Category Archives: Do Business Like A Pro

The C.L.I.M.B. #93: How To Make Every Publisher Meeting A Success

Every publisher meeting you take as a songwriter CAN be a success.  No lie.  But sometimes that success is hidden.  This episode will give you the eyes to see those successes and win with EVERY meeting!

If you’re a singer, songwriter or indie artist who wants to grow your career, THIS is the podcast for you!

The C.L.I.M.B. Podcast is live and ready for download!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Before You Pitch Your Song, Ask Yourself These 6 Questions!

You’ve just written your new favorite jam, and you can’t wait to pitch it to every artist and label in town.  Congrats!  But DON’T pitch that song just yet!

Before you send that email or make that call, you need to ask yourself these 6 questions that can keep you from wasting your time AND your songwriting reputation.

________________________________

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

_________________________________

Let’s say you have the opportunity to pitch to an artist.  Maybe Aunt Agnes knows a guy that mows the lawn of the guy that cuts Blake Shelton’s hair.  Or maybe you’re a staff writer who knows you shouldn’t leave all the pitching to your plugger.  Either way, you want to make the most of your pitches.  Here are some questions to ask yourself as you’re going through your songs.

1.  Does my song fit the artist’s brand?

Artists are brands.  Simply put, if your song is a french fry, don’t bother pitching it to Taco Bell.  They don’t DO french fries- it doesn’t fit their brand.  Likewise, don’t waste an artist’s time by pitching him a song that doesn’t fit what he does.  You’ll look like you just didn’t bother to do your homework.  That doesn’t respect the artist’s artistry or their time, and you come off looking bad.

 2.  Can the artist sing the song?

I was in an A&R pitch meeting at a label, and I pitched a certain song for a certain artist on their roster.  The A&R rep said the lyric was right up his alley, but she didn’t think he could sing it.  Pass.

My buddy, Anthony Orio, has pitched songs to a publisher before, and the publisher told him, “What guy can sing this melody?”  Well, Anthony could.  But the point is that not a lot of guys could sing a song that rangy, so it wasn’t as attractive to a publisher as a song they could pitch everywhere.

3.  Does the artist already write this type of song?

For example, Keith Urban tends to write his own feel-good mid-and-uptempo songs.  Most of his ballads and darker songs, however, tend to be written by other writers- “Raining On Sunday” “You’ll Think Of Me” “Making Memories Of Us” and “Stupid Boy,” for example.  Your best bet for getting a Keith Urban cut is probably to bring him something he records but doesn’t typically write himself.  The same goes for most artists.

4.  Is it a quality recording?

I’ve gotten cuts from demos.  I’ve gotten cuts from good guitar/vocals.  But unless it’s something I wrote with the artist, I’ve never gotten a cut off a worktape.

There are writers that can pitch a worktape, but they’ve had enough success that the listener expects to hear a great song because of who wrote it.  Also, they can probably play it directly for the artist or producer.  Depending on how close you are to the project, your song may have to get past an A&R intern, a production assistant, and who knows who else before it can get to someone who can give you the “Big Yes.”

I personally don’t count on every person in that chain to be able to hear through a worktape- especially when it’s sandwiched between great-sounding demos.

5.  Is this song a step into the artist’s future?

Right after Brad Paisley hit with “The Fishing Song,” he got blasted with fishing songs from everywhere.  Notice how he STILL hasn’t put another one out as a single?  I’m sure he didn’t want to get pigeonholed as the fishing guy (although that was an important part of his brand at the time).  Besides, he can write a great fishing song on his own- he doesn’t need to pay me for mine when he can make money on his.

Successful artists evolve over time.  Plenty of writers will be pitching them their LAST hit.  You need to pitch them their NEXT hit.

6.  Is this a great song?

I’ve made the mistake of pitching songs that were the right brand, but just “okay.”  It’s like kicking a field goal perfectly straight… but five yards short.  No points.  There are too many really good and great songs out there- why would an artist cut yours?  It has to be on-brand AND great.  Never, never, never pitch a song that you know isn’t great.  It’ll reflect poorly on you as a songwriter.  It’ll damage your reputation.  And in this business, reputation is huge.

I hope this list is helpful for you.  It’s not an exhaustive list- each pitch opportunity comes with it’s own particulars.  But I think you’ll be well served to keep these questions in mind.

