Delegating the Heavy Lifting – A Musicians Guide For Getting Help & Support


I travel a lot to speak at music conferences and I see this all of the time: Musicians squirming in their seats as I present ideas on how to improve their marketing. The idea of having to do one more thing is just unbearable to them, and they literally begin to melt down in front of me.

One of my best friends is an artist – a dancer – and she literally takes to bed after she has to write a press release; it literally makes her sick.

You will NEVER achieve the success you want it if you try to do it all alone and take on things that stop you dead in your tracks!

I can not stress this enough: You MUST learn to delegate, and get the stuff that makes you completely stressed out off of your plate.

Two issues are up for you right now from reading this:


  1. You can’t afford to pay someone to help you
  2. You don’t want to give up control and you feel a need to do it all yourself



Step 1: Figure Out What To Delegate
The first step in your journey is you need to figure out what you want to get off of your plate. Is your MySpace page hogging up too much time? Do you need help with PR & Marketing? Do you just need someone organized to help you file papers and organize your home office?

Step 2: Write A “How To” Guide For Each Task
I urge you to take the time to do this BEFORE you get anyone in to help you! Take a few hours to write a guide on each task explaining it exactly the way you do it. This is called systematizing and it will be critical for your success in achieving your goals around outsourcing. Imagine that the person you are writing these guides for has NEVER done any of the tasks you are about to assign. Type them out.

This is CRITICAL to your success with delegating because when people are left to their own devices they may not perform in the way you want them to.

Start With Small Tasks – 1 to 2 Hours at Most
Start with small tasks that can be achieved in an hour or two to see if your new intern / assistant is up for it (not everyone will be good at everything) and make sure you ask them what they would like to focus on – Facebook or MySpace. Or maybe they are better in person, and they want to pass a clipboard around at your show to help with newsletter sign ups.

Or maybe they are creative writers and their talents will be best used writing press releases or designing logos and graphics for posters, flyers and websites.

Hold Them Accountable 
If they are working for college credit make sue they provide you with a spreadsheet of all they are doing, or at least a report that breaks down their time and what they did with it. They will probably need to do this for school anyway.

Inspect and comment on their actions – remember when you were in school how you were graded and checked-up on. If you do not inspect the work that interns are doing for you they may go off course.

Where To Get Good Marching Orders

Cyber PR’s Sound Advice

I have written many step-by-step guides on how to be your own publicist, how to get reviewed on blogs, how to get started on Twitter, how to install Facebook apps, etc. Look through my articles, have your new intern read them and follow along to the letter!

Bob Bakers Buzz Factor

I love Bob and he writes great material and wonderful books that your intern can read and follow along. I love his MySpace and Guerilla Marketing books – buy them.

Derek Sivers’ Blog

Derek has many marketing tips plus a great FREE book to download to get your interns motivated.

Inner Rhythm

Download Kavit’s free ebooks here. They will walk your interns through the new realities of the music business. Start with the fabulous “How To Design A Winning & Profitable Music Business.”

New Music Strategies

Andrew Dubber’s New Music Strategies attempts to unpack and explain what’s going on in the online music environment – and from that, develop strategies. I love his eBook called “20 things” it’s indispensable

Rockstar Life Lessons

Carla Lynne Hall is my Mastermind forum manager and an amazing strategist herself. Her blog is wonderful too! I suggest diving into the “Recession Proof Musician” series.

Chris Brogan’s Blog

Expert social media strategist Chris Brogan has a great blog packed with ideas on how to create a social media strategy that works for you, and yes a great series of ebooks too.

The Musicians’ Atlas

An indispensable guide to help with tour PR, and marketing

CD Baby Podcast

Free audio podcasts for download crammed with ideas to get your interns motivated

The Indie Bible

I love this wonderful directory of outlets to send your music for every imaginable genre; plus tips written by industry thought leaders.

Step 3: Go Get Help
Here are some solutions to consider… this is my guide to getting the help you may need. I broke it up starting with free solutions that won’t cost you more than your time to options that you will pay for:

Getting Help FOR FREE 
Get students to help you while they earn credit for school: &
These websites will let you post as an employer for free – post as a record label (that’s what you are) and ask for help with PR and marketing. Offer college credit only. You will be amazed at how many young people who need to get credit for school are turning to these sites to find interesting internships.

Your Local College Or University 
There are a few places on campus to try:

The Career Services department
Music school
Communications department

Look for classes on PR, marketing and online strategy. I suggest that you connect directly with the professors and leave a courteous message asking them if they require internships and if they have any students who like music and may be interested in working for your record label.

