Archive for November, 2008


Attitude – the key to your success

November 28, 2008

I found this article online recently and thought it was really insightful and applicable to most artists out there!

After all, as an artist, you’re always going to be selling.

Selling CDs or digital downloads.

Selling tickets – promoting and getting people to come to your shows.

Attitude: The Key to Your Success
Written by Eddie Tock
Friday, 23 May 2008
Attitude is the single most important factor when it comes to getting and keeping customers. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t……you are right.”

To become and stay physically fit, you must participate in regular physical exercise. To become mentally fit, to develop the kind of attitude that goes along with success and happiness, you must participate in regular mental exercise. It’s a never-ending process. Just as you don’t get very fit and then stop exercising, you can’t achieve the desired level of mental fitness without working on it regularly and continuously, every day.

As many clubs are “whining about the recession” already, the best sales people are still very successful, mostly due to their attitude and work habits and not because they’re selling the best “deal”.

In selling, your attitude accounts for probably 80% of your success. Your attitude is the outward expression of everything you are and everything you have become over the course of you lifetime. Your real world and conscious activities today are the result of many years of conditioning, internal self directed dialogue, and environmental exposure. Your attitude has the greatest single impact on the people you deal with. The development of a positive mental attitude is therefore an indispensable prerequisite of success.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “A man becomes what he thinks about most of the time.” You control what happens to you by controlling the thoughts you think about yourself and the people and the situations around you. When you begin to understand and apply the power of your mind, in selling and in life, your desired future becomes closer to reality.

You must first decide what it is you want. Dedicate yourself to its achievement, focus all of your thoughts, actions and energy to its attainment and be persistent in your pursuit. Move around through, above or under your obstacles. Move steadily and patiently forward with a singleness of purpose and passion and you will be astonished at how your limitations melt away. Previous setbacks, discouragement, problems or failures will become insignificant. You will experience new levels of performance, satisfaction, success and happiness. Limitations are all self imposed. All of your discovery will be self discovery.

Most of your behavior is a result of habit. Good habits equal good results; bad habits equal bad results. A winning attitude includes breaking free from the habits that keep others from reaching their maximum potential. You can change, but you must want to change, know how to change and take personal responsibility for any change that will take place

Many salespeople have developed a fatal flaw in their thinking, one that you must be careful to avoid. It is the tendency to look for the quick fix or the magic pill that will allow them to escape years of poor work habits and insufficient preparation. After many of our seminars, people are constantly coming up to me and asking me for the “secret of success in selling”. They ask for the name of a single book or tape, or for a single method or technique that will help them become a star sales person. I’m sorry to say there are no quick fixes. SALES IS JUST LIKE EXERCISE, if you only do it once a month you won’t get such wonderful results, but as you do it on a regular basis you will slowly but surely get better and better results!

“The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. I will pay more for that ability that any other under the sun.” – John D. Rockefeller

To put yourself in the top five percent of income earners in sales, you must pattern yourself after them. A big part of a salesperson’s attitudes, of course has to do with his or her willingness to take an open-minded approach and ask the right questions that encourage a potential customer to open up. This is probably the single most important aspect of successful salesperson’s attitude. Your attitude determines your action. Your action determines your accomplishment.

How do professional salespeople think of themselves in relation to their career? How do they maintain and support the attitude that leads to openness in their dealings with prospects? How do they keep things in perspective? Here are some answers:

1-Recognize that prospecting and listening are the keys to efficient selling. Superior salespeople put the emphasis on identifying and listening to potential members- while other salespeople tend to worry more about persuading and converting potential customers. The best salespeople know full well that spending all of their time in so-called closing mode is a recipe for disaster.

2-Committed. They know that you sometimes have to stick with a new idea or fresh way of looking at things to get it to pay off. They aren’t afraid to look to the long term rather than compromise standards or ethics in the interests of short-term gain.

