ARTI$T BIZ GUIDE

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We’re pretty darn sure that if you’re like us, your Artistic careers have been anything but a smooth ride. Heck until recently, paying attention to “Real World” issues was not even on our radar. Although it took us awhile, we now see the immense importance of having a Life Plan & Business Plan…..Oh yes, can you even imagine that there are ABSOLUTE structures, rules, and methods that “reality” demands of Artists? Not me you say....think again

Once we committed ourselves to the goal of Living Our Dreams, surrounded ourselves with a business TEAM that has given us structured guidelines (a blueprint) to build a solid business foundation. It's made ALL the difference.  Check out our Blog Posts and Article Archives and let us know what you think!  If you need a boost, our Content team is on call!

We feel so fortunate that we’d like to share these thoughts with you..............

GET IT TOGETHER (goal setting & getting organized); Do we really have it together? Some of us do, but most of us really don’t. Do we even know the right questions to ask? Being an Artist is our motivation. We ALL have that in common and it should be worth taking the time to work it through.

So where to start?  Our first step was to say what it is we wanted! Blast it out (actually say the words & write it down)!! Some of us want to be famous, some want money, others both, and some just want to have the personal satisfaction of accomplishment something. I remember not too long ago, I had so many ideas rolling around in my head of what I wanted, it just flat out immobilized me. Literally, my brain shut down. I got so frustrated that I sat down lit a bowl……and then proceeded to eat an entire cheese board!!! (good while it went down, but hard on me the next day)

Here are a few suggestions that has helped us recently that should at least set you up on the right path: *write down What it is you Want (Go ahead and let it out All of it!!!…everything from the biggest idea to the smallest….even if it seems (well) stupid). OK, got it?  *the next thing is Organize it (try grouping similar things)  *then Prioritize it (what’s the most important thing to the least important thing). You can prioritize everything or prioritize your groups and then the items in the group.

You’ve just started your own PLAN! Congratulations! Helpful hints would be: 1) Write out what your actual “product” is 2) Determine your Market 3) Who is going to want YOUR product and how do you find, capture and keep them  4) Realistically list your resources 5) Develop your action plan based on your goals, benchmarks and resources.

Finally, do you have a TEAM; most people think they can do everything on their own HUGE MISTAKE!!  A TEAM is using the resources available to you at the time. If you’re lucky, you have people around you that have skills you can rely on, but allot of us have to go elsewhere to get the resources we need. But you’re in LUCK!  The internet is the very best resource we have bar none.

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BRANDING's NO JOKE (you being you); BRANDING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT YET LEAST UNDERSTOOD COMPONENT OF ARTIST’S SUCCESS. We often find ourselves so intent on “writing the perfect chorus” or developing that ideal “bass line” that we loose sight of what we're doing this for. Branding, like our Art is a living, breathing thing and you should expect that it will evolve over time.

People will follow and appreciate your art for one simple reason, THEY LIKE IT!  We soon realized succeeding in a field brimming with talent, it was up to us to develop and promote our “BRAND” to ensure we were “easy to follow”.

We found these tips essential in creating and propagating the KhulaRae brand: 

  • Always be Authentic
  • Keep it simple, effortless, and be accessible
  • Take your time & get it right (you wouldn’t think of putting out a half-assed song would ya)
  • Branding should be experienced through other senses. (we have 5)
  • Think about what you post on Social Media. A little consideration could save you major embarrassment in the future
  • Curate professionals in your space. Not just artists, but business people, press sources, bloggers (oh and more bloggers)
  • Build an electronic press kit (EPK). Here’s an example
  • Engage directly with your fans. Mix your message with personal AND professional dialogue.  People like to get to “know who they like”.
  • Keep your Social Media continually up to date.
  • Support other members of the artistic community, even your direct “competitors”, because performing art is NOT a “competition!”
  • Get a TEAM. None of us are good at everything, everyone is usually good at something!  We got one and it makes all the difference!

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CONTENT IS KING (if you ain’t got it, you’d better get it);  Over time, we’ve realized that “CONTENT” is not just “King” in establishing our brand and reach. It is foundational!  It’s as important if not more important than aesthetics or site design, especially in a digital world where Search Engines place enormous weight on engaging content. If BRANDING is #1, than CONTENT is #1A. There are no secret shortcuts, but rather some universal tips that smooth the process.  We’d like to share a few thoughts, and would love to hear some of yours!!

