Recents in Beach

Which Comes First? The Promoter or The Promotion?

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which came first?

THE ARTIST: Anonymous

THE QUESTION:  What is the best process for getting a manager/booking agent? Buzz then manager or get a manager to get the buzz?

THE ANSWER: We’ve spent alot of time talking about what it looks like to work with industry professionals.  (Read: Who Do You Need the Most: Publicist, Booking Agent, Manager?) The good ones are worth your time and money. And there’s nothing like having someone who’s on your side working to represent you in the best light.  But the answer to this particular question really depends on who you are and the 3 following questions…

1. Do you have money?

This is actually the deal-breaker. If you don’t have the money to hire someone, your financial situation has already made the decision for you.  If you do have the money, ask yourself if you’re getting the best bang for your buck. You could be. But you might also be wasting your money. In talking with a friend the other day about music and marketing, he told me something I already know:

It’s not that musicians don’t know how to promote themselves – it’s that they don’t want to learn.

So I guess the real question is: do you want to learn how to do it yourself? Do you want to be DIY?  No shame if you don’t.  And honestly we realize that some people just aren’t good at it. So  if you don’t…if you really loathe this aspect of the business and you aren’t willing or able to do the work, then you’re absolutely gonna need someone to do it for you…or it won’t get done.

1. Do you have experience?

From a Grassrootsy point of view, we strongly believe you need something to promote before getting a promoter. Some promoters won’t even represent an artist who doesn’t have a few notches in his/her belt. If you can spend some time playing out, building your musical resume, and learning how not to be an amateur :), you’ll smooth out alot of kinks so that you can truly capitalize on having a promoter when the time is right. (Read: Top 5 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Anywhere With Your Music)

3. Do you need them?

We’re not going to tell you that having a booking agent is a bad idea. It might be exactly what you need…especially if you don’t have time on your hands.  But we are going to say that you will learn the ropes alot quicker if you learn to do it for yourself.  No one owns you and no one can take what you’ve built away from you.  Weigh the costs and ask yourself if the job the booking agent would do is something you could make time for. Depending on what stage you are in your career, a booking agent could be very necessary or very unnecessary. You might need to spend a couple hours a week emailing venues and promoting your shows on Facebook instead of watching TV.

That’s what we think!

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