Author breezy

How to Gain More Fans, Sell More Music, and Book More Shows in 2015

So, it’s about that time again – the new year is approaching, and all throughout social media there are artists from all over the world talking about how they want to really take their careers to the next level in 2015 – but how do they plan on doing this? Most artists miss the key factors that are involved in accomplishing these goals, so I’ve decided to compile a checklist of things that you need in order to go into the new year on the right track.

Now, in order to gain more fans, sell more music, and book more shows in 2015, you must make sure that you have the tools to do so! “But what are the tools?” you ask. Here’s a checklist to help you:

1. You need to have a WEBSITE. Imagine, you just submitted your music to a blog that you’ve wanted to get on for a long time. When they open your email, can they click a link that shows them everything they need to know about you in order to decide if they want to post your music? Having your own website ( will definitely make you stand out AND be easily searchable. EVERY professional artist has a website; there’s just no getting around it. Your website is your personal domain that is designed specifically to represent your brand. It is the backbone to your business. It allows you to sell music, showcase your music, collect email addresses via your mailing list, sell tickets to shows, plus keep everyone in the loop about the happenings in your music career. If you want to be taken seriously in 2015, you NEED to have your own website. (Need help with this? Learn about our branding, design, and content services.)

 2. You need to have a place for fans to purchase from you, and it needs to be an easy process. I want to buy your album, a t-shirt, and a ticket to your next show, right now. Do you have a way for me to do this? If not, you’re missing out on a major part of your career, which is actually making money with your music. You know what will solve this problem? A website! Need our help with this? No problem, learn about our design packages.

 3. You need to have a MAILING LIST! Why? Well for a few reasons. In order for your fans to continue to buy tickets to your shows and check out your new music, you need a way to keep all of them in the loop. Having an email newsletter is the perfect way to do so. Plus, instead of going on Facebook or Twitter and tagging everyone you know with a link to your new music video, imagine creating one email and sending it out to EVERYONE at one time. How awesome would that be? It’s all possible with your own list of subscribers. Do you have a place where I can sign up to your newsletter? If not, let us help you. Learn about our PR services.

Last but not least, you need to be CONSISTENT with everything you do. I know that sounds like common sense, right? But you wouldn’t believe how many new artists have a hard time with this! People will gravitate towards artists that show that they are the real deal. The more you’re in people’s faces, the better results you’ll get. This means keeping your social media accounts updated with new content daily, releasing consistent content such as behind the scenes videos, music videos, in studio vlogs, entertaining articles, and everything in between. You say that you want to take your career to the next level in 2015, so you MUST have these tools. We know that you just want to create music, however, the music is only 10-20%. The business takes up that other 80%. So, now it’s time to get your business in order. I wish you all the best of luck in the new year! And remember, if you need any help, I’m always here! (contact me at @BreezyB215, or @ExclusivePublic or email:

By the way, if you’re an artist that needs ALL of the above, we have a range of services to help make sure you start the year off right.

Exclusive Public to work with Sway and Crooked I’s New TV Show “One Shot”

By this time we’re sure you’ve heard of MTV’s Sway (from Sway in the Morning) and Rapper Crooked I’s (now KingCrooked) new television show, “One Shot.” This reality show is having live auditions in 9 different cities across the US with a ton of celebrity judges including TI, DJ Khaled and many others. The show will be aired on national television starting in 2016, and the lucky winner will receive $100,000 and a record deal with SMH Records.

Exclusive Public is excited to help out with digital content on both the Official One Shot Facebook Page, as well as the Instagram account for SMH Record Label. We’ve even been able to contribute to some of their website content, collaborating on articles that teach artists how to go about promoting themselves online.

A special thank you to our good friend Mike Trampe over at for making this happen.



What Makes Music Great? (A Fan’s Perspective)

Any good song can make you tap your foot. Only great songs tap into your emotions. Do you want to write great songs? I’d love to share the little I’ve observed about creating art that appeals to people’s senses, and why it is important to us, your fans.

Easily, the difference between an artist and an Artist is the ability to be vulnerable. An Artist is a creator. Have you ever thought about what it means to create something? Think about the iPod! Apple could have kept on making computers, but there would always be Toshiba, Sony, Dell or Acer competing right beside them. Apple chose to create something that didn’t yet exist. That is where the art truly lies! Songs about partying, sex, drugs and clothes already exist. Yes, they’re fun and catchy and serve their purpose. But without vulnerability, there’s nothing you can say that hasn’t already been said. No one thought about being the “Man In The Mirror” before Michael Jackson painted that picture. No one had the words “Ghetto Gospel” in their head before Tupac rapped it. “Popping bottles”, however, is not new.

