When You’re a Star…Everyone is Watching

The other evening a group I was going to work with went to the bar and put up a bar-tab of around $200 throughout the night. Buying drinks for people, trying to be flashy, etc. Cool, I guess. Then, they did something not only disrespectful, but career harming… they tipped the server $1.

First of all, if you’ve got the money to buy people drinks, but you can’t treat your server well, you’re fronting, you’re fake, and all around it makes you look bad.

Secondly, not tipping is mad disrespectful in and of itself. I know that bar prices are high, but you knew that what you went in, you knew what you were getting yourself into. If you weren’t about the high prices, why were you buying freeloaders some drinks?

Finally, why would you do something like that to your career? If you aren’t treating servers correctly, they are DEFINITELY not going to want you performing at the club. I mean if the group that is on stage is supposed to be “ballin” but they won’t tip, what does that say about the crowd they attract.

Image courtesy of www.savingadvice.com
Image courtesy of www.savingadvice.com

To build a successful career as an artist you have to realize you ARE your business. If you’re not tipping the servers, they have no incentive to keep you coming back, or the crowd you bring. If I’m a club owner, I’m going to choose the artist who makes me money and keeps my servers happy. Would you want servers coming up to you complaining about an act because they made no tips that night?

Needless to say, I will not be working with this group. I found out from one of the servers (I know her), that they did this. I let them know the error of their ways before I let them know I wouldn’t be working with them, so that they could fix it. But, the reality of the situation is that I do not work with disrespectful people. If you don’t have the money to tip, go somewhere you don’t need to tip. Simple as that.

This is ESPECIALLY important as a new artist, you NEED support from the servers and club owners in order to start doing shows.

As usual, I appreciate ya! Hope everyone is having a GREAT December as you gear up for an AMAZING New Year.

-Eric Phillipson


New Project from Speak Your Music

Whats going on everyone, I shot this quick video to give you some updates on what I’m working on with Speak Your Music. Enjoy.
Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Viddler video.

Oh yeah, excuse the construction in the background. We’re getting a bay-window taken out and replacing it with regular windows. This house is over 100 years old and the bay-window is just unnecessary weight.

Also, if you aren’t yet, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter! You’ll get my special report AND a coaching session I did with the Hip Hop Journalist. I’m sending the coaching session out personally so it may take a few hours to receive however, you get the special report instantly.

Thanks again!



Procrastination & Writers Block

I’m not even going to lie.  Today…my brain is not functioning.  I guess you could call it writers block.

Earlier today I sat at the computer trying to figure out what I was going to post, and I honestly could not think of one thing to write.  I also have an archive of articles I’ve written for use on here, but none of those really appealed for use today.  They’re all great articles, but I like to have a reason for using them.

Anyway, as I was sitting here organizing some things, I remembered how many times musicians or writers get in a rutt when it comes to writing or creating in general.  I would say I am pretty good about getting out of writers block, or avoiding procrastination.  But, I wasn’t always. I used to procrastinate like (insert similie here).

Today, I wanted to share tips on how to avoid writers block and procrastination.  Because, honestly, the two go hand-in-hand.

A lot of times during writers block we can’t put our thoughts together the way we need to.  What I will generally do is take an hour break and go work on something else.  As musicians there is always something you can be doing to focus on your career.  If you are having trouble writing a song, take an hour break and focus on some of the business aspects of your career.  Then come back to your song,  a lot of times putting in the work for business will get your mind moving and your creative juices flowing.  The key here is to make sure you are staying active.

Speaking of staying active, besides business, working out is another way to get your brain in motion.  Its amazing how the ideas just start flowing in after a good workout.  Its a wake-up to your entire body, plus a great way to motivate yourself into a yes-I-can attitude.