3-Self-motivated. They know that it wastes time, energy, and attention when they wait for someone else to motivate them. They also know that success comes from focusing every ounce of time, energy, and attention they can manage toward taking charge, being goal oriented, and knowing that they, and no one else, are responsible for their own success. As a result, they don’t waste time griping about “the system” or waiting to be told what to do. They wake up in the morning with a firm sense of purpose and don’t play mental games with themselves about things like “luck” or “bad breaks”. They bear in mind the old saying about good luck being the three-way intersection of preparation, hard work, and opportunity, and they realize that their own mental outlook, approach to the job, and decisions are what make things like “luck” and “breaks” happen in the first place.

4-Accountable. They don’t dodge issues or construct elaborate excuses; they know that this drains their energy.

5-Big Picture. They don’t get bogged down in the details.

6-Optimistic. It is a lot like being an actor: you shouldn’t get into either line of work if you don’t have a certain conscious ability to see the positive ramifications of even difficult times. And in both professions, one’s personal attitude toward circumstances often makes all the difference between success and failure. When they get shut down, as all salespeople do, do salespeople feel the normal human emotions of anger, frustration, confusion, or fear? Of course. But they know how to experiences these emotions without getting caught up in them. They ride the wave, conserve their energy, and then plug into a positive mindset, one that is capable of seeing some kind of opportunity in virtually any situation.

7-Enthusiastic. They have made a conscious choice to live what it is that they do for a living. They know that customers can’t be expected to buy a membership from a salesperson that is not excited. They’re likelier to get honest information from their prospects if they themselves come across as sincere, likable, upbeat, and straightforward. It creates endless energy, self-confidence, and a burning desire to accomplish a goal. Nothing is as contagious as enthusiasm.

8-Believe in our industry. They don’t just have a job, or even a career. They live their service, and what’s more, they are committed to a firm set of principles that guides their efforts to satisfy the members who may benefit from the club’s services. These principles are: dedication, honesty, diligence, faith, and hard work. Because of this, they spend less time wondering what to do than other salespeople do. You have to believe in what you do for a living and the solutions you provide to your customers. If you don’t believe in your company, its goals, or its affect on your community, or if you have serious doubts about the true value of the solutions you offer prospective members, then you are looking at a potentially catastrophic problem.

9-Long term. They know that sales is person-to-person and they know when a client is interested in developing a long-term alliance, rather than finalizing a short-term purchase.

10-Measurable Salespeople measure their success by the simplest yardstick imaginable. To the extent that they bring in new business for the club, they are succeeding. To the extent that they don’t bring in new business for the club, or spend time on other projects, they aren’t succeeding. Although this would certainly seem to be self-evident, any number of salespeople still manage to focus a good chunk of their time on everything except getting prospective new members.

11-Outcome. It is your attitude at the beginning of a task more than anything else, which will affect its outcome.

12-Interdependent It is impossible to succeed without others. It is your attitude toward others that determines their attitude toward you.

13-Become Before a person can achieve the kind of life they want, they must become that kind of individual; they must think, act, talk, walk, and conduct themselves in their daily life, as would the person they wish to become.

14-Better As you go higher in any good organization, the attitude you find will be better.

15-Positive Your mind can hold only one thought at a time, and since there is nothing at all to gain by being negative, be positive.

16-Needed The deepest cravings of human beings are to be needed; to feel important; to be appreciated; give it to them, and they’ll return it.

17-New Ideas Look for the best in new ideas. As someone once said, “I have never met a person I couldn’t learn something from.”

18-Personal Problems Don’t waste valuable time broadcasting personal problems. It probably won’t help you and it certainly won’t help others.

19-Good Health Don’t talk about your health unless it is good.

20-Radiate Radiate an aura of well being, of confidence, of a person who knows where they’re going; this will inspire those around you, and you will find good things will begin to happen to you.

21-The next 30 days treat everyone with whom you come in contact as though they are the most important person on earth. If you do this for 30 days, you will do it for the rest of your life.

22-Set goals – daily, weekly, monthly, annual.

23-Self-management – 80 % of your results come from 20 % of your efforts.

24-Don’t procrastinate – don’t put important things off until tomorrow.

25-Sincere Interest Take a sincere interest in your customer – “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.

26 Networking Make contacts through effective networking.

27- Over deliver Keep your promises – over deliver – don’t over promise.

