Blog Archives

#Entrepreneurship 101 Your brand and Social Media

entrepreneurship

It is an awesome feeling to work for yourself and have it be successful. I can tell you from first hand experience, there is no crazier employment ride then trying to get your own small business off the ground. I’ve started several of my own over the last ten years and I’ve been brought on board as a consultant for many people who are running successful small businesses as we speak.

The internet and social media especially are powerful tools when they are used responsibly. Think about it like a glass of wine. Having a single glass of wine with dinner versus drinking an entire bottle then getting behind the wheel of a car. See the difference? The internet has made it easy for people to network and even start a small business. In most cases even if all you have is an idea, there is a website that offers a template or basic store front for you to get started.

Almost everybody uses some sort of Social Media these days and for the entrepreneur, it is the most cost effective way to share their business with little to no marketing budget. In every area of life you will find people who are good at some things and other’s who aren’t. Not every person who makes music is going to develop a following or sell albums, not every person who applies to Harvard gets in, and not every entrepreneur is able to turn their business into an income sustaining entity.

The thing that drives me crazy as a person who truly loves to see others succeed is the utter lack of professionalism on social media when it comes to individuals trying to create a brand or run a business. It drives me crazy because there are far too many people with million dollar ideas or an outstanding product that only get so far and the reason they can’t get past a certain level is largely due to their own behavior and attitudes.

If you are starting a business or brand, it should have it’s own social media handles, especially if you’re one of those people who can’t resist the urge to blow off steam in your posts.  If you had money to invest, would you invest your money in a company or brand who’s owner was emotionally unstable all over social media? Think about it. Your personal life should have absolutely nothing to do with your business. If you are marketing your business to your personal social media followers and then when you’re in your feelings you’re using that exact same platform to blow off steam, how is anyone supposed to take you seriously as a business person? Some steam may be appropriate depending on the industry, but if you want yourself being taken seriously as a “CEO” or Business Owner? Then present yourself seriously.

What job have you ever had that you were allowed to walk around cursing in front of customers? What job have you ever had where it was okay to whine about your haters all day? You should care more about the integrity of your own business then you’ve had about one you didn’t own and just worked for. Sometimes YOU are the only obstacle standing in your way of greatness.

 

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INDIE ARTISTS – Spend wisely COMMON UNDERGROUND MUSIC SCHEMES

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Most of us have said or heard, “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense”. Same is true when you’re spending your money. Most people don’t like to waste money. Most people can’t afford to get robbed.

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When you are an independent artist, you get robbed all the time. As much as we try to avoid this, people lose money all the time because there are people who will do or say anything just to make a few dollars. Here’s the SAD TRUTH…. these plots don’t impact the people who could recover from loosing $25 easily (not that ANYONE deserves to get robbed). These blood suckers take it from YOU. The struggling artist with a dream, scraping up your last to put your music out. They are aware of this. That’s why you are their target. You’re more likley to get mad and then just go away.

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Some of the most common schemes in the underground music community:

  • Mix tape Slots- There’s no MXTP. You pay pal a stranger $10-$25 and they BANK on you not ever suing them. Why would you? It’ll cost you more to track them down and take them to court. (Do this to 4 people X $25 you made $100)
  • Promotion- Their followers, views, etc aren’t real. They’re bought. Then you pay $50  for tweets to fake people.
  • The “Showcase”- Unless you personally know what the A & R reps at each record label look like (and you should, it’s on the internet most of the time) stop spending your money. You are paying to perform in front of other rappers  in the same boat as you. If you don’t bring a crowd, your crowd is other rappers. 9 x out of 10 there is no prize, nobody gets the prize, and the “Showcase”  is someone who worked at a radio station, has hook-ups at local clubs, and  then charges you to perform in front of other people that paid to perform.
  • “Tours”- The state to state tours. You again are paying to perform in front of other artists that paid to be there. Who do you know that was signed from a tour or a showcase? Seriously.
  • “Verbal Contract” Anything done verbally is dangerous. Yes you can go to court  with it, but you better have good supporting evidence (phone records, emails, receipts). Everything should be in writing. Keep a paper trail.

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Don’t be stupid. Do your homework before you pay people to do something.

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A real business person values their reputation and will provide you with an invoice detailing what you’re paying for. Nobody can promise you the moon, you can invest $10k into music promotion and if the music is bad, it is what it is and is the luck of the draw just like it is for everyone else. The best that you can hope for & do for yourself on a limited budget is find people who will give you what you pay for.

Be wise.

QTP