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In the Public Relations Handbook for Independent Artists, Music Publicist Keena Renee breaks down the science behind Public Relations in the music industry and answers all of your unanswered questions regarding the role of a music publicist for an artist. This eBook offers emerging artists a unique insight into the work of a music publicist and equips independent artists with the resources needed before navigating into the public relations space in their careers. It’s a must have! Purchase your copy below!
I was on Facebook, MINDING MY DAMN BUSINESS, when I saw a post (it could really be classified as a rant) about hip hop artists performing over their vocal tracks in their shows and how that is considered “karaoke”. Of course, I chimed in because I agreed with the statement that artists definitely should not be doing live performances over their vocal tracks. Following my comment (which was a simple “YAAAASSSS!”), another user, a hip-hop artist, asked
“Well what do you expect us to do just rap over an instrumental?”
Not going to lie ya’ll…I was pretty annoyed by that comment so I responded back as nicely as I possibly could without coming off as a b***h…
“It’s called a performance track…google is your friend.”
And that my lovelies is what brings us to this topic. ARTIST DEVELOPMENT. These days I feel like labels, especially with hip hop artists, are completely bypassing the artist development process. As a recording artist, you should want to be best damn artist in the recording booth AND on the stage. Your live show is what gives you longevity, keeps you relevant and keeps you PAID. Artist development is more than just learning how to finesse a crowd tho, here’s some reasons why it makes a difference:
It helps artists manifest their creativity and hone it.
It gives the artist the opportunity to have a proper “discovery process” and build their fan base.
Helps you find your image as an artist.
YOU LEARN BASIC MUSIC BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE LIKE WTF A DAMN PERFORMANCE TRACK IS!
Gives you time to educate yourself about your business management, contracts, law and legal issues as it pertains to your career as an artist
Allows you time to mentally and physically prepare for the demands of being a recording artist
For example, I recently saw recording artist, Kevin Ross perform live in concert and he talked about his journey as an artist and how long it took for him to get to the point where he is at now. Kevin released his debut album, The Awakening, in March (after many push backs) and is currently headlining his FIRST solo tour. Kevin has been actively working in the music industry for almost 10 years ya’ll. He’s JUST starting to become a name and gain a following. Kevin credits the artist development process as he says it prepared him for what’s happening right this very moment in his career.
How does this relate to you?
Social media may make it seem like artists are just blowing up overnight and that’s just not the case. Don’t rush the process. Take time to develop yourself and your craft. Don’t rush out to get a manager or a publicist if you aren’t even performing on a regular basis. DO educate yourself in the music business and become involved with process and understand completely what it is you want to accomplish as an artist.
As I stated before, Google is your friend! A simple search will bring up plenty of articles and resources to help you in your personal artist development process. Follow us on Instagram for more music biz insider tips!
Warren Buffett once said “it takes twenty years to build a brand and five minutes to ruin it,” and he couldn’t be more right. Everything may be running smoothly at the moment, but every business suffers from a hiccup. Some are small and easy enough to bounce back from, whereas others are huge and can destroy a company. If you’re suffering from the latter, it’s essential to rebuild to gain back trust. However, it’s not as easy as putting the pieces back together again as the starting point isn’t obvious.
To help, below are four things you can do to fix the brand in the short and long-term.
Debts are spiraling out of control and there is only one option left. Not only does your accountant agree, but so do the experts from Ronal D. Weiss, P.C. Sadly, it’s time to file for bankruptcy and wipe the slate clean. Consumers are like elephants – they have long memories. So, trading under the same name is going to take a long time to regain their trust and their custom. In this case, it may be better to rebrand by coming up with a new title and logo. As there is zero negative PR, it won’t struggle to attract customers.
There is nothing worse than a corporate shell doing sneaky things and not accepting blame. Think of the impact public opinion has had on Uber in London. The company failed to disclose a huge data breach and lost their license as a result. VW was also hit hard by the emissions scandal. Where they went wrong was trying to keep it quiet. Facebook, on the other hand, has openly apologized in its new TV advert. It claims to want to be better by changing its approach to data. Whether people buy it or not, it’s easier to forgive a brand when it does the right thing.
