Category Industry Resources

The Artist’s Guide To Networking – How to Build Your Following Offline

You know that you make great music, you love writing and recording, and you really want people to hear your music because you know they’ll love it. Does this sound anything like you?

The fact is, this is the reality for many artists.

You don’t know how many times I’ve heard an artist say, “I make good music, but no one supports me.” Meanwhile, they are surrounded by all the wrong people, and they don’t know the first thing about networking and really getting out of their circle and comfort zone. But I understand; most artists and “creatives” are non-social introverts that enjoy creating music and locking themselves in the studio. That’s all good and well on the creative side, but what happens when the music is done being recorded? Once you have a product, you have to get it out there.

The truth is, when you start to take your career seriously, your circle will begin to change. If you want to reach new people, you have to go out there and meet new people. Promoting online is great, but it will only take you so far. You need to make real connections with your fans. The days when artists were magically discovered and put on are long gone. Even celebs are now realizing that they had better start building more personal relationships with their fans. Take J Cole for instance; he actually made house deliveries of his last album. Meanwhile, indie artists are having a hard time grasping this concept.

Wendy Day once said, “Look at a map, make a circle around a 5 mile radius of your city. Make it a point to go to these places.”

If you’re lucky enough to live in (or near) an active musical city, then it should be no problem finding events and like-minded people to mingle with.

If you don’t happen to live in a highly active area, you can also use this to your benefit. As a matter of fact, that means you’ll have less ground to cover, and may be able to make a bigger impact since you’re in a less crowded place.

You have to look for opportunities everywhere! A closed mouth won’t get fed.

So how do you avoid that awkward, “Hey can you check out my music?” convo?

First you have to remember this fact, if there’s one thing that you take from this article, let it be this:


You just have to get your music where they can see it.

Also, making a genuine connection is better than getting one listen to your song.

It doesn’t matter how many times you send someone a message or email and ask them to check out your music, it’s when they find you on their friends’ playlists or see your video posted to their favorite blog that they’ll actually give you the time of day. Timing is everything. People do not want you to throw your music in their face, so you’ll have to find another game plan. The one that works best is to be yourself and make genuine connections. Be interested in others. Get to know them and let them discover you on their own. When people like YOU, for who you are, and they follow you on social media and you have genuine conversations with them, when you put up a status with your new music video, they’ll be happy to check it out. Why? Because they are already a fan of YOU, so of course they’ll check out your music.

“So you mean you want me to talk to strangers?” YES. It’s not weird. It’s expected, and can be lots of fun.

When you perform at an event, get there early and talk to people. Also, stay after your performance and continue to mingle and ask for opinions and get as much contact info as possible.

If you’re just out at a random event in your town, make sure to ask who handles promotion and booking for the venue. Maybe even do a quick Google search to see if you can find the name.

Support other artists in your area. Go to their shows. Talk to them. See about doing a collaboration.

If you’re on a college campus, put posters up all around campus. Find out who coordinates events, go talk to them, and find out who handles booking artists. Go to the college radio station and talk to everyone there. Find out how to get your music played. Go to a ton of school events, toss your single off to the DJ. Show your face, meet new people, and stay in contact with them.

We live in such a digital world that we rely so much on social media and Google that we shy away from making genuine human interactions. But the artists that can grasp both the digital world and make connections in person, are the ones winning.

Still having trouble? Feel free to contact me directly at

5 Simple Ways to Sell More Merch

Selling custom merchandise can actually help fund your music career. Everything from t-shirts and hoodies to pins and bags, and everything in between, fans love buying merch.

Here are five ways to sell more merchandise:

1. Set up a merch table at all of your shows. Having a merch table set up right by the stage is a great way to sell merch at your shows. Make sure that you always have someone watching over it when you perform, and make sure that you’re at your merch table after your performance. Also be sure that it’s noticeable; adding some lighting and a display of your products always helps. Make sure to have your pricing big and bold so that people can see it while they browse, and be sure to collect contact info as you make sales. Suggestion: Give people 10% off if they like your fan page on the spot before they purchase.