But what if you don’t have your own pitch contacts?  What if you don’t know any artists or producers? 

Well, you’re probably going to need a publisher.  And I’m happy to give you a shot at meeting one!  I want YOU to join me at Songwriting Pro’s next Play For A Publisher event- and get feedback on YOUR song in person! (No matter where you live.)

If you’re ready to connect with a publisher, I have a path for YOU and YOUR great song to get to a real, legit, successful music publisher, no matter where in the world you live.

On Thursday, December 14, I’m having the next round of Songwriting Pro’s “Play For A Publisher.” Our guest is John Ozier of ole Music.  John has had his hand in a bunch of hits, but the deadline to submit your song is coming up NEXT MONDAY!  DON’T MISS OUT- CLICK HERE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

The C.L.I.M.B. #92: Randy Barber of Bar Frog Music

How do you get several independent artists onto the charts- all at the same time??? Johnny and I discuss that with this week’s guest, Randy Barber of Bar Frog Music

If you’re a singer, songwriter or indie artist who wants to grow your career, THIS is the podcast for you!

The C.L.I.M.B. Podcast is live and ready for download!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

In Today’s Music Biz, Songwriters Must Have THIS Skill

Hit music publisher, Dan Hodges of Dan Hodges Music, was our most recent Play For A Publisher guest, and he dropped a HUGE value-bomb on us!

It was just too good and too important to keep to ourselves, so I decided to share it.  If you want to become a pro songwriter, read on!

________________________________

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

_________________________________

At Songwriting Pro’s most recent “Play For A Publisher” event, Dan Hodges was asked about the importance to a publisher of a songwriter being able to play, sing, record their own demos, etc.

His answer was surprising.

Here’s basically (paraphrased) what Dan told us.

In the 1990’s, it was really important for a songwriter to be able to write solo.  That way, you could put that writer in the room with anybody (or nobody), and you were confident that he or she could come out with a good song.

But these days, it’s different.

Now, Dan places a big value on work ethic.  Is the writer a hard worker?  Does he or she show up consistency, putting in the effort and the hours?

Then Dan hit us with something surprising.

It’s really important that the writer is a good hang.  A publisher is always looking to network, and it’s very important that the writer is LIKABLE.  Just like in the ’90’s, when publishers wanted a writer who could go into a room with anyone and come out with a good song, these days, they often want a writer who can go into a room with anyone and come out with a good RELATIONSHIP.

The social aspect of the music business is vitally important.

He told us the story of one of his songwriters.  According to Dan, this writer is a very positive person.  He just makes everyone around him feel good.  This writer recently landed a #1 hit country song, which he cowrote with the artist.

Basically, as Dan explains it, his writer got a #1 not only because he is a good writer, but the artist enjoyed writing with him.  They became friends, and after that relationship garnered 30 or so songs, one of them landed on the artist’s debut album.  It was released as a single, and eventually hit #1.

Now Dan’s songwriter has a #1 hit to go with his winning, positive personality.

Now, here’s my (Brent’s) take on that.

I know some writers who hate to hear these kinds of stories.  They hate to think of the music business as “high school all over again” or a “popularity contest” where only the “cool kids” get the attention.

That’s a loser mentality, and you can’t afford to think that way.  

(Those are my words, not Dan’s, just so we’re clear.)

The music business is FULL of writers with a ton of talent.  It’s full of writers with a good work ethic.  And there are a lot of writers trying to get into the biz who also work hard and have talent.

Bringing a good hang can be worth as much as bringing a good hook.

Why?  Because being a good hang can get you in the room again and again.  Yes, you need the talent.  But once the talent-bar has been cleared, the artist (or hit writer) still has more potential cowriters than they have time for.  So…

What’s going to get YOU in that room instead of someone else?

Be a good hang.  Be likable.  Be someone other people want to be around.

Like it or not, personality matters.  People just have too many options to be stuck spending their time with people they don’t like.

If an artist or cowriter doesn’t HAVE to write with you, it’s your job to make them WANT to write with you.

 

I want YOU to join me at the next Play For A Publisher event- and get great advice and feedback on YOUR song in person! (No matter where you live.)

