The Importance of a Street Team
Making the music is the easy part.
Today's artist thinks that by recording 15 songs and then putting it online they can change their situation or status. Most never consider the hard work with various promotional tactics necessary to succeed. One of the most important marketing tools is the ability to breach your consumer’s subconscious. Street team promotion is the method of supplying your target audience with various flyers, cds, posters, etc. that they can take with them. The hope is that when they come across that item you've given they'll remember the product you're promoting and take action on it.
Anyone trying to sell a product must first attract interest. Street teams are an easy way to accomplish that. Consider your product the same as a compelling rumor. One person tells someone who then tells another and so on. The street team promotional product is what starts the "rumor." A single flyer can generate interest to countless people if you're able to get just one person to pass it on. Sometimes its takes 100 flyers to get one person that passes it on and spreads the "rumor" but if it’s being spread from multiple outlets you increase the chances of it catching on.
Nowadays the "rumors" are only being spread to people that already know or only online. If you don't have a network of people that plant the seed all over, the product dies. Labels and independents alike have gotten lazy (and cheap). Street teams are essential in branding your music and setting the foundation for a lasting impact. Be prepared to spend money on promotional items and for hiring experienced street team workers to get the most impact per item circulating.
Def Jam. No Limit. Ruff Ryders. All these major successes were a hard sell to the mainstream world initially. Russell Simmons, Master P, & DMX are just a few examples of how organic growth can pay off BIG. Today's music industry is very digital and in turn less connected. The internet has and continues to revolutionize our day to day life but human interaction has suffered because of it.
Russell Simmons & Co. changed music indefinitely when they started Def Jam. People were exposed to their artists in less evasive ways and had the option to choose. He threw parties, handed out flyers, and plastered New York with posters. By strategically placing his products he was able to win over the world. He promoted his artists in the same way they should be, as a campaign. The promotion of the artists was probably seen more than the artists themselves.
Master P had to go to California and start up a separate business to spread the "rumor." No one would sign DMX because of his roughness but he built up his name by getting people to spread the "rumor." Becoming a star is like running for office, if people don't see the signs promoting you or hear about it from someone else, YOU LOSE. Making the music is just you applying for candidacy.
Written by Karyn Shanks (@MeanGirlzMedia) for The College of Hip Hop
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