2. Sell merch on your website. The quickest way to sell merch aside from at your shows is to put a link to your STORE directly on your website. That way, you can just promote the link to your website and the sales will go directly to you. You can even add discount codes for your mailing list or people that attend your shows. I suggest using a plugin called woocommerce (for WordPress users) to sell directly from your website. Or, for an easier option, use Link it directly to your website, so when people click on your store, they go directly to your bigcartel page.

3. Send an email to your mailing list. The whole point of having a mailing list is to keep people updated on everything that has to do with you. You should send out an email to your list that lets them know you have merch available (include photos). You can even give them a special discount just for being on your mailing list.

4. Promote your store on social media. Get a cool graphic made that promotes your merch. Post it to Instagram and Facebook. Send out one tweet everyday that lets everyone know that there’s merch available on your website or digital store.

5. Sell merch bundles. You know what’s better than buying a custom t-shirt? Buying a custom t-shirt that comes with your latest album and a sticker. When you pair your music with your merch and offer it at a special price, it entices people to purchase. That way you’re not just making money from your merch, but you’re actually selling your music as well (double winning!).

Do you need merch designed? Contact our design team.


Why Your Promotion Failed Before You Even Started. 10 Common Mistakes Artists Make.

Have you ever released a song, or mixtape, or album that just didn’t get as many listens and downloads as you wanted?

Does promotion often feel like running your nails on a chalkboard?

We come across great artists all the time; the problem is that most of the time they are hidden in all the clutter. But why is this? Why do artists that make great music get overlooked?

No matter how great your music is, your promotion will always fail unless you avoid these 10 common mistakes:

1. You have bad graphics and visuals. A lot of promotion is visual. If something looks appealing, people tend to gravitate towards it. If your album cover looks like it was just thrown together with low quality graphics, it will actually prevent people from clicking on it, which means they won’t even give your music a chance.

2. Your live show needs work. Performing is a huge part of promotion. Unfortunately, most artists fall short in this area. Putting on a great live show will surely make people excited to see another one! Most artists make a ton of money touring and, honestly, if your live show isn’t that great, you’re really hurting your promotion. Be sure to rehearse as much as possible and maybe even hire an artist development coach to help you.

3. Your social media names are all different. When you search your name on google, what comes up? If your social media name looks anything like @Ibe_chilllin345, good luck getting people to find you. The more “searchable” you are, the easier it will be to find you. If your name is Lyrical Monster, then your social media names should be @LyricalMonster all across the board. You get the point.

4. You spam. Let us make this clear since many artists fail to understand the meaning behind this. Any time you send someone a link to your music, or tag someone that you don’t know in your Facebook status, or comment on someones status with a link to your music link, or send a random person a message with a link to your new music video, you are SPAMMING. We know that you’re just trying to get your music out there, but shoving your music in random people’s faces isn’t the way to do so. Imagine that you’re walking down the street, and all of a sudden someone pops out right in front of you. You’ll either get scared and back up, or you’ll get pissed and tell the person to watch where they’re going. Or imagine you’re having a conversation with your long time friend, and someone rudely interrupts you and starts trying to sell you something. That’s exactly how you look when you send a random person a link to your music. You might think it’s promotion, but is your promotion really effective if it makes people want to block you? I don’t think so. It’s called social media because you’re supposed to be social, and quite frankly, blindly sending someone a link to your song isn’t very social. Plus, so many artists spam nowadays that people completely overlook it, so stop doing it right now. You’re wasting your precious time. Instead, you should remember that people want to discover you themselves. Therefore, all you have to do is get your music in places that they look for it. Pretty simple right?

