Collaborations don’t always have to stay in your field. It’s important to branch out and reach new people. Just because you create music, doesn’t mean you can’t cross over with a graphic designer. The more creatives you have in your team, the better. You can all add to each other’s work.
Who should you cross over with?
Whoever you like. As long as there’s a reason behind the collaboration, go for it! We’ve spoken about a heap of weird and wonderful collabs. If you both agree on the end result, why not join forces? Often people think they need to stay in their lane, this isn’t the case at all. In fact, branching outside your area will probably gain you more attention. Below, we’ve compiled a list of different artists and creatives you could join up with.
There are a huge amount of photographers out there looking to expand their portfolio. Now, it is important like with any creative to remember how you’re all often expected to work for nothing. So maybe don’t go in asking for a whole photoshoot for each album, unless that’s something they suggest. With a collaboration, it’s all about you helping each other out while gaining something out of it for yourself. Yes we know, it shouldn’t be a give to receive world but when it comes to joining forces, you both want something out of it.
They might be looking to boost their experiences and gain some exposure. By photographing for you, they’ll have both of these things. Other artists following you might decide to join up with them later on. For you, it’s all about the images, for social media and your release artwork. Make sure you both agree on what the work can be used for before posting it everywhere. It’s a good idea to start thinking about contracts with everything you do. Even if you consider it a friendly favour for each other. You never know when it could come back to bite you.
Think about a logo or maybe a YouTube banner. Your branding is key, we’re forever saying this. So why not join up with a graphic designer to create something for you. Having the same brand aesthetic across all of your social media accounts will make you stand out from the crowd. Once you have a logo, it can be used everywhere. So all it could take is one collab with a graphic designer. Use it across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all streaming stores.
For them, they again get exposure and experience. This might not interest someone who’s been in it for a long time, so it is important to remember that when reaching out to someone. The worst they can say is no, but you don’t want to be offensive by asking for too much. Think about what both of you will get out of it. It could be worth contacting graphic designers who are currently studying, because they might want all the experience they can get. Also, exposure for them will really boost their future career.
Again another huge one for a musician to get on board with. Think of what it would bring to your promotional material if you had someone you could create a video with. It could be a music video you shoot, or just short clips for your socials. Whatever you agree on will impact you massively. A lot of independent artists starting out won’t have access to this, so it will set you apart from others. Videos tend to capture an audience better than still images. If you want to grow your following, it’s a good idea to try and get some moving image behind you.
You could either agree to pay a fee for their time, or you could come up with an agreement that suits both of you. Remember not everyone is after the experience, so you may need to be prepared to pay for their time. It could be arranged for a reduced fee though, if they feel they’ll get more work out of it in the future.
A huge market at the moment is for influencers. Across social media, they’ve taken over. Anyone really can make it as an influencer these days, if you know how. Getting in with someone with an established following could do your work wonders. It will boost you to multiple audiences. You have to remember, it isn’t only their followers who will see the work. It’s highly likely they’ll end up on the explore page where they’ll be discovered by more people/ Also, if they’re including your audio clips in promotional material for their other collabs, you’ll get posted to even more companies and brands. If for example they’re shooting a promo for a clothing brand, and they use your sound, that’s 2 accounts at least that you work will be featured on.
With influencers, they often won’t expect a payment for their work. It is typically a you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours situation. Of course, there are exceptions. If they’re currently being paid for all of their promo work, it’s unlikely they’ll work with you for free. However, typically as long as the product is given to them for no cost, they’ll advertise it. You have to remember, it’s content for them too. They need to stay present on the platforms and constantly be uploading new content. So, if you could give them your music or a piece of your merch, they might be tempted to use it.
How to find artists to cross over with
Where do you start? How do you start? Well, it’s best to be prepared. By this you need to prepare for everything. Including rejection. Unfortunately as we’re sure you’re aware, many artists have been done dirty by other people within the industry and this makes them weary. Not only that but they might genuinely not be looking to collab and that’s ok. You can’t force them, no matter how much you want to work with them. This is why it’s important to prepare to be ignored and overlooked. Not that your work isn’t worth the collaboration but some people just aren’t interested.
Go in prepared for what you can offer them. If it’s all about what you want to get out of it then why should they listen? You need to show what they’ll gain from it. Show that you’ve considered their audience and how you can impact on their career. If you’re saying “take my photos please, but you can’t post them to your socials” it’s not really going to work is it. Think about it from both sides of the collab before asking.
Social media is key
Head over to social media, search up hashtags such as #independentartist #freelance #artstudent and then contact people from there. It might be worth looking at your location however, because it will bring up search results from all over the world and let’s face it, it’s unlikely that will work. You could even hit up the good old internet and search for the relevant information there. If you’re looking for a graphic designer, search up one in your area and get contacting.
It will seem tempting to contact every single one you find, but that could be damaging. If multiple say yes, and you’re left trying to pick between them, it will put them off. You might need them in the future, but it could be too late. Burnt bridges aren’t an easy fix. Focus on a few and why they’re important to you. If they say no, or you have no response then sure move on. However, building a relationship with one is better than trying to grab the attention of many.
So the key to any crossovers are actually working together. It might sound obvious, but you need to be in it with each other, or else it won’t work. If one of you is getting more out of it than the other, there’s no real point in wasting your time. Consider it from both view points before agreeing to anything and always make sure you have something in writing. The last thing you want is someone stealing your content, which unfortunately can happen.