Now more than ever, the pressure is on to have a hit. (And really, it’s our fault. We’re so demanding!) Not only must you create a song that is widely appreciated, but you must do it over and over, or face the real threat of irrelevance. There’s pretty much a formula for creating songs we’ll hear on the radio, but sometimes what you want to say doesn’t fit the formula…right? Consider McDonald’s. When you buy a meal from McDonald’s you know exactly what you’ll get and it tastes the same every time. They slap that burger on the bread for order #253 and that’s it. You eat lots of it and you get fat and sluggish. Now think about Thanksgiving at home. There’s a variety of dishes, made from scratch, with care and love. You aren’t an order number. You’re “sweetheart”. You eat it and feel nourished and you bond over this meal. Music can be thought of in the same way. People can’t live off fast food hits. We all need those home cooked lyrics and melodies. When I’m fed up with my circumstances, as all of us get, I don’t reach for the latest single from Chris Brown. Though it is debatable whether or not these hoes are loyal, it all becomes irrelevant when the water bill is due and I’m broke. It’s certainly not relevant when my heart is broken, and offers little solace or inspiration when I feel insecure or rejected. And don’t we all feel these things at some point? There’s a place for everything and I’ll hesitantly admit that “Loyal” is my guilty pleasure. That beat is just sick, really. But imagine if Chris Brown never sang “Don’t Judge Me”, or Rihanna never sang “What Now”. Imagine if Eminem never bothered to reflect and write “Headlights”, or Kanye never wrote “Jesus Walks.” These are just a few examples from the 2000’s. We can go further back and see the trend. The songs your fans tend to cling to are the ones that serve as soundtracks to our lives – the breakup, the crazy summer, the new love, the new job, the rough patch! Gandhi said “Speak only if it improves upon the silence”. If you’re not adding your voice and experiences to your music, reflecting and presenting your take on various themes and topics, then nothing you say matters in the grand scheme of things. Sorry.

To those artists who are simply too afraid to “go there”, I’ll say this: I imagine it’s difficult to dig into the heart of what you’re feeling and seeing around you, but just imagine the reward of knowing I heard it, and felt less alone! Just like dogs smell fear, people sense realness, and we’ll back you till the end if we sense that you’re being real with us. You’re holding back, and you know it! Remember what it’s like to be one of us! Think about the music you go to when your soul is worn out. Remember what it feels like to find a song you connect with, and put on repeat for a week. Those songs that describe how much you love him/her – write one of them. Those songs you play in the gym to get you going – write one of them. Those songs you play right before an exam or interview – write one of them. Those songs you cry listening to – by all means, write one of them. That thing you’re afraid to say – say it, because there is someone afraid that they’re the only one who feels it. If you find yourself in a moment that lacks that perfect song to go with it, write it! Someone is waiting on that song, to add to the soundtrack of their life.

The world will never run out of club bangers and baby making music, but if you bow to the pressure of popularity and forget to be vulnerable, we will run out of art.

p.s Adele won a Grammy for Album of the Year, with 21. So I guess mastering the Art of Vulnerability has its benefits!

Article written by: Camille “Adaeze” Evelyn (@Adaezelyrics)

#PhillySoundSessions is recognized by Complex Magazine to be one of the “Top Networking Events to Attend”

#PhillySoundSessions, a collective networking and music showcase thrown by Exclusive Public with partners Get Go Productions and Veteran Freshman, was recognized by Complex Magazine to be one of the “Top Things To Do In Philadelphia.”

We are truly honored and thankful for everyone’s continuous support with this event.

Check out the full article on Complex.

How To Promote Your Music In 10 Steps

Promotion seems to be what every indie artist struggles with the most, but it’s also one of the most important aspects of any artist’s career. Even if you are paying for PR or some type of promotion, there are things that you can be doing that will put a strong push behind your campaign. In order to help you out, I’ve put together a list of 10 steps you must take in order to make the best out of promoting yourself.


A big part of your promo campaign will be spent on PREPARATION. There are a few things that you need to do before you even begin to promote that will really help give your promo a better chance at getting results. A lot of artists don’t plan and prepare, they just jump right on in without having the tools to get the job done. Here are a few things that really help give your promotion the push it needs in order to see that return on investment:

1. MAKE SURE YOUR PRODUCT IS GREAT! You are competing with a ton of other musicians, including the major artists, which means that your music must be mixed and mastered. Think about it…potential fans (that aren’t in the music industry) are used to hearing music on the radio, at clubs, festivals, stores, etc., which means they are used to hearing top quality records. So, you must deliver! Plus, it gives your records a better chance at getting played by DJs. Also, not every record that you record should be released. It’s good to be able to test out your records by playing them to associates behind the scenes and getting as much honest feedback as possible BEFORE you decide to release them. Learn about our music feedback and A&R service.

2. Find your NICHE and narrow down your TARGET AUDIENCE. Know your brand. What makes you special? What do you want to be known for? Who could you be compared to? Who does your music appeal to most? Then cover your grounds. Where do potential fans go to find new music? Where do they hang out? Think of all of your options – indie record stores, the mall, corner stores, and small businesses in your neighborhood, restaurants, etc. Think outside the box. By answering all of these questions, you will have a much better idea of who you are, which allows you to understand who you should be promoting to. It’s not about getting your music in front of just any audience, you have to get your music in front of an audience that would be interested. Learn about our Fast-Start Program.

3. MAKE SURE YOU’RE BRANDING IS ON POINT! This means, you must look the part! You should have an official website in place and updated with professional photos, bio, current shows, social media info, mailing list, and blog. You need this for a few reasons: for one it makes you look like the professional artist that you are. There are way too many “artists” out there with no website (only a Facebook page and/or Twitter or YouTube account) and it doesn’t make their brand look very good. Those that are successful all have official websites. So should you! Plus, your fans need a place to filter the traffic back to. You won’t get in XXL mag, the Source, and a bunch of other sites, if you don’t have an official website. Your results will be mediocre at best. Learn about our branding, design, and content services.