Decide on the “key message” you want to deliver and then…

1) Research..Research..Then Research again….

2) Write in “your own voice”. You’re unique so let that voice loose!

3) Concentrate on a compelling HEADLINE and FIRST SENTENCE
     (You have less than 5 seconds to get a reader’s attention)

4) Optimize for the Web.  (Short sentences, bullet points, images)

5) PROOF IT!!  Nothing more off-putting than bad grammar/spelling!

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GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS (Plans, Licenses, Taxes & more); You've seen episodes of E.T. about the "Superstar"  singer/actor/dancer/athlete, etc., who made million$ and ended up broke......and keep in mind you’re just seeing the “famous ones”. ALL of us need to pay close attention to the “legal crap” we often want to ignore and never think of until it is too late.

Our KR Team is fortunate to have those bases covered and (without directly offering “legal advice", which we CANNOT do) is happy to share basic resource information with our followers. Things like:

*Do I need an entity & where can I learn about (LLCs? Corps?  Sole Proprietorships? (because Ya gotta be ONE or the other, because all those $$$ need to go somewhere!)     

*Where can I get an understanding of tax issues that affect me & MY business?

*What licenses will I need, (Federal, State & Local)?

*How can I “level the playing field” when negotiating management agreements?

*Okay, now I’m RICH. Making money was easy!!  How do I keep it?

At KR we do not (cannot) offer specific legal or accounting advice. However, we HAVE been lucky enough to have team members who either can, or who can offer you contact information directly to trusted sources who will provide “no charge” consultations.

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COVER UR AZZ (how to protect your work); It doesn’t take long to realize that Performing Artists are particularly prone to “being taken advantage of”.  Most of us get too distracted by the excitement of someone, anyone, following us.  It is especially important as your career moves forward, to keep some obvious (and not so obvious) things in mind.

*Copyright written material (duh!). But understand WHAT is and isn’t eligible, use the Federal Agency site (www.copyright.gov), it is simple, inexpensive, quick, and definitive. (Forget the fairy tales that you can copyright something by “sending yourself a sealed letter” with the lyrics).  Wrongo Bongo!!

*Familiarize yourself with “TradeMarks” if you have a recognizable sign, design, or expression that identifies you.  Trademarks are a little more complicated (and expensive) but can be invaluable.  See www.uspto.gov.

*ANYTIME you are looking to enter a contractual agreement that involves your intellectual property consider using Non-Disclosure Agreements (or commonly referred to as NDA).

Beware of management agreements that ‘tie you up” for long terms.  Have them reviewed by legal counsel. And as always, feel free to tap into our team resources if a business matter has your head spinning.  Most of your concerns probably don’t require legal expenses beyond fees paid to government.

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 REALITIES OF SOCIAL MEDIA (how to handle the tsunami of information); 

(Part I); There is no shortage of opinions on the “how tos” of Social Media strategies.  So we aren’t going to try and compete.  Also, if your main ambition is to get attention by twerking your butt off……by all means twerk away, however this is not for you. However, what we’ve found is the following way of approaching a general strategy starting with two distinguishable elements;

1)     THE CONTENT ITSELF – Understand your audience.  Envision the nature of what interests them most. Images?  Tips & Life Hacks?  Facts & Figures?  What is it about YOU that will interest them? Are you going to entertain them? Educate they….or possibly both? Once you understand your audience,  develop thematic approaches that you can build on, and KEEP IT FRESH! If you are posting for the fitness buffs, rotate your posts between different areas within that space (Exercise, nutrition, sleep).

Try and personally engage as you develop your following and look for opportunities to “interact” into their expressed interests.  Look for ways to engage back into your growing community by recognizing someone ELSE’S content when it validates yours (ALWAYS ATTRIBUTE!!)

But first & foremost, ask yourself if YOU consider your content interesting.  Then let it fly.

2)     TIMING AND FREQUENCY OF DISTRIBUTION– This is where Google comes in.  Educate yourself the old-fashioned way – by reading. Instagram,  Pinterest,  Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok all have different sweet spots for frequency and timing. Look them up and when “searching” use the term “xxxx for “yyyy”(where x is the medium and y is your field).  You’ll get lots more useful information of use by being narrow in your SE use.  Then, experiment, log your results and further narrow your searched until you have a strategy somewhat unique to YOUR circumstances.

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