Ugh I hate writing…always have…honestly, it started in grade school and it continues on. However, as I struggle with an “Integrated Marketing” blog post (watch for it next week, I hope) and I am mumbling to myself “why can’t I just pay someone to do this for me?” – it hits me… maybe that is a better subject this week. When do you decide to hire someone and who?
I once received a piece of advice “if you suck at it, pay someone else to do it”. However, I get for most artists that’s easier said than done, so how do you decide who to hire first? This comes to the second piece of advice I received while I was creating eEK! – Invest in the things that makes you money first. For artists, I feel that should be someone who can create you a decent website that has a great online store (revenue). Now, in this day, sites like wordpress and bandcamp are great because most people can figure them out and be able to create something pretty great with the templates, widgits and their own time. Thus, you can save some cash there.
Next, I would suggest to hire someone to help you out with your digital footprint and make sure that you are on all the sites you need to be on and that they are up-to-date with your current information. Now, I am not suggesting hiring someone on a monthly basis but I would encourage you to look into companies that have programs that help you out for a short period of time rather than handling it for you. Until you are on tour over 250 days a year and have a packed promotional schedule, there is no reason why you are not handling your social media day-to-day. And for people who tell you that no one call tell the difference if you are doing it rather than a team member, believe me your fans know.
The final team member that I would suggest bringing aboard when you first start out is a publicist. I have this argument all the time, I do not believe that you need to hire a publicist located in your home city or in Toronto. I think you should hire the person who is most excited about what you are doing and has the contacts to help you. Also, only hire a publicist when you have something going on. For example, are you heading out on tour or have an album release? Great time to hire someone, but don’t hire someone because you think you should have a publicist. I think I should have a Tiffany’s tag necklace, doesn’t mean I need one.
So that brings me to the other part of the post – how do you decide on who to hire? This is a tough call because it’s really like hiring an employee (they do work for you). You need to do some research – does this person have experience working with similar artists to you? Do you know anyone who has worked with them? What is their reputation like? The biggest thing is when you talk to them (and please do talk to them) – do they “get” you? Are they excited about what you are doing? Have they prepared ideas for you? Can you afford to hire this person for a minimum of 3 months? At the end of the day, hiring someone should move you forward not set you back.
I hope that this little rant helps with the question of who I should hire and when. At eEK! we can help with things like social media, funding, tastemaker and street marketing campaigns so if you are interested, please hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week with a blog on Integrated Marketing…or something.