Every day, the Indie Artist struggles with many things, financial things, trying to get noticed things, attempting to get more shows things, but one of the things that is most important is the “who is in my corner” things?
There was an old adage (saying) that went, “it takes a village“. Well, the same applies to anybody trying to build a brand. It does take a village… a strong team of genuine backers of your project and goals. You cannot have anyone on your team if they do not share the same sentiments, or, if they have ulterior motives. The vision has to be clear from you, and those on your team need to support and expand on that vision.
When you are seeking management, record labels, publicists, anybody who is in the industry that you want to be in, you need to present your project in a marketable way and if they are interested in getting on board with your ideas, they need to show you what they intend to do for you, or with you, in order to bring your project to the next level. Many artists have fallen victim to shady contracts, shady managers, and underhanded games. The importance of getting an entertainment lawyer on your side, who knows what they are doing, is worth every penny when it comes to your brand and career. Also, retaining an entertainment lawyer shows people that you are serious about your brand and what your intentions for your brand in the industry are, so don’t see it as an expense, see it as an investment, one of the best investments you can make.
I recently had a conversation with a very talented young man who expressed to me that he was on his way to Atlanta to embark on his career in order to take it to the next level. My advice, though not asked, was simple and finite: Make sure you retain representation and do not sign anything unless you review it first with your lawyer. Just because you are just starting out, doesn’t mean you can’t be professional.
A good team in your corner consists of a great manager who has your best interests at heart, who has heard all of your music, who understands the kind of artist you are and can see where you need to be. They do everything in their power, within their limits, to get you to that next level, they coach you on the business side of things, and do a lot of marketing, promotion, and overall getting your name out there to industry professionals. They should also be able to demonstrate and provide proof of what they are doing for you. This should not make things awkward. This is letting your manager know that you know and want to be aware of what is happening with your business all the way around.
Your team should also consist of a great publicist who concentrates on promotion, booking shows and gigs, handling press, doing press releases, basically promoting you as an artist in every platform, both online and offline. Publicists can be pricey, but it’s well worth it to get a good one who believes in your talent and artistry, not just in it for the money.
In addition to your entertainment lawyer, manager, and publicist, you need a street team. These are people who genuinely believe that your music is something that needs to be heard, so they help you by sharing your media posts, videos, music, they wear your merchandise, support you at shows, they spread the word about you, let people listen to your music, pass out flyers, they work hard to ensure your success because they know that when you come up, they will be right there to have witnessed it. That street team is a dedicated group of individuals. Most of my indie artists say it’s their friends and family that do this for them and that’s ok. As long as their heart is in it, and they are dedicated to representing and promoting your brand to the best of their ability, then the more power to them. Treat them well, too. After all, they are doing this without payment so treat them to dinner or offer some kind of incentive for them to continue to help support you and your music.
Lastly, you, as the indie artist, should not turn away any opportunity to have your name out there, especially in a positive light. Do the radio interviews, music blog interviews, submit your music to indie radio stations (make sure you read the fine print about their policies first), ask for publicists and indie music blog writers to write about you, tell them why they need to. Let’s face it, no one will hear your musical talents unless you make them listen. So, MAKE THEM LISTEN.
This week, I will be working on generating a list of indie radio stations that are currently accepting music for air play. Indie Radio Stations, if you are accepting new music submissions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s all for now. Now it’s back to getting ready for another day in the office and another week of listening to some great music. – Jilli
Email Jilli with any features, interviews, shows, gigs, or updates if you have already been featured on TCP. email@example.com.