28-Educate Educate yourself – invest in your mind.

29-FUN Have fun!

30- Success The key to success is to learn from others who have been successful before you !


Ed Tock is an industry leader as a marketing and sales training consultant that specializes in on site seminars and performance & profitability programs by delivering the highest quality of staff training, proven systems and innovative marketing programs. He had been a senior partner in Sales Makers for 21 years. Ed has worked with over 850 clubs worldwide including 120 pre sales since 1983. Ed has spoken at over 75 Club Industry Shows & IHRSA Conventions and was a winner of IHRSA Associate member of the Year!
Call & ask about the 90 Sales Success Program!
Ed can be reached at 845.736.0307 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or at

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity

“More than eighty percent of self-made millionaires in America began with nothing or in many cases, less than nothing.”
— Brian Tracy

“You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.”
— Malcolm Forbes

“Motivation and determination are 1000 times more potent than talent alone”
-Some guy online
“People have to learn they have to juggle everything until they get lucky. They need to work a steady job, make a living and make time for the band. They need to take all the money they make from the band and throw it back into the band”
–David Draiman, Vocalist for Disturbed, interviewed in Music Connection


Comments re: What would you do with $100,000 for your music career? (seriously)

November 19, 2008

So some months ago, I posed the question “What would you do with $100,000 for your music career?”


Because an artist on this email list actually won $100,000 and had to do just that – decide how to spend $100,000 (and the money had to be spent all on music – so no buying stocks or real estate or a fancy car – or going to Vegas and throwing in all down on “red” as someone below suggests).

I keep getting responses to this question so I wanted to keep passing them along to you.

What would I do with $100,000 if I were an artist?

My answer may surprise you.

I wouldn’t take the money.


Yeah, I wouldn’t take the money.

Because as a manager, I find that what is missing from most artists is not money – but drive. You need drive (and talent) to become successful.

Money (or lack of it) is just a crutch; an excuse most artists use for why they aren’t bigger and more successful.

Money may seem like the cure all — but really I don’t think most artists need money.

In fact, many artists I know have money behind them and they are exactly in the same place as artists without the money.

If money were any type of guarantee of success, every single artist signed to every single major label would be successful. In reality, we all know this is not the case.


Because money can’t buy you fans.

Not real ones anyhow.

Sure, it can buy you some exposure. An expensive music video. A radio promotion budget (we’re talking major labels here). But there are many artists who have had millions spent on them and still not sold more than a few thousand CDs.

I bet you could sell a few thousand CDs if you really tried – without a million dollar marketing budget!


Most artists simply need to work harder. On their songs. On touring. On their live show. On connecting with their fans. On writing and recording.

Artists like to think “If I only had money, I would be famous” but truly that’s not what most artists need.

Far too many artists say, “If I were only rich, I could be successful.”

In reality, blaming their lack of success on a lack of funds is just an excuse, in my opinion, from doing all the hard work it takes to really become successful.

I bet for every artist that has some money behind them, that same artists wishes they had the talent of the artist with no money.

And I bet for every artist with talent and no money, they wish they had money.

The grass is always greener.

There is no easy answer.

Focus on what you have, instead of what you lack, and then you will become better for it.

And get somewhere.

Until then, read on below for inspiration and some ideas.

Lots of them won’t cost you a dime.

Jennifer Yeko

True Talent Management


God I love your emails. I read every one, and get more out of them than any other indie resource I have or know.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.



[Editor’s Note: Thank you Celeste for this note. And to all of you who are so kind to send me emails like this, a big THANK YOU. It really does mean a lot and if were not for artists out there like you, I would not do what I do every day. And Celeste your check is in the mail ;P ]


I’d probably try to hire someone to tell me what to do with it.



If I had the $100k I would spend it on buying the time to only work on my
music and sound design endeavors and hire you to deal with stuff so I
could make music and produce.




I answered this question last year, and haven’t written since then. I said to buy real estate LOL

Here’s a variation-

“What worked for you this year?”