4. Make sure that you have THE MATERIALS to promote: This means promo graphics that appear on all of your social networks (Facebook covers, Twitter header, you get the point). Your brand must be recognized across all platforms and whatever you’re promoting should stand out. This is called brand recognition. You also should have a video for your single (or at least a professional graphic, if you haven’t shot the video) that you can promote with the link to the song. I’ve always noticed that artists that promote videos get a better response out of promo than an artist without a video. Also, if you have online flyers and/or promo graphics, be sure to have them handy. If you’re going to run a contest, be sure you know exactly how it will be run. You must have all of these things organized and easily accessible so that you can promote properly. Learn about our branding, design, and content services.

5. Create GOALS | Map Out Your BUDGET. Do you want to reach a certain amount of views or downloads in a certain amount of time? Do you want to bring 50 fans to your next gig? Do you want to sell a certain amount of merch? The better idea you have at what you want to accomplish, the better your plan will be. Also, how much will your promo materials cost? How much do you have to spend on a publicist and other promo services? Do some research and put together a budget sheet. Check out this great article on how to create a music marketing budget.

6. PRESS RELEASE – Whatever you’re promoting must have a press release with all the intriguing details to make people interested. You have to make it easy for press to write about you. If you hire someone like myself, I’ll handle this for you. However, you should do some research on how to write your own press releases as well. Hiring a PR team to handle things for you can be a very helpful tool, however, there are things that you need to be doing yourself to help the campaign grow.


7. NETWORKING | Street Team | Blog Outreach – Some of the best promotion happens behind the scenes. The more you get people talking, the easier it is for your music and brand to spread. Ways to promote behind the scenes: conversations with friends, colleagues, family – encourage them to share whatever it is that you’re promoting. STREET TEAM – gather a group of friends, family members, and people in your network to not only help with promotion, but utilize them for feedback on almost everything you do (music releases, performances, etc.). They can wear t-shirts with your name on it, they can spread flyers at their jobs, where they live, and they can post your music on their social media. BLOG OUTREACH – are you in contact with any blogs or publications? Make note of those who have supported your music in the past, as well as others you may have come across along the way, and be sure to build relationships and utilize them as sources for promotion.

8. Digital Campaign | Digital Distribution – Most people go online to find new music. You need to map out what and where you will be posting in order to promote your product. Make it interesting! Content is king when trying to reel people in and location is also important. Not only do you have to map out how your music will be promoted but you need to map out where people will have access to it. It is best to filter the traffic directly to your website and have your music available for download there. Also, you can use CDBaby or TuneCore to make your music available for sale on the major digital outlets such as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. You must also do your job to help the others that are posting your music. This means re-posting all tweets, press, etc. You must help promote those who promote you! That’s how you continue getting support.

9. MAILING LIST – A mailing list of your own is an amazing tool. And, I don’t mean finding random email addresses and spamming them with your music, I mean collecting emails of those who are interested in hearing from you combined with utilizing the emails of those who you have already been in contact with. You should treat your list as VIP, send them special offers, let them be the first to preview your new releases, give them cheaper concert tickets, etc. This list is GOLD!

10. PERFORMANCES – This is one of the most important factors in promotion. Your fans plus potential fans need to see you put on a memorable show. The more you impress people with your performances, the more people will want to see you again and again. Perform everywhere possible (except for pay-to-play showcases, you really have to use your judgement when it comes to those). Perform at open mics, get to know promoters and event planners, perform at as many local events as you can.

The key to marketing is to be able to grab and keep people’s attention. You need more than just a listen or a view; you need people to share. The key to this is getting people to feel some sort of emotion, because that’s when they take action. When you can make people FEEL something with your music and the way you present yourself, that’s when you’ll really start gaining some traction.


If you’re following all of these guidelines, the next step would be to hire a PR agency to help get your music on larger platforms that have a big reach, while you do the leg work and build your buzz one-on-one and in your hometown. Why should you hire a publicist or marketing agency? Because they have the relationships and access that you don’t. You think this article was useful? Imagine what we can accomplish if we work together! When you’re ready to get started, contact us here.


Throughout the years of working in an over saturated music industry, you wouldn’t even begin to imagine the things that publicists, managers, A&Rs, and promoters hear on a day-to-day basis from artists, especially rap artists. We’ll go through a list of the “The Different Types of Rappers” that industry professionals come across on a daily basis. Don’t get us wrong, this will be entertaining, however informative. If you’re an artist, read through this and be sure that you don’t fall into ANY of these categories! If you do, it’s definitely time to make some serious adjustments.

The “Seeking Management but Don’t Know What Management Really Does but Need One to Save My Life” Rapper

The scenario usually goes something like this:

Artist: Can you manage me?

Exec: What are your stats looking like? Why do you feel that you need a manager?

Artist: This is my life yo! I swear I’m the hottest thing since Pac! I just need someone to help me! Can you just give me a chance?!

Exec: What do you mean by help you? What are you looking to accomplish?

Artist: Can you get me signed?

Exec: But you don’t have a following. Have you performed anywhere?

Artist: No, that’s why I need you! I need you to book me shows and promote my music and get me signed! Please I just need someone to believe in me. I swear my shit is hot!

Artists often feel that a manager is exactly what they need to get further in their career, when in reality they aren’t even at that point where they need a manager. They feel this way because they don’t know what a manager’s role is. They just feel that the manager is the gateway to their success and they don’t have to do anything but create, when that is far from the truth. A manager is not an investor or a magician, and is not your “get-out-of-jail-free card” to success. The manager comes along when you have already built a firm foundation for yourself. They take the greatness that you have built to the next level using their knowledge and connections. If you are not making any money as an artist, you don’t need a manager just yet. Managers will come looking for you when the time is right. Just keep up the momentum!

