Starving Artist Suggestions No.1: Please Stop Seeking The Advice of Profits

Dear Starving Artist,

Please stop listening to the digital distribution sites and musicians’ blogs that try to convince you that it makes sense to “keep all of your rights” or “keep more of your percentage” of revenue. It is a marketing ploy.

Because while you are not only keeping more of your “percentage of revenue”, you’re also keeping more of the percentage of the tasks and burdens that are inherent to the process of growing a business – and undervaluing or underestimating the time and monetary costs of these types of burdens is an action that can stifle your business and your career in a long-term and/or terminal way.

You’ll never see a McDonald’s franchise owner working the register so that she can “keep more of her percentage” of profits. Keeping 100% of ten sales is not a better proposition than keeping 10% of a hundred sales. “Going it alone” is a surefire way to stagnate your progress. Money will come and money will go. Now is not the time to concentrate on your profits; now is the time to concentrate on growing your business. You can pay a team’s salary, but you can’t buy teamwork.images-1

The “Starving Artist Suggestions” is a blog designed to give hard-working independent musicians and independent music executives insightful, honest and frank information that will make positive differences in their careers. @Legasey


Artist Advice: The Importance of Gaining 10 New Fans than 100 New Followers

In this week’s Artist Advice Article: I selected suggestion by @mrsassone with “Why making a genuine connection with 10 new fans is better than 100 new followers”. Thanks Frank for the comment. Here’s what I have to say about gaining a genuine connection is better than 100 random followers.

I know it may seem having 100 new followers is the next best thing in expanding you’re social media presence but in reality it’s not. Gaining 10 New Fans is the move in gaining true support from people who really do love your music. Who are willing to pay to see you perform live at a show and even purchase an official merchandise item(s). These are the people who will share your music to their friends, co-workers, allies, by word of mouth, tweet, or post. Sometimes getting a referral from a person you know, “Hey man, you should check out this upcoming artist. He’s pretty dope and you gotta listen” can really motivate the new listener to you.

There’s many ways to earn a fans appreciation, one way is by giving them access to you without having them hold your house key. Like providing exclusives on music before it’s release or Skype/Google Hangout a Fan-Only Listening Session while you’re at the recording studio. Giving them intimacy like they’re right there with you. Makes them feel closer to you as a person, not just an artist.

Becoming More Interactive helps tremendously. Not just posting random thoughts, but more on what you do on a daily basis. Let’s say you’re going to eat at Applebees and you post a pic on Instagram. In the caption of the photo: You explain what’s happening, why your there, and ask a question. (What is your favorite meal from Applebees? or What’s the best drink to get from the bar?). The world feels the need to add their own input so why not start there. By asking a question this starts a debate and you get to know what your fans like.

FullSizeRenderOnce they start posting their answers. Your job is to respond to each and every one of those comments. Also, check out if there following you, you should follow them back. That always makes a fans day! When they see the person they look up to acknowledging them. It’s an overwhelming feeling. It’s like one day I posted a pic on Instagram regarding a movie James Franco directed. I captioned the photo my commentary and moments later I get 2 notifications, James Franco liked the photo and started following me on Instagram. I will always remember that moment where I’m like James Franco is following me?!!! [screams]

DON’T FORGET Hashtags!!! Hashtags is a way for someone can come across you’re post if you use the right keyword. For example, above scenario you can put #Applebees #whatsfordinner #restaurant #musician #YourName and anything else you see fit. I noticed for me when I do post with hashtags my likes are doubled. I like to use about 10 or more hashtags for the post.

2zio2v4As the great Praverb said in his article on 100 Ways for Musicians to Gain 100 True Fans: “The ideas revolve around the basic concept of friendship. In order to gain friends and sustain them you have to show them that you care about them. This includes being an effective listener, suppressing your ego, being thoughtful, offering your time, respecting their opinions and more“. His article is a breakdown of how you can gain fans, going over 100 ways to do it. I won’t go into detail on it but you can view his article (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT). #RIPPraverb

I understand it’s all a numbers game, but when you have 10,000 followers and not one shows up to your show. You will be considered a lie. Why? Because how do you have such a huge online presence but when in comes to real life… they don’t show up. Building friendships with your fans can help generate a positive support system. In the end your real fans will be there after Instagram/Twitter has to clear out bots and spam accounts. Which will leave you with 100 to even 1000 less followers than before. This concludes this week’s Artist Advice Article. Good luck and just be you! Anything you’ll like to add to this article please comment on the comment section below.

