Foreign Ward is not that popular yet, but his proven entrepreneurial spirit has set him apart from many top rated Liberian musicians.
And since the release of his highly-anticipated ‘Broken English’ album, which sold 500 copies at US$10, Ward is still clearly counting on his entrepreneurial knowledge about the music business – a knowledge most Liberian artist don’t have.
“Broken English,” which was, produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Ward, was sold through a simple music email marketing strategy that encouraged fans to buy his work.
“I came up with a plan to distribute my album in a way that I will keep 100% of my sales. The plan was to sell 500 hard copies of my album without distributing it digitally. I created a lot of buzz around the album by emailing my fans daily encouraging them to buy the album, which came with a gift,” he said.
In addition to the email marketing strategy, Ward developed a specific mobile app that allows fans to get the album digitally, but they have to first purchase a hard copy of the album to get the mobile app. “Inside each copy of the album, there’s a link to download the app.
“Every copy of the album has a different link and the link expires after you visit it once. The reason I went that route was because digital distributors like TUNCORE, Cd Baby and the rest usually take a percentage of album and song sales.
“I felt like I worked too hard on my album and did everything myself to allow anyone to benefit off my hard work. So I decided to sell the first 500 hard copies before releasing it digitally, so that way how I was able to recover the money I put into the project,” said Foreign Ward.
Ward’s plan worked out perfectly as he was able to sell a large amount of CDs, which he also did at every show on his album release tour.
“I decided to sell the album because I felt like it was time to start marketing myself in a way people will respect and appreciate what I do. Since I started recording in 2008, every song or mixtape that I put out was always free. I did that because it was my strategy to build a following fast,” he said, adding, “My strategy worked, so now that I have a nice bit of following, I think it’s time that I start benefiting off my talent and what I put money into.”
“Broken English” album is 100% Afro-beat.