If you are interested in working with me, please read this through. The contact form is at the end.
I was inspired to put this together because I get people all over the world reaching out to me about my services every now and then.
So far, only one of the artists I currently work with came directly from my website. The rest are all people I’ve met in person.
Although I started D4 Music Marketing to be an online resource to help aspiring and emerging artists improve their chances of making it independently, my main intention was to never find new clients to work with from it. Why? Because I’m aware that most musicians I reach through this blog don’t generally have the budget to pay someone like me. I am open to the possibility of working with artists who reach out online, but I end up ignoring most inquiries I get.
Here are things that I look for and think about when someone reaches out to me. This may be helpful for you to be aware of if you may be looking for other help, whether it’s a manager, booking agent and even assistant. Before you contact me about wanting to hire or work with me, you need to keep these things into consideration.
What’s in it for me?
I want to emphasize that I don’t work with someone just because they can pay me. There are certain music professionals out there who will work for anyone that pays them, but I don’t operate that way.
Although freelance work is how I make a living, money is not a strong motivator for me. I’m very selective with who I work with and there has to be something else in it for me to want to work with you outside of money. I touch on some of these things below.
Where are you in your career?
If you’re just starting out and you haven’t put out any music yet, then chances are I’m not going to work with you. The fact is not everyone is ready to have someone come in to help you with your music career. You need to take the time and effort to develop your music and brand first before spending any real money to promote.
I’m a big believer that there’s a lot you need to learn on your own and experience for yourself in the first few years, including the basics of business side of music. The more you can do things yourself, the better you can understand what you need from someone when you hire them. It’s really easy to get taken advantage of in this industry.
This doesn’t mean I only work with established artists because it’s important for me to have clients in different phases of their careers. I’m open to working with anyone even if it is not paid as long as there’s something in it for me. Fortunately, I’ve had experiences working with musicians in different levels from emerging to music veterans for 20+ years in the business. This gives me more experience and perspective to be able to help others.
How serious are you?
I only want to work with musicians who are serious. You can say you’re serious, but it shows in your actions and mindset.
What I mean by that is, are you willing to invest in yourself? Are you willing to spend money to do things properly and not just look for shortcuts or handouts?
Building a legit career as an independent artist can be expensive. Focusing primarily on free exposure with independent blogs and playlists is just not effective. You have to be willing to save up and spend it on what’s going to bring results.
Have you established a brand? When I first see your website or land on your Instagram profile, do I get a good feel for your brand and what you’re all about within the first few seconds? Do you present yourself professionally or does your presentation look amateurish? Paying attention to these details tells me you are serious.
If you reach out to me to pay me to make a website or set up your online marketing foundation, then that’s a step in the right direction. Your best chance to work with me is to start with short term projects like a website, setting up ads or consulting so I can get a better feel for you.
Do I like your music?
I can’t work with you unless I’m a fan of your music or I see potential from your talents. I don’t discriminate based on the type of music you do, but I tend to listen to hip hop, R&B, a bit of electronic, jazz and some punk rock so keep that in mind.
If I don’t like your music, it just means that I’m not your target audience. Good music is always subjective so my opinions on your music shouldn’t carry much weight.
What are your goals and expectations?
This is really important for a number of reasons. I need to know what your goals are so I know if it’s something I can realistically help with. Because if you want to be a better singer (and surprisingly I’ve had someone ask me this), I cannot help you because I don’t sing. There’s nothing on my website about singing or how to make music.
Your goals also help me to understand what your expectations are. There are people who are very naive and think that a music marketer can magically grow your fanbase with authentic fans in a matter of months with very little budget.
I had someone hit me up asking for my rates, but they wanted me to grow their following by 5,000 to 10,000 “real” fans in 6 months. It would require a budget of at least $1,000 a month (not including my rate) assuming you had good music and video content, but still no guarantee.
I don’t put myself in positions working with people I know I’m going to fail in their eyes by not meeting unrealistic high expectations. I’ve learned this important lesson before I got into music while working with small businesses. To be fair, not everyone fully understands how marketing works and what is practical so that’s where communication and trust is key.
- If you’re going to contact me about wanting to potentially work with me, you need to provide links so I can check out your music, social media accounts, and/or website. Please don’t make me or anyone else have to dig and research you.
- Do not send attachments because I won’t download them. SoundCloud or any other streaming services are fine.
- Do your research before contacting me. If you email me about something that could already be answered on my website, you’re going to be ignored. This means don’t ask me what I do when I have a services page on my website. Don’t refer to me by “sir or madam” when you can easily figure out my name.
- Do not request references from me unless there’s a mutual interest to work together. Plus, I have testimonials on website.
- Any signs that show you are lazy, not paying attention or not following instructions, I will not respond.
If you can’t afford to hire someone like me, your best bet is to find someone who’s starting out and needs experience in whatever area they are trying to do. That’s exactly how I got started doing this. I reconnected with a college friend who was pursuing music with her partner. I was also a fan of their music so I reached out and offered to work with them for free. Now I get paid by other artists, but we all had to start somewhere.