On November 16, 2011 Mac Miller was triumphant. He sold 144,000 albums and became the first independent artist to reach the number one album spot since 1995. It’s not easy to wrap one’s head around the then ninteen year old’s feat but we’re going to break it down right here. Rising Indie musicians can emulate Miller’s success if they follow these basic guidelines:
1) Treat making music like a career – When Mac Miller was 15 he dropped everything to focus on his music, no more sports, no parties, no videogames. This devotion turned into two years of constant work as Miller polished his music, built up his social media empire, and planned for his future success.
2) Keep revolutionizing your social media game – In a Forbes interview Miller emphasized the role of compelling content in his success. He does this by keeping his fans guessing and on their feet with social media strategies like releasing a new song every 100,000 likes. Always look for opportunities to give fans entertaining content that your competitors aren’t.
3) Work the music video – Miller is well known for his music videos – Senior Skip Day, Frick Park Market, and others. Creativity, self-awareness, and humor are all obvious aspects of his video success. “I always thought I would look corny if I was in the type of rap video in the club with girls.” Miller has shunned the typical gangster attitude in favor of the fun vibes that define his style.
4) Never stop creating – After his 2011 success Mac was quoted saying, “I don’t think I’ve made it because I don’t see myself close to the potential that I see myself getting to.” Since that album Miller has been prolific, producing one album, two mixtapes, four tours, a bunch of other crazy music videos and a third album dropping September. His music is constantly evolving as he continues to solidify himself as a premier beat maker and producer.
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