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I am a husband, father of two and am very blessed to have been able to make a career out of something I have loved for as long as I can remember “Music.” I am a Personal Manager, Marketing Consultant, Public Speaker, Teacher and now I can say Author living in Nashville Tennessee. I am fortunate to have been involved in some amazing careers including Superstar Taylor Swift. After a 15 year career in radio, I moved over to the Record Company side in 2004 after accepting a job with Big Machine Records. I developed a unique touring model which helped create opportunities for recently signed artists with or without a National Radio Single to get in front of audiences, it was called Nashville To You. The concept was no matter where you lived in the country we would bring Nashville To You. Some of the first acts we took out were Sugarland, Josh Turner and Rodney Atkins. I LOVE to teach and share with others. Too often people waste time, energy and money because of lack of direction. I have made it my goal to assist as many people as possible who are interested in pursuing a career in the music business. My PHILOSOPHY is based on getting your product in front of an audience, building relationships and putting your career into your own hands. Let me take you back to a conversation I had with Taylor in 2005. This excerpt is from Pollstar Magazine. Pollstar interviewed Taylor Swift in 2007, when the 17-year-old was celebrating her first gold album. She was managed by Rick Barker, previously the West Coast rep for Big Machine. Barker told Pollstar that he told Swift that if she wanted to sell 500,000 albums, she would need to meet 500,000 people. “He was the first one to ever say that to me and it sunk in,” Swift said. “I literally had a Top 10 single and no manager. We held off for a while because we kept saying, ‘Oh well, we’ll get this song to Top 30 and then we’ll be able to get a better manager. Oh, we’ll get this song Top 20 and then we’ll get a really good manager.’ Then we started realizing that we’re doing this whole thing ourselves.” I know that all sounds pretty simple, but if it were don’t you think everyone would be doing it? The point is with the internet you can get to the people. Today, there is no excuse with all the online tools available (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) The ONLY person holding you back is you! After spending a couple of years managing Taylor, I realized I wasn’t the “travel the world kind of guy” (having a wife and two young kids, helped me realize that) so I decided to move the family to Nashville and set up shop. Over the past four years I have been involved as a consultant to Sony Music Nashville and Big Machine Records. I have secured Major Label Recording and Publishing Deals for my clients. I created a National Tour for unsigned artist who didn’t have a song on the radio called The Nashville To You Campground Tour. I have become an expert in Artist to Fan engagement and continue to speak on that topic at various seminars. It is all about The PLAN. There are NO GUARANTEES, and if anyone tells you there is, RUN! What I do is evaluate what you have, and teach you how to take what you have and grow it into a business. This business is hard enough, don’t make it any harder. If you would like to find out the strategies involved and what it takes, then reach out to me. I am where I am today because of hard work and great mentors. I am ready now to pass it along to the next group of people who want to have a career in one of the most rewarding and fascinating businesses in The World, The Music Business. I look forward to speaking with you personally. Rick Barker strives to teach artists how to be artists. With major changes in the music industry and digital world, record labels expect artists to build their online presence and fan base, become great songwriters and performers, and ultimately create their own buzz. Labels no longer spend thousands of dollars to “develop” an act. Today, labels are interested in investing in small businesses. Therefore, it is the artist’s job to treat their art as a business and become an attractive partner to a record label. Between formerly managing music superstar Taylor Swift, serving as the Social Media Mentor to finalists on FOX’s American Idol, and working as a private consultant to entities such as Big Machine Label Group and Live Nation, Rick Barker’s influence on the music industry is without question. Utilizing his extensive experience in radio, Rick created the “Nashville To You” radio tour, which played an important role in the early development of several acts, including Taylor Swift and Sugarland. With marketing tactics featured in Billboard and other well-known publications, Rick has dedicated his life to helping independent artists plot out the most efficient strategies for turning their music into a career. He is also the co-author of “The $150,000 Music Degree”, a music business e-book that, upon its release, was the most downloaded book on Noisetrade and he created Social Media For Music, the first ever step by step instruction course dedicated to the Music Industry. He was the first record promoter hired by Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta, where he had a role in the label’s first Number One record with singer-songwriter Jack Ingram. Rick later went on to found his own marketing and consulting firm, at which his first client was Sony Music Nashville. He is also the mastermind behind Music Industry Blueprint, a development service teaching artists from around the world everything they need to know about the complicated music business. We hope Rick’s free resources inspire you to take control of your career and become a business-minded artist who is ready to take on this crazy industry.
Mr. Braun is a partner in Hall Booth Smith's Nashville office, where he specializes in various areas of litigation and transactional work. Beginning in early 1995, Mr. Braun’s litigation practice with HBS has continued to grow in both Georgia and Tennessee. Early on in his career with HBS, Mr. Braun practiced extensively in the areas of general liability and medical malpractice litigation, areas in which he continues to practice today. As his practice has grown, he has developed expertise in assisting businesses with formation, formalities, dissolution, acquisitions, transactions and related matters. He has also developed an extensive transactional practice focused primarily within the entertainment industry. His litigation practice has expanded to include intellectual property matters in the entertainment industry and otherwise, legal malpractice, transportation, business litigation and retail liability. Mr. Braun also has experience in the areas of insurance coverage, construction, products liability, family law and appellate work. Mr. Braun's entertainment litigation and transactional specialties were born from personal experience. Having spent more than fifteen years as a professional musician and songwriter, Mr. Braun offers a unique, first-hand understanding of the "real life" dynamics inherent in the relationship between industry and artist/songwriter. Additionally, Mr. Braun offers a wealth of insight based upon his business experience and transactional work for entertainment industry entities of all types including, publishers, record companies, film and video production companies, entertainment conglomerates, songwriters, artists, administrators, entertainment entrepreneurs/investors and more. He is a regular speaker at the annual Entertainment, Sports and Intellectual Law Conference and has spoken at other entertainment industry conferences as well on various issues facing the music and entertainment industries. His practice requires frequent and relevant interaction with all aspects of the entertainment world in areas including, but not limited to, social networking, music and video streaming, downloading, subscription services and analyzing their impact on the industry as a whole. His expertise includes effective utilization of social networking and website development for business marketing and promotional purposes for clients including emerging and established businesses, publishers, artists, songwriters, producers, agents, managers, record companies and more. Mr. Braun has been annually included in the Music Row publication, "In Charge" which highlights "Nashville's Music Industry Decision Makers.” Mr. Braun attended Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida where he studied music and received a B.A. in creative writing. He attended Georgia State University College of Law where he was an Associate Editor of Notes and Comments, Georgia State Law Review and a member of the Outer Barristers Guild. He also published reviews of selected 1991 Georgia Legislation (Georgia State University Law Review, Vol. 8, No. I, Jan. 1992). Mr. Braun received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1992. He is a voting member of the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences, the Country Music Association and is admitted to practice in Georgia and Tennessee. Mr. Braun represented one of the nominees for the 2012 Presidential Campaign, in nationally publicized copyright litigation involving music performing rights.
As a manager, you are responsible for upholding, communicating and modeling these principles to your staff. Your ability to translate these principles into daily behaviors will be a key factor in your long-term success and the success of your team. In addition to effective management, demonstrating solid leadership is a key to your success. Leadership may mean different things to different people. The following are the hallmarks of a leader: ■ Business knowledge and experience ■ Setting of vision and strategy ■ Intense drive for results ■ Relating to and leading people ■ Insight and judgment ■ Maturity and integrity ■ Managerial courage