Which also tends to go hand in hand with the…

The “Delusional Mixtape with Too Many Tracks and Freestyles on Overused Industry Beats” Rapper

Rapper: Yo check out my mixtape!

Exec: How many tracks on your mixtape?

Artist: I got 15,890,999 something tracks on this jawn. It’s FLAMES!

Exec: Do you have a single that I can check out first?

Rapper: Oh yea my poundcake freestyle I just released!

Exec: How about an original single?

Rapper: Oh, I’m working on those now, I just wanted to release all these freestyles first to build up my fan base, and then I’ll release the good stuff later.

Exec: Sooo you’re gonna build up your fan base with the weak stuff instead of releasing the good stuff?

Rapper: Yea, why would I give them the good stuff?

Who usually happens to promote like…

The “Spam Artist” Rapper

Rapper: Check out my video!! *tweets and tags everyone with video link*

…. 2 weeks later:

Rapper: Yo check out my newest video! *tweets and tags everyone with video link*

Three mixtapes and 10 videos later, said rapper still can’t bring out 20 people to a show, still recording and releasing without any progress, still has no website, and still pays to perform.

Now, while there is absolutely nothing wrong with creating a mixtape, there is something wrong with the mindset of an artist that feels that releasing a mixtape is their key to success. Also, most artists release mixtapes without any build up or anticipation, and then they try to shove the whole tape in everyone’s face, on everyone’s Timeline, in everyone’s mentions, and it becomes the most annoying thing ever.


The “I Got Money, But No Budget” Rapper

Rapper: Can you listen to my mixtape, give me feedback, help me come up with a plan to release it, and get it on a ton of blogs?

Exec: Ok, I can definitely help you with all of that. Can you give me an idea of your budget?

Rapper: BUDGET? Can’t you help me for free? I promise my shit is dope! I just need someone to believe in me!

Or it goes something like…

Exec: Let’s focus on branding. You have no electronic press kit (EPK), website, professional photography, etc. We need to build your image to better market you. You also need your tracks mixed for your next project. I know a few professionals that can help you.

Artist: Nah, I’m cool. My neighbor up the street gon’ mix my tracks, my aunt will style me, my brother gonna do my shoot with his new iPhone 5s, and my squad gonna promote my shit.

This is the mindset of rappers that haven’t taken the time out to learn how the music industry really works. Starting a career in music is a lot like starting starting your own business – you must first invest in order to see that return of investment. Promotion, marketing, public relations, professional music videos, quality graphics, mixing mastering, travel – it all costs money!

The “More Focused on Mainstream Rappers than My Own Career” Rapper

These are unsigned/unknown rappers that spend more time debating about mainstream artists on and off Twitter than putting the time effort and energy into their own career. These rappers are always ready for a music debate. They will jump up out of a high/drunken sleep and start spitting out bars, facts, Billboard charts, BDS radio spins, record sales, etc. (i.e,. Kendrick vs. Drake, Jeezy vs. Rick Ross, Joe Budden vs. Fab). These cats are like a walking Hip-Hop Wikipedia.

These rappers are so brainwashed by what they see the mainstream artists doing that they turn into…

The “Fake Social Network Statistics but Expect Real Fans” Rapper

Artist: You should book me for a show. My video has 300,000 views.

Exec: Oh really. When was the last time you booked a show?

Artist: Five months ago.

Exec: Five months ago? But how do you have 300,000 views, 60k Instagram followers, but you don’t book shows? PAUSES* Wait a second, I see your pics on Instagram have only 20-50 likes and no one is retweeting you on Twitter and your one Youtube video has 78 thousand views but only 5 comments, and the rest of your videos only have 145 views.

Artist: What you saying?

Exec: It looks like you bought fake views and followers.

Artist: *No response*

There is something called “social proof” which basically means that people tend to gravitate towards brands that seem to have the most attention. Because of this, artists often feel that buying followers, likes, downloads, and views is in fact that right thing to do to boost their chance of success. In reality, this makes you look bad for a few reasons. Number one, it shows that you cannot build a genuine following. It also gives everyone a bad impression if your brand, since you now look like a fraud and/or liar. If I were you,, I would stay far far away from anyone that tries to sell you “real” followers, likes, etc. Work on creating the best possible product and then build your fan base a little at a time. Focus on making that initial one-on-one connection. One genuine fan per day is way better than 1000 fake followers.

And please, PLEASE don’t fall into this category!

The “Waste Money for a Feature” Rapper

Artist: Guess what?! I just got a feature from (INSERT KNOWN RAPPER)! And he only charged me $15K!

Exec: Oh wow, what’s your plans for promotion? Is he going to help promote the record?

Artist: Ummm, we didn’t discuss that, but he should right? Since he’s on the record?

Exec: Not necessarily. That’s usually worked out when you negotiate the price of the feature.

Artist: Well, I need to talk to him then! Because I spent all of my money on this feature!

or the convo goes something like this…

Artist: Guess what? I’m opening up for (INSERT BIG-NAMED RAPPER)!

Exec: Oh, that’s cool. How did you manage that?

Artist: I paid three stacks. I’m On Son. Turn Down 4 What!

