How exciting would it be to find someone who was willing to invest $150k in your rap music career? That would pretty freakin awesome, wouldn’t it!?! Well within this article I’m going to be explaining how you can potentially make that happen. There’s a lot to cover so without further ado, LET’S GET IT!!!
Investors, Lenders, And Donors
Before we start chewing into this topic we need to first establish the meaning of three keywords; investors, lenders, and donors.
Investors: a person or organization that puts money into financial schemes, property, etc. with the expectation of achieving a profit in return.
Lenders: A person that gives for temporary use on condition that the same or its equivalent be returned
Donors: a person who donates/gives something, especially money to a fund or charity.
Knowing Which Is Right For You
Now, let me just keep it a buck with you. Most of the rappers that say they’re looking for people to invest in their music career aren’t actually looking for investors, they’re looking for donors to give them money.
The reason that I say this is because most of those rappers can’t guarantee a return on that person’s investment. If that still doesn’t make sense, let me give you a simple example of what I mean.
1. Let’s say a rapper is asking for someone to invest $50k into their music career.
2. The investor pays the rapper the $50k and then the rapper uses the money for promotional costs (gas to travel to big events, food, download cards to give away, etc..) which increases the sales of his album exceptionally.
3. The rapper then uses his profits to pay back the investor his $50k plus an additional $10K. This means the investor’s “ROI” Return On Investment was $10k which is a 20% profit.
If the rapper was only able to give the “investor” back his $50K, then he wasn’t an investor, he was a lender. He simply let the rapper borrow some money and then the rapper paid him back.
If the rapper wasn’t able to give the “investor” back any money then either the ‘investor” just got royally screwed or he was actually a donor who wanted to be a blessing to an up and coming rappers career.
With that being said, it’s important, to be honest about which type of person you’re looking for; an investor, lender, or a donor. And when you’re communicating with either of these types of people be sure to clearly explain your intentions and expectations to them so that there are no misunderstandings down the road.
Your First Investor
Now let’s talk about getting your first investor.
Your first investor is actually someone you already know. In fact, you know this person better than anyone else. That’s because your first investor is you!
You must invest into yourself first in order for someone else to even be able to invest into you. It reminds me of the quote from the movie, Field Of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”
Here’s another piece of golden advice I received as a teenager from reading the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. “The greatest investment you will ever make in your life is how you spend your time, and who you spend it with”.
First Two Investments
There are two main ways you must first invest in yourself. You’re going to have to invest your own time and your own money into yourself in the following two areas; your craft and your business.
Stage 1: Your Craft – “Quality Control”
Your craft is your overall skills as a rapper. Before you try and make a business out of your music you need to first ensure that you can deliver a quality product which is your music.
You will need to invest at least 1-2 hours of your time each day in some of the following ways
– Practice developing your ear training and rhythmic abilities. A great place to start is my 5 Minutes To A Better Rap Flow Series.
– Create an efficient songwriting workflow that works for you. To Learn mine check out My 5 Step Blueprint For Writing Rap Songs
– Write and record lots of songs and compare them to other rap songs you enjoy that have been professionally released and see how you stack up. If you feel the quality of their songs are better than yours, figure out why and focus on improving that within your own songs.
You will need to invest in your own personal recording studio which you can pull off for less than $150. Check out my article “The Ultimate Poor Mans Recording Studio.”
You need your own studio so that you can…
– record rough drafts of your songs so you don’t forget them
– experiment with your vocal delivery to improve the quality and sound of your rap voice. See my article on how to improve your rap voice
– You could also record your own songs and send them off to be mixed over the internet. If you need help understanding how to pick the right mixing engineer check out this article
If you would like to ensure that your growing in your craft as quickly as possible you may want to consider seeking mentorship from a rapper who is more experienced than you. This can save you years of time and much frustration. At the time of writing this, I actually offer a 1 on 1 Coaching Service for this very reason which you can check out here.
Unless you’re making your own beats, you will need to purchase leases to the beats you’re rapping over. To learn more about how all of this works see my article on My Top Ten Tips For Buying Rap Beats Online.
Stage 2: Your Business
Once you have sharpened your rap skills it’s time to build your business by growing a real fanbase!
I like to think of any business as a system, kind of like a machine. And with any business, you will constantly be making tweaks along the way to make it run as efficiently as possible.
You will need to invest your time in the following ways.
– Learn how to market and promote your music yourself. I actually did a whole series called Demystifying Marketing And Promotion For Rappers which you can check out here.
– Also, I highly recommend you check out Wendy Day’s youtube channel and watch as many of her videos as you can. She specializes in educating and helping indie rappers just like yourself build their own buzz and she’s an amazing human being! She’s worked with the likes of Eminem, Cash Money Records, Twista, Do or Die, and David Banner, just to name a few. She’s as legit as they come and I could not recommend her more highly! Be sure to tell her I sent you! 🙂
You will need to also invest your money in the following ways.
Website (hosting, domain name, and design)
Your website is your own piece of digital real estate on the internet and is the hub of your music business. It’s a one-stop shop where people can find all of your music and connect with you on all of your social media pages.
