Branding, Marketing & HUSTLE Advice for Aspiring, Current and Future Musicians

Here at Cognizance Capital Consulting we think its outright ridiculous to think “you can’t make money in music anymore”. Do you have any idea how many artists have been able to CASH in based off of not just their talents but through there understanding of how to navigate social media, build community and remaining ahead of the curve from a research/implantation stand point. Throughout the next 1,300+ words or so we want each and ever band, artist and musical superstar to understand one thing; there are a ton more people these days making tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands because of a proper content strategy on social media, the adoption of the entrepreneurial mindset & the overall (creativity, vision, hustle, determination and strategy) to back it up all up with.


Here are some tips for musicians on social media, product placement, and sponsorships.

As a music entrepreneur you not only will benefit from being everywhere that people are but you can benefit from having a loyal following that will take MASSIVE ACTION on anything and everything you say “post”. So the question then lies, what exactly will be your call to action, how do you build the audience to warrant a call to action, and where do you find the products to even present to a call to action.

Step One — Education, you have to view your musical career not only as a business but also as a gate way to deploy more time and energy towards education. Its not good enough to just have a “SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter account” you must have the knowledge around what to say on these platforms, the algorithm on these platforms and the reasons the users are on the platforms. This requires 3–5 hours of work outside of the studio thus spending time on YouTube and blogs, learning. Weather you have to deploy the time and energy yourself or you deploy your “show/album” income towards outsourcing those disciplines using sites such as “up work & fiver”. The key is to understand your interest levels in understanding social media at a deep level, while also respecting the importance and recognizing the upside It can have on your career.

Once you have a firm understanding of the social landscape you must put out content EVERYWHERE, interact with the community, listen to the feed back your fans give you, adjust based off of their desires and once you have leverage ways of monetizing will begin to present themselves aka YOU WILL BECOME AN INFLUNCER.

Now becoming an INFLUNCER has its negatives, perks, & responsibilities.

Negative: You must not only remain relevant and current with your musical talent, but your desire to remain in the limelight must remain intact. This sometimes can cause distractions, frustration and in some cases it can impact your creativity in a negative way.

Perks: Free clothes, jewelry, appliances, connections and most importantly MONEY.

Responsibilities: Updated knowledge on how to develop great copy, the algorithms on social, which hash tags to use and ways to remain creative thus separating yourself from the market place.

Ways that your influence can get you paid and how/why you and your team should be on the offense opposed to the defense

1. If any of you have been paying attention to the online entrepreneurial space you’ll realize that guys like “Grant Cardone, Alex Morton, & Gary Vaynerchuk” are using 40–55 sec snippets of rappers, singers and bands to help score their online videos. Some of these entrepreneurs are paying anywhere between $500-$2,000 for these features. Some entrepreneurs like Gary V, have a firm understanding of their leverage, community and foundation so instead of providing money they offer shot outs, tags and exposures. These tactics have propelled artist music careers. The key is to chase what is realistic and effective “online entrepreneurs” rather then chase something that may be too big “scoring a INDIE FILM and or TV”

· Booking tours are not only difficult but at times the pay isn’t always what you want and or what you may expect. About 12 months ago a few partners at Cognizance Capital advised an artist with a strong core following of only 5,000 to create what we called “context & empathy based” touring strategies. We noticed after working with the artist for 2 months or so that their fan base was incredibly loyal via Instagram/snap and twitter. They would retweet lyrics, ask when they were coming to a city near them “typical thing” but what shocked us was the scale at which the fans were pursing the artist. So we advised the artist to reach out to 30 fans all in different cities and states and conduct a phone call, thus learning more about their personal context, friend group, work life, reason for enjoying the content… and once the conversation was over we advised the artist to ask one simple question. “Do you think you could get 10–15 of your homies, co workers and family members” that appreciate my music together all in one room.?” Once the answer came back as yes, the artist then asked “ would each of you pay $75 bucks to see me perform for 3 hours?” and in every case the answer was yes. So if any of you can do simple math $75 x 15 = $1,125 which at the time was more then he had ever made and or been offered. We then made sure each fan had a basement, yard, and or local area where the performance could happen. The artist paid $200–450 for each flight, $125 for their hotel and $50 per day for food, Putting total profits above $14,000 over the course of 45 days. More then he ever thought he would make. Now most of you may be thinking that’s not practical, or I don’t have the fan base for that or what fan would pay that much, well the answers to all of those objections are simple. Create a great product and your consumer will pay what you demand. The only remaining variable is you and your team doing the hard tedious work of staying up late hours making the plans, traveling to each city and putting on a show! This tactic by far is a clear example of and “offensive play”.

· MUSICALLY!!! … Read about it, learn it, use it, adopt it, love it! What most musicians don’t realize is that being a first and second adaptor of new platforms creates massive opportunity for yourself when they grow to massive scale. How? Well that’s simple, think of it like buying amazing property when the neighborhood isn’t doing so well, and once the neighborhood improves you sell the property; it’s the same scenario. When you join a new app that not to many in your space use and you dominate the content development you create “sponsorship money, conference appearance opportunities, product placement, and influencer marketing budgets.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset meets Music & The Arts

When hustling meets the entrepreneurial mindset it means putting every minute into not only your craft “in the studio” but remaining (smart & strategic) about your decisions.. Here at Cognizance we call it Taking Competent Action. It may not be ideal at first, getting used to spending 3–5 hours per day learning about marketing schemes, business opportunities, influencer marketing and other business functions but its needed and well worth it. So many feel that the key is hiring the right team and manager.. which is smart, but before that comes you as the creative must understand how to earn, create and make things happen for yourself!

So the question remains, after we’ve covered influencer marketing, business development, sponsorships, community management, caring about your community, offensive behaviors vs. passive behaviors; are you willing to HUSTLE to become a ROCKSTAR?

Are you willing to work 15 hours a day and get it done, on top of creating the best music you possibly can create? Can you do what it takes to take your music and your business the top of the music and entrepreneurial chain?

Emotionally and executionally, make the commitment to yourself and to your legacy that you’re willing and ready to go ALL-IN!

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Cognizance Capital

Our mission is to guide entrepreneurs to begin the process of implementing tactics the market place respects in order to achieve consistent growth!