/fans like?


Most of them say that they don’t even know who their target marketing is. Or know what type of fan they are looking for. Right, I away I know that they aren’t ready for my help. It’s something that they need to go back to the drawing board and create a proper plan of what they are looking for so that I can then help them.

So that’s something that every artist needs to know especially if you are just starting off. After that, I then usually just ask a bunch of questions to get to know the artist. If the artist in question doesn’t have the budget or a lot of money and they want to promote their music, you just have to get creative.


By getting creative I mean getting to know your fans, and you target market. Find all about them what common traits do they have, and also what other similar artists do they listen too.
If you know if you want to use Facebook ads to target your fans that’s fine but if your target fans don’t respond to Facebook ads then you will just waste your money. It’s like if you start promoting you music on Twitter but your target market doesn’t even use Twitter or spend a lot of time on Twitter, again you just wasted a ton of your budget, because you never did the necessary research to find out about your ideal fans.

Maybe sometimes an artist feels that a certain target market is their ideal audience, but it’s not and they are wasting time on that unresponsive audience. So how do find that real targeted audience or what are they steps necessary to find that audience that will respond to your music in a positive way?


The main way to find out your target audience is based on by asking the artist a bunch of questions, like let’s say I’m an artist and I want to and I want to find my target audience.

Let’s say I make music similar to J Cole. The first thing I’m gonna do is look at J Cole’s fans and see what do? What do they like? What are their interests or hobbies are?


find the right fans

A lot of J Coles fans are more intelligent than the typical fan, they like things that have more meaning. These people are more emotional based, so they want to they want things that you know that not only stand for something but that actually make you feel something from the music.


I would create a profile based on that. I would create an imaginary person and fill them up with traits from J Coles fans and I might say like you know my target fan, is is in between 16 and-and 35 years old, my target fan likes Football, my target fan is in college because I would assume a lot of J Cole Old fans are actually in college.


I basically take these traits and create a person. You combine them to see what your target hip hop fan is or your target audience and then you test it.


At the end of the day like your kind of guessing or estimating what is right. So if I make music similar to J Cole and J Coles audience likes this, It is easier for us now to know that I can promote my music to his audience if I make similar music. On paper and it doesn’t always work out like that. That’s why you need to do not necessarily dive headfirst all in and put all your eggs in one basket but you need to test that with a small portion of that audience.


JCOLE FANS? Are they similar to your ideal fans?

j cole fans


Always try to promote to them in an in a way that they respond to the most. It’s the fans opinion that matters at the end of the day. So if they ain’t responding to your music move on a find a different audience.

So to put it another way I create the persona and then once I have created the ideal fan I use Social Media advertising to test the small section of their audiences to see what target audience will respond best to that artist’s music.


Some artists that have a small budget shouldn’t spend their money on ads, Because advertising is so fickle and easy to get wrong, you could easily spend your budget in a day or two.

For example, I had one artist that had a similar audience to Rae Sremmurd, so I created a profile for the type of fans that like Rae Sremmurd. And Instead of spending the money online, I spent the money on going to events where Rae Sremmurd were playing or where they fans would be at.


music events and marketing


The events were big but a little more laid back. Then we would just network all of over these events, by building relationships and not promoting the music directly but just planting seeds so that we could have an excuse to connect with these people again. Again you have to go back to the research that you have carried out. Ask small sections of your audience do they go to gigs and events. If your target market likes 2 Pac odds are they aren’t going to many events.


A better way to target this type audience is to find influencers, like specific Youtube channels that post or promote old school rap music and reach out these tastemakers. So this method is very similar to that of what a lot of music industry rap artists are doing, just on a bigger scale. By cross-promote fan bases if a great way of getting your music to the large new audience in a quick amount of time.

If you try to do everything on your own without cross-promoting without another artist you might find yourself at the maximum your own target audience reach.
So how do you carry out outreach and networking without spamming their way on social media?


If you want to make it simple I would contact those people and ask them what can I do to help you out. Just contact them acts what can I do to help you out and I’ll help you offer free and you basically you do something for them before accessing them for anything in return. So this favour with you help them out with will help them be more comfortable about posting your music or help you out in the future. Maybe it should take a while for them to help you out but keep nurturing that relationship with hip hop influence and bloggers.


