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One Solid Piece of Advice….(yes, this relates to music)

March 4, 2016

PLEASE FORWARD THIS LINK TO ANY ARTISTS THAT MIGHT BE INTERESTED!

***

It’s been a long time since I’ve written one of my inspirational emails.

So much has changed in the music business over the past 5, 10 and 15 years.

I’ve seen so many bands come and go and have learned so much after almost 20 years in the music business.

I’m trying to think of one solid piece of advice that I can pass along to you. And I think it comes down to this.

CHANGE.

I see so many artists doing the same thing and not getting anywhere.

While I believe 110% in work, work, work, I believe even more in changing what you are doing if it isn’t working.

Now, the million dollar question is – how do you know when something is working?

Well, I think, generally, it will catch on.

If you post an amazing cover on YouTube (and promote it every day to everyone you know), if it’s good (or great), it will start to go viral.

If it’s not, it won’t.

The only thing that is guaranteed is that if you keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, well, that’s that famous quote about insanity right!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein.

Or maybe Mark Twain said it. No one is sure.

But what I do know for sure is that if you keep doing the same thing, and feel like you are treading water instead of getting somewhere, it’s time to change direction.

Maybe you’re making the wrong genre of music.

Maybe you need more vocal lessons.

Maybe you’re a better songwriter than performer.

Maybe you need to tour more.

Maybe you need to co-write and collaborate more.

***

So, try playing another club in town.

Try marketing yourself more.

Pick up a new instrument.

Write in another genre or outside of your comfort zone.

Co-write more.

And if you’ve tried everything new, maybe just WORK HARDER!!!! 🙂

***

Note: If you need help promoting your music via PR or if you need help placing your songs in film/tv, hire us! It’s a relationship business – and with 15+ years of film/tv relationships, we’re really your best bet for getting your music heard by the right people!

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

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Anything worthwhile in life requires time, patience, and persistence.”
–Cheryl Richardson

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Insert the word “CD” for “script” – “I will not read your ducking” script”

August 29, 2015

I love you.

I really do.

But…does this sound like you?

Because I get DOZENS of emails a day, sometimes hundreds in a week or month – asking me to just “check out this song” and “tell me what you think”.

Read this article….but replace the word “CD” or “mp3” for the word “screenplay” or “script.”

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/i-will-not-read-your-fucking-script-6704899

The reality is, superstars hire a publicist and pay them.

Everyone these days seems to be asking, if not demanding, everyone work for them for free.

But if you want to be successful…you gotta put your money where your mouth is!

***

“You are not owed a read from a professional, even if you think you have an in, and even if you think it’s not a huge imposition. It’s not your choice to make. This needs to be clear–when you ask a professional for their take on your material, you’re not just asking them to take an hour or two out of their life, you’re asking them to give you–gratis–the acquired knowledge, insight, and skill of years of work. It is no different than asking your friend the house painter to paint your living room during his off hours.” -Josh Olson

Now listen….I realize listening to 10 seconds of a song is a lot easier than reading 10 or 120 pages of a script…but it’s really the same concept. It’s taken me 17 years of working in this business to know what makes a song bad, good or GREAT…and even longer to recognize the difference between a talented artist…and a DRIVEN one.

Sadly, there are literally MILLIONS of musicians all around the world who would love an opinion on their song…for free…but really, the answer is NO.

Unless your email shows me something that will make me think you are AMAZING – say, over 10,000 facebook fans or more than 100,000 YouTube videos.

No hand outs.

***

Note: If you need help placing your songs in film/tv, hire us! It’s a relationship business – and with 15+ years of film/tv relationships, we’re really your best bet for getting your music heard by the right people!

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

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Anything worthwhile in life requires time, patience, and persistence.”
–Cheryl Richardson

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A MUST READ Music Industry Q&A – What’s the difference between….

June 23, 2015

PLEASE FORWARD THIS ARTICLE TO ANY ARTISTS THAT MIGHT BE INTERESTED!

***

From time to time, artists email us questions about the music business.

We reply to them – and share our answers with our email list hoping it will help you also!

Got a question about the music business to ask us?

Email us and we’ll include it in the next round of emails!

***

Question:

Hey Jennifer –

I’ve got a question. I’m curious to know if managers or publicists will work for a monthly income. I know that for the most part, they take a percentage of sales, whether it’s from shows or merch, right? But is it at all normal practice for a musician or band to hire a manager, booking agent, or publicist for a flat monthly fee? Just curious if you can help me with that. Thanks!

