Beatboxers from all over the world are all trying to make it big, but what does it take to become really successful?
Riding the hype train of every YouTube meme is an unpredictably hectic endeavor. How would a Gangnam Style cover affect your brand? Where’s the line drawn between being a sellout and a respected artist? What do people think about you being sponsored by McDonald’s vs Roland?
It’s clear that there are a ton of question marks around content, branding, and networking. For most beatboxers, the seemingly unlimited paths to follow is the reason to be paralyzed by the paradox of choice.
“The worst thing you can do is nothing”
What beatboxers don’t realize is that there is indeed a way to navigate this overwhelming breadth of choices. With a bit of luck coupled with strategy and a shit ton of hard work, we have a roadmap for you to become successful.
This is what we like to call the Artist Maximization Framework.
The AMF is derived from a combination of in-depth conversations with beatboxers and thorough research within the community. We believe that this framework will ultimately shape you as an artist and will guide you throughout your entire journey as an artist.
In this guide, we’ll cover these core topics:
- What makes a successful beatboxer?
- How do you build a successful brand?
- How do you choose what content to put out?
- How do you sell your art?
- What are important mental models?
- How do you stay organized?
What Makes a Successful Beatboxer?
From our findings, there are three core characteristics that are shared amongst the most successful beatboxers and artists:
Grit, skill, and integrity
It doesn’t matter if you’re not a World Champion. Take a look at Reeps One.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a national champion. Take a look at Gene Shinozaki.
Heck, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never won a battle. All that matters is that you’ve got a drive beyond our control to become successful. A driven beatboxer will level up their skill faster than anyone else.
Lastly, integrity will drive all your long-term success. It’ll positively affect all that you do, the music you create, and the people that you meet. A positive person with a positive attitude will naturally rise to the top.
Now we’ve got the emotional bit down, let’s talk about the marketing side of things.
Shaping Your Brand
The word “brand” is often thrown around with a jumbled mess of marketing buzzwords - misused, misconstrued and diluted to mean, well... pretty much nothing. Let’s scale it back to the basics.
Your brand is based on two things: Your story & your delivery.
You were born in a unique place, at a unique time, in a unique situation, and have lived a unique life. You as a beatboxer shouldn’t be afraid to tell it. But before you can even tell your story, you have to know yourself and craft it.
Start by asking yourself what and why:
- Why do you exist?
- Why do you get out of bed in the morning?
- What hardships did you overcome to get here?
- What challenges are you overcoming now?
- What impact do you want to make in this world?
Sharing your story is the best way for you to inspire others, connect communities, and take your music to the deepest level. Your story is your north star and the most powerfully unique thing you will ever have, so tell it well.
If you’re just starting out, and don’t have much to share, remember that every story has a beginning. It’s your turn to craft something unique for yourself. Take a leap of faith. Try new things. Get out of your comfort zone. If you’re not motivated enough to take up this challenge, you will stay stuck as … average.
Talk is cheap. The best way to tell your story is through action. Think of it as a cycle - without delivery, there is no story. Without a story, there is nothing to deliver.
Your experiences and actions become the hard proof of your brand and what you represent. You can try new things and experiment to see what sticks and what doesn’t. How do you deliver on your promise if you stay at home and do nothing?
Make music. Talk big. Walk bigger.
What Content Should I Put Out?
Use the content funnel.
We’ve all heard the platitude, “content is king” all too often. But what most artists and beatboxers don’t know is how to properly set up a strategy of how to properly use content to grow their influence and their brand.
There’s always a place and time for a one-off viral-worthy hit, but more often than not, it’s more important to take care of your content funnel and channel your audience to become customers and super fans.
How do you do it? Well, think of it like a funnel, divided into three sections: Top of the Funnel (TOFU), Middle of the Funnel (MOFU), and Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU).
Viral Worthy | Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
The top of the funnel exists to capture the widest audience as possible and filter people down the rest of the funnel. This is done through content that is easily understandable by the masses.
This is a viral-worthy hit. Pop covers, X ways to Y, X reasons to Y, Masterclass Collaborations, Helium Beatbox, etc.
Frequency: The fewer the better. Hopefully, by the time you strike gold in one of your TOFU pieces of content, you will have a solid foundation in the rest of the funnel to maintain your fan base. Also, take note that the more TOFU content you put out there, the more detrimental it can be to your brand.