NIKKIJOMAZING: S1 EP20 – Recap of #GirlsInMusic Seminar by SAE & HypeGirls

IMG_2360NikkiSiixx x JojosBlock x Womazing brings you NIKKIJOMAZING a weekly hip-hop show brought to you by these four strong women in the hip-hop community. We bring you an exclusive recap of us speaking at #GirlsInMusic Seminar series brought to you by HypeGirls.com at SAE Miami Institute. Tune In every Monday for a new episode of NikkiJoMazing. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow us on twitter @NikkiJoMazing.

NikkiSiixx Do’s and Dont’s: Submissions 101

From a bloggers perspective, submitting music should be something simple and easy to do. But sometimes the artist, manager, promotional agent, and friends don’t promote the content accurately and appropriately. I know the whole key is to have as many people listen to the content. But if they’re doing it with a wrong approach, it will lead your music to fall on deaf ears. If you don’t want this to happen you should definitely check out below my Do’s and Dont’s in SUBMISSIONS 101.

DO: Usually the way a blog or website wants to receive submissions from the public is through they’re email. Review the site you want to submit. Make sure the site is relevant to the artists and that the site features other artists in the same genre. This guarantees that there are people who would like similar music and will take a listen.

DONT: Submit your content to a site that literally has nothing to do with the genre or topic. I’ve received submissions for country and religious genres. Obviously these submissions won’t make it on to a Underground Hip-Hop site, but I see that they’re just trying to spread the word, so they can get any feature. It’s also a waste of time submitting to sites that there’s no way the music will be on there.

DO: The sites have a list of details of what they need from you the submitter to properly review the content. My site offers this here: nikkisiixx.com/submissions. I basically broke down what I need from you from any category I have listed on my site. From music-video submissions, project reviews, event coverage, or inquiry about anything else. I’ve visited other sites and I’ve seen what they’ve requested. It’s plain out simple. But unfortunately submissions don’t come out right.

DONT: HALF-ASS details you can provide about the artist! Lacking a bio, discography, producer credits, photos, and even social media links. Should get the submitter a slap on the wrist for not including these valuable details that a blogger would need to generate the best post about you. I’ve received emails saying “yo… check out my music. youtube link . pz” Really? Yes Really?! How can I take this person seriously when they’re not taking themselves seriously. There is no way this content will get posted anywhere. You’re lack of information will lead to no exposure.

DO: It’s always good to try and touch base with the site prior to submitting you’re content. At least the site is aware of the incoming email. You can let them know when you’ve already sent it. And maybe a week after submitting to follow-up with the status.

DONT: Contact the site/writer on a daily basis on the status of the post. By you’re constant harassing this will lead them to have a bad taste in their mouth about the representation and the actually artists. When this happens usually the writer will not not have a positive outlook on writing this post since of the constant reminder. Us bloggers don’t need this. We have more on our plate then what you can expect. Especially it’s a site in supporting Underground Hip-Hop Artists from all over. If you haven’t notice there’s thousands of you.

DO: Create an excel sheet and generate a list of music bloggers. This will need name of the site, link, email, contact name, twitter, date sent, reviewed, follow-up 1, follow-up 2, Notes. These columns will help out because all the information you need will be right there. Fast way to view status on submissions, if you have this as up to date as possible.

DONT: Discredit sites for not posting you’re content. By showcasing this negativity in public this can cause a backlash of other blogger sites to not support the artists. I know at times it may seem no one is supporting you but you got to have a bit more patience. Especially when we’re overwhelmed with submissions. I have to mention this more than once because it’s a lot!

This should cover the basics of SUBMISSIONS 101. Be genuine! Providing more information is always better than to have less. The more you give the more we have to work with.

If you have any questions feel free to HASHTAG #ASKNIKKI101 and mention me @NikkiSiixx. I’ll be happy to help out with any questions. & please don’t let these question be about posting your content. That would clearly mean you didn’t read my article above.

NikkiSiixx Do’s and Dont’s: How To Promote Your Music Through Social Media Outlets

Social Media has taken the internet by storm, it’s not the same as 10 years ago. Social Media outlets are websites that offer ways to interact with others, they might be friends or family and possibly with people you’ve never met.. The most popular out of these social outlets are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, and the list goes on and on. I would like to go over the proper way to use Twitter and Facebook since these are the media outlets I use the most. I consider these more like guidelines.


[x] When promoting your music via Twitter do it best on your timeline. This will reach out to you’re followers, if they like what they see they’ll click the link because they are interested.

[x] When someone asks for more links to your music, send it through a DM. (DM – Direct Message) You’re followers don’t need to see you blasting your own music to others.

[x] HASTAG # RELEVANT TOPICS! Obviously genre, location of artist, and key words related to your song or content.

[x] Overload you’re timeline with content. This will bring you people who are interested.

[x] Spam everyone with a link to your track saying LIKE AND SHARE — First off… how can you LIKE a tweet? You’re in the wrong outlet. Especially when you spam everyone with the same tweet it gets ridiculous. When we’re using Twitter we don’t listen when we receive these type of tweets.

[x] DON’T DM with links to your music, especially when the person didn’t inquire to hear your music in the first place. This is when you can actually lose a potential fan or get reported as SPAM.

[x] DON’T EVER ALTER tweets to give you the benefit of the doubt.

[x] Say if you’re waiting on a blogger/brand to get back to you on a submission or an inquiry. Don’t tweet them publicly, this will put them on the spot on why they haven’t gotten back to you. You must understand by doing this, this will reduce you’re chances with them even working with you. Best way is either through a DM or an email. I find email is more private and you’ll have more space to talk about the situation.


[x] Best way to promote your music via Facebook is to have a Artist Fan Page. This way any personal stuff doesn’t get shown to your fans.

[x] Promote – New Music x Projects x Collaborations x Photos x Music Video x Event Recaps of your performance x Any upcoming shows you have.

[x] Follow Facebook Guidelines! Such as posting photos of drugs you’re using or any type of nudity. Facebook does not play when it comes to these offenses. They’ve been reports of police departments going through pages and finding people posting them using illegal drugs. You just gave yourself away. There’s no need to promote it!

[x] Copy and paste the same promotion to everyone that’s a friend of yours. Either on a wall post or through a message. I find this to be inconsistent. When sometimes everyone is a friend of a friend and see you left them the same comment. Where’s the exclusivity? Why should I listen? Do I have time to listen? All these questions pop off when people get these notifications.

[x] You’re content on other people’s walls. Who gives you the right? I know it may seem like a great idea at first. But what if the person doesn’t like you pushing your music on their wall or doesn’t like your music at all. You wouldn’t like another artists to do the same on your page.

[x] Tag People on photos of your cover art. Unless they had something to do with it. If they made the cover art, produced the track, was featured on it. These should be the reasons why you’re being tagged in the first place. When I see images I’m tagged in that I have nothing to do with I just remove my tag.

I hope you were able to use some of my pointers in properly promoting you’re content via social media outlets. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me via Twitter @NikkiSiixx

Nothing But The Truth: Meet The Press Edition by Fawn•Nicole

The worlds of blogging and talent discovery have certainly changed with the boom of social media, thus affecting the music industry as we know it. But, rather than complain about the current state of affairs, I’m here to offer some sound advice. It’s time to meet the press. I am Fawn•Nicole, I write for NikkiSiixx.com and I am an artist manager. Currently, I manage three artists, and everything I am about to write about are things that I have already done and they have worked.