For us,

1. Placements.. Made about $10k in placements. (on the same songs Taxi says aren’t good enough for anywhere.)

2. Myspace- got good gig offers.

3. CDBaby- It is not $35, it is free now. I don’t care what Moses Avalon says, Derek has made us about $20k, and the digital distribution is going faster and faster.

4 Distribution – I found a great niche distributor who has moved 15,000 CDs (hard copy) for us.

5. Bowling and tshirt sales at shows. You just can’t have too much merch at a show. Have 10 things- t-shirt, jacket, hat, cup, flyswatter, bowling shirt.

$100,000 this year? Van, touring, Sonicbids press kit, cell phone, up-to-date laptop, monthly broadband for the laptop, and webmaster to make sure you are on every social networking site if you are too busy writing and touring to do it.

ALSO, have your show on a laptop (minus your instrument and singing).

From my experience, the biggest impediment to touring is the band members’ inability to work it around their finances and families.

It is no longer considered cheesy to play with tracks, as long as you’re up front about it. Put the laptop right next to you on stage.

That way when your band members call one week ahead of the tour saying they can’t go, you don’t have to grab a last-minute pickup sub who sucks.



I would spend 50k on International print advertisings to promote online digital distribution and mail-order sales and reserve 50k for terrestrial, satellite, cable, or internet radio exposure opportunity(s) and stock supply of extra physical CDs. At same time, keep seeking Major Label interest in what they don’t have enough of these days – A HIT ALBUM.


[Editor’s Note: Wow, $50K on print ads? Have you considered just burning the money and using it for heat instead? Unless you’re a major artist or major label and have a HUGE budget, print advertising is just a waste of money. That money could be spent in so many better areas – like buying keywords on Google. Print advertising? That is soooo old school. And besides, why would you use print advertising to advertise digital sales? If you’re going to market digital sales, your advertising dollars should go into online advertising!

And major labels, while they do make a lot of mistakes, seem to have plenty of hit albums these days…]


I would hire a great producer, produce one of my hit songs and sign a multi million dollar deal with Sony/Atlantic.


[Editor’s Note: Argh, producers do not get you record deals. Great songs, a big fan base, CD sales and an AMAZING live show get you a label interested. Spending a lot of money on a great producer is usually a waste of money.]


I would get a crapload of cds manufactured and buy a booth at SXSW and
hand them out to the industry. This would take about one third of that
budget. Next, I would contact True Talent and buy the #1 track on
their comp cd, after that I would throw a huge party with lots of
exotic foods and booze. I would probably get a couple billboards in
some key markets as well. I would spend some money on hiring a couple
of roadies to set up and tear down everything because that’s the part
of the job that sucks. Other than that, I would do everything the same
because even with limited resources, if you’ve got a killer show, you
will make money.



#1)-I’d find a tremendous and well known “producer” and record 1 or 2
songs with him or her….then I’d use the remainder to hire a radio
promotion company to get the song on the radio to hit the
masses….hopefully creating enough “buzz” and curiosity for a label
to notice me.

#2)-or I would buy $100,000 worth of my CD and stand on a corner and
give all 10,000-ish of them away for free….it would show up as
sales, and that may trigger some interest too. I think Garth
Brooks had a friend that did that with 50,000 CD’s, to help him get
“above the radar”.

#3)-or I’d buy some 2 SSL mic pre’s and two U47’s to sing and play
guitar through….get an amazing sounding home demo, and send it to
every label alive.

#4)-or I’d go to Vegas and put all of it ($100,000) on RED, and hope
like hell it HIT so I’d have $200,000 to hire a solid Radio and TV
promotion company to help me….and some to record a song with a
great producer.


[Editor’s Note: I kinda like # 2 – at least you’d get some press out of it! But you’re target where best to give out your CDs – just giving them to random strangers won’t do you much good. So if your music appeals to college kids, you could give it out on college campuses. If it appeals to soccer moms, you could give it out at the market. But since you’re giving music away for free, why not do it digitally? It would cost you nothing. Still, I like the idea of that – you’d at least get the local news to come down and cover the story!]


I would spend 10-15K right off the bat by partnering with a mix producer and also do real mastering.