Famous artists don’t promote records; PROMOTION promotes records. If you’re going to pay for a feature, make sure it makes sense. Make sure that artist has a fan base that would enjoy your music, and make sure that the artist and/or producer is in agreement to promote the record. Also, instead of paying thousands of dollars to open up for a larger act, focus on building up your fan base and buzz in your area so that promoters in your area will start to book you to open their shows.

Believe me, we’re on your side. But sometimes it takes something to strike a nerve before a change is made. If reading this article has pissed you off in any way, that means you probably fall into the last category…

The “Can’t Handle Constructive Criticism” Rapper

Artist: What did you think of my track?

Exec: The mixing is off, the track is not mastered properly, the hook is not catchy, and the lyrical content is cliché.

Artist: What do you mean?

Exec: What I just said. The track needs to be reworked.

Artist: My girl and my squad thought the track was hot, but you on some hating-type sh*t.

Understand that if everyone told you how great you are all the time, that leaves no room for improvement. If you can’t handle constructive criticism, the music industry is the wrong industry to be in. As an artist, you should take heed to all of the feedback and constructive criticism given to you and use it as guidance and motivation to do better. If your team likes everything you do, you may want to reconsider those who are in your corner.

This article is courtesy of:

Brianna DeMayo, CEO and founder of Exclusive Public, LLC. and Christion Miller, Drexel University electrical engineering graduate, CEO and Founder of artist management firm ChristMirr Enterprise. Both have experience in artist management, development, branding, music marketing, and executive producing music projects and events.

Keep in touch! We’re here to help build your foundation. Learn about our services. Contact us to get started.

Brianna | | Twitter & Instagram: @breezyb215 @ExclusivePublic

ChristMirr Enterprise | | Twitter & Instagram @christmirr @CMEnterprise



The Mindset Of A Successful Artist

There is one question that you can answer, that will boost your productivity level through the roof. It will open up loads of opportunity for you. It will get you the response that you want out of business and out of life in general. To be honest, this didn’t stand out to me until a good friend (and mentor) of mine, brought this to light and made it clear to me.

So, what is this most important question ever?

ANSWER: ——————————–> WHY???

You might be thinking ‘that’s it?!’ Yes, it’s that simple.

So, now let me explain WHY answering the question WHY is an extremely important aspect and should be the basis of everything you do.

Think about it. When you were little, and your mom told you not to do something, what did you ask? WHY? You asked that because you wanted a valid reason not to continue doing what you were doing.

When you go for a job interview, the purpose of that is what?… So the employer can find out the reasons WHY they should hire you.

When you do something wrong, your boyfriend/girlfriend always asks you WHY you did it. (And, your answer better be valid! LOL)

When you are looking for a sponsorship, in order to get it, you need to be able to fully explain (or prove) WHY you deserve the sponsorship.

When aiming to get a record deal, you must show the label WHY they should sign you.

Should I keep going, or do you get my point?

This concept is called ‘Catering to the WHY’ and it is extremely important for you to get the hang of this. This concept especially helps in business. It will change the way you do, and think, about things. It will make you be more efficient in everything you do, because before you make a decision, you are always asking yourself …WHY? WHY should someone listen to my music? WHY am I going to contact this person? WHY should they respond to me? WHY should a record label sign me? Your words and your actions should prove it.

When writing these articles I really try to make everyone see the bigger picture. There are a few basic concepts that you can master as an individual in order to be able to move forward at the momentum that you want. This concept helped put things into perspective for me, and I hope it does the same for you.

“It all starts with the way you THINK”

Learn how we can help you get started. Contact us now.

Don’t Be THIS Artist

There are thousands of people out there creating music. There are only a handful of those people that really understand what it takes to succeed, and they are the ones that are truly shining. Unfortunately, since there is such an overflow of clueless “artists” out there, there are also a bunch of clueless “companies” that make their money feeding off of these poor “artists” and making them think that their services are in fact useful to their careers. But this isn’t just the companies’ fault, it’s the actual mindset of these artists that allows these scams to go on.

We like to call these artists… “treadmill” artists, because, you guessed it, all they do is run in place.

Mindset of a “Treadmill” Artist:

  • They think that all they need to succeed is to record a mixtape over industry beats.
  • They hope to one day be “discovered” by a famous rapper and get signed off of said ‘mixtape.’
  • They don’t feel the need to put money into getting the best quality recordings and they especially don’t think they should put any money into promoting their music, because ‘that’s what the record deal is for.
  • They don’t feel the need to utilize social media because they are ‘hot in the streets.‘ OR, they only utilize social media as their main source of ‘promotion;’ they don’t see the need in getting out there and dealing directly with the people.
  • They are constantly in search of a manager and/or have hired their best friend/cousin/uncle, etc. to be their manager, because they think that having a manager makes you look like you’re really making moves.

Because of this mindset, these artists get scammed and stuck at the bottom of the totem pole, doing things that only keep them running in place.

For example:

Characteristics of a ‘Treadmill’ Artist:

  • Records a mixtape and tweets it to everyone on Twitter and tags a bunch of people on Facebook begging to be heard.
  • Pays to perform at local showcases because ‘(insert big named rapper/producer/A&R)’ will be there.
  • Pays a company $50-$100 to tweet their record.
  • Pays an unknown DJ for a spot on their mixtape.
  • Pays for a $50 email blast.

And the list goes on…

The thing is, you might FEEL productive, but are the actions that you’re taking actually bringing you closer to your goals? Or, let’s take a step back, do you even have any goals or are you just winging it?