Now, we’ve seen a few articles on how to “properly” reach out to online media for press coverage, and they’re jam packed with the political jargon to toot the horn of the blogger. I am writing this article for the artists, and this one is catered to hip-hop artists because helpful articles seldom cater to us. There are a few things that absolutely have to happen when you decide your music is ready to be shared with anyone that isn’t a friend or relative.

High Quality Mix/Mastering: This is simply non-negotiable. You are sending your music to people who listen to music all the time! These people have the potential to share your music with their readers, and your ultimate goal is to gain a fan from what they listen to. Regardless of whether or not the music is good, sound quality is important. The best way to look at it is this, the second you decide to share your music with the world, you’re an aspiring music professional. Your music needs to sound as such.

Be Brief: Trust me, when you’re reaching out for the first time you’ll want to include as much information as possible. It’s only natural. You’re trying to intrigue the blogger with interest so they’ll actually press play then decide to post YOUR music. I learned the hard way. While I learned to be creative within a few paragraphs, once I narrowed down the information to a few sentences, things started to look up. Simply put, you’re one out of a few hundred, if not thousands of aspiring artists bombarding these inboxes on a regular basis. They want to know who you are, where you’re from and what your music is all about. It really is that simple. If the music is dope, they will know when they hear it.

Keep In Mind, This Is A PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION: Yes, this is a business transaction. As much as folks wants to abandon this principle (one reason why the genre is a mess), this is a requirement!  Use proper grammar. Spellcheck, I mean seriously… most of our machines do this for us today, do it! While slang isn’t banned, do not be profane.

In an attempt to let this sink in, and to answer any questions up to this point, I’ll save the rest for a part two to be published soon.

Tweet me, @FawnNicole with your questions, and use the #NothingButTheTruth hashtag.

NikkiSiixx Do’s & Don’ts: How To Approach A Female Promoter

As a promoter you are always communicating with the public either online or in person. Sometimes it can get a bit awkward due to the fact I am a women. They might find me attractive and this may lead them in the wrong direction. They sidetrack and will miss out an opportunity that will help out with their career. I created a Do’s & Don’t’s list to help the artists and managers. This will help you have a better relationship with the promoter which can guarantee you more features and possible performances.

I’ve also asked questions to other female promoters to give me they’re insight of ways artists can improve with communicating with us. Prima from iBlog126.com, Mel lo from Mellosnotebook.com, Jojo Fabs from jojosblock.com, & Del from ViceCityCypher.

-When meeting them online either on Facebook, Twitter, or E-mail. I would recommend that you make your first contact public. Wall Post or Tweet. This engages the promoter and this will make it easier for us to remember you when you do submit your content for review. Usually, our websites will have a submissions link with details on the right way to send them your music. If you can’t follow simple directions or don’t have all the content needed, then your not ready for blog exposure. We need you to provide all necessary information to provide you the best reviews.
When meeting them in person keep it distant. Shake hands and introduce yourself. Depending if the promoter is currently working at the venue, you should not take too much of their time. Just become a familiar face.

-Always ask questions! This will clear up anything your not sure about. Regarding a show your performing, content you want to submit, or any advice when it comes to anything related to Hip-Hop or Event Coordinating. We’re here to help!

-Get on her good side. Help promote her site/brand, promote the feature you had on her site, and just be cool. We’re not here to make enemies, we’re here to network.

-When meeting the promoter online, you need to remember that if your either sarcastic, flirtatious, disrespectful, or demanding this will leave a bad taste. The promoter will no longer want to affiliate with you.
When meeting her in person. Try not to have any physical contact this will give us the wrong impression and will make us think you are not taking us seriously, and most of all it’s not professional. Remember your here to promote your music not initiate a possible relationship.

-Don’t expect! When you expect certain things such as a group of your friends can get in for free when there’s no guest list or a post to land sooner than later on a site. We are constantly working on numerous projects so expect delays when worse case scenario.

-When the bridge is burnt down, don’t try and rebuild. It will never be the same. Say, either a commotion occurred between you and the promoter. She doesn’t want to affiliate herself with you anymore. Respect that. She has her reasons behind her actions. There’s always another promoter to contact.

