If you stand for something, and put out songs that are true to those values, your fans will stay with you -says Martin Eggert
The move to a small start-up has made Martin Eggert all the more passionate about marketing artists the right way. He tells VoiceCouncil his marketing advice for singers:
1. Be Honest in How You Present Yourself.
“At some point, people always figure out who you really are,” says Eggert, “So you might as well be honest from the beginning.”
Your personality, values and sound may not strike a chord with everyone right away, but that is no reason to be something you are not.
Artists may worry that their style is not on trend now, but Eggert reminds us that there are 6 billion people on the planet, and as long as you are true to who you are, there will always be people who connect to you.
2. Project Clear Values.
“You can take over the world in 10 minutes, but you will lose it in five,” says Eggert.
On the other hand, if you stand for something, and put out songs that are true to those values, your fans will stay with you – even if the occasional song turns out to be a flop.
Eggert is currently working on a mood sheet for his newly signed artist, a singer-songwriter. A mood sheet is a page of images and text that quickly communicates who an artist is.
This singer is all about being a troublemaker and a rule-breaker. She is edgy, fiery and even has red hair. Already, her fan base is growing (a video on Facebook went from 0 to 150,000 views in a few days).
People like her music, but equally as important – they can see and connect to those rebellious values she projects.
“When I look at an artist, celebrity or an athlete,” says Eggert, “I see a brand.”
A brand is values — and values are something people can hold onto.
The best way to get fans is to be clear about who you are and what you stand for.
Instead of thinking about what will make a hit, think about what you stand for.
3. Experiment and Look Honestly at What Works
Eggert manages a producer, Steffen Aba, who, when he started, had about five different musical projects he was fired up about.
Over two years, he figured out by trial and error, which projects he was most passionate about, which also struck a chord with his fans, and let other projects go one by one until he now puts all his energy into producing.
“When Steffen Aba is in the studio, he goes from being an everyday guy to Harry Potter,” says Eggert, “People feed off of his energy and magic starts to happen.”
Eggert says he saw that magic two years ago, but in order to feel good about letting go of a project, Steffen needed to go through the trial-and-error process for himself.
4. When it is Time to Bring People Onto Your Team, Take Your Time, and Choose Carefully.
You must receive good energy from the people you work with.
“As an artist, you need the right team behind you,” says Eggert, “If you don’t find them today, then wait.”
You should receive energy from each other, which tells you that the collaboration is right – for both parties.
Eggert says he always asks a new artist, “Who are you? What do you stand for?”
If their values and goals are a good fit, the next step is to ask, “Do we feed off each other?”
Before going out on his own, Eggert worked in a 360-degree music company, that required new artists to sign with the company’s own management, booker, publicist and so on, regardless of whether those people were a good fit for that particular artist.
Now he encourages his artists to build their team slowly as they find people with whom they feel a connection.
5. Trust and Verbal Agreement Must Come Before Written Contracts
As you work and collaborate with other people, you may encounter the need for a contract. These written agreements protect both the artist and the other party, but only if trust is already established.
“There will always be grey areas in a contract,” says Eggert, “Which is why your verbal dialogue and trust are so important in any agreement.”
Eggert says the verbal agreement must always feel right. Putting it down on paper is merely a way of showing that agreement to the rest of the world.
Eggert says he puts restrictions on himself to make it easier for an artist to trust him.
For example, a contract may give Eggert power to act on the artists’ behalf, but it also requires that he get their written approval before he can act.
“Some people would say I am working against myself,” says Eggert, “by doing my contracts this way! If it helps build that all-important trust, then it is worth it.”
Final Words of Advice: Do What Feels Right.
“Musicians are creative, emotional people,” says Eggert, “Which means you can’t just tell them what to do – they have to feel it.”
Eggert wouldn’t be doing his job as a manager, if he didn’t give direction to, and even push his artists out of their comfort zone from time to time, but no matter what, he listens to his gut, and expects his artists to do the same.
Starting out as a popular DJ in Denmark while working in sales and marketing at Bacardi-Martini, Martin Eggert eventually went into music management. He built a company from managing 8 artists to 45 artists. The company brought producers, booking agents, publicists, managers and endorsements all under one roof – in other words, it was a 360-degree music company. Then, he went out on his own, now managing a singer-songwriter, a live drum group, a DJ, a producer and a professional athlete. He is based in Aarhus, Denmark. For more info visit: