Building your Dream Team!
Hey everyone thanks for keeping up with me and joining my journey to success. In one of my previous blogs I mentioned a couple of key members of my team and it made me think of doing a blog about the key members you are going to need to build your dream team as an artist. Especially if you want to start of independent you are going to need a team. And I know a lot of artist just want to make music and be creative, but to keep your brand alive and to keep the money train going (so you can continue doing what you love for as long as you canJ) you have to be involved in the music business and be aware of the work that has to be done by people on your team.
And what I mean by that is that you don’t necessarily need to know how to do everything by yourself but you do need to know who you have to work with and what each individual member is responsible for. So you can hold them accountable when things aren’t going the way you want them to go. Some of my team members like my fashion stylist, hairstylist, MUA and personal assistant I have mentioned in my previous blog. If you haven’t read it yet go and check that one out first. It could give you some more perspective on the key team members. Click here to go to my previous blog.
Your team can be as big as you want but I want to talk about the 7 most important members you need to get your career going:
- (Personal) Manager
You need a manager to represent you. Preferably someone with great connections in the industry with people at record labels, radio, producers, DJ’s, promoters, publicist etc. Your manager needs to be your right hand and has to know you inside and out. Cause they need to connect you with the right producers, the right brands and in negotiations they need to know what you want out of it. Managers need to know the ins and outs of the music industry and most off the time they need to be what I like to call your bullshit-blocker. Your manager also needs to be someone with no ego and has to have a calm yet outgoing personality. What I mean is they really need to have great people-skills cause that’s almost 80% of their job. Making great connections and making sure the train is in motion by being able to have a great relationship with everyone else in your team. They are at the center of it all.
- Business Manager
A business manager is almost like an accountant. They handle all the financial aspects of the music business like your budgets when you go on tour or the budget for music videos, marketing etc. They look for business opportunities and help advise you on certain deals and help negotiate contracts as well. They make sure everyone gets paid accordingly and make sure every penny spent is captured. Sometimes your personal manager will handle this stuff as well. But I like to think that it is better to spread the responsibility a bit. This way your personal manager can take care of other stuff as getting your name out there and look for sponsorship deals.
- Booking Agent
In the beginning of your career you need to build a fanbase. To build a solid fanbase you need to be seen at a couple of great venues and party’s(clubs). People need to see you perform live so they can get a bond with you and hopefully stick with you till the end. If your name is on the posters and flyers of a couple of great venues people will look you up and also A&R’s of record labels can take a great interest in you if you aren’t signed to a record label yet. They are always interested in the places you performed and want to see you perform as well. So to get all these gigs and promotional opportunities you need a booking agent. Someone who will reach out to different promotors and venue owners to get you on that stage so you can shine and make a name for yourself.
The word says it already. A publicist is someone who generates publicity for you as an artist and usually has great connections with music bloggers, radio stations, television, musical journalists etc. They need to represent and pitch you as an artist and be very persuasive so that the right channels can and will write great articles about you. They are also often responsible to get you some interviews on well listened radio- and tv-shows. They are usually responsible for getting out your press releases and public statements or editorials in magazines.
Nowadays you don’t necessarily need a record label in order to upload/distribute your music. Since almost everyone is streaming and less downloading let alone buying cd’s you can just sign on to an aggregator. One of the most used aggregators are Tunecore, CDbaby and AWAL. You pay a certain amount per upload and your music can be streamed on Spotify, Deezer, Apple music and others. Tips on how to choose the right aggregator and how to upload your music can be read in this article I read on APRA AMCOS. Click here to read the article.
- Radio Plugger
Even though a lot of people stream their music there are still a lot of people who listen to the radio. Believe it or not. It is still a great way to gain new listeners and fans of your music. Trough radio people can get familiar with your music and sound because its simply playing on air. That’s why you need to work with radio pluggers. A radio plugger is someone who, if they think your song stands a chance on certain radiostations, you can pay for their services. They can pitch your music to music directors at local radio stations. They don’t just approach local radio stations, often they reach out to popular podcasts and more importantly nowadays reach out to the people who make the popular playlists on Spotify and Deezer. This person is essential to get your music out to the public and create that fanbase.
- IP Lawyer
Even when you think you’ve read everything there is to know about the music business it is still important to make a lawyer go through the contracts you get offered. They know the legal language and that’s very important cause often these clauses in contracts are written in words that could mean so many things. And most of the time you don’t know what you’re signing. You really need to reach out to a lawyer that is specialized in intellectual property law. Someone who is very familiar with the entertainment industry. Not just any lawyer will do. They can advise you on the matter at hand but can also help with negotiations and set up contracts with people you want to work with.
Hopes this gives you some perspective on who you need in your team and what they are supposed to be doing for you. This way you can protect yourself and your brand. Once you have all these people working for you and your manager is really making sure that everything runs smoothly. You have the business side on lock. Of course I know that a lot of starting artist don’t have a lot of money to pay all these people. But take a look around you, some of your close friends or colleagues may know somebody who is willing to work with you on different terms until the money does come rolling in. You’d be surprised at how much people believe in you and are willing to put the work in even when they aren’t certain if they will get paid in the end.
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Till next time;)