It’s so many scammers, snakes, and wolves in sheep’s clothing in this game, that it can become hard for an artist to trust anyone, let alone pay people for services. As an independent artist, it will seem like everyone has their hand in your pocket. Let me help you navigate through the jungle of jankiness.
I know I’m gonna lose some friends on this one, but F it. Stop paying irrelevant people for online promo. Online promo? The same online that you have access to? That online? Why would you pay anyone to reach the same people that you can reach within minutes? If it’s not a true tastemaker or DJ, do not pay these people. Too many times I see “promo companies” with less followers than you have, offering online promo. It makes no sense, these people are leeches and can do absolutely nothing for your career. An obscure IG page with 300 followers has nothing to offer you that you can’t achieve by yourself. Point, blank, period.
Ok, this is a hot topic. Mainly because I’m a DJ, but let’s keep it all the way 100. Before you pay a DJ to play your music, do your research. How many days a week is he in the clubs, does he or she drop mixtapes, who have they worked with in the past, and are they on the radio are all legitimate questions that you should ask. Each case is different, but here are two quick scenarios. DJ Abc is in the club 3 times a week, has a crowd of 100-300 people, drops monthly mixtapes, and is on the radio. This is a good investment. Your music will reach 100s of people that you can’t reach in the clubs, the mixtape is in the streets and online, and you may have a chance to be in his mix on the radio. These are things that you can’t reach, so a payment is reasonable. DJ 123 on the other hand, is in the club once a week, has less than 100 people, doesn’t drop regular mixtapes and is not on any form of radio. This DJ is not a good investment. Side note, what the DJs charge are what the DJs charge. Don’t ask about prices if you aren’t ready to make a move, DJs hate window shoppers. Why? Cuz we know you are doing nothing more than either shopping for the cheapest price or just calling to waste our time.
Lastly, how do ya’ll feel about online radios and magazines? This is an online magazine, so I hope I don’t get in trouble! I have mixed feelings. Online radio is great if the platform is built properly and they genuinely have listeners. Then it’s a great investment. Before you pay, ask to see the numbers, subscribers, average hourly listeners and are they BDS certified, are all important things you should know before handing over money. Online magazines are similar. Find out the amount of traffic they receive, are ads being sold on the site, is the magazine current, and how often do they cover events. These things should be running through your head when deciding to pay. Don’t pay if they can’t provide you these answers. Don’t pay if the numbers don’t seem right.
You are not just an artist, you are a business, and paying someone is your investment in your craft. Research who you are about to invest with. Ask questions for clarification, ask for results of past clients. Slow down on paying everyone and try to find the right person to pay. Pay for exposure to areas that you can’t reach on your own. Hell, paying for information that will help you save money in the long run is a good investment. Don’t be a walking paycheck for people in this industry.
#ViewsFromDaBooth is a biweekly article from the south’s newest record breaker, DJ 3000. DJ 3000 is creator of mixtape series Off Da Brick, Finesse Game Strong, Private Party Kush, and DJ or Die Tryin’. He currently DJs at various night clubs in the Atlanta area. Follow him on Instagram @3000_da_DJ.