What you do in the time before meeting with a new artist will directly affect the outcome.

If you’re a freelancer, you live and die through new business development.


I found over and over again that the more prepared I was for the meeting, the more likely it’d result in an engagement.


My formula for preparedness is boiled down to this meeting call sheet.

STEP 1) Know all the key players on the team

Most marketers will Google the artist and maybe the person they’re emailing with but, rarely will they get backgrounds on everyone in the meeting.

You can get this from the calendar invitation they’ll send and if they don’t send one, just ask through email who will be attending.


STEP 2) Artist Stage

Now that I know who will be there, I want to know why have they taken the meeting with me?

In my experience, artists/managers only hire freelancers when stuff’s not going great.

I’m usually hired if:

  • the label relationship has gone sour
  • there’s some budget left to save a project
  • or they’re starting a brand new project and want to change how they did it on the last one

To asses the situation I use a traffic light system.

Red – panic

Yellow – last chance

Green – the world is our oyster

How you diagnose the situation will influence what you talk about in the meeting.


STEP 3) Questions

I want to spend most of the first meeting having the artist or decision maker in the room doing most of the talking. But, sometimes they don’t want to talk.

For that reason, it’s so crucial to come with questions.


The goal is to figure out “How can I add value to what they’re already doing? Why am I uniquely positioned to offer this?” before I get there.

So, I jot down 5 questions I can rely on that’ll open up the conversation and get to that question of where can I add value.


STEP 4) Quick Wins

As I’m writing down my questions to ask, I also want to jot down some quick wins.

You’re not going to know how to solve their problems in the first meeting, they’re not expecting you to yet and you won’t know the full picture until that first meeting.

But, quick wins will show that you care about the project, how you think and it’ll give you a chance to test if you’re a good fit for the project.

This checklist has helped me feel prepared in introductory meetings and was perfected with trial and error. What’s on your checklist and we can build upon each others?

Watch the whole video on how to prepare for your next big artist meeting to learn how I’ve done it over 10+ years in the music industry on YouTube now.

If you’re an independent artist and want to set your music up for success through marketing, subscribe to Deep Cuts for weekly music marketing insight here.