Alexcina Brown is the creator and editor in chief of BRASH! Magazine. This Macon, GA native took the skills learned in earning her MBA in Entertainment Management and turned it into a platform for independent music artists. Her entrepreneurial spirit and love of music of all genres, has allowed her to pass on her knowledge and become the vehicle for the “underdogs” in the industry.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve always wanted my own business ever since I was in high school. There was always something about starting a company/brand from the ground up and watching it grow that peaked my interest. Also, I love challenges. I was working in the corporate world writing about industries and subject matters that didn’t interest me then I got the idea to write content that I was passionate about (the entertainment industry), but I wanted it to be something helpful and inspirational.
So I started BRASH! Music Marketing Blog in 2011. I provide innovative tips to new and indie artists to help them to market their music/brands online. In the spirit of expansion, I created BRASH! Magazine to be a platform for these artists to aid in helping build their brands/press kits as well as to show them and the masses that there are people paying attention to their talents.
Tell us about your business.
BRASH! Magazine is a bi-monthly digital publication highlighting independent/underground music artists. We also have other elements such as fashion and visual arts to give exposure to our entertainment loving readers as well. BRASH! Magazine serves as a dedicated and supportive platform for indie music artists to show the world that there are talented individuals working hard in the entertainment industry without the major label machines behind them.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Right now we are promoting our Sept/Oct 2017 issue, kicking off the Fall 2017 season. Along with releasing our Fall line-up for BRASH! merchandise.
- BRASH! Blog was listed as one of the Top 100 Music Industry Blogs by Musicians Empowered
- Back in March 2017, we celebrated our 1 year anniversary
Where is your business based?
Atlanta, GA but will be relocating to New York City in early October.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Social media was a huge vehicle in spreading the word about the blog/magazine. I also utilized by skills learned in corporate for email marketing campaigns and things blossomed from there.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Today, I get a lot of traffic from Instagram. It seems right now that’s the place to find, as well as be seen, by independent artists and music lovers.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I think the biggest challenge I’ve faced thus far is being a one woman machine at times. Being a new business with little funding and resources to start, I had to do everything on my own a far as booking/conducting interviews, editorial planning, writing/editing, and creating magazine layouts. It can be a task that takes away from sleeping, especially around the time for a new issue release.
How did you overcome these challenges?
By being proactive, as well as opening up the opportunity for interns to come on board and build their experience in entertainment media. Having interns not only helped lighten the workload but it gave me a chance to give back and help those who are looking to get their foot in the door.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
With the magazine being a little over a year old, I take a look back at how far I’ve come in such a short time. That along with the feedback I receive from the indie artists featured in the mag, giving thanks and being excited to participate in my platform. All of that reminds me why I started in the first place and refuels my drive to continue when obstacles occur.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
We stick strictly to the music. Today’s digital media outlets focus on talent as well as gossip to keep their readers interested. Although they are a guilty pleasure of mine, I thought it would be best to come out of that sector and be a leader in digital publication that doesn’t rely on what’s popular today to be successful.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Never grow tired in doing the small redundant steps every day. Even if it seems like they aren’t getting you anywhere at the moment, those small tasks often leads to major rewards.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Keep marketing yourself. You never know who is watching and paying attention to your every move so stay consistent in those efforts.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
My favorite is Hootsuite. It allows me to stay on top of social media posting without getting too overwhelmed with it. I’m able to take a small portion of time throughout the day to keep my business on the timelines for days to come.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“Stillness Speaks” by Eckhart Tolle. I think it’s important to refuel with resources and tools that are outside of your business to help you stay grounded and maintain balance.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Currently, I’m learning to be more present and coming out from behind the laptop. I’m such an introvert where I love doing digital media because I can still be engaging but on my own terms. However, I’m learning that in order to expand and keep this machine going, I must stay present physically as well as digitally.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
The goals for BRASH! Magazine is to expand the team in other areas across the US and globally. Right now we are networking with music/fashion writers to join the team and/or be regular contributors to the publication.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Instagram @BRASHMagazine, @AlexcinaB
Twitter @BRASH_Magazine, @TweetAlexcina
Hashtags #BRASHMagazine #BRASHION
Photo credits: KymTrice Photography, KLowe Photography, Robert Harvey Photography, Julian Rainwater Photography, Darryl Roberts