untitled


Home | Articles | BookstorePromote Your Music | Music is Your Business | Subscribe
Twitter | Start a Record Label | Radio Promotion | CD Art Design | Music Career Help

Click to email ChrisWho Can You Trust
in the Music Business?

by
Christopher Knab - Fourfront Media & Music -
May, 2009


Back to Music Business 101

I am what is known as a 'Music Business Consultant' and I was just talking with a former student of one of my Seattle-based music business courses I give several times a year. It is a 6 week course that meets once a week for 3 hours. It is a primer course created for musicians and bands who are new to the independent way of marketing and promoting themselves. I often use the analogy that I am the first stage of a potential 3-stage rocket, and my work and passion is to help new acts get 'launched' so to speak. And if they are fortunate through a lot of hard work, talent, and luck to begin to attract more and more fans to their growing email lists, then I feel I have done my job...pure and simple.

But not all consultants, teachers, or even potential managers have the same goals as I do. Sadly there are a lot of music business professionals, (or former music business professionals) out there who do not share my goals or ethics, and can be very aggressive about promising young acts the world.

    "Hey kid, I really think you got something there, and I really want tohelp you get to the top. For only $600 a month I can promise you that you will have my full attention, if you agree to let me help you and sign this simple contract with me, that will protect both of us."

or

    " I have been to several of your gigs now, and you are, in my opinion,just a few steps away from stardom. I have so many connections in this business that I know I can really help you out.,,,sure there's going to be some costs involved, and I am willing to reduce my usual fee from $1000 a month to only $750 a month. Now you have to understand. I am going to be here for you and help you fight the good fight, but I have to make a living if I am going to be spending most of my time focused on your career. So check out my contract and don't worry about things...Your music is great, and I'm not just saying that, so whad'ya say...lets find a way to help each other out and get your career kick-started."
     

I have heard variations on the above examples for years.

So, what should you do? How can you tell if someone approaches you and overwhelms you with flattering comments?

1) Check their backgrounds out.
2) Who have they helped become a star? AND what do people who have worked with the person have to say about their experiences working with that individual?
3) What are their real intentions as a consultant, or manager? What is THEIR motivation to be working with new acts?

What I tell people is what I said above: I like to help inexperienced artists and bands learn that there is a business surrounding any popular music. That the music industry is business oriented, and these days start-up acts should take the time to learn some basics about the business of music. More than any time in the last 100 years, musicians and bands MUST learn how to promote, market, and sell themselves mainly to a focused or niche group of music fans that might enjoy their unique style of music.

Also, these days, it is all about making and keeping relationships going. I say that over and over. Many independent and alternative acts get this and are using the Internet and all the amazing tools available to them, but not enough new acts are doing this.

Another thing I want to point out... When I am asked by a musicians "What do you think of my music", I cringe when I hear that question. I turn it around and ask the act " Why do you care if I like your music, I am not your customer, or potential fan" Too many start-up bands and solo performers get disappointed when some current label guy or a veteran of the music business wars tells them that they don't get their music. WHO CARES IF WE DON"T LIKE IT!

The point is... too many young acts think 'old school'. What they should be doing is playing a ton of live shows wherever and whenever they can,,,,THEN they will find out if their music is "good" or not.
Your audience will tell you if you are good or lame, and they are the only ones that matter folks...trust me on this. If you get a good response from an audience and your gigs attract more and more fans, guess what? .... Now you have something to build on. The same goes for any online promotional activities you experiment with. Whether it be a growning number of hits on your website, or more downloads or 'listens' you get on social networking sites, Those are the responses that REALLY matter these days.

And that is how I like to work. This is just me, but getting a career started should begin with attracting a fanbase, and as you do so, a funny thing happens...breaks start to happen for you. Things begin to happen!

So how does this rant apply to me and my career as a music business consultant or how does this rant apply to finding a great teacher. There is an old saying: "When the student is ready, the teacher will arrive"

This is how I try to talk to my students and clients. I like to "pop their balloons" so to speak. Just talk straight with them about this crazy business and what their expectations are. If I can convey that in a consultation or a class I am teaching, I feel I have done my job to help them get that first stage of a career-rocket off and running.

You many think this posting has only been a long ad for my services. Believe me or not, but that is not the case. I just get fed up with too many jerks out there promising the moon to new acts. These types of 'Flim-Flam' men and women are more into exploiting young acts rather than trying to nourish them. They speak with righteous gibberish about how they value their clients so much, they are like 'lost sheep' and the Flim Flammers are the act's shepherd....

Yuck! gives me the chills just writing about these folks. I say this: carry a fully charged 'bullshit detector' on your person at all times!! That will pay off more than handing over $600 or $750 dollars a month to someone you don't even know.

This goes for checking me out as well, why should you trust me if you don't know what my philosopy is or what my intentions are?

Good luck and trust your gut. It rarely lets you down.

-----

Christopher Knab is an independent music business consultant based in Seattle, Washington. He is available for private consultations on promoting and marketing independent music, and can be reached by email at: chris@chrisknab.net

Chris Knab's new book,
'Music Is Your Business' is available NOW from the Music Biz Academy bookstore.

Visit the
FourFront Media and Music website for more information on the business of music from Christopher Knab.


Submit An Article for Consideration!
Would you like to submit an article for publication at MusicBizAcademy.com? If you have music-related expertise you'd like to share with other musicians including career tips, how to's, or general music business-related articles, please feel free to send them our way. We'll be glad to consider them.
Submit your article!


untitled

The Four Fronts...
Artist/Product Development
Promotion
Publicity
Performance  


Get Educated...
Master the Music Biz!
Online Courses. Many Programs. Learn Day or Night.

Details Here
 


Christopher Knab
Recommends...



Music Is Your Business
Christopher Knab and Bartley F. Day's expanded edition of "Music Is Your Business" is filled with more insights into the business side of being a successful musician or band. Included are chapters on both Internet and traditional music marketing methods. The essential legal issues you need to know are explained as are music contract tips, how to license your music, attract distributors, get radio airplay and create a demand for your music. More...


How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet

How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet
Our in-depth guide to music promotion demonstrates how you can combine powerful internet marketing techniques to sell your music merchandise online! Learn what works, what doesn't, and what you shouldn't waste your time and money on.
More....


Our Top 25 Articles
How to Write an Artist Bio
Performance Contracts
Mastering Your Music
How to Copyright Music
21 Songwriting Tips

Tax Tips for Musicians

Sell Your CDs Online

What's a Record Deal About?
Artist/Band Interview Form

Inside Record Labels
Internship Do's & Don'ts
How to Make a Living w/ Music

How to Write a Press Release
Reasons Demos Are Rejected
Facts About Music Licensing

Trademark Your Band Name?
Planning A Radio Campaign
A Legal Checklist
Industry Quotes to Live By
Songwriting Techniques
Guerrilla Marketing Tips
Starting a Music Business
Live Performance
Music Marketing Plan
Can U Afford Distribution?

Lots More Articles...


All Content 1996-2013
Midnight Rain Productions.
All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy