So you have your very first budget and you’re not quite sure where you should spend it first; let me stop you dead in your tracks and say very clearly “PUT YOUR MONEY BACK IN YOUR POCKET PLEASE”. A common mistake made by many independent artists who are investing into their projects for the very first time, is that they fail to prepare properly, which inevitably results in unattained goals.
Before you decide to do anything, sit down and put your business plan into writing, map out how you plan to meet those goals and the people you will need to hire to help you reach those goals. YES, the old adage it takes money to make money is 1000% true, but before you go spending it all be sure to do your homework first. The single most important question you can ask yourself about any music professional in the music business is “What qualifies this person”, and by all means don’t be afraid to ask the hire to be either. Another important factor to be aware of is whether or not the professional you are dealing with is a licensed business so that they can be held fully accountable for their actions.
Ask managers questions like, “Who have you managed before and what kind of success have you had with those clients?”. Take the time to do things like google your PR to be’s press release history, you can find out a lot about their writing quality, distribution and reach on your own.
When someone tells you that you need artist development or offers it as a service, ask them things like ‘What kind of experience do you have in this area?”, or “Have you ever been a part of any gold or platinum projects in which your artist development services have contributed to?”. without a doubt it is completely permissible to question the skill set of any music professional before hiring them; at the end of the day you deserve to know exactly what you are paying for before you buy it. Ironically mama was right, “You get what you pay for” applies to most things in life, listen to her.
Other questions you might ask include “why do you think you are the right person for this project” and “Can you give me a proposal in writing to consider?”.
If you are dealing with PR be sure that you know that technically speaking, PR can mean “Public Relations”, “Promotions” or “Press Release” so be specific when requesting or inquiring about “PR” services.
Finally and as important as qualifying your professionals before hiring them is to ALWAYS get the agreed upon services and price in writing, that way both parties expectations are clearly defined. Take control of your future in music by being proactive from the start, do your homework before buying ANY services to assist your career.