OK! FIRST THINGS FIRST!
Before we get into this week's post, a few updates. Advice By The Slice will soon be getting a home of its very own (awww). Go ahead and give us a follow on the twitter: @advicebythslice and sign up for our upcoming monthly email here. Thanks for being so supportive and following along so far. More fun coming!
and now.... 19/52:
Each week I get multiple emails from musicians (or managers) asking me for something. Some want management, some want to open a show, some want a label deal, some want advice. My response often varies, but it’s incredibly rare for me to not respond at all. However, sometimes it just slips through the cracks and it gets moved from my inbox and is lost in email purgatory. It’s 100% fine and encouraged to do a follow up... but when does following up turn into straight up harassment? That’s what I’m here to talk about!
ALWAYS FOLLOW UP
If you’ve sent an email and a week has gone by with no response, ABSOLUTELY follow up. This is a busy industry and sometimes it takes a gentle nudge for someone to respond. This needs to be polite, professional, non-demanding, and should definitely never take a critical tone i.e. - “Obviously you have better things to do than respond to an email from a nobody like me” (seriously… I’ve gotten that)
BUT KNOW WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
If you’ve followed up a couple of times and STILL don’t have a response, it’s time to write it off. If you’ve gotten a response and the person declines to work with you, it’s time to write it off. I’m only going to say this once - there is no reason to try to harass someone into working with you. If they don’t get your brand/music/vision, they likely never will! I don’t care if YOU feel like they are missing out if they don’t work with you - they need to feel that way. The last thing in the world you want is to start working with and giving money to someone who you had to strongly convince to be on your team. Trust me, WE’VE DONE IT. It feels like you’re always chasing them and flushing money down the toilet. I can say with confidence that it has never resulted in anything positive.
If I get emails over and over from the same person asking the same thing over and over, it turns me off from the whole project. It’s never a good look and can often do more damage than good.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem like the right time to start a partnership, but I do see potential. In those cases, I always tell people to keep me posted with new music and touring. This is going to sound crazy, but it’s incredibly rare that I ever hear from them again! If someone says that to you, email them in a few months and tell them what you’ve got going on. It might not work out, but maybe it will! And either way, that’s a nice, healthy relationship in this crazy industry.
REASON TO IGNORE THIS ADVICE: You are God’s gift to the music industry! EVERYONE SHOULD WANT TO WORK WITH YOU DAMN IT.
What am I reading? Advice by the Slice is a weekly blog giving independent/growing artists small pieces of advice throughout the year. Through growing Ron Pope’s career from baby-sized part time gig to (what most consider) a successful independent full-time thing with millions of streams, sold out tours, and living as a mostly full grown adult, we get questions all the time about how to “make it.” Full disclosure: We are not experts and there is no formula. However, these are things we’ve tried along the way and have proven to be positive for an artist. Why one piece weekly? Well, we often feel like throwing a whole lot of advice/opinions at someone makes them want to crawl in a hole and say goodbye to the music industry forever, so this feels a little more manageable. Also, by the slice pizza joints are the best spots on earth, so this is also our tribute to those guys. So, here’s to a year’s worth of tricks to try and slices of pie. Cheers! Check out the first post here.
QUESTIONS? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org