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Music Business

How NOT to Pitch to Music Industry People: Avoid These 10 Common Email Mistakes!

By Music Business No Comments

Have you ever tried pitching yourself or your music to someone in the music industry but rarely ever hear back?

Many of us are busy and yes, we get a lot of emails. At least for me, I actually read most of the emails I get from my website, but I only respond to maybe 5% of them. Why is that? Many artists are making the same common mistakes when it comes to email.

One of the most fundamental skills any emerging independent artist needs is to know how to communicate to music industry people professionally. So if you want to improve the chances of getting something you want, whether it’s pitching for a playlist, receiving coverage on a blog, performing at a venue, getting help with your career, you need to know the proper way to email someone.

Some of you may be thinking this sounds so basic, why dedicate a whole blog on this topic? Unfortunately, I still see a lot of these mistakes in my own inbox way too often so clearly this isn’t common sense. Read More

10 Ways to Enhance Your Music Marketing Around Song Lyrics

By Music Business, Music Marketing No Comments

Lyrics are powerful. You write and perform your songs. Fans memorize them and sing along. Sometimes, they’ll even tattoo their favorite lines on their body. As independent artists, you want to make sure you leverage the power of lyrics in every possible way in your business and marketing.

In earlier days of the Internet (in the late 1990s and early 2000s), searching for song lyrics was one of the top things people did online. I remember I would print out the lyrics to my favorite songs from sites, like AZ Lyrics, and sing/rap along so I could memorize them faster. The good news is making your lyrics accessible is so much easier now, compared to how it was a few decades ago.

In this blog, I will cover all things lyrics that independent artists should do for every release as well as things to consider for marketing your music. Read More

How to Sell Your Merch Directly Through Instagram Shopping (Guide for Musicians)

By Ecommerce, Instagram, Merch, Music Business No Comments

5/8/22 Update: I noticed that Meta(Facebook) is rolling out a revamped tool called Meta Business Suite that looks to replace Facebook Business Manager, which I reference in this blog. As a result, some locations of things I reference and directions I included below may not work anymore. I will try to update everything as soon as possible.

For musicians, a big part of marketing is accessibility. Whether it’s at a live show or on social media, you want to meet fans where they are at and make it as easy as possible to support you.

With Instagram being one of the top social media platforms for musicians, setting up the Instagram Shopping feature is a great way to do this. After launching in 2019, Instagram Shopping has become more widely available now for most business account users.

Unfortunately, the process to get set up can be a bit confusing. In this blog, I will go over all the steps in detail so you can get Instagram Shopping up and running on your Instagram account. Read More

Zion I

RIP Zumbi (Zion I): 9 Things Artists Learn From His 20+ Year Independent Career

By Motivation, Music Business No Comments

The most influential artist that got me interested in the independent music scene 20 years ago as a college student and ultimately led to the creation of this blog, passed away in August of 2021. Zumbi (Stephen Gaines) was also a former client of mine.

As a big fan and supporter since 2001, it was an honor to get to work with him and to know him more personally during that period. I’ve been to so many shows and financially supported them anyway I could. He was truly an artist of the people and will be missed as one of the cornerstones of independent hip hop in the Bay Area.

Because of the importance he had for my passion in music and my career in this industry, I wanted to write a blog to honor him as well as share what other independent artists can learn from his legacy, even if you’re not familiar with his music. Read More

How to Sell Collectible Music Merch for Stronger Brand Loyalty

By Merch, Music Business No Comments

Music fans love merch. Despite how much music has become digital with streaming, we still seek and crave having something physical from artists to:

  • Buy as a form of support
  • Take home as memento to remember shows
  • Wear as a form of self-expression
  • Show off to friends
  • Have on display for others to see

Selling merch is such an important aspect of your music business, not just financially as an income stream, but also a means for fans to build a stronger rapport with your brand.

This month’s blog is going to be a little different than what I usually do. I want to talk more freely about a topic that I find really interesting as someone who collects a lot of different things. Based on my own personal experiences with collecting as a hobby, I want to discuss how merch collectability can be used by musicians to engage fans, build brand loyalty and sell more merch. Read More

6 Key Factors to Determine If You’re Ready for Patreon

By Music Business, Patreon No Comments

The typical income streams available to your average independent artist (royalties, live performance, merch) are not the most reliable and consistent.

So when you come across a business model that pays creators monthly directly from the support of fans, it’s easy to see the allure of a platform like Patreon. It is free to start a page, but does it mean you should invest your time to do it?
Read More

Does Spotify and Apple Music Owe You Money? What Songwriters Need to Know About the MLC

By Music Business, Music Streaming, Spotify No Comments

As a musician, the last thing you want to do is leave money on the table. So what can you do to make sure you’re getting all the money you’re owed from your music?

Many musicians may not realize this, but there’s a lot of music royalties floating out there waiting to be claimed by their rightful owners. Over 424 million dollars in mechanical royalties generated from digital service providers (DSPs) were left unclaimed due to the lack of data or having the incorrect information to match and pay out the rightful copyright owners.

Thankfully for artists, the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) officially launched in January of 2021 to help address this issue. How does the MLC help exactly? Read More

How to NOT Get Scammed with “Music Promotion” Services

By Music Business, Music Promotion No Comments

Navigating the music business can be very tricky, especially for newer musicians. It’s hard to know who to trust when there are many people looking to exploit and take advantage of impressionable artists who will try anything to make it in this business.

The music business, like other entertainment industries, is filled with scammers. It is such a lucrative career path that many have set up operations to take advantage of these artists to make money. The area you’ll most likely encounter scammers in the music industry is in music promotion. After all, one of the biggest struggles artists have is getting their music heard and gaining exposure to build a fanbase.

There are a lot of music promotion companies out there, but not all will serve your best interests. This blog will help you make better decisions when looking for ways to promote your music while avoiding potential scams. It’s already challenging for musicians not making enough money from music so the last thing you want to do is spend on something that doesn’t work. Read More

Team

Level Up: The Musicians Guide for Building a Team

By Music Business No Comments

Being an independent artist doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. In fact, you shouldn’t.

The best advice that Tierra Whack received came from Andre 3000 (Outkast). He told her it was very important to build a strong team to help exponentiate her career. Having this support system isn’t just about handling specific tasks for your business, it’s also to help you plan your next steps, keep you grounded and offer emotional support when needed.

If you really want to take your music career to the next level, you will eventually need a team. They don’t necessarily have to be people who you hire to work exclusively with you. At the very least, you need to form relationships and a network with skilled people who are good at what they do.

As someone who works on a number of artist teams myself, I’m going to cover what types of people you may need as an independent, how you may find them and what qualities to look for in each member of your team. Read More

Single Release Checklist for Independent Artists

The Ultimate Single Release Checklist for Independent Artist

By Music Business, Music Distribution, Music Promotion 9 Comments

Planning to release new singles? Don’t want to miss any steps?

Putting out a new song is relatively straightforward, but there are a lot of things that go into the process of a successful release.

In this blog, I will discuss everything independent artists need to know about releasing singles. On top of that, I will share all my personal checklists that I use for my clients. I will literally cover the entire process in depth so you don’t have to worry about forgetting any steps. Whenever you release music, feel free to use this blog as a reference so you have all your bases covered. Read More