If you’ve ever started a business or large-scale project it is likely that you have experienced the inevitable feeling of overwhelm. At some point or another, after trying to do everything yourself, it becomes hard to keep up with all the tasks on your to-do list, and especially so when strict timelines are involved.
It has happened to almost all of that at some point in our life: we come up with a great idea, big or small, and need to convince others to believe in it and come on board for the idea to really take off. Think about it, it applies to music producers in search for a label for their latest work, or event promoters looking to launch a new event series.
This can be a dangerous situation because with every idea there are many risks involved. If you can’t get your close friends and acquaintances interested in the idea then how can you convince the rest of the world to? You can get stuck between trying to push it through yourself without the help and input of others, and outsourcing the necessary work in order for your idea to become reality.
No matter your approach, it is often recommended that creatives in both business and the arts focus not on one but on multiple ideas. If you want to grow a plant you must begin with many seeds, rather than plant just one and hope it grows into something.
The truth is that not everything will bloom and not everything will grow the way you want it, but what does inevitably bloom and what does grow right will ultimately make up for those seeds that didn’t. On your path to making your ideas into reality, you should ensure to ask for and receive key feedback from people you whose judgment you trust. This shouldn’t only be from people you personally know, but also industry professionals with experience on the subject matter.
When first launching a brand, whether it be a music release, project, event series, festival or record label, the first impulse is to promote and market it ourselves. It is very likely that if you are reading this you have a social media account or two, and use at least one on a regular basis. But, just because you use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram on a personal basis it doesn’t make mean you know how to use these networks to promote your projects on a professional basis. Looking at similar accounts and brands for an idea on how to promote yours can help, but it will not give you all the know-how necessary to make your social media accounts stand out amidst a never-ending plethora of similar ones.
Most of the brands you will be comparing yours too will have been around for quite some time, in a lot of cases even before the existence of social media. Their social media presence can be overwhelming at times, and playing catch-up can be a daunting, seemingly impossible task. It is natural then, that if you’ve only been around for 10 or less years, you will be beginning at a disadvantage simply because you are coming later on the market.
This, however, doesn’t mean that your brand or product cannot reach the levels of those you will be competing with that have been around for some time. Rapid growth is possible.
When To Outsource
The best time to outsource is usually when you start to have options in choosing who to work with. It also becomes apparent that outsourcing may be a necessary option when non-primary tasks are taking you away from doing what matters the most for your position. As an example: if social media is taking up your valuable studio and touring time, it may be worth considering outsourcing the social media duties so you can focus on your music.
The best questions to ask is whether or not the person or agency you outsource to have strong industry connections and relationships and whether they have existing relationships with similar artists or brands. You also want to make sure they have experience in numerous aspects of the industry: this way you don’t have to worry about hiring multiple agencies or managers and can rely on one agency to handle most of your needs.
Focus on Social Media First
When first deciding to outsource, the most important area you should focus on is social media. Listening to your music should come first but then once someone listens to your music, they want to find out more about you. They want to know where you are from and what else you do outside the studio and if you have another job, and to get an idea of who is behind the artist they are now following. Although artists are usually to see more of this personal attention, many promoters can get it too as well as writers and anyone else that deals directly with the average consumer. This is the reason that you should always be careful about how you purvey yourself on social media.
Need Fresh Ideas
Although some of us are great at managing our own social media accounts and enjoy it, many of us simply run out of fresh and new ideas to keep our audience engaged. It can be difficult coming up with creative ways to portray ourselves and continuously come up with content.
Not everyone is ready ton or needs to invest on hiring someone to manage their social media but understanding how to tackle the ever-changing sphere or the social media industry is important in today’s connected world, whether you do it yourself or not.
Industry is Responding
If the industry is responding to your brand, then it may be time to look on expanding your efforts and ready for the expansion of your production’s output. This applies whether you’re an artist, event promoter or otherwise.
When you choose to invest in yourself and your brand, you have to ensure you are fully ready for what that will entail. This could include outsourcing graphic design, press photos, PR work, social media promotion, mastering services, and management. If you are going to commit to investing in your business, whether it’s a personal one or a company, make sure you’re ready to invest fully and without fear of what that will involve. Inevitably, it can be difficult to adopt a hands-off approach on some tasks you used to do yourself, but it often is an essential part of expanding a business as an entrepreneur, or your personal brand as an artist.
Similarly, it is important you invest across all needed aspects of your business. Using professional press photos alongside poor social media work or bad design work looks unprofessional. If you invest in one area, you need to adequately invest into other areas as well, whether it’s through outsourcing or your own personal work.
Don’t Rely on The Labels
If you’re an artist, don’t always expect the label to outsource for you or do everything for your releases themselves. Not two labels work the same way. Some will want you to provide artwork and assist on PR and marketing, while others may be built to do all the work. Some events and festivals might not always have a photographer taking pictures of you or offer your photos to press. As an artist, many times you need to hire someone to make sure that someone is always there or hire someone to follow you and take pictures and video of you.
If you are ready to fully invest in your label, event, festival, brand, or yourself in a variety of aspects you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Meantime, ensure you avail yourself of our Artist Resource and Industry Resource articles to help you navigate through this difficult industry.