Also, are you going around constantly talking about yourself or are your actions speaking for you?

Are you going around saying how hot you are or are others spreading your name in the streets?

The point is, if you plan on succeeding and really making a career out of music,  you really have to set goals and do things that are really going to put you in the position to reach those goals.

Just because you might FEEL productive, doesn’t mean that you’re actually accomplishing anything. You could just be spending a ton of time doing the wrong thing, which will lead to you wondering why your career isn’t ‘popping off’ the way it should.

Keep it real with yourself!

Do you have hot, undeniable, original material? Or do you have this ‘mixtape’ that you really only have a few hundred to a few thousand downloads on?

Can you pack a venue? Or even bring out 50 people to a show?

Are DJs checking for your record, or are you spamming them with tweets and emails asking them to play your latest ‘pound cake’ freestyle?

Are you selling any music or merchandise?

If you’re not doing any of those things, you really need to re-evaluate your plan and make sure that you don’t fall into the ‘treadmill artist’ category.

Whatever you do, don’t get discouraged, but let this be a wake-up call.

Remember, “Whatever you lack, someone else has mastered.”


 Let us help you build your firm foundation; check out our services. Contact us to learn more.

Common Promo Tactics and Why They Don’t Work

First impressions are lasting impressions. Your actions on a daily basis reflect how you are perceived as an artist. Often you are seen before your music is heard.

There are common tactics that are perceived as ‘amateur’… in other words, the artists that are really out there killing it and making a living from their music (whether on an indie or major level) aren’t going about promo in this way – yet these tactics are so common, that most artists mimic what they see others doing instead of learning how to do it themselves, the right way.

The difference between bad marketing and good marketing is, bad marketing talks AT people, good marketing talks with them. Everyday I watch artists, that might potentially have good music, throw their dreams down the drain little by little with every unsolicited link they send out in hopes that someone will listen to their song and ‘put them on’. Understand that you need more than just a listen. I repeat: YOU NEED MORE THAN JUST A LISTEN! You need people to engage with you. You need people to share your music with their friends. You need them to want to buy your merch and come to your shows. There is no official blueprint to how to accomplish that, however there are definite ways that DO NOT WORK but yet these tactics are so very common. It’s time to put a stop to this now.

I’ve had numerous discussions about this on Twitter, through email etc. but I’ve decided to write an article on the subject to really make things clear. Once you are done reading this article, I hope that you are either giving yourself a pat on the back because you do not make these mistakes, or if you do, I hope that you change your ways and come up with an actual plan that will really help you reach your goals (because these tactics surely aren’t going to cut it!).

Here are a list of common promo tactics and the reasons why they aren’t effective:

Promo Tactic: Sending out unsolicited links via twitter.

Why It Doesn’t work: Twitter is a social networking site. SOCIAL NETWORKING. Understand what that means. Twitter is a place where things can get spread very quickly, however in order for that to happen, the content must be engaging and ‘retweetable’… Twitter is not to be used strictly for promotion, it doesn’t work that way. You can spend hours sending out your link to individual people, it will not do anything but waste your time and annoy people before they even listen to your music. You must take a step back and realize what you are doing. If you have to @ people with a link to your music, that just means that you’re not interesting enough for people to actually pay attention to your tweets.

Twitter can be great for building and promoting your brand, but not if you use it strictly as a promo service. You must build your clout by engaging with others, releasing quality content and building a following that looks for you and pays attention to your tweets.

Promo Tactic: Sending out unsolicited emails.

Why It Doesn’t work: There goes that unsolicited word again! That’s why it doesn’t work. Do YOU open random spam emails? Do you realize how many emails people get everyday? Do you really think that your email stands out with the title ‘Check Out My Music’ or ‘Music Submission’ when sending to a random person that you have never spoken to before? Come on now, you must think before you do. Email marketing is an amazing way to promote yourself, however you should be building your own subscriber list, filled with people that know who you are and want to hear from you. Emailing random people that you have never spoken to before is a waste of your precious time that can be spent being more productive. Also, how do you even know if that person accepts submissions? Most artists send out emails to people without doing any research on that person. They don’t even know why they are approaching that person, I guess it’s just to see if they can get someone to listen.

Promo Tactic: Posting a music video to someone’s Facebook and/or tagging a bunch of people that you don’t know in your status.

Why It Doesn’t work: You are talking AT people instead of engaging with them. Just because you are friends with them, doesn’t give you the right to promote your mixtape or freestyle all day by tagging them. You should be making sure that your posts are attracting viewers, so that when you post something, people look for it without you having to chase them.

If you noticed, there’s one common word that was used in all of those points… the word is UNSOLICITED. If you are unsure of what that means exactly, it basically means ‘not asked for’ – so if you are sending anything unsolicited, that means you are sending it blindly to someone that you do not even know, hoping that you’ll get a response. WRONG!