If you’re ready to connect with a publisher, I have a path for YOU and YOUR great song to get to a real, legit, successful music publisher, no matter where in the world you live.  That’s right- it’s all online, so you can join us from anywhere!

On Thursday, December 14, I’m having the next round of Songwriting Pro’s “Play For A Publisher.” Our guest is John Ozier of ole Music.  John has had his hand in a bunch of hits, but the deadline to submit your song is coming up THIS MONTH!  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

The C.L.I.M.B. #91: 5 Ways To Know Who’s Looking For Songs

How do pro songwriters know who’s looking for songs?  And are any of these resources available to writers like you?  If you want artists to record your songs, you’ll want to listen as we pull back the curtain on the music industry!  Also, check out this week’s Song Title Challenge!

If you’re a singer, songwriter or indie artist who wants to grow your career, THIS is the podcast for you!

The C.L.I.M.B. Podcast is live and ready for download!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

Advice For Songwriters From Hit Music Publisher, Dan Hodges

Hit music publisher, Dan Hodges of Dan Hodges Music, was our most recent Play For A Publisher guest.  And, boy, did he have some great advice for our songwriters!

Wanna know what he said? Read on!

________________________________

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

_________________________________

If you couldn’t make it to the event or watch the replay, here’s some of the great advice Dan had for us.

Put yourself in the artist’s shoes.  With every song, ask yourself, “If I were an artist on a label, would I want to sing this song every night, saying ‘This is me.  This is who I am.’?”

Go with what you know.  Trends change, but a great story and a melody are always relevant.  Sam Hunt’s “Breakup In A Small Town” may have progressive production, but it still has some brilliant lines (especially the one about the grass growing back where she used to park her car).  That’s great writing.

Show me a “moment” in your song.  Create a moment or paint a picture that draws the listener in.  Avoid having too many generic lines.  Get something tangible in there.

Don’t make the listener connect too many dots.  Country music is a very spelled-out market.  Don’t make the listener work too hard to understand what you’re talking about.

Regarding how progressive a country demo can get:  Anything goes.  Just keep the lyric a country lyric.  But the demo can get “out there.”

Is there an advantage to working with a publisher?  Yes, Dan says.  A publisher will hook up cowrites and help you with networking.  You must have artist/producer relationships, and a good publisher will have those.

Stay away from curse words in a country lyric.  It makes it harder for the song to get cut.

Don’t put the singer in a negative light.  They have to sing the song every night and “become” the character in the song.  Make the main character in the song someone the artist WANTS to be.

I want YOU to join me at the next Play For A Publisher event- and get feedback on YOUR song in person! (No matter where you live.)

If you’re ready to connect with a publisher, I have a path for YOU and YOUR great song to get to a real, legit, successful music publisher, no matter where in the world you live.

On Thursday, December 14, I’m having the next round of Songwriting Pro’s “Play For A Publisher.” Our guest is John Ozier of ole Music.  John has had his hand in a bunch of hits, but the deadline to submit your song is coming up quickly!  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

The C.L.I.M.B. #90: 5 Networking Hacks

The music business is a relationship business, and nothing will help you kickstart a good relationship like using these 5 networking hacks.  This is not about some sneaky, underhanded way of manipulating people.  No, these hacks will help you make a GENUINE connection to new people you meet – whether new fans or new music business contacts.

If you’re a singer, songwriter or indie artist who wants to grow your career, THIS is the podcast for you!

The C.L.I.M.B. Podcast is live and ready for download!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

4 Reasons A Music Publisher Won’t Meet With You (And 1 Thing You Can Do To Change That)

For many songwriters (and possibly you), trying to get a publisher meeting is like trying to get a date with a supermodel.  You know they exist, you cyber-stalk them as best you can… but you can’t find one who will give you the time of day.

Why is it so dang hard to get a publisher meeting?

Here are 4 reasons a publisher won’t meet with you- and one thing you can do to change that.

________________________________

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

_________________________________

1. Knock, knock… Math.

Publishers simply don’t have enough time to meet with every songwriter who wants some of their time.  Math just dictates that there aren’t enough hours in the workday for every “quick 15 minute meeting” that is asked of them.

Unfortunately, publishers just can’t get to everyone.