And not in a let’s-come-up-with-a-new-marketing-plan sort of way. This is about understanding the current direction is a dead end and finding a new avenue. Have you heard of Lucozade? It’s an energy drink which is a multibillion-dollar enterprise with a market share in sports around the world. But, it didn’t use to be this way at first because it was a health drink; people drank it when they were sick. After a while, they realized this wasn’t going to work and changed the formula to suit their new niche. They rebranded and reaped the rewards.
The extent of the negativity surrounding the brand may not be apparent. There is only one way to find out how people perceive you, and that’s to ask them outright. In real life, this tactic doesn’t work because no one wants to badmouth someone else to their face. In business, you can conduct a focus group where you don’t have to be in the room. Therefore, these groups tend to get consumers to speak the truth, info you can use to bounce back.
What do you do when something’s broken? You fix it and come back stronger.
Who doesn’t like a good side hustle? When it comes to marketing, promotion, and advertising, brands are always looking for new (and inexpensive) ways to get their product into the hands of consumers. Enter the new wave: Micro Influencers
Alright so let’s discuss BRANDING ya’ll. As an artist, your brand is ESSENTIAL to your growth and longevity. What exactly is branding, you ask? Here’s a textbook definition:
The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. Via BusinessDictionary.com
The keywords in this definition are UNIQUE, CONSISTENT, and RETAIN.
Branding for big businesses and corporations is all about figuring out what makes their company unique and creating consistent content that keeps their audience engaged enough to keep them coming back for more. For an independent artist…this strategy should be no different for you!
Listen, please know…THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS A BUSINESS FIRST AND IF YOU DO NOT HAVE YOUR BUSINESS IN ORDER YOU WILL BE BROKE. LITERALLY BROKE PHI BROKE…YOU DON’T GOT IT AND YOU WON’T HAVE IT. I don’t care how talented you are and how great you THINK your music is. You must put yourself in the mindset that as an artist you are also a brand and your music (and everything else that comes with it such as your image) is a product that has to be marketable.
In order to “Build-A-Brand”, its important to understand and know who you are building a brand for. Knowing who your fans are i.e. knowing things like what they look like, how they dress, where they party at, and most importantly, how they listen to music, is VERY important. Finding out this information should be the FIRST STEP in working toward creating a sustainable brand.
Now, this is going to take a bit a trial and error on your part, do not think that this process is going to be EASY. The good thing is, is that once you’ve done your research, everything else will fall into place and you will begin to see more plays on your soundcloud, gain more followers on your social media, and more people buying your music!
So what’s the current status of your “brand”? Are you creating consistent quality content? Is your “product” unique to your niche? Do you have a system in place to retain customer data and information? Think about the answers to these questions, hit me up on Twitter and let’s talk about it!
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If you are anything like me, writing about yourself is difficult. While, you can always pay someone to write your bio for you (like us!), I know that not everyone has that luxury. Having a bio is an essential part of your brand and a big piece of the puzzle that leads to getting you paid, so its important that you have one that’s sells yourself well. Here are our five strategies that I use when crafting a kick-ass bio…
Provide a little background information, but not too much
We really don’t need to know about your Aunt Bertha who use to sneak you freeze cups after church on Sunday’s. Start with your name and then give a little insight into what lead you to your profession today.
Name drop and brag about yourself a little while you’re at it
Your bio is the perfect time to name drop and talk about all the wonderful accomplishments you have achieved thus far so take the opportunity and make yourself shine!
Let the people know who you are and what you represent
Get a little personal, share a unique story, or provide a favorite quote. You want the person reading your bio to automatically feel a connection with you even if they never met you.
Use third person
It absolutely drives me up a wall when I read bios in first person. Even if you write the bio yourself, you always want to make sure that its written in a professional tone.
Keep it short
This is the most important and probably the hardest thing to do. We live in an ADD culture and absolutely nobody is going to be fully interested in a bio longer than a page. First of all, those reading your bio probably do not have the time to read a super long narrative about your life story and career. One page…3 paragraphs…MAX.