Most people THINK they can do their own mixing and mastering on their home Pro-Tools system, but those are very special separate skills from producing and it’s what separates the men from the boys when it comes to public reaction and achieving that “superstar” level. Put your “finished” songs on next to your favorite commercial release (without touching the volume – no cheating!) and most of the time you will hear (and see on monitors) the difference.

[Editor’s Note: Agreed. A good mixer is often times more important than a good producer. I’ve heard songs my band recorded before and after a good mix and it went from just sounding “ok” to an amazing song. Agreed, agreed, agreed.]

In addition, the Pro-Tools you have is NOT the Pro-Tools a “real” studio has. Pro-Tools HD is a close to six-figure investment, and I am betting you didn’t spend that…

I know it seems like a big chunk of the budget, but when it leads to favors and freebies down the line because it sounds so pro, as well as increased airplay and film/tv usage, it pays off. Most top mix producers are willing these days (if an artist has a good solid plan) to give up some cash in exchange for points/percentages and bring that per song mix price down and work with your budget. Another trick is to have maybe the 5-6 strongest radio targeted songs by the mix producer, then have the producer or someone less expensive mix the rest of the songs using the mix producer’s end mixes as the target level. Most producers once they have a level to try to attain, can come close and for the songs not targeted for radio, they usually are good enough.

Most important reason?? RADIO. Still the thing that gives an artist the most exposure and momentum – AND targets specific areas. If you are getting airplay in an area, then you know you have some love there and it’s a good place to go and play live and work retail and local sponsors. And why is good production essential for radio? Well, besides the obvious – it will sound pro and serious to the station personnel. COMPRESSION. It’s really extreme at radio and “amateur” mixes that sound great in the studio and on CD, and even MP3, will sound dead and flat and unexciting on radio…and that’s not good for gaining new fans.

Then of course, yes, the rest of the budget goes into radio, retail, and internet marketing, and the last half – well, that keeps me on the road for the next two years – the most important promotion of all…!

Fantastic!!! I just want to say I’ve been playing out live a lot more and one thing has really caught my attention:
I’ve been meeting the coolest people, best musicians, and the most excited fans ever. You can sit in your room all day making songs, you can fool around on your home recording studio and get your tunes “perfect”. You can go on Myspace or whatever website you want for hours and hours but NOTHING replaces going out in public, playing your music, and interacting with the people around you.
Thanks for all your sound advice and support!



Lucky, lucky person who got given this huge amount of money.

And lots of great ideas, but I can’t imagine ANYONE giving me £100, 000 and letting me spend it EXACTLY how I want to. Not unless someone dies. Morbid, but true (sorry if that happened btw).

In fact, even £10,000 can bring with it someone who wants a huge influence on where it’s spent and what direction you head in. That’s business isn’t it? Unless you’re super rich and feeling charitable I guess.

Can we have a thread that comes up with “what would you do with £1000?”, because that’s more like the kind of money we work with! And the kind of money that’s easily frittered away if you’re not careful. I mean, unless someone else has £100, 000 and they’re using True Talent to find the most savvy artist to bestow it on!

I could dream about buying myself onto great tours, and nice studios and being able to spend all day self-promoting on all the new web-based opportunities til I’m blue in the face, but it just leaves me knowing I COULD make a great impact if only I were rich.

Great ideas for what to do with what little money and time you DO have, that’s what I need. Can we do that next?

What should I be spending me meagre budgets of £500 a year on?

And I’ll preempt you, yes, spending it on a placement on a True Talent cd, for instance, could be very fruitful 😉


[Editor’s Note: Great idea for a future question to the list and your check is also in the mail ;P ]


Jen, I have given more than one artist this problem and am struck by how similar the experience is.

The first thing the artist does is get a bad case of the OK’s. I mean they say ok to everything.

Should we spend 5K on a stylist that we could get for 500 for a one day photo shoot?

OK! etc….etc.

I find it is much better to not give an artist any money but to open the doors the artist thinks they need opened and let them find out that usually there is nothing they want behind the door. If you get a star out of this experience they will lead you to their success.

I was struck that nobody said, “I will hire a promotion firm,” instead they all said, “we will spend it on promotion”.