5. You over-hyped a previous release and now no one wants to listen to your new stuff. Have you ever heard of the boy who cried wolf? The boy in the forest would yell, and tell everyone that there were wolves. They would run to save him, only to find out that he was playing a prank on them. Until one day, he really needed their help and they didn’t come to save him because they thought he was pranking them again. Well, when you promote your song like it’s the best thing since pizza, and then people listen to it and it’s really not that great. When you finally release that amazing song that you’ve been waiting for, it’s going to be harder to get people to listen. This is why you should never put out music that you haven’t gotten feedback on (behind the scenes). AND you should never over-hype your music by using words like “hit song” or “best song out.” Let the people be the judge.

6. You’re only promoting online and aren’t making a real connection with your fans OR you’re only promoting in person and aren’t reaching the online audience. The best promotion happens when you make a true connection with your fans. An email or a tweet isn’t nearly as effective as an in-person connection. Both online and street promotion are necessary when trying to build a following. If you’re hiding behind a computer screen or are always in the studio, you might make some progress. However, eventually you’re going to have to get out there and meet people. Also, if you’re one of those artists that meets new people but doesn’t do the whole “social media thing,” you’re actually missing out on a huge (global) audience. I suggest going out to events in your city (and surrounding areas). Bring business cards and merchandise and start chatting it up! You can also build your online fan base in person, just make sure you get everyone’s contact info.

7. You didn’t promote long enough for people to catch on. Wendy Day once told me, “Promotion can take 12 weeks before you even start to break the surface.” However, many artists get tired of promoting their own records after only one month. That could be because they aren’t fully utilizing all of their options for exposure. Or, maybe they got tired of their song? However, by not taking the time needed to really get some traction on your record, you’ll fall into the never ending circle of releasing song after song after song without much results. Try putting together an effective promo strategy before you release your music.

8. You’re promoting the wrong song. This is pretty self explanatory, but very common among indie artists. The key to this is to record a ton of music before you decide to release your next single, and be sure to get as much feedback on your records as you can (before you release them) so that you can let the people decide what song will get the best results.

9. You don’t know your audience. Is your music for everyone? NOPE. Just like you wouldn’t promote a country record on a heavy metal station, you have to aim your promotion at people who would be more receptive to enjoying it. Most artists don’t have a clue on who they are trying to reach. They don’t even put any thought into it. It’s like shooting a gun with your eyes closed and expecting to hit the target. It’s not likely to happen. Therefore, you need to know what and who you’re aiming at.

10. You don’t ask for help. The fact is, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Sometimes you have to give people a little nudge in order to get them to do what you want them to do. If you want people to retweet your song, ask them. If you want them to hit the share button, personally ask them to share it! If you want them to re-post your album cover on Instagram, give them an incentive and ask them to do it. You shouldn’t be the only person promoting your music, your fans are your street team!

Are you looking for promotion for your music? We can help you put together a strategy that will get RESULTS. Contact us for more info.

Should the Labels Sign You? Find Out Here.

We like to say, “The music industry has changed, therefore your strategy must change with it.” Nowadays, the gateways have opened up and artists have access to tools that only labels had access to in the past. Add social media into the equation, and there are so many more ways for artists to get recognition without the power of a record label behind them. This can be a great thing. However, it also creates much more competition when it comes to getting your music heard.

Although artists now have access to the tools needed to succeed, record labels still have the advantage because they not only have the connections in place already, but they also have the money to be able to afford it all. Indie artists can get a decent amount of success on their own without huge budgets. But, in order to really take it there, sometimes being backed by a label is the better choice.

BUT, with all of the competition out there, it makes it much harder to get a record deal, let alone one that you would actually want. So what makes a label sign an artist?

We’ve created a checklist of things that labels consider when looking to sign new talent. To get creative with it, we’ve made each bullet worth a certain amount of points.

Take out a piece of paper, and see how you add up:

  • A catalog of professionally recorded, mixed, and mastered music – 5
  • Quality music videos – 5
  • Professional photos – 5
  • Consistent content on all social networks – 5
  • A professionally written bio – 5
  • A website ( – 5
  • A mailing list – 5
  • Professional visuals and album artwork – 5
  • A team – 5
  • Sells merchandise – 10
  • Books shows – 5
  • Books paid shows – 10
  • Sells out shows – 15
  • Has 10k+ fans – 10
  • A publicist – 10
  • Has distribution – 5
  • Has sponsors – 10
  • Has toured – 10
  • Has radio play – 10
  • Has blog/press attention – 10

TOTAL = 150

What’s your score?