Now here is something that I might get flammed for when it comes to procrastination.  A lot of people say you should start with the most difficult task first (eat the frog), this is great if you are not a true procrastinator.  Here is what works for me:

When I wake up, I find the quickest task that requires some work.  Notice I’m not saying easiest.  I’m saying if I need to get a hold of someone for business as part of my tasks, I will make sure that I start by trying to get a hold of that person.  Or say I need to do some quick research, I will do that.  If you do the hardest/toughest task first, as a procrastinator you may get discouraged or bored for you ADD folks out there.  By starting with a task that is quick, you build yourself up for the long haul.  Eating the frog should be second in my opinion, you need appetizers before any large meal 😉

Then again, I’m also a very energetic person who has a hard-time focusing on one thing for too long.  So how do I combat that?  Chunks.  I’m not talking 50 minute time chunks (though this is a GREAT method for getting things done), I’m talking task chunks.  Say you’re working on a business plan.  Break that down. Something like “Once I complete my summary page, I will take a 10 minute break”.  Be reasonable though with breaking things down.  If you start doing things like “Once I write a paragraph, I will take a 10 minute break”, you’ll fall right back into a procrastination hole.  Generally, in order to be more effective, I will create a breakdown of my tasks the night before, that way I am not wasting time in the morning working on them.

Now, have you ever woken up and just written the five things that come to  mind?  If you’re a songwriter, I suggest you try it.  If I had a bad day before (as far as ideas), waking up the next day and jotting ten things down that come to mind usually puts me on the “write” foot 😉 to getting things done.  Ok, Ok, bad pun, sorry.

Hope you have a great and productive day!



Importance of Creating an Experience For Your Fans

You know what I really don’t like…

Yawning at a show.

Honestly, many artists fail to try and capture their audience.  Why? Because they forget to put feeling behind the music they are performing. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I have been to a show where an artist barely moves.

It is so important to GIVE YOUR ALL to your fans when you perform.  One artist who I really respect and love seeing live is P.O.S. from Rhyme Sayers.  He goes IN! Here is a clip from the warped tour… notice that he’s in the middle of the crowd… he did his whole set in the middle.

YouTube Preview Image

These are the type of shows you should strive to put on for your fans.  Give them a reason to constantly seek out your shows because they know that they will have an experience.  Performing isn’t about JUST the music you provide to your fans, it’s about the EXPERIENCE you provide them

Now I know that the P.O.S. clip was more of a hype song.  So what if you play slower music?

Get your crowd involved, give them an experience. Make it personal.  If they wanted the music they’d listen to it on cd, they want that experience and that personal touch.

You owe it to the fans.


Building Your Fan Base: Basics

I want to keep it basic today.

Here is the VERY first step in building your fan base.  Most people skip this step for no reason.

But, here is what you should be doing.

Network with people in your industry.


Ok ok, I’m not just going to leave it there.  Listen, a lot of times when we want to build our fan base, we think too much about going out there and soliciting fans to listen to the music, or check out the webpage, or download the ringtone.  This is all great, but why stop there?

By networking with people in your industry (DJs, Artists, Promoters, etc) you are putting yourself in the eye of their fanbase as well.  I’m not talking about taking over their fans, I’m talking about new avenues of promotion (i.e. putting on shows together).

For the record, I am assuming here that you are building genuine relationships with the people in these industries.  Don’t go up to another artist and ask him if he can let his/her fans know about you, that’s just disrespectful.

A.B.P. = Always Be Professional

Nobody likes their time wasted, especially someone who is trying to get their own business up and running.  Make sure that when you are networking with these people, you are letting them know Whats In It For Them.  For DJs, try to setup a mixtape deal, they host, you pay some manufacturing costs.  For other artists, set up a show together, for promoters help them promote a show or an event in exchange for a performance or an opening for a larger act.  There is always something you can offer and when networking, you should always offer up those skills.

The key in building your fan base is first networking with the people already in your industry.  If you support them they will support you.  Their fans will follow their endorsements.

If you have any questions regarding this, feel free to Email me (see contact page).  I may pull your question for a new post!