I have worked with artist that asked me for 5K for this promotion or that.

Invariably ,what happens is, halfway into this promotion they do one of two things, either they eith:

1) second guess themselves into paralysis


2) lose interest and thus give up the effort because they dont see immediate results.

The majors and successful indie labels spend most of their time analyzing the market they want to place. Then they pull the trigger and hit the audience they where aiming for. That is a big reason it takes 18 months to launch an artist or a film or……

If I had a $100,000 I would spend $3,500 renting a beach house or mountain cabin for 1 month. I would make sure the time was distraction free and I would invite key collaborators up in the second and third week. The first and fourth week would be spent organizing my concept into an album and beginning and finishing my 15, best song starts.

At the end of 30 days I would spend $6,000 recording all 15 songs as demo’s with studio quality musicians and production team. I would also reimburse myself for my months lost income $2,500.

For the next 30 days I would gig and weave those songs into the mix. I would also send out 15 CD/MP3s to industry people for feedback. If you dont have peeps you can get industry people to give you an opinion for 1-500 dollars but this means making physical contact with them. Then you will have peeps for the next time. Worst case $7,500.

For the next 30 days the music should be marinating and fine tuning and growing organically. At this time I would hire a manager with the understanding you will reevaluate the manager in 6 months. The manager has to have broken more than one commercial artist within the last decade. The cost $21,000. I would hire a Promotion firm for the same period with the same understanding. The cost $30,000.

While the manage and promotion firm are ramping up, about 60 days, I would convert the 10 or 11 strongest songs from demo’s to masters and do a photo shoot. Approximately $18,000.

At the end of 60 days I would have my manager present to booking agents I would press 500 CDs and 50 each item of swag. Cost $5,000.

I would begin booking my tour within my own region with my personal contacts and leave when I have 15 paid dates in the first 30 days. Your agent should be able to add 5 more dates in that first 30 days out. It would be appropriate to travel 500 miles or less to each of those 5 dates.

We have spent $93,500, leaving $6,500 to supplement tour support including renting the appropiate PA etc.

You should be blogging and building excitement with your existing fan base from the day you start your project. This should be “on you” to provide. Its free for the most part but takes time.

The gamble is that the audience will like the album. At the end of 4 months if your booking rate does not double and you are not getting sufficient income from swag sales and downloads go back to step 1.

I have spent 2 to 3 times that amount with no greater result and alot of product gathering dust, getting stolen,etc.


Its hard to say exactly what one would do with the $100,000. You have to first look at where you are at and see what you have accomplished so far, and where you want to go from there.

I am going to base this off of CP’s plan with a few alterations b/c I do think his plan was well thought-out. This plan is assuming the following things – 1) you have a band already, 2) you have a great record you’ve already recorded, 3) you’ve managed to garner local press and regular gigs in your community, playing upwards of 15-20 dates a month, cutting your teeth on paying your dues/writing/playing recording. If you haven’t succeeded in doing these things yet, start here.

A. If after evaluating where you are and where you’d like to go you find that your band is getting to the point where they could use a manager to take them to the next level, hire a manager/agent whom you trust and who is not overly expensive and overextended w/ other acts. If you don’t know where to find one, ask bands who are doing well and are accomplishing things you want to do, ask entertainment lawyers, ask people in the music business already whom can guide you on what makes a great manager and their take on where to look. Most people, if you approach them seeking wisdom from them will not supress such information to you. Most people are helpful and feel a sense of worth in giving this information to you. Most managers/agents will negotiate a percentage of the shows they book for you/ hourly wage for the legwork they do. (estimate $1000 up front for negotiating the contract, getting press, bios, band EPK’s to the agent/manager who will be helping you up-front costs).

