Hustling Is Over. Now You Can Sell your Music Online.

How much do Kenyan artists, musicians and those wannabes who feel like celebs make from their efforts? With piracy trends on the upward, making money as an entertainer here in Kenya seems to be a hard call. Waiting to get an invitation to perform or curtain raise for others may not be the best way to make serious ‘bucks’ for the so called ‘wasanii’. We have seen them complain that Kenyans don’t appreciate local talent. We have seen them floss with the little they make –is this really a celeb`s life?. If you are reading this and you are musician or an entertainer listen carefully because what you will discover will open your eyes and do something.

Let me ask how many local artists Jua Cali, Nameless, Wahu, Redsun etc market their music, tickets and events online? How many if I ask have a website or a face book fan page.

So why do many local celebs fail to market their music online? Why do they go down the traditional route of taking it their music to the radio stations? Now it’s to live the life you deserve.

If you are an artist its almost criminal if you don’t have a website and its almost suicidal if you don’t have a list: a collection of email addresses (of your fans, leads and purchasers of your music) .Your website is where you send all of your prospective customers. Your website must contain details on how to purchase your music, both online and offline. I would also recommend having a ‘sample’ piece of music for clientele to listen to for free and to be able to download the a sample.

Ring tones have made Cellulant and mobile planet richer by the day and you too should have ring tones (as a product) of your music online. Sample this just by selling 30 ring tones a day at Kshs 30 brings in (27,000 kshs) every single month. And that’s with very little sweat because everything is automated. Once you have a website running you can get sponsors via co-branding rights. Lets say we have Jua Cali as our artist who has a website running and receives 20,000 visitors everything month. Jua Cali can get sponsors(convincing sponsors to brand the website becomes easier since we have some traffic already) and advertisers(by selling advertising spaces ) to his website .The money he gets can supplement what he makes offline. If you combine the income from ring tones, online CD sales and sponsorship revenue then Jua Cali could be living the real celeb lifestyle.

And where will he get these 20,000 visitors?

1. Via Search Engine Optimization-Marketing the website by improving its rankings

From my research, the term “Jua Cali” (I know it may mean the other Jua Cali out there) alone receives 4,000 searches a month .Other important terms like ‘Kenyan music, (searched 20,000 times a month) and ‘Swahili music’ (9,900) all point to a lucrative undertaking – note that these are buyers and business leads. See other popular search terms from the table below. Even if he gets 20% of these visitors to his website then the chances of conversion are quite high. It seems crazy to miss out on this. Doesn’t it?

2. From YouTube and other video hosting sites
This is the new way to market your music online. You Tube has simply taken the world by storm, not only from a viewers perspective but from a marketing perspective also. Similar to video clips that you see on MTV you are able to create your own video of your music and upload them on YouTube.

3. Facebook and Twitter

Facebook, twitter and the Social media represent the new way to market your music. Facebook alone has over 1/2 million Kenyans and from, facebook is in the top ten of Kenya’s most popular websites. As an artist who wants to make serious inroads, facebook and twitter should become the focal point of your marketing efforts. Alongside your website you will need to create a fanpage updated daily. Let the fans know about your next event, upcoming album, collabos, where to get the tickets. The point is: engage and interact with fans and you will surely never run hungry.

4. Forums
Forums are an old and popular way to marketing your music, and it still works today. Not only can you specifically market your music in the forum, you can also market your music by just posting messages about anything related to music. For example, if there is a discussion about the kind of music you sing then post your comments and put a link at the bottom of your post to your website. So not only do you market your music, you also marketing to the right group of people, music lovers!

It’s time to sell your music to the world.

To your success,
Kihato Mwangi