If you scored between 100 and 150, congratulations! You are taking control of your music career.

If you scored less than 100, it’s time to step it up a few notches!

Here at Exclusive Public, we’re focused on making sure that you’re set up for success. If you’re looking to start seeing more results with your music career, contact us at or through our contact form to see how we can help get your music heard.


Are You Releasing the Right Songs?

Are you 150% confident in the music you’re releasing?

We’re asking this because…

1. If you’re not 150% confident in your music, others won’t be either.

and 2. The worst thing that you can do is release music that doesn’t represent your best potential.

There’s a difference between an album track and a single. There’s a difference between an album track and a mixtape track. Having a song catalog is a great thing, but really knowing how to utilize it is where the magic happens.

Some songs are really great, however the hook might not be as catchy, or the song itself might not fit with the “perception” that you’re going for. If you’re unsure of what we mean by this, think about the Notorious BIG. If he never released ‘Juicy,’ would we have had the pleasure of hearing ‘Suicidal Thoughts?’ While ‘Suicidal Thoughts’ was definitely one that would be considered a classic, it wouldn’t have been the best choice for a single, like ‘Juicy.’

So how do you know what songs to release? 

There’s no exact science to it. The biggest decision makers are your listeners. Get as much feedback as you can on your records BEFORE you release them online. Play your music for family members and friends (and their friends). Don’t listen to what they say, but pay attention to how they react.

And if you want a professional opinion on your music, let us take a listen.


How to make the best first impression with your music

First impressions can make or break you; it’s true. How many times have you seen something that makes you want to run fast in the opposite direction? How many times have you seen something that intrigues you and makes you want to buy, share, and be genuinely more involved? That’s the difference between good first impressions and bad ones. Proper marketing and promotion make a great first impression. If you want to gain and keep the attention of new potential fans, bloggers, publicists, managers, booking agents, DJs, A&Rs, and labels, you have to make sure you’re impressing them from the start.

To help you, we’ve compiled a checklist of things that will ensure you make the best first impression:

  1. A well-written, professional bio. Your bio is the first place people will look to learn more about you. It is your chance to make a great first impression. It’s often what bloggers, journalists, and publicists use when they want to post your music and write your story. The crazy part is, most artists completely overlook their bio or they write a boring general bio that doesn’t include what it needs to stand out. Having a great bio can mean the difference between someone checking out your music or passing you by. Your bio should tell a story, and an interesting one at that. It should pull in the reader and make them want to learn more. Because of the bio’s importance, it should be written by a professional who has experience in marketing and public relations (PR). This is where we come in. We’ll write a compelling bio, complete with a short version to use on your social media channels and a long version to use on your website.
  2. A clean Web presence. Are you present on all of the main social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud)? Do you have your own website with your own domain ( With “digital” growing every year, having a great Web presence is crucial for a successful career. Think about it. Every major artist, company, and brand has a great Web presence. Nowadays, most people won’t even take you seriously as an artist, if they can’t look you up online. If you want to be taken seriously, you must have a great Web presence, too. When people look you up, what do they see?
  3. A recognizable brand. Do you have a logo? Do you have professional, high quality graphics for your music and promo materials? If not, you’re off to a bad start. Visuals/graphic design helps to establish your brand, and helps imprint that brand onto the minds of your fans. There’s a reason why Instagram grew so rapidly and is now one of the top social media channels in the world. There’s a reason why whenever you see the Nike check, you know exactly what it is. Do you have a brand? What is your brand? Are you making choices consistent with your brand?


So, given all of the above, are you making the best first impression? Do you have the items in place? Are they professional? If not, check out our branding and design services to see how we can help.

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.

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”

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