I asked the ladies a couple questions, wanted to share with you their response to one of them. The question was What would an artist do that would make the situation awkward? and this is what they had to say:


I don’t want to hear “Hey mama, what’s good” or “Hey sexy, check out my music, you want to be in my video” LOL. I will definitely ignore you. You might have to be persistent, I get a lot of request. Just be nice and NOT pushy. –MeL Lo

Please do not call a female promoter Ma, Hun nor Mama. Last time I check I am neither your mother nor your Hunny! This is strictly business and we do not want to make any moment awkward or for anyone to get the wrong idea so lets keep it professional. –Jojo Fabs

When they try to flirt his way in or bribe his way in. I don’t play with either one. –Del

We all answered and when an artist becomes flirtatious it’s a red light! ZERO TOLERANCE ON FLIRTING! Don’t get carried away.

At the beginning it was hard for us to make moves, due to the fact we are women in a man’s world. We were underestimated, judged, and made fun of. But what did we do? We kept working hard on our reviews, building connects, throwing consistent shows, and showing genuine love and support for the Underground.

The Hip-Hop community is growing more and more with females becoming apart of it. If it’s a blogger, event coordinator, public relations, and or managers. We all need to learn how to respect and get a long with each other. We are doing it for the love of music, and giving a spotlight to the ones that are unheard.


NikkiSiixx’s Do’s & Don’ts: Getting Booked For A Show

What’s up ya’ll? I’ve been asked non-stop from artist if they can perform at one of my shows or even advice of how to get booked. From the experienced I’ve gained from throwing shows for an entire year. Averaging from one to three even four showcases a month. These are my Do’s & Don’t of how to get booked for a show.

-If you are an artist that’s eager to rock on stage you MUST be patient. It takes a lot of time to get a showcase of artist together and that it will all suit well.

-Must be presentable in person and online. The venue might need to check to see what artist the promoter puts on. This makes it easier for us when you have a website, twitter, facebook, soundcloud, bandcamp, etc.

-Attend the show just to see if your music will fit the vibe of the venue.

-Meet with the promoter so you can have a face to face meet and greet. Remember your not the only artists that’s contacting the promoter.

-Show support and attend more then one of their shows. The more I see your face the more ground you stand on. Become a familiar face.

-Once you do get the opportunity to rock, YOU Need to promote the event as hard as possible. You wanna know why? It’s because you target your fans immediately. I don’t have access to who knows you. (Promoters notice who really promotes the event and if you did a poor job at it… expect yourself not to be in another show)

-If your on a DIVA type of attitude, we seriously don’t deal with persona’s like that very well. Be humble and respect others.

-When the venue does have Sound check, at a specific time. You as the artist have to be there. For one, we’re checking out to see if the mics and sound are on point. Every artist has a different tone to their voice. If you sound like shit later don’t be mad since you didn’t make sound check.

-Don’t EVER harass the promoter. If they feel this way they will let other promoters know not to work with the artist since they harass. That’s why I mentioned earlier you need to be patient.

-When the venue only allows 21 and over. There’s a huge chance they will not let anyone under the age limit. But for some cases you might be able to as long as it’s brought up to the promoter and venue’s attention. We might be able to work something out and if not we at least tried.

-If your running late and you don’t notify the promoter, that’s not a good look at all. I know sometimes things get in your way or someone else is making you late. TELL THE PROMOTER YOUR LATE. Regardless we think your not going to make it at all and your messing up the entire set. Don’t think of yourself you need to think about everyone else who’s apart of the show.

-Don’t ask for more people on the guest-list. If they are providing only one or two. Accept it. Say your set has another artist to perform with you or a dj. You must let the promoter know this because we’re only assuming the act and no one else. If you acquire a guest-list you can always work something out with the promoter. This must be done prior to the day of the event. Any unexpected guest can cause tension, due to we were not advise.

I hope that these guidelines can help you get on a show sooner than later. If you have any question feel free to contact me via twitter. NikkiSiixx