Oh, and math also says that the vast majority of songwriters just aren’t good enough to solve the publisher’s problems.  The odds are actually better that you’ll either be needy or crazy and add to their problems.

2. You made a bad (personal) 1st impression.

Maybe the publisher met you out at an event… or the grocery store… and you gave off a creepy vibe when you shoved your CD into her cart alongside her avocados.  Or maybe you reached out through social media and she saw that post where you ranted about how much radio sucks and the songs suck and the artists suck.  Now the publisher has no desire to give you a 2nd chance to make a worse impression.

Yes, unpleasant people might still have a great song.  But a publisher is looking for something more valuable than just one great song.  She’s looking for a great songwriter she can have hits with for years to come.

If the publisher doesn’t like being around you for 5 minutes, she’s sure not excited about being around you for 5 years.

3. You made a bad (musical) 1st impression.

Let’s say a publisher was out at the Bluebird Cafe or The Listening Room to hear one of his writers, and you were in the early round.  If your songs just aren’t exciting to him (too slow, too cliche, too boring, whatever), he’s not going to be in a hurry to sit down with you for a half-hour.

There’s just not a compelling business interest for him to NOT meet with someone else so he CAN meet with you.  After all, publishers know writers tend to play their best stuff out.  So if that’s your best, he doesn’t need to hear any more- at least not until after you’ve worked on your craft for a few more years.

4. The publisher doesn’t know you exist.

Literally.  How can a publisher agree to meet with you if you’ve never stepped into her awareness?  If you and your songs never leave your bedroom in Boise, that publisher meeting is simply NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.  You have to get over your fear or whatever and DO SOMETHING.

Or maybe you’re ready to do something, but you just don’t know the steps to take.  How do you approach a real-deal music publisher in a way that gets his or her attention in a positive way?  Do you have to belong to some sort of private club?  Is there a secret handshake?

Let me introduce you to a legit music publisher.

If you’re ready to connect with a publisher, I have a path for YOU and YOUR great song to get to a real, legit, successful music publisher.

On Thursday, December 14, I’m having the next round of Songwriting Pro’s “Play For A Publisher.” Our guest is John Ozier of ole Music.  John has had his hand in a bunch of hits, but the deadline to submit your song is coming up quickly!  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.

The music biz is a recommendation business.

The music biz has often been called a relationship business – and it IS.  But how you GET those relationships is often a matter of recommendations.

And I want to help you get more of those recommendations.

____________________

To BE a pro, you need to THINK like a pro, and this FREE ebook will help transform your thinking, your songwriting, and your success.  Get it today!

Click Here For The Book

_________________________________

First off, let me tell you about a few referrals and how they have really affected my songwriting career.  Why?  It’s not about me or my story.  I’m not bragging.  I’m sharing because I want to prove to you that recommendations MATTER.

Chad Green, my ASCAP representative at the time, picked up the phone and called Major Bob Music.  He recommended that they listen to my songs.  I ended up signing my first publishing deal with them.

I used to do some gopher / bookkeeping work for a producer in town named Miles.  He recommended I write a young, unknown Canadian singer/songwriter named Aaron Goodvin.  We eventually did, and years later, Aaron helped me land cuts on Canadian artist Drew Gregory and Sony Canada artist, Tristan Horncastle.  Aaron himself is currently an artist on Warner Music Canada.

Separate recommendations by my cowriters, Lisa Shaffer and Brandon Kinney, led to my third publishing deal – a deal with Writer’s Infinity.

A cowriter, Skip Black, brought me in on a cowrite with singer/songwriter, Benton Blount.  (Any time a cowriter brings you in with an artist, it’s a recommendation.)  Benton Blount went on to land a spot in the Top 10 of America’s Got Talent Season 10.  I’ve had several cowrites and cuts on Benton’s indie albums, and I have one in the can for his upcoming Pacific Records debut.

I met radio host and record promoter, Jay Karl, several years ago.  He liked my song “Armadillo,” and recommended it to one of his artists, Junior Gordon.  Junior recently released it as a single in Texas, and “Armadillo” has reached the top 10 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart.

One of the major values of relationships is the recommendations they generate.  And the relationship doesn’t have to be with the artist or producer.  Jay Karl was just a total stranger who wanted to do a short interview for a radio show.  I didn’t think it would lead to anything other than me feeling important and cool for a few minutes.  Sure didn’t think it would lead to a successful Texas single.

