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THE UNUSUAL TV SHOW EVERY ARTIST NEEDS TO WATCH (STAY WITH ME ON THIS)

Shark Tank

Written by Omari MC

Ok, stay with me on this one.

Every independent artist needs to be watching Shark Tank. It's an investment show that airs on ABC and features entrepreneurs trying to pitch their businesses to the Sharks (investors worth BILLIONS of dollars).

An entrepreneur comes onto the show and is willing to give up a percentage of their company to a willing investor for a certain price. Negotiations then ensue and a deal is eventually struck or shot down.

Even if you already watch the show you might be thinking, "How in the world does this connect to me as a musician." Well I believe I wrap it up quite nicely towards the end of this article.

These entrepreneurs usually have a business that is already doing well, but they all think the same thing. "My product is going to change the way we..."

Well you can fill in the blank because there's a zillion products out there, but often times these aspiring business owners get put in check by the Sharks, who will question certain aspects of how much the contestant valued their company at.

If the entrepreneur can't prove why they're worth their asking price in the first place then they'll leave the tank without a deal and lose out on a major opportunity to have a great investor partner in their business.

MUSIC ARTISTS ARE ENTREPRENEURS

Now if we take a look at the music industry we can see the same thing. Record labels are the investors and the independent artist is the entrepreneur pleading to get a deal. When the deal works out it can do wonders, but we have to examine the facts.

I know, I know... Some artists just want to 'make music to speak to people's lives' and don't want to worry about the business of it all. But without an income you have a hobby, not a career, so we need to get hip to the business skills.

There are approximately 150 people per season that get the chance to even pitch to the Sharks in the tank. On the flip side there's 20 million active entrepreneurs in the U.S. each year.

That yields a .0000075% chance of even getting on the show.

WHAT DOES THIS TELL US?

I don't know about you, but I'm not leaving my chances up to that percentage to make things happen.

Would it be nice to get a deal with a Shark? Of course?!! However, I also know that many of the entrepreneurs with great products still leave the show without a deal because they didn't build up the business enough before they went on.

Investors don't want to get in the game too early. That's why when I hear artists say things like, "I just need someone to give me a chance." I cringe. How can an artist ask for someone else to give them a chance whenever they're not doing the right things to help their chances.

You have to know the waters before you want to swim in them.

Record labels often aren't looking for just talent; they're looking for small businesses. If you can prove to a label that you truly stand out by having your marketing and fan base in place before you even approach them for a deal your chances rise dramatically.

We have to know how to run our independent music businesses so we can succeed without a label. THEN, if we want, we can go to labels for signing (personally I'd rather be an independent, but it's all about preference).

Mark Cuban 'Billionaire Shark'

Mark Cuban 'Billionaire Shark'

HOW SHOULD WE RUN OUR MUSIC BUSINESS?

One thing we must learn in our music business is presenting our products. I'll use myself as an example.

I know I mostly help independent artists learn how to market their music and make an income by using my over-the-shoulder training in the Advanced Artists Academy. It sets up a smart entrepreneurial system so they can build a strong fan base and convert it into an income.

At the same time, I know independent artists don't have a lot of money, but they still need help so they can get things going for their career, so I offer a basic package where they can get into the program for under $100 bucks.

Why would any serious artist waste anymore time not learning how they can set up the entire system and relieve years worth of headaches for under $100? It's a no brainer.

By presenting my product this way it's a win-win. I know artists can benefit a ton off my program without them having to worry about if they can afford it or not.

HOW ARE YOU PRESENTING YOUR PRODUCT (MUSIC)?

When you present your product (music) to fans (and eventually labels if you work smart at it) it should be a win-win too.

We have to build up a music career that is worth an outside investor coming in and saying, "I need to get in on this."

Not just because it's good, but because we've proven that it can also benefit the label. There's plenty of talented artists out there, but they have no serious track record under their belt.

Your career as an independent artist IS your track record. When you prove to yourself that you can use the right tools to build it up without a Shark, then that's when the Sharks will be interested.

We shouldn't be reaching out to labels when we're having trouble getting started. We should be reaching out when we're having trouble keeping up with the high demand for our music, and we need more resources to get a proven product out to more fans.

Be prepared for this music business. It's not impossible to swim with the Sharks, but there's too many fish in the sea to wander around aimlessly hoping for a shot at the Gold. 

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