Promo Tactic: Paying to perform at a local showcase:

Why It Doesn’t work: Way too often a ‘promoter’ will come along and throw a ‘HOTTEST IN YOUR CITY’ showcase or something along those lines. They decided to throw this event because they know they can get 10 clueless artists to pay $100-$250 just to get on stage (because they don’t know any better). Once they accomplish this, they now have a packed room full of other artists and their ‘entourages’ that are only there to support who they came for. So the artist ends up performing in a room full of people who are generally not interested in supporting anyone except for who they came with. How does that benefit an artist? IT DOESNT. It just puts money in the promoters pocket. Money that you could have put towards something more beneficial, like promotion for your album or getting your tracks mastered. Sometimes the ‘promoter’ will even try to ‘woo’ you by telling you that ‘so and so from big named records’ will be in attendance to check out your performance. Damn gets them every time! But artists that learn the biz, understand how these scams work, and they understand that no 1 person is going to come along and magically ‘put you on’, therefore it doesn’t matter if the label rep is half-assed watching your performance, they can’t do much for you anyway! Honestly, you could of gotten more out of an open mic than you did out of that showcase. But it’s ok, now that you made that mistake, you know not to do it again.

Promo Tactic: Paying to get a slot on an unknown DJ’s mixtape:

Why It Doesn’t work: Let me say this, before you pay for any sort of promotion, you must do your own research. There are many unknown radio stations, DJ’s, Promoters, etc that will ask you to pay for a mixtape slot, or a radio interview, or a placement on their website, etc however that does not mean that you will receive any exposure from it. You need to research, find out how many viewers they really get, check out their website, are people really tuning in? Does that DJ get any exposure himself? If not, how do you expect them to get you exposure? If that website only gets 50 views a day, but they are asking you to pay $250 for a spot on their home page, is it really worth it? It seems that artists get so excited that someone wants to interview them or someone is offering to get them a spot on their website, that they forget there are other things that go into it. You have to bring yourself back down to earth and really analyze if things are beneficial to your career.

Promo Tactic: Buying likes, followers, views etc.

Why It Doesn’t work: It’s fake. Fake people and fake numbers don’t get you real support. You need to keep it organic. Having 100 real fans is better than having 2000 fake ones. You need to start small and build out. Those supporters that you already have are a power team. You need to keep them interested and have them help you spread your music.

”Artists tell themselves that if someone sees that they have 100,00 likes that makes it more likely it’ll be viewed. The problem is that they can buy 100,000,000 views – that factor alone won’t gain interaction.” – Tony ‘TheConnect’ Guidry

Promo Tactic: Only promoting online or vice-versa.

Why It Doesn’t work: Both online promotion and in your face street promotion are needed to build a buzz. There are many artists that hide behind a computer but no one on their scene knows who they are. Then there are artists that could care less about social media because ‘they are hot in these streets’ however they don’t realize that Google practically runs the world and even if you do meet someone that can potentially help you, the first thing they are going to do is look you up online. Your ‘but I’m hot in these streets’ attitude must reflect this online as well or else your falling short.

So you’re probably thinking, you told me all of these things not to do, so how do I do it the right way? You have to attract people to you, not chase them. 

It’s pretty simple actually – post extremely good engaging content on a consistent basis. I’ll repeat it. All you need to do to continually grow your fan base is to post good content that is engaging and interesting to your current and potential fans.

Supplying great content is the key to growing your fan base. If your site isn’t getting traffic, if you’re not getting any re-tweets on Twitter, if you’re not getting many likes on your Facebook fan page it’s because your content isn’t important or useful enough to the audience your trying to reach. It’s that simple. You’re not raising the bar, helping people, entertaining them, changing lives, and inspiring your readers to take some form of action. If you were, your audience would grow.

Remember, social networking is exactly that – NETWORKING. You need to show your personality while at the same time providing great content to your followers. Most artists only use social media for promotion, which can actually hurt you more than help your situation. There has to be a mix of both. You should be posting 7-10 tweets a day with content as well as interacting with your followers. Promotion should only take up about 20% of your time while the rest of the time is spent engaging. Nowadays the better content you have, the more fan base you have, it’s that simple.


Artist Evaluation | 10 Questions To Ask Yourself

Finding the right answers often comes from asking the right questions. As an artist you must always be aware of yourself and your brand as a whole. The more you know about yourself, the easier it will be to promote and build your brand and gain the exposure needed to have a successful career in music. Artists often overlook these questions and continue to shoot aimlessly in their careers, which leads to failed marketing campaigns, bad reputations and a whole lot of running in place. To help you understand yourself more as an artist, I’ve created the following list:

1. Am I Marketable? This has to be the most important question of all time. There’s a lot that goes into being ‘marketable’ as an artist. Most of it will depend on how you answer the rest of these questions and a major part of it has to do with how well you are branding yourself as an artist. What do you stand for? What do you want to be known for? Appearance, music, promo strategies, etc all go into making you a marketable artist.

2. Do I Make Music That Really Catches The Listener? Your music is your commercial for your brand. Your music – also known as your product –  is your marketing tool to gain fans and eventually make money doing what you love, but first you have to be sure to create music that will appeal to the masses and not just relatable to you. By no means am I saying that you must be a ‘commercial’ artist or that you have to make music that really isn’t YOU, however you need to be able to capture an audience with your lyrics, melodies and records as a whole. Actually, until you have this, your focus shouldn’t be on much else.