**But, do as much of this stuff yourself first before hiring a manager. I think it is silly when you are just starting out to hire a manager when you don’t have regular gigs or product yet. It’s also hard to get a good manager to take you to the next level when you haven’t already proven yourself to be a hard-working growing act who can secure regular gigs on your own without one. Get the book “Being Your Own Booking Agent” if just starting out. That is a great investment b/c it tells you exactly how to book gigs, get press kits and websites together. ($30)

[Editor’s Note: Yes indeed! Managers aren’t charities. We don’t offer handouts (not good ones anyhow). Your check is also in the mail ;P ]

B. Get your music out on the internet, w/ web-based promotion ($2000-3,000, depending on markets/goals/what you are trying to accomplish)

C. Myspace/Facebook, Youtube marketing your shows and new songs/releases($1000)

D. Placement of music in T.V. Films, Commercials and even ringtones/video games. Work with your manager to help you with this. Look at your contacts first, it may not cost as much as you think if you already know some people who have these connections($2000-3000).

[Editor’s Note: Getting placements is not easy. Not anymore. I’ve been placing songs for over 7 years now and it’s become ridiculously competitive. Why? Because every single major label, indie label, major publisher, indie publisher, millions of artists on myspace and every Tom, Dick and Harry have suddenly decided to get into film/tv placement because CD sales are drying up, labels are trying up and taking with them their budgets for publicists, radio promotion, etc. so all those people are trying to get into my end of the business. Ha. Well, that’s why hiring someone like me is so key. If I were an artist, I would hire me to promote my music to film/TV – just the way you’d hire a radio promoter for a 6 week campaign or a music publicists for 3 months to a year, you need someone on your team for film/tv.]

**If you happened to get your music placed on TV or in a film use this as a launch pad along w/ increased download sales to approach ADA or Rough Trade or other independent distributors for an independent distribution showing that you’ve already succeeded in creating a buzz, so it would make sense for them to put your records in the stores first regionally, then nationally. (as you will first be touring regionally, then nationally so this makes sense). I don’t know how much independent distribution costs but I’m assuming its at least $20,000 or so. You may even be able to make a deal where they test how well you do regionally and then if you succeed there, go nationally.

[Editor’s Note: I see no reason to get into retail stores unless you’re touring the entire country i.e. on a major label or somehow have a nationwide fan base. And to spend $20,000 just to get into retail stores? Why? It only makes sense to be in retail stores if there is demand for your music. Most artists need to start with their home town. So if you’re in LA and you put your CD into say, Amoeba Records and can’t move 1-2 units in 6 months, well, any other distribution is just wasting your time and money.]

E. Get music on MP3 sites such as Itunes, CDfuse, IthinkMusic, etc. Usually the fees are minimal if any to sign up so this is a free thing (Free) unless you get an EPK on Sonicbids which is about $50-100 a year ($100).

F. Work with your new manager/agent to come up with a reasonable tour starting in outward growing circles from your home base. Decide a schedule to tour, secure the contracts upfront, know what is included, what is not. Do out and back weekend gigs first to get your feet wet before hitting the road for long periods of time (2 weeks or more). ($5000) Might be worth while to look at the contacts that the band and the manager has first for garnering press and if venturing into new territory, consider hiring a publicist with specific dates and areas to promote w/ agendas as to what you want to accomplish after those resources are exhausted or traveling to outside of where your contacts extend. Utilize your manager to help you with this to take your ideas and visions from the intangible to the concrete ($2000-$5000).

**Consider looking at who is higher up on the totem pole than your band and who is touring in the same areas you want to tour. Approach them and their management about touring with them at least for some larger dates they have.

G. Seek endorsements/sponsorships by going to NAMM and knocking on some doors to get free gear if possible. (Myth- you have to be signed to a major before getting a sponsorship). I’m not signed anywhere and I’m sponsored by 2 guitar companies. Work with your manager to seek sponsorships where you might not have considered to look (perhaps your favorite beverage/food/ or type of clothes you wear??) Once again, look to the local companies/small businesses or regional businesses who have products you and your band use. I don’t know what it would costs to knock on some doors but if you had your manager help you with this consider paying an hourly wage to accomplish contacting some of these companies ($2000). This is a way to invest in your band as they may be able to foot the bill for things such as gear, touring rigs, etc if they become your sponsor.