Building your own website has never been easier! So don’t let it intimidate you if you don’t consider yourself a computer wiz. If you’re just starting off I recommend going with Wix which offers everything you need under one hood. And most importantly they provide a drag and drop website builder with 100’s of pre-made templates so that you can get the design of your website done much faster! And their pricing is very affordable! A lot of my students use Wix for all of the reasons above! Check them out by clicking here.
In today’s social media climate, rappers are constantly fighting for attention. Every post you create is competing with everyone else on your follower’s timeline. And as of now, you can’t even reach your entire audience on facebook without paying to boost your own posts.
Having a large following on social media is great but the truth is, you don’t own the platforms that your social media pages are under. And as censorship continues to increase we are seeing some people being “de-platformed” by the removing of their accounts from the social media companies themselves.
You need to own the connection to your own fanbase and e-mail is still the best method of communicating directly with your fans without getting lost on someone’s timeline from competing posts and funky algorithms.
– You can keep track of who your biggest fans are
– If you’re promoting a show, you can segment your e-mail to only be sent to your fans who live in that area.
– You can build hype about a new music project so that your fans are chomping at the bits as soon as you release it
– You can give your fans on your mailing list a unique experience and build more meaningful relationships.
– 60% of people who are connected to the internet are doing so through a phone. And most people receive notifications for their e-mails, so you will likely get more eyeballs on what your sharing via e-mail that you would via social media.
For my e-mail marketing, I’ve used a company called Aweber for the past 5 years and I love them! One of my favorite things about them is that you get all of their features regardless if you’re on their cheapest plan. The pricing structure isn’t built upon which features you get. It’s built upon how many subscribers you have. So you will only pay more as you grow more! Check them out by clicking here.
However, if you’re really pinching pennies and trying to stretch your dollar till it pops! Check out Mail Chimp. They are awesome as well and offer a free plan for people just starting off. Check them out here.
Proof Of Concept
If you’ve executed everything above properly you will have had…
– Sharpened your rap and songwriting skills to that of a Hip-Hop Samurai
– Built your own infrastructure (website, mailing list, etc.)
– Built a significant fanbase which is earning you a substantial amount of income
Now and only now! are you ready to look for an outside investor because you have created something for them to invest in. And you have something called “Proof of Concept“. Which basically means, you can show them that you have already invested into yourself and you have created a business “system” that’s working and earning you money.
Investing in anything can be risky. So you need to show a potential investor how you’re currently making money, and how you would use their money to increase your sales and earn you both a profit. This will put their mind at ease and allow them to make an informed decision whether they wish to invest into you or not.
Finding Your Second Investor
Once you’re ready to look for your second investor it’s important to understand who he or she likely is.
They are likely not your cousin who won $300 from a scratch-off.
Your second investor is Typically other business owners or people with high paying careers (doctors, lawyers, etc.) making enough money to where they have a substantial amount of “disposable income”. Disposable Income basically is the money they have left over after all of their expenses are paid. It’s “play” money! They are what some people would consider “ballin”, or “goin hard in tha paint”!
More specifically, your second investor is likely someone who is a lover of Hip-Hop. Investors typically invest into things they have some type of interest in. Making money isn’t the only factor. Whatever they invest in will require their focus and time so most prefer to invest into something that is actually interesting to them.
Lucky you, Hip-Hop is over 40 years old at this point, which means there are a lot of career professionals who grew up off of Hip-Hop music. And there are more entrepreneurs today due to high-speed internet and smartphones.
So what you need to do is find a person that fits the description above. This could be a person in your local community or someone you discover online.
Start researching business owners online, check out their websites, social media, podcast interviews, etc.. and get a sense of who they are and what they’re all about. That way once you speak with them you will be able to connect with them better.
Speaking of connecting, how in the world are you supposed to speak to them?
Step 1A – online
Well… you could shoot them an e-mail or get in touch with their assistant and set up a phone or Skype call. But this is likely a very busy person, so don’t take it personally if no one responds to you.
Step 1B – in person
If step 1 doesn’t work, find out if they’re speaking at any conferences or doing any public events. This is the best way to make an impression on them and increase the odds of them working with you. Because nothing trumps good old fashioned, one on one human interaction.
Step 2 – The Pitch
Once you do finally get that golden opportunity to speak with them you need to have a preplanned sales pitch for them so that you can clearly communicate the following…
– Why you would like to work with them
– Why they should invest in you
– Your current revenue, album sales, amount of streams, live performances, merch, etc.. (proof that you have a thriving business)
– How much money you’re asking from them to invest and the ROI (Return On Investment) that you can guarantee them.
– How you plan to use their money and the estimated time frame on when they can expect to receive their return.
If you want to develop your sales pitch skills, do yourself a favor and watch some episodes of Shark Tank. It will give you an up and personal look at how deals are done, how investors think, and how to negotiate.
I hope this helps clarify when and how you can find investors for your rap music career. Please leave any questions or comments in the comments section below!