What up, Smart Rapper Gang? I am about to save you time, energy, and money. I’m going to help you decide which of your songs is actually the one you should spend the time, energy, and money making a music video for. I know we get excited and want to make a music video for every song, but that’s actually a huge mistake.
Why Not Make A Music Video For Every Song?
If you’re a music artist like me, you want to shoot a video for every song you make because you know it’ll make people like the song more. It brings more flavor to the song. They’ll understand the song more, and therefore understand me more if I made a music video. They can actually see you, and it just adds to it with that visual element. It makes every song feel stronger and more capable of blowing up and spreading.
However, if you made a music video for every song, it would take a lot of time, a lot of energy, and a lot of money that you probably don’t have. This is the same money that could be spent promoting your music or the right song that deserves the video.
I have money, and I’ve learned over the years of releasing videos and shooting/editing my own videos, that you don’t need to do a video for every song. Once I tell you why you’ll completely understand. You’ll save money and, really, you’ll blow up faster because your money is going to be put in the right place.
Shooting A Music Video Is Expensive
Whether you’re hiring someone else to do it (which can be expensive) or teaching yourself how to do it (still expensive to buy gear, lighting, cameras, etc.), the same money you’re spending on all of this could be spent on home studio equipment, which is far more important for a music career.
On top of shooting your OWN music videos, you’re going to have to find a friend you can rely on to hold the camera for you. Just hope the friend you choose does not have shaky hands. I’ve let too many people hold my camera, and they’re nervous because it’s their first time doing it, so it just ruins the video.
I’ve shot four music videos in the last year and a half that have not even dropped yet. I spent money on all of those videos (well over $1,000 each).
Yes, I have extra music videos locked and loaded, ready to go, that energy could have been put into a song that was ready to be put out.
That was one of the mistakes that I made, and I don’t want you to make that as well. I spent so much money on video footage, hiring teams of people, casting people, etc. that I could used elsewhere.
Shooting Music Videos Is Extremely Time-Consuming
It’s not only time-consuming to learn a new skill set, but to organize everything, get the people, get the props, cars, etc. It’s a lot of work, and that’s going to take away from you getting money and making new music with that time.
Even if you’re a rapper who just wants to shoot a cheap, low-budget music video on the streets, it still takes time to get people together. It still takes time to location-scout. Why do that? That also doesn’t include the two weeks you’ll spend learning to edit the video, editing the video, and/or finding someone to pay to edit.
You Could Be Shooting A Video For The Wrong Song
We have our egos involved in every song. It’s art that we created. Of course, YOU like the song. It doesn’t matter if YOU like the song when we’re talking about gaining a fan base. It only matters that other people like the song.
You have to let people tell you if you’re crazy for thinking these songs are good. You can love the song all you want, but if the fans are not loving and spreading it, you’ve just wasted time, money, and energy on a music video that no one is ever going to watch.
That same energy and money could have been spent on a better video and marketing dollars for the right song. I’ve made this mistake a bunch of times.
When you DO spend all of this time and energy making a video for something, and you DO put a lot of your eggs in one basket financially, and it doesn’t create any buzz, it’s a massive blow to your confidence as an artist.
If you put out a song AND a video, that was the ultimate effort. If it doesn’t perform well, you can’t just pretend like you didn’t care much about it. You really went in on it and believed in it. If people aren’t really messing with it, it hurts.
What Do The Labels Do?
Avoid that blow to your ego by doing what the labels do and what I do. They wouldn’t do this with superstars who make tens of millions of dollars if they did not have a business reason for them to monetize.
They release a lyric video for the artist first. This is basically a tester. The label believes that the song is a potential single, but they don’t KNOW. They don’t know how people are going to react, similar to how you don’t know until you release a song. They don’t know until it’s out. That’s another reason not to spend all your money on a music video. You can get a lyric video made for less than $1,000 that looks absolutely incredible. Even less than $50 or FREE and look decent.
Once the audience shows that they resonate with it and the streams are doing well, they know they can put more money into marketing the record. When the song is actually moving, then they can release the music video as if it’s a relaunch to get people excited and go back to the song to hear it and spread it to friends and family.
Now, you have two major pieces of material. You have a lyric video that they’re promoting initially. People watch it and understand every lyric from it. They then put out the music video to draw the audience back to the song.
Save your time, money, and energy. Let your fans decide for you. When you release a song, prime it to see if THEY like it. If THEY like it, THEN spend the money on the video. You have to find your single.
Keep hustlin’, Gang. I’ll see you at the top.