3. Am I Promoting Myself The Right Way?  Am I promoting the right product? This is a question that most artists as well as managers have a hard time with. What is the correct way to promote? Well I know one thing, the INCORRECT way to promote is by sending out unsolicited links to people via Twitter, Facebook, email or any other social media site. The main goal of marketing and promotion is to attract people to your music and brand. You do this by engaging with people, not just sending out music links to random people and hoping/begging for a listen. Truth is, you need much more than just a listen! You need people to share your music. You need to get enough people talking about you that others become curious and check out your music without you having to ask them. You don’t do this by spamming, you do this by talking with people and being yourself. They are called SOCIAL networks for a reason, be social! Also, both word of mouth buzz in the ‘streets’ and online buzz are needed, they go hand in hand. You need to be performing in your area, hitting up different events and networking with your peers, do what it takes to be seen and heard. Make it so that they can’t ignore you! Keep in mind that getting a great response from your marketing also comes from promoting the right product. You must be able to give the fans what they want. I was chatting with an industry peer of mine and he said, ‘If Biggie never released Juicy would we have heard Suicidal Thoughts?” I found this to be a great analogy because it clearly shows you how important promoting the right product can be.

4. Am I Investing In The Right Things For My Career? In case you haven’t figured it out yet, having a career in music really takes a toll on your wallet. Your best bet would be to find an investor, but in the beginning most of your career will be funded by yourself which also means that you want to be sure that you’re spending money on the right things. You should invest in your product, meaning invest in professional mixing and mastering to get your music sounding crisp and radio ready. Invest in design and branding, you want to make sure that when you promote your music it will capture the eye of the listener before they even give it a listen –  this means great visuals. Once you have the music and branding down, it’s time to invest in marketing and promotion. This can involve the materials needed to promote (merchandise, physical copies of your CD, banners, business cards, stickers etc) as well as actual promotion campaigns (viral campaigns, advertising, strategic blog placement and Public Relations). Notice, I didn’t mention anything about paying to perform or paying a bunch of money to feature your favorite artist on a track. If you promote yourself the right way, and you pay your dues, eventually you’ll be the one getting paid to perform and for features.

5. What Are My Strengths? Weaknesses? Ask yourself this often and be brutally honest with yourself. Being totally aware of what you’re capable of is important and will help you find your niche’. You should be constantly learning and evolving as an artist. Your goal should be to become the best artist you can be, but you can’t do this without first having a clear understanding of your strong points as well as places where you need some work. You need to build on both your strengths AND weaknesses. You might be amazing at writing hooks but your verses aren’t as strong, understanding this will allow you to focus your efforts on becoming a better songwriter while also allowing you to play on the fact that you write extremely catchy hooks. You might be amazing at recording but your performance needs work, therefore you focus your attention more on perfecting your live show, you should get the point. Understanding all of this will make you more confident, which in return will make a better impact on everything you do.

6. How Do I Compare To Other Artists (Similarities/Differences)? As a new artist you will definitely get asked this question at some point, and yet it is something that many artists resist thinking about. When asked this question, most artists will say things like “We don’t sound like anyone else,” or “We don’t want to be categorized,” however defining your sound is an important step in defining your brand. Understanding who or what you sound like immediately helps you identify your target market and creates a firm foundation for your marketing strategy. It will help you understand which platforms you should be targeting, which fan bases you should reach out to, and which media outlets you should contact during your PR campaign.

7. Who Is My Target Audience? This is basically asking yourself, who do I appeal to? Face it, your music doesn’t appeal to everyone, so therefore you shouldn’t try to promote it to everyone. The more detailed you get into this, the more targeted your promotion will be, which is much more effective than chasing random people for listens and downloads. Finding your target audience comes from learning about yourself and who you relate to through your music as well as your appearance. Does your music appeal more to the male or female audience? What age group would your music be suitable for? Where do these people go to find new music? Those are just a few questions to ask yourself when narrowing down your target audience. Please do not skip this step, this is something that you need to be aware of or else your marketing campaign will not get the response that you’re looking for.

8. Do I Have The Right Team Around Me? I don’t care what anyone says you cannot do this on your own – I repeat YOU CANNOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN! You need power behind you, you need extra ears, you need hard workers to push you and keep you motivated. Now think about it, who are you surrounded by? Is everyone on the same page and working towards certain goals? Is everyone a good representation of you? Are you surrounded by honest individuals that have your best interest at heart? Is everyone actively making connections to solidify the teams future and help reach goals? The last thing you need is to be surrounded by a bunch of egotistical slackers that are only worried about themselves in the long run, or that just aren’t focused or professional enough to handle the hurdles in the music business. If you feel that there are people around you that just aren’t ‘cutting it’ be sure to make the necessary adjustments before it’s too late.

9. How Many Fans/Sales/Downloads/Views Do I have? In order to reach your goals you first have to know where you currently stand. You need to have a clear understanding at where your stats are currently in order to adjust your marketing plan to reach higher goals. You should also know how many people are subscribed to your official mailing list (please tell me you have a mailing list!) because this will allow you to measure and estimate how many downloads, likes, views etc that you will achieve with your next release. Keep in mind that all numbers must be real in order to make an impact. If a record label sees that you have over a million views on YouTube and 30,000 followers on Twitter, but you still can’t pack a venue or sell records, having those big numbers doesn’t look good. So remember it’s not all about the numbers, it’s about actual fan engagement.

10. What are my goals (Immediate + Long Term)? Artists fail a lot of the time because they are shooting aimlessly, just doing what they think is right and just ‘winging it’ when it comes to their career, instead of making realistic goals and sticking to them. The better understanding you have of your current situation plus your goals, the easier it will be to reach them. You should have a list of immediate goals (whether it be to get a certain number of downloads for your next project release, or you want to bring your views up to a certain level etc) as well as long term goals for the next year or so, and you must stick to them as much as you can.

If you need help with any of this please do not hesitate to contact us!