This is the same method I follow for hip hop blogs and how you go about reaching out to rap bloggers and rap blog influencers. But first, you must find what the main goal of rap blog is. Most rap blogs want social followers to sell promotion to, and people to read the blog so that they can sell advertising too.


Eyes and views are everything to some hip hop blogs. So the more viewers/traffic you bring to these hip hop blogs the more the hip hop blog will do for you. So you need some proof that you can actually send a target fan base to their hip hop blog. So you need followers on social media, you need an email list of subscribers, you need proof of some sort of promotion that you will send people to a specific page on their blog.


And it’s good if you can track the numbers you send using tools like billy. A specific tool link that counts link clicks to specific websites.

If I were an artist that didn’t have the budget to promote my music on these rap blogs or if I didn’t have the fanbase to help me get on this blog, I would make a list of all the blogs that I want to get on. Then I would make a list of all the rap bloggers and writers and hip-hop influences of these hip hop blogs that I want to reach out too. Then I would try to strike up specific conversations with these hip hop music tastemakers, and ask if they needed help with anything or if they would like me to write for them or help them find popular topics that are popping on other hip hop blogs.


artistshortcut.com with Darius Burgen


Make sure you know the person you are talking too on these blogs. Sometimes the owners of these blogs are more analytical and want to know your numbers and how many people you can bring to the blog. But a hip-hop writer wants to know your story and if you have any chance of progressing in the music industry. Blog owners like to talk shop where are rap blog writers like to talk about music and what you are interested and listening to at the moment.

So if you are an artist that has a good mixtape and you have received some great feedback from your peers about how great your music. How do you release that mixtape?

It all depends if you have a budget or if you don’t have a budget.


If you don’t have a budget keep releasing singles. Singles are less expensive to promote and less expensive to make. The main thing to know is that you can still get an amazing result with the single promotion just like that of a mixtape. If you do have the Budget then you need to find out what platform you are going to use to promote the mixtape.
Sites like getrightmusic.com, Livemixtape, Datpiff, and Spinrilla, already have a built-in audience. I would see which platform can match your audience and your budget to spend.

get right music



So once you pick the mixtape site that you will use, I would spend the next couple of days working ever so hard to get some PR to drip feed that initial launch. Sending out interviews to blogs giving the video interviews, sending emails out to blogs that you have made a relationship with.


Releasing the music videos on youtube linking back to the mixtape launch. I would then use my standings on these mixtapes as leverage for when I meet a label or and AnR of a music firm. That I have a certain position on the rankings on Datpiff etc. This acts as sort of social proof and gives your music and your drive more credibility. This sets you apart from other hip hop artists that haven’t reach a certain point or goal yet.


A lot of new artists are lazy and they were born with the internet. So they feel that everything will come to them and that they don’t have to do any real work. But when you work with artists offline and you see them networking and putting in the time to find and speak to the right people you know that this artist worth investing in.


Every artist should be using offline marketing in conjunction with their online marketing efforts. I feel that your website is the king on your chessboard of your online marketing efforts. If you don’t have a website now is the time to start one. It’s your home base and shows to others how professional you are. So your main function with all the other social profiles and mixtape sites it so takes traffic from this site and funnels them back your website. Here people have the focus on you and what your music is about.


Once you build a website another thing you need to do is to start to build an email list. This way you can capture the information of these website visitors. Once you have their email address and they have subscribed to your website you can reach out to these people again and again.

start a wordpress website


Some artists seem to have fear about building a website or email lists. It might be from the cost of a website or the coding side to a website. But relying on a Facebook page with limited reach is evidently going to cost you more money in the long run. The fear should lie in the fact that your Facebook page is rented ground and that they can ban you for whatever reason at any time. If you break $10’s a month for your own website, it will cost you about $0.50 per day. If you sell X amount of albums or singles in a month then your cost is covered.


If anyone that has to listen to the podcast you can connect with Darius on his website the artistshortcut.com  , here Darius can help you with hip hop music marketing , rap music business , rap influence research and mixtape promotion. Just hit the contact button on his website and get in touch with him. There is tons of free valuable information on the blog to help you out with hip hop music marketing. You can subscribe to the email list to get the best strategies and new music marketing ideas.


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Daniel Hartnett The Corporatethief Beats

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