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Click to email ChrisWould You Ask Your
Dentist to Work for Free?

by Christopher Knab , June 2011

Back to The Academy

Why do I ask? Well, I can't even count the number of phone calls, emails, and Facebook messages I get asking me to help a new artist or band "be a star".

I have complained about this time and time again. Since my first website went up in '95 that type of question keeps coming up. I never have been able to understand the mindset behind that question.

Why should I, or ANY music business professional work for you for free just because you think you are so special, but have no track record of success?

Would you really ask your dentist to work on your teeth for free?
Would you ask your lawyer to work for free?
Would you ask any physician to work with you for free?
Would you ask a publicist to do your media work for free?

My point is this: What makes me or ANY OTHER music business professional different from any other professionals?

I think part of the reason I get this question is because newer acts are so caught up in their own 'self', that when they write a song, or perform in front of a small crowd and get a polite response...at that exact moment they give birth to a premature EGO! They fantasize that "if this small group of people like me then all I need is some connection to the music business who will recognize my unrealized dream", and will be willing to stop whatever they're doing to make them a star.

Well...NO THEY WON'T!!

Why? Because we are actually busy trying to make a living ourselves. We, like you, actually have bills to pay, like a mortgage or rent, utilities, car payments and car upkeep costs, doctor and dentist bills, credit card debt (maybe) and probably have kids in school and tuition to add to all our other commitments.

So, in that way...we are really not unlike yourself!

Please think about this. Never ask ANY music business professional to help you with your career for free. It is an insult and down-right RUDE to do so.


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 book,
'Music Is Your Business' is available from the Music Biz Academy bookstore.

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

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