Original Content | Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
In the middle of the funnel, you have content that engages with the overall beatboxing and music community. This is content that you post on a regular basis to appease fans within the space as a whole.
This audience already subscribes to you and your art, so here’s where you shine. This is the content you’re most well-known for. It can be a collaborative effort with HumanBeatbox, a shoutout on Swissbeatbox*, a shoutout on Beatbox Television*, or participating (and winning) a battle, or posting new music online.
I put an asterisk on shoutout videos, because you MUST be smart about leveraging the audiences on these beatbox platforms. You are giving the channel views and helping them make money, but you need to push that audience down your funnel as well. When asked to give a shoutout, ensure you ask for:
- Rights to the edited videos afterwards
- Links in the top of the description box + comments + ending of the video
- Optional: A video at the end telling your fans to follow you on your social media channels
Fan Love | Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
You must nurture your core fanbase. Your core set of fans is your lifeblood - the more you have and the happier you make them, the more support and success you will see. It’s undoubtedly a direct correlation.
We call this the bottom of the funnel because this is where you want to drive everyone towards. Your core fan base will share your music, become hardcore fans, support your journey, donate to your Patreon, donate to your livestreams, and binge-watch your videos. These are evangelists that will tell the world how amazing you are.
Now, nurturing your core fan base comes in four forms:
- Acknowledgment: Responding to comments
- Gratitude: Being genuinely grateful and saying thanks for their support. You wouldn’t be here without them.
- Social Recognition: Sharing fan-generated content, ie: Fan Art, shoutouts
- Value Posting: Posting an opinion, sharing an idea, praising another artist with no strings attached rather than you wanting to speak to your audience.
Mental Models for Beatboxers
Now let’s talk about mental models, which are small frameworks and philosophies that will help you make smarter decisions as an artist. Here are a few of my favorites.
How to Come Up with New Ideas:
- Consume challenging and new content
- Combine two or pre-existing ideas together
- Take a break
- Engage in insightful discussions with other artists and academics
Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by carelessness.
Thought Experiment: considers some hypothesis, theory, or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences.
Pareto Principle: 80/20 rule. 80% of your results will be a result of your best 20% of your work. 80% of your revenue will be from 20% of your most loyal fans.
Critical Mass: a sufficient number of adopters of an innovation in a social system so that the rate of adoption becomes self-sustaining and creates further growth.
Opportunity Cost: The value of the best alternative forgone where, given limited resources, a choice needs to be made between several mutually exclusive alternatives. Assuming the best choice is made, it is the ‘cost’ incurred by not enjoying the benefit that would have been had by taking the second best available choice.
Sunk Cost: A cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered.
Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence:
- Reciprocity: People tend to return a favor
- Commitment: If people commit, they are more likely to honor that commitment
- Social Proof: People will do things they see other people are doing
- Authority: People will tend to obey authority figures
- Liking: People are easily persuaded by other people they like.
- Scarcity: Perceived scarcity will generate demand
Maybe you just want to make music. That’s fine, which is why you’re working with us to keep you steady and organized. If you want to take up these responsibilities on your own, power to you, but don’t be afraid to ask someone for help.
If you tend to be sporadic and stressed out with booking engagements, emails, and the whole shebang, here are a few places to start:
Google Calendar: Whenever you make an engagement or someone proposes one, be sure to immediately mark it down in your calendar for future reference. Share it with us and your team so that we are all on the same page whenever a change is made.
Google Sheets: We will share with you a content posting and event schedule, but it’s important for you to become familiar with the functionalities of a spreadsheet. Whether it’s budgeting or calculating your total revenue from booking engagements, this can go a long, long way.
Consume Smarter: How much time are you wasting from mindlessly scrolling down your Facebook feed? Even if it’s an hour a day, that could be the time you can be spending working on your BOFU content or even coming up with a new beatbox routine.
You need a healthy balance of consumption and production. If you tilt too heavily on the consumption side, you will feel unproductive, unmotivated, and cloudy-headed. Spend more time reading tougher reading material, discovering new music, traveling, or meeting new people. You can document all this on social media, and these posts will be 10x your time vs. staying at home and leaving a comment or a like.
What Will You Do Next?
That’s a lot to take in, but we hope that you’ve learned something new today. Bookmark this, print it out, and share it with a friend. If this was helpful to you, please let us know by dropping a comment below or sharing it on Facebook!
Thanks for reading. Until next time!