Are you thinking of hiring a company to take care of marketing your music? It’s true that marketing/label service companies, such as ours, aren’t always a good fit for everyone. However, if these types of firms are a good fit, they can have a significant positive influence on your career. Here’s more information that will help you decide if hiring a music marketing company is the approach you should take.
They Should Accurately Represent Your Image
As with most business relationships, you should always keep in mind that those whom you hire should accurately represent you. Your image and your reputation are tied to whom you work with and so makes sure you understand whom you’re doing business with. In turn, your music should be presented in the most professional and compelling manner possible.
Who They Are and What They Do
While there are outliers, most people who take on roles at music marketing companies are former label execs, managers, musicians, and publishers. While their role can cross over into management functions, a marketing firm is not a management company (although some companies do both). These executives are tasked with leveraging their relationships in the industry to get your music exposed to the audience who is most likely to appreciate what you do. This insures that the right people hear your music and watch your videos. There is a significant spend involved.
Marketing companies build a custom team of consultants who work on different aspects of your marketing materials and career. The specialists hired handle everything from graphic design to distribution to publicity to radio to many other functions. The marketing company acts as a freelance project manager and they make sure that all of the moving parts of a project (provided by the specialists they hire) are operating in an orderly and well thought out fashion. In many cases, they are also vetting and hiring all of the team members and staffing a “virtual” label, including press and radio promotion teams, as well as creative content and art design.
Read the Fine Print
As with any business relationship, the deal points are as important as the executives involved. You are (or at least should be) hiring a company whose employees have varied industry experiences and help artists with their releases and tours as their full-time occupation, not as their hobby.
There are general pitfalls to take notice of (i.e. sunset clauses) and a need to have a basic understanding of what you are signing (i.e. you aren’t signing a deal with a manager or a record label, per se.)
What to Look For When Hiring a Marketing Company
Once you are clear on the kind of company with whom you’re thinking of partnering, there are some beginning scenarios you may want to review to determine if a marketing company might make sense for you:
- This is your first time releasing new music and don’t know where to start.
- Your first efforts fell short of your expectations.
- You started or want to start a label but don’t need staff year round.
- You don’t have the time to adequately promote yourself.
- You have no management or label offers that you feel are a good fit.
- You have found an investor who is very passionate about your music and wants to help but doesn’t know much about the business.
- You are leaving the label system and you are tired of paying a percentage of your earnings and would rather pay a monthly retainer.
Take the Time to Find the Right Fit
Whatever you decide, remember to vet your business partners thoroughly and make sure you get a good sense of their level of enthusiasm and availability. Make sure the person that closes the deal with you is the person you will be dealing with day to day.
Be sure to read the fine print if you are having this company arrange distribution for you and understand where that money goes. If there are outside contractors being brought in then ask to pay them directly, as transparency is a must.
Lastly – be wary of anyone who promises they can make you an overnight success. This is an incredibly volatile business and growing your career takes time!
Are you still wondering if you should hire a marketing firm? Have you already made up your mind? Please contact us for any reason, even with any questions you may have that could help you make the final decision.