H. Invest in the show itself. People come to “see” and “hear” a band. Hire a good sound guy to take on the road and to shows with you and to make good road-cases so the possibility of having bad sound is diminished. Work on the aesthetics of the show itself, a cool lighting rig, backdrop or stage dressing to create an atmosphere at the shows itself. Some of the coolest shows I’ve seen are ones where the band spent some money and time working on a lightshow or cool backdrop for the band. It is memorable and a great way to create “stickiness” for the band. (Please read the book “Tipping Point,” it will open up a myriad of possibilities to you). Maybe work on your overall “look” as well. This is not hard to do and gives everyone a sense of uniqeness that they can show off their fashion flaire onstage ($1-$2000 new clothes/makeover if needed). Also, get the sound guy a good and easy to use mixer to record the live shows and you can upload and sell them online! This will make the sound guy part of the band, esp. if he can create some cool effects on certain tunes and knows your material well enough to be the “engineer” of the live show. Jam bands do this and its a great almost cost-free way of creating more product to sell. esp if you have great live shows. Plus if you have great recordings of your live shows, people will want to come hear for themselves-($10,000-15,000 gear)

($5,000-10,000 sound guy depending on the # of gigs and his rate per show).

I. For more high-profile gigs, consider hiring a good photographer and/or video guy. Also, buy a camcorder to document your tourings and stuff on the road for a possible movie/music video later. Not only will this be for you and your band to have a way of looking back but it is something that your avid fans will want to see, it also shows the inside scoop of what it is like just starting out. Something that I think Hollywood doesn’t ever depict correctly. If you have something particularly funny happen during a show, you can upload it onto youtube or sell it later.

(look up “Eric Tessmer” and “guitar toss” on youtube 🙂

(camcorder- $500-$1000, photographer- $2000, videographer- $2000 again these are just estimates and estimating that the photographer and videographer are working at a series of shows w/ you. If these people are your fans, you may be able to negotiate some merch/memorabilia or other things besides $).
I. After doing some-out and back gigs and possibly even a couple 1-2 week gigs, and making some money at that, consider getting a touring rig for the touring stints which will be over a week and will need places to stay. Get a touring rig once you have enough gigs scheduled and $ coming in to pay for one and the cost to insure one. Maybe consider getting a van w/ a travel-trailer or an RV based on the gas mileage and where the gear will be stowed. Consider trying to go “green” if possible. If you happend to know a custom painter/pimp-my-ride artist, consider working with them to come up with a cool design/logo to paint on the side of the van/trailer w/ the name of the band and the web address. Even an LED sign on the back window advertising your next touring dates. Not only is this advertising along the way to everywhere you go, people will remember the name of your band if you have something memorable about your rig. We are in the creative business after all…


J. While on the road, you have to have cool merch, right? Take the concepts created w/ the album artwork, the ambience of the live shows, and perhaps even the artwork on the van/RV to create some cool merch for your band. Maybe even have unique logo, some lyrics, or some funny slogan about the band to put on the merch so once people see it they associate it w/ you (i.e.- ZZ Top w/ muscle cars, the beard and sunglasses look, and also that signature point/wave, snoop dogg w/ the “izzle”, Willie Nelson w/ his bandana and altername “the red-headed stranger”). Sounds stupid, it works though. ($5000 )

This brings you to about $90,000 for all of this. Take the remaining $10,000 and use it as you see fit. This might be for some recording gear, $ for the next record or to approach a well-known producer whom the band wants to work with; books, teachers, and resources for improving playing, writing, and performing, or plan a unique concert w/ a local charity and give the money back. Or go on a much needed vaction and save the rest for a rainy day. 🙂

Enjoy 2008 and make the most of it!


[Wow, Meagan, that was a GREAT list – very impressive. Thanks so much for sharing it!]

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management
9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity

“More than eighty percent of self-made millionaires in America began with nothing or in many cases, less than nothing.”
— Brian Tracy

“You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.”
— Malcolm Forbes

“Motivation and determination are 1000 times more potent than talent alone”
-Some guy online
“People have to learn they have to juggle everything until they get lucky. They need to work a steady job, make a living and make time for the band. They need to take all the money they make from the band and throw it back into the band”
–David Draiman, Vocalist for Disturbed, interviewed in Music Connection