The Heist dropped today and has already hit number 1 on the iTunes Music charts. This is a big deal for the Northwest. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have created an impressive space for themselves over the last three years.

Let’s take a quick look at four things we can learn from their burst into national attention.

Quality over quantity

Macklemore and Ryan built a buzz around their VS. EP – which featured only 7 tracks. Do your fans a favor and filter through your music for them. Nobody has time to listen to a 36 song mixtape of an artist they’ve never heard of, not bloggers, not your friends and not even your family.

Releasing singles instead of mixtapes kept their fans wanting more instead of getting bored with sub-par music.

Always be visual

Vision is our strongest sense. Give people a visual to connect with your music and make it stand out.

Macklemore is fortunate to have a teammate like Ryan Lewis who is a gifted musician and is, also, gifted behind the camera. Ryan has put together a collection of spectacular photo shoots and music videos for their team.

If you are your own photographer, take pictures and videos of your creative process and share them. People love seeing an honest look at what is going on behind the scenes.

Always tell your story

Macklemore probably gains 10 new fans every time he talks about overcoming his drug problem. The experience is not something he is proud of, but it makes him human and lets us relate to him.

And then there was this:

Figure out what your story is, start telling it, and think of new ways to tell it.

Don’t do drugs

Addictions will keep you from reaching your potential and are generally expensive.

Don’t let them own you, and if you do, stop letting them own you and write a song about the experience over a Red Hot Chilli Peppers sample.