Paul

Answer:

Hey Paul-

Well, you’re asking me two entirely different questions here. A manager is nothing like a publicist. And a booking agent is nothing like a manager or publicist.

A manager works for an artist on commission and their job is to “advise and counsel” the artist. You know managers because you always read about them in the press. Justin Bieber’s manager is Scooter Braun, etc.

A manager does almost everything for an artist besides brushing their hair (although I’m surprised I haven’t had to do that) – ranging from shopping them for record and publishing deals to helping promote them in any way possible to their contacts in radio, film/tv, venues, etc. Some managers may even help book shows for you – but in the state of California and New York that is illegal so most reputable managers won’t do any booking in those states.

Managers work on a percentage of an artist’s income, which can often be pennies or Starbucks money in the beginning, hoping that act with get signed and strike it big.

Unfortunately, as you have probably noticed, over the past decade or so, major labels and publishers have consolidated and instead of artists getting 6 (or even 7 figure) advances, you hear of an act *maybe* getting a $50,000 advance…and that’s if they sign a 360 deal.

So, many artists have been telling me that managers now charge them a monthly retainer fee to work with them. This is illegal in some states, like California and no doubt New York, let even big high-profile managers do it because they are doing a lot of work for the artist and they have to get paid somehow.

***

Publicists are entirely different than managers. Some work in house at record labels. Some work at big (and small) PR firms. And still more work independently.

Most music publicists I know specialize in a genre – whether it’s country or indie rock or metal or singer/songwriters.

Publicists are hired on a monthy retainer, usually ranging from $3,000-5,000 a month for the high profile ones, down to smaller amounts for baby or developing acts. A three month minimum is industry standard.

A publicist’s job is to have relationships with and contact music journalists and bloggers and get them to review your album or promote your music or review your live show. Most of the time, it doesn’t make sense to hire a publicist unless you’re either 1) releasing an album/new EP/new music 2) are going out on tour 3) have something else newsworthy to announce – like you married a Kardashian.

Many artists get impressed by a publicist’s roster of name bands/singers but the truth is, anyone can do PR for Katy Perry or Taylor Swift. It’s finding a publicist that can get press for you when you’re unknown that’s the trick and most “name” or “established” publicists can’t do much for an unsigned singer or band. Also, do you really want to hire a publicist who is so busy with all their big, famous, touring bands that they don’t have time to adequately promote your new EP?

So, do your research and make sure you find the right manager or publicist to bring on board.

One final word about hiring a publicist:

Publicists also need 3-4 months lead time before you release an album or EP in order to secure any press. Music journalists often only want to hear an album BEFORE it’s released on iTunes and to the general public.

So, that means if your album is being released April 1, 2016, you need to hire a publicist NO LATER THAN by Jan 1, 2016.

Also, if you’re an indie artist, never release your album in the fourth quarter i.e. from Oct 1, 2015-Dec 31, 2015 as you’ll be competing with all major label acts and it will be difficult if not impossible to get press.

***

A booking agent is soley responsible for booking bands into venues. A big agent at William Morris or CAA, etc. would be booking huge superstars like Coldplay into venues like the Staples Center or Hollywood Bowl, while a smaller agent would be booking bands into mid-level venues or small clubs like the Troubadour or El Rey/Wiltern.

It’s very difficult, if not impossible to secure a booking agent unless you’re signed to a major label (or large indie label) as agents know a band’s chance of success on the road is greatly assisted by the tour support major labels give to signed artists. However, if you have done the leg work and build up a large following on your own, an agent won’t care about a record deal and will sign you….all you need to do is make enough money to pay them i.e. have hundreds and hundreds of fans in dozens of markets around the country.

Like managers, agents work solely on commission. Most agents charge 10%. As a result, it’s almost impossible to get an agent unless you’re making at LEAST $1,000 consistently per night as that’s only $100 for the agent.

***

Question Follow-Up:

So, what you’re saying is that even spending $3,000 – $5,000 monthly on a higher profile publicist will still possibly not be worth it if the artist is unknown?

-Paul

Answer:

Absolutely. I would say there is a 80-90% chance you will just throw that money down the toilet….if you’re an indie artist, you need a publicist who is good at getting coverage for indie artists…it’s easy to field requests all day for Taylor Swift….it’s not easy to get press for an unknown artist.

-Jennifer

Question:

Is it normal practice to find a successful indie rock band who sells out venues across the country, and pay them to open up for them on tour? That way, the band can make fans that are already there for the headliner band?

Answer:

I’ll give you the advice a headliner artist once told me when I asked her if my artist could open for her. She said, “FIND YOUR OWN AUDIENCE.”