Miles was just a guy who needed some part-time help putting his receipts in Quicken, and Aaron Goodvin was just a kid from Canada.  Aaron was a good guy, and I could tell he had real hustle, but I didn’t think he’d end up as an artist on Warner Canada (all my Canadian friends need to go buy his album, by the way).

It’s not enough to JUST have a relationship.  Your contact has to do more than just know you or be aware of your existence.  They have to have a reason to make a recommendation – either TO you for FOR you.  And those reasons usually fall into one of two broad categories.

They want to help themselves.

If a cowriter brings you in to write with an artist because they know you’ll kill it… and you DO kill it… who comes out looking cool?  Your cowriter who hooked it up!  He or she gets to be the one who “made it all happen.”  Plus, he benefits from being part of a better song.  He also strengthens his ties with the artist.

If a publisher hooks you up to write with a pro, it’s because they hope you either already have “the goods” or they can help you develop “the goods.”  Why?  So they can publish your hits, that’s why!

Your relationships are definitely NOT gonna hook you up if they think it’ll make them look bad to their friends or bosses.  Why should they?  Even if you’re friends and he wants to help you, what’s the point?  If you don’t have the skills or personality to take advantage of the opportunity, you might feel good in the moment, but all you’ll really accomplish is wasting someone’s time and hurting your reputation.

To help someone else.

Sometimes your contact will hook people up or pass along a song with little or no self-interest.  Maybe they think you’ll be a great cowriting team or just good friends.  Or he knows Artist X needs a hit, and he believes your song is it.  So he passes it along.

Your contact may not have any direct financial stake in that recommendation.  But he or she will still benefit from the good will and hero status a successful recommendation can bring.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’ll be honest, I would LOVE to hit hero-status as part of YOUR songwriting journey.  I want to be part of YOUR success story.  And you know what?  I also want to be part of the success stories of my publisher friends.  I want to help you get your best songs heard, and I want to help my publisher friends find great songs.

Which leads leads me to a cool opportunity…

I’m hosting Songwriting Pro’s Play For A Publisher event in September.  Our guest will be Dan Hodges, who publishes hits such as “Good Directions” for Billy Currington and “Dibs” for Kelsea Ballerini.  But the deadline to apply for this event is AUGUST 31!

CLICK HERE to learn more and submit your song before it’s too late.

Dan Hodges will be joining us for our next Play For A Publisher event in September!  He’s a successful publisher and owner of Dan Hodges Music in Nashville, Tennessee.  Tickets are on sale now, and space is limited.  And the deadline to enter is AUGUST 31!  CLICK HERE to check out all the details and submit YOUR song for Dan!

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far. SWP 4

The C.L.I.M.B. #80: Are you sure you want that record deal?

On today’s episode: Johnny and Brent discuss how a record deal can be a blessing… or a curse… and reveal how YOU can stack the deck in your favor!  If you’re a singer, songwriter or indie artist who wants to grow your career, THIS is the podcast for you!

The C.L.I.M.B. Podcast is live and ready for download!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON STITCHER (for Android)

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN ON THE C.L.I.M.B. WEBSITE

The C.L.I.M.B. stands for “Creating Leverage In The Music Business,” and that’s the goal of this podcast- to help singers, indie artists and songwriters like YOU to create leverage in the music business.  What is leverage?  It’s “strategic advantage; the power to act effectively.”  We want to help YOU make stuff happen in the music biz.

It’s exciting to see how folks are digging the show- and being helped on their CLIMB.  If YOU like it, we’d really appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave a rating or review on iTunes.  Positive ratings and reviews help us to climb the iTunes rankings so more people become aware of the show and we can help more singers, songwriters, and indie artists like you make The CLIMB!The CLIMB iTunes review 3

CLICK HERE TO LEAVE AN iTUNES REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE C.L.I.M.B. ON ITUNES

If you aren’t on iTunes, you can listen to the show at our website:

TheCLIMBshow.com

If you have an Android phone, you can subscribe to the show on:

Stitcher

Thanks for your time. It means a lot to me, and hopefully it’ll be a lot of help for you!

God Bless and keep C.L.I.M.B.ing,

Brent

Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.