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Rick Barker: The New Music Industry, Relationship Building & Social Media

This week we’re joined by Rick Barker out of Nashville, former manager of Taylor Swift, Social Media Mentor to American Idol finalists, and private consultant to Big Machine Label Group and Live Nation. He strives to teach artists how to be artists, and treat their art as a business.

Rick is also the founder of Music Industry Blueprint, and his marketing tactics have been featured in Billboard. He’s dedicated his life to helping independent artists plot out the most efficient strategies for turning their music into a career. In this interview, Rick shares so much advice, including some of the misconceptions artists have around the music business, and the importance of social media in today’s music industry.

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  • Rick shares what the three things he wants people after being in contact with him
  • We hear why Rick encouraged Taylor Swift to meet 500,000 people
  • “It really means something when you have an artist who is willing to do the work” – Rick Barker, 2016
  • “You don’t fill a stadium with hit songs, you fill it with people” – Rick Barker, 2016
  • We can’t duplicate timing and luck, but we can make sure we’re prepared for when opportunities happen
  • Rick shares some of the biggest misconceptions artists have around the music business
  • Rick doesn’t think artists realise quite how powerful the new music industry is
  • The music industry is a relationship business
  • Ross says an artist has to earn someone’s “fanship”
  • We hear how many artists don’t know how to use their mailing lists correctly
  • Rick teaches artists how to use the techniques that major corporations use to get in front of an audience
  • If you’re just making records and not getting it out there, you’re in the inventory business, not the music business
  • We hear about Rick’s work as social media mentor for American Idol finalists
  • Rick shares some of the mistakes that artists make on social media
  • “If you don’t have an hour a day to dedicate to the customers of your business, get out of the business” – Rick Barker, 2016
  • Rick flies through our 20 questions in what might be our fastest one yet!
  • Rick shares why it’s so important for artists to have their own website


  • Your past doesn’t define your future
  • Your music career all starts with the music, but it grows with relationships
  • Get your music on as many phones as possible
  • Comment on other people’s stuff and show them that you care
  • Consistency, especially on social media, is key
  • Invest in yourself, and educate yourself – it’s your own responsibility

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