Monday, January 31, 2011

Why pay when I can do it for free?

Not a dollar needs to be spent these days in order to get things out there. Not one red cent has to be placed on the line to have people hear your music, buy your album, follow you, support you, purchase your product or service, or become a part of your cause. These days there are so many ways to do things for free, why the hell should you pay for anything??

The answer: Leverage. Look up the word to get the real meaning. In a nutshell, leverage is a balancing act. When it comes to marketing and promoting, there is a definite leveraging system in place. It's kind of the natural order of things. 

When you work hard at what you do for business or as a business, leverage kicks in and you get compensated. Most times greatly, depending on the business model or system you're a part of. Just a regular 9-5 job is leverages time for money. Usually the more hours you put in at work the more pay you receive unless you're on salary. Then your money is at a fixed rate. 

When you're starting your own business, there are so many option out there to promote your services or products for free, it's overwhelming. That's a good thing because it means you have choices. Choice=Freedom. If people only had Facebook or Twitter to use to promote their business, well that's not much of a choice now is it? Those two sites offer great services for promotion but then again, not everyone that access the internet is apart of those services. The main thing about free marketing and promoting sites is that you have to provide most of the footwork. The sites are just a platform that will bring more people to you. Also, you are competing with other companies that actually pay to get their brand advertised in your promo areas. How do you think Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace make their money and keep the site free for you and others?

When you pay for services, you're only choices are those you will allow your money to be involved with. Many times, you become limited depending on the promotional service you're using. This is normally the case with bigger companies that want to help build your brand. You may have to sign a contract or agreement with them and they'll do the footwork for you so you can focus more on improving your business. You don't have to worry about competing companies using your space because you become one of those companies.

Just a thought: Ain't it amazing that companies advertise on the net and that keeps sites and services free, yet outside of cyberspace in the real world, it doesn't work that way. Cable TV is not free, yet there are tons of advertisements by the second. Public Transportation is not free yet there are always advertisements at bus stops, train stations, and airports. Even on the vehicles themselves! Doesn't seem equal right? 

There lies the leverage game. With free sites comes the fact that you have to do almost all of the work. Social networking sites are just there to bring people together. It's up to you to tell them what you have to offer them in ways that will get them to purchase from you. That's where your hard work comes in. You may find yourself spending more time promoting yourself than building your business. You'll then have to add that time to the time it takes to get your business to where it needs to be. Years ago, it was harder to use these free sites to promote because the tools were not efficient enough for you to spend less time to promote more. Now though things have changed and its possible to spend less time making and designing your marketing plans and more time executing the promotion. 

In the case of mixtape promotion, anytime you don't have to pay for a slot on a mixtape, chances are the promotion behind it wont be as big as if you did. Depending on who is producing the compilation in questions will also add to that, as some people making mixtapes don't know how to promote them properly. If you pay for a slot, hopefully the promoter has a marketing campaign in place that will get that mixtape out to the masses. Paying for your slot should be going towards the production and marketing costs associated with the promotion itself. All you have to do is wait for it to drop. 

With some free mixtape submissions, you can get more value than you've paid for. It all depends on who you're dealing with and how that person or company works. The promoters work ethics will go a long way into showcasing the talent involved with the project. Get yourself a bum behind the project and it may never see the light of day. If your submission did not cost you any money...well, no harm no foul. If you did pay for the slot, then you should be raising some hell (depending on how much you paid).

Like our first blog said, our network is constantly growing so our mixtapes will have a decent reach. However, when you submit to a free slot on the mixtapes that we put out, chances are the free ones won't reach our whole network. That's because Network29 will purposely only target the sites that offer everything for free. Unfortunately, we will not make a habit of promoting mixtapes that give away all slots for free on sites or with marketing companies that we have to pay for. When you pay for your slot, Network29 will work that much harder to get that mixtape heard across ALL outlets, rather those outlets be free or paid. This will maximize our reach for each project that gets paid for.
The good thing is, Network29 is constantly looking for more free outlets to promote our mixtapes. The bad thing is, more outlets means having to rebuild the network in that outlet each time...which takes time. Let us worry about that. Stick with us and we'll stick with you.

Do you understand how the leverage thing works now? There is no set or proven formula to show how leverage is supposed to work when it comes to what you're doing or how to properly promote yourself for free. Come up with your own methods and formulas and see how they work when you execute them. There are so many variables (options, people, prices, etc) to include in your methods that it may seem to be too much. If you can't handle it or aren't willing to put the time in. Then don't. Focus on something else. The payoff for promoting your business, product, or services for free can be just as huge as paying for it once your promotion catches on. You just have to be willing to work for it.

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