There is always a class that is studying marketing and PR and students need to come up with “marketing plans” and “publicity plans” all of the time. Ask the professor to have the class come up with one for YOU as an artist instead of a hypothetical business. You will be amazed at what a team of young people who are not jaded by the music business may come up with.

Photography and Film Schools 
Students studying photography would be delighted to take photos of a band – they get an assignment complete and you get free headshots!

This also works for film students (free video for YOU).

Production Schools
Students learning about audio production may also need to record. Research which audio schools are in your area and call them up!

Identify Your Superfans & Motivate Them 
Ask your mailing list if anyone on it can give you a few hours a month assistance in exchange for free show tickets, T-shirts and beers at the gig.

Email Signup At Gigs 
You can also create a column on your email signup list that you pass around at gigs asking – would you like to be in our virtual street team? If they say yes – add them to your team!

Email Signup On Your Site
And you can add a signup box to your website using a free widget from Reverb Nation to capture your fans who may want to help you.

Free Online Tools To Use

Reverb Nation
Reverb Nation has an entire street team management system that you can use for free to delegate tasks and keep everyone organized

See How Others Do It – Then Copy Them! 
By joining other musician’s street teams you can see how they delegate and copy what they do. Google will get you there in a few clicks.

Paid Services

In some cases you do get what you pay for so you may want to spend some money. This does not have to break the bank at all – here are some of my favorite places to go for paid help!


Elance is a fabulous site where service providers of all types bid against each other (eBay style) to work for YOU!

There are tons of categories here and you will find almost anything you need – graphic designers, copyeditors, writers, virtual assistants etc. You can also get a MySpace page skinned for a lot less than you would imagine.

I have used this site to get my books designed, powerpoint presentations done for a fraction of NYC prices and through this amazing site I found Kristie, my fabulous VA (virtual assistant) who checks my email, helps me keep track of all sales of my books at Amazon, and runs both and my affiliate program; yet I have never met her face-to-face. There are countless reliable VA’s who prefer to work from home (many are moms with children in school so they have extra hours during the day).

You can set the price you want to pay. The best part is that Elance has an escrow service so if the provider does not deliver a satisfactory job, you will not release your money until they do!

TIP: look at each person’s reviews and only use providers that get fabulous reviews and high ratings from other Elance users to avoid disappointments.

Bio Writing – Ben Lazar

I have a full-time bio writer on my staff who will craft an excellent bio for you. He is a 17-year music industry veteran and has served as a major label A&R guy for years at Island Def Jam. Plus he has also booked the entire CMJ Music Festival so he really knows how to hone in and focus on a band’s message and help you get it across.

Review You – Guaranteed CD Reviews

I created this site to help musicians get one review at a time guaranteed from expert music writers – buy one or buy 10 and save a fortune in postage and PR pitching / following up agony.

Bandletter – Will Design and Send Your Newsletters For YOU!

I co-own a service that is hands down the easiest solution to managing your newsletters – why? Because my partner Kevin will do it all FOR YOU – all you need to do is write the copy. Kevin will design, and send each newsletter, clean up your mailing list from the bounce backs and advise you on the best strategies for getting your fanbase to buy.

Hire a Teenager in Your Family

Trust me THEY know how to work MySpace much better than you 😉 again don’t set them off to figure it out on their own – give them a syllabus with steps to take.

TIP: Buy them Music Success In 9 Weeks, The Indie Bible, Musicians Atlas or Bob Baker’s fabulous books!

Good Luck with delegating and please post your stories on my blog!

Here’s to your success!


Ariel Hyatt founded Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR 11 years ago and her firm has worked with over 1,000 musicians and bands of all genres. The Ariel Publicity mission states that all artists deserve to be heard and there is a place for artists of every level to receive exposure. Ariel Hyatt has managed to place tens of thousands of artists in countless outlets from national magazines and TV to the most grassroots online fanzines. Her company is now 100% digital and helps artists increase their online exposure. She also runs a company that creates newsletters for musicians.

Ariel PublicityÂ’s Sound Advice is a free monthly e-zine for musicians & entrepreneurs who want marketing, promotion and PR tips for navigating the new music business. Sign Up here:

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1 thought on “Delegating the Heavy Lifting – A Musicians Guide For Getting Help & Support

  1. Reblogged this on The Sunny Side and commented:

    Reminder ! I’m teaching small ensemble jazz workshops on the NShore – for all ages – if you have any question just let me know – from my little music school – sending love – S

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