Besides, buy-on slots like these are VERY expensive. Unless you’re signed to a label that can afford this, it’s just not going to happen. You need to build your OWN fan base…even if you tour with a band in your genre, 100% of the fans who bought tickets to that show are there to see THAT band, not you….you may garner a few fans from it…but I wouldn’t waste money doing that unless your rich uncle died and left you millions of dollars.

Bands do sometimes take out other bands on the road that they are friends with. The best advice I have for you is to be nice to the other bands you play with, make friends and hope they can swap gigs with you.

***

Note: If you need help placing your songs in film/tv, hire us! It’s a relationship business – and with 15+ years of film/tv relationships, we’re really your best bet for getting your music heard by the right people!

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

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Anything worthwhile in life requires time, patience, and persistence.”
–Cheryl Richardson

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“I think I will be trying it out and see how it goes, I really believe in my music and my creative potential.”

June 19, 2015

I just received this email from an artist and it really hit home:

“I think I will be trying it out and see how it goes, I really believe in my music and my creative potential.”

This is EXACTLY the type of attitude that works with a successful artist.

Unfortunately, I tend to receive the opposite emails all day long.

Emails closer to, “I don’t have any money” or “I’m not looking to hire anyone. I want someone to work on commission.”

Yeah, see, that’s the thing about successful artists and bands.

They believe in themselves.

They believe in their talent.

They believe their music is good.

They work hard. Sometimes multiple minimum wage jobs so they can play shows, tour and promote their music.

Sure, you can try to do it yourself.

But the music business is a RELATIONSHIP business – so unless you know every A&R executive, DJ, program director, music journalist, music supervisor, film, tv, video game, advertising executive, your time is still better spent working your day job and hiring the right person with the right connections to actually get your music listened to.

What do you think?

Do you believe in your music?

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

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Anything worthwhile in life requires time, patience, and persistence.”
–Cheryl Richardson

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You are receiving this email because you have either sent us music in the past or are an artist or band that we’ve heard great things about (or are otherwise involved in the music business as a manager, attorney, A&R, etc).

To unsubscribe from future event notifications, please reply to this email and put “unsubscribe” in the subject line – and specify if you’d like to unsubscribe from True Talent’s database entirely or just from our music requests. We certainly can’t imagine why you’d leave though since we’ve placed now over 50 songs in film/tv, including “Sex and the City” and “The OC”. Major labels, artists and managers have asked to be added to the list.

Getting music in film/tv is one of the best ways to get exposure for music from indie / unsigned bands.

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Don’t make this mistake when hiring a radio promoter – or publicist

March 18, 2015

A good friend of mine is a radio promoter and had this sad story to share about a band that hired another company instead of hiring him:

“Well the company that they hired –there are actually about five or six other companies exactly like them.
Meaning, these are places that work about 10-20 bands a month to radio.

People think (wrongly) “hey they work that much stuff they must have clout so they can pull strings and get my band played” in reality what they do is throw a million bands against the wall and sees which ones stick.

What I would have done was give the band individual attention since I would not have been working that many bands.”

So, don’t make this mistake when hiring aradio promoter or publicist….publicity is the same.

Artists think, “Oh wow, look at their roster! If I hire them, I’ll become a star too.”

Sadly, that isn’t how it works…

Hire someone small, someone who cares.

If I had a dollar for every artist or band who told me, “I hired this firm because they had all these huge clients and they got me NOTHING” I’d be a rich woman….

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

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Anything worthwhile in life requires time, patience, and persistence.”
–Cheryl Richardson

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Is Your Set List Like This?

March 4, 2015

Agree?

https://musicclout.com/contents/article-301-how-creating-a-set-list-is-exactly-like-creating-a-mix-tape-for-your-girlfriend.aspx?utm_source=Potential+Members&utm_campaign=09d4d5ecab-Creating_a_Set_List9_22_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4bb296eccb-09d4d5ecab-303803189

Got any to add?

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

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music Publicity
www.truetalentmgmt.com

“Anything worthwhile in life requires time, patience, and persistence.”
–Cheryl Richardson

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Check out my article featured in Music Connection – Feb 2015!

March 4, 2015

Hey, please check out my article titled “Make Your Live Show Amazing”
featured on page 46 of this month’s Music Connection magazine:

Link to the article directly:

http://musicconnection.com/expert-advice-live-show-amazing/

Also featured on the “Music Connection” home page:

http://musicconnection.com/

Please let me know what you think!!!


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

~Artist Management~Music Licensing~Music PR
www.truetalentmgmt.com
www.truetalentpr.com

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”
— Jedi Master Yoda