After being in the music and entertainment industry for so many years, Melly Starz decided to create a series on advice that undergound hip hop artists should follow, as well as, things to avoid. Episode one we get right into the topic of how to avoid pissing off a blogger when you first approach them.
Tip #1: Be Cordial. This is one of the biggest issues artists have. There is such a lack of professionalism. A simple introduction in your email or message is basic manners.
Tip #2: Don’t use pet names. This is a big one especially for male artists reaching out to female media in the music industry. For some reason, they feel that it is standard practice to refer to media personalities as “hun, babe, sunshine, sweetie etc.” Why are you so comfortable using these pet names with someone you have never spoken to before? A standard greeting should be the person’s name or the company. If you have no idea who is running the site then at minimum say “To Whom It May Concern” When a person uses pet names, it sounds more like you are trying to hit on them instead of trying to work. This will more often than not get you rejected from ever working with the personality.
Tip #3: Do Your Research. When reaching out to someone trying to work with them know what you are reaching out for. Don’t assume, more than likely they are marketing themselves for a certain niche such as blogging, as artists, a painter etc. Check someone’s page at minimum or check out their website. How are you trying to work with someone and you have no idea what they do? Do you go to the grocery store and ask them what they do? No, you know they sell groceries.
Tip #4: Don’t Hit On Someone. Just because you want to work with someone, doesn’t mean they want to flirt with you. Always keep it business. Friendships and relationships can form and there is nothing wrong with that but don’t hit on someone from moment one. Get the work done first. Plus, you don’t even know their relationship status, not every media person is public about their relationship. Tread lightly.
Tip #5: Don’t Mention Someone’s Ex. Of course, there are media duos out there. Maybe you met someone through their former significant other, but why would you bring that up years later? No one wants to talk about their ex when they are trying to work. It’s borderline disrespect to even mention that relationship.
Tip #6: Be Clear On What You Want. Most entertainment professionals, have several projects and interests going on. In your initial email, be upfront on what service you are looking for.
Tip #7: Prices. For many creatives, this is their main source of income and it has taken years of practice and time to perfect their craft. When they set a price point, don’t try to low ball or diminish their value simply because you don’t see it. If it is out of your price range then state so, “Your price is out of the budget at the moment but I’ll circle back at a later date.” Don’t insult a person by saying they are charging too much. You may want to work with them later, so don’t burn that bridge. Do you go to Disney and tell them they are too expensive? No, you pay those dam Disney prices and move on with your life.
Underground hip hop artists stay tuned for more useful tips and tricks on how to get featured on the top hip hop blog sites. This is not a comprehensive list of everything wrong with the industry but it’s a start. There will be more videos and posts helping artists and bloggers navigate the industry so stay tuned. If you want to donate to the creative efforts check out the support the starz section. Until next time, shine bright starz.