There is no denying that whether you are a band, singer or an individual musician, you need the help of other people to have a successful music career. It doesn’t matter if you can play every instrument, sing all of the vocal parts and make great recordings all by yourself in your own studio. You still need fans to buy your music, people to book you, people to show up at your gigs, and maybe people to help with the business and legal sides of your business.
There are countless ways to meet the people you need. However, there are three rules that can help you be most effective in this arena:
- Meeting someone in person trumps all other connections. Nothing compares to being able to look someone in the eye when you’re talking to them. You can learn a lot from a firm handshake, a person’s attire, his or her professionalism, his or her mannerisms and experiencing a personal chemistry.
- The next best thing to meeting someone in person is being introduced to /and recommended by a mutual friend or business associate.
- Meeting someone without following up is no better than not meeting them at all!
Where do you meet people? Everywhere! Here are some quick guidelines for effective networking, compiled by Indie Connect Magazine:
- Always be in networking mode. Be prepared to meet people who might be able to help you everywhere you go. You never know who you are going to meet or who they might know. Also, be aware that many times influential people won’t reveal who they really are until after they have gotten to know you. I know one person who got major label cuts because they sat next to the grandmother of someone in the band in a diner!
- Show Up. Put yourself in a position where you are always meeting people who might be influential in your career. Go to music industry networking events, join industry organizations, eat at the restaurants they eat at. Go to jam sessions, showcases and songwriter nights. Put yourself in the way of opportunity! You never know when you will have the chance to meet and/or help someone who can also help you, either now or down the road.
- No Gherming: Gherming is the Nashville term for seeing someone influential and throwing your CD or song demo in their face. There is a time and a place when politely asking if someone would be willing to listen to your music is appropriate. In an office, at a convention or at an industry networking event are examples of places that are appropriate. Interrupting someone while they are in a social setting such as a restaurant is usually not. Respect people’s privacy.
- Niche market your networking. Whenever possible, go to where the people you want to meet congregate. For example, you can meet people from all aspects of the music industry at Indie Connect meetings. You can meet potential co-writers and publishers at NSAI or other songwriter group meetings. You can meet college buyers at a NACA convention, and fair directors at one of the many fair conventions around the country.
- Give before you receive. Also ask how you can help the other person before asking for anything for yourself. Have a ‘servant’s heart.’ It immediately erases any thoughts that you care only about yourself.
- Tell your prospect exactly how you can help them. If you know that you can help someone, let him or her know. Make that all-important connection for them (if appropriate and if you are comfortable with it), give them accurate advice, tell them about helpful books or online resources etc. If you can help them in the future, offer that as well. You will get a reputation as a giver.
- Professionally ask for what you really need. If you have offered to help the other person first, chances are they will want to help you. Be honest, realistic and specific. ‘I just need a big break’ is not specific. “I am good at writing melodies, but I need to meet a strong lyricist to co-write with’ is much more specific and realistic. You can still be professional and not come across as greedy. Everyone loves to help. Give them the chance to feel good by helping you.
- Follow-up. Whenever you meet someone new, it is always good to follow up with at least an ‘It was nice to meet you’ email. Also, when someone refers you to someone else, be sure to follow up on that lead within 72 hours. It makes you look more professional, and you’ll be fresh on the mind of the person who made the introduction.
- Follow up with recognition for introductions. If someone refers you to someone else, be sure to thank them, thank them again in an email or with a personal thank-you note.
- Always carry business cards. Always! Did I mention ALWAYS? Not having business cards (professional looking ones) screams ‘I am an amateur’.
- Ask for referrals. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific referrals. If you know names, and you believe that the person who you just met might be able to connect you with them, go ahead and ask. However, here are the keys. 1) Don’t be pushy. 2) Don’t put the person who you are talking to in an awkward position. Tell them that you know that they rightfully guard their relationships and the privacy of their contacts, and you would never want to do anything to compromise them. Then ask them what they would need from you before they would make such a key referral.
- Save business cards and contact information. Be sure to keep all of your contacts organized. You never know when you’ll either need someone’s help that you met years ago, or finally have a good contact for that person years after you met. It’s also good to have this information when someone asks you for a referral and you know exactly who to send them to.
- Keep your promises! If you say you are going to call someone, do it. If you say you will make an introduction for them, do it. If you say you’ll meet someone at a specific time, be there. Do everything in a timely manner. Get the reputation as a man (or woman) of your word. People will be much more inclined to help you if they know you are professional and can be trusted.
- Be generous with your leads. Whenever possible, be open with your referrals. Of course, you should only do this when you feel 100% confident that you will not be wasting your connection’s time or jeopardizing your relationship with them. In other words, you probably shouldn’t introduce a mediocre songwriter to a top publisher. The more you help others, the more people will rally around you when you need help.
- Make personal introductions. If you have a connection for someone, take the time to make a personal introduction either by phone or email. The reason is that you are telling both parties that you ‘sanctioned’ the introduction. Nowadays many people lie and say ‘____ told me to call’ just to get past the gatekeepers, even though that referral was never really made.
- Reward good introductions. If someone introduces you to a contact that turns out to be a profitable or beneficial connection for you, reward him. This reward might be as small as a thank-you note, a gift basket, a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, or as large as a percentage of the income that resulted from the lead. Be fair. Once again, people will do everything they can to help you if they know that you are grateful.
- Find the centers of influence. Influential people often get that way because they are masters at networking. At any networking event or party they will be the one with the most people around them. Get to know them. They can lead you to a lot of other people who might be important to your career.
- Reinforce your brand. Whether you are attending a formal business networking events, a conference or just going to meet someone for coffee, present your brand as much as possible. Maybe you have a polo shirt with your band logo on it that looks appropriate. Maybe you are carrying a computer case with your logo on it. Make your logo your screensaver as well. Of course, I am not saying that you should walk around in a stage costume. You just simply want to put your brand in front of as many people as possible. It will also spark some people to talk to you because they know your brand, even if they have never met you personally.
- Initiate conversation. Get comfortable enough with talking to people that you can always take the initiative to begin the conversation. This serves 3 key purposes. 1) You can put the other person at ease right away with a warm greeting; 2) You get the reputation as a man or woman of action, and, 3) You meet more people! Complimenting someone on something they are wearing is a great way to get the conversation started. You may have a particular comment that you use as an icebreaker. I love to walk up to people and say ‘You look like someone important that I should know!” They can’t help but chuckle and introduce themselves! Approach people who are shy or are standing alone. If you are at a formal conference or networking event, don’t ignore the people who are sitting, eating or standing alone. They might be shy but can still be extremely important to your career. Not everyone with influence is comfortable at these events. If you make them comfortable, they will open up and help you in every way that they can.
- Never eat alone! When you are at a networking event, never eat by yourself. This defeats the purpose of being there in the first place! Sit next to someone or with people you don’t know and introduce yourself. You never know where it will lead.
Read more great tips on networking in the original Vinny Ribas‘ article on the Dotted Music website!
If you’re preparing to record your first studio album, you’re probably dealing with a mix of emotions that range from excitement to pure fear. You’re wondering how the final product will turn out and whether people will actually like it.
To ensure the recording process goes smoothly, though, you need to put these feelings on the back burner and prepare yourself in the following ways.
1. Listen to some field recordings of your music.
Sometimes what sounds great live doesn’t work well in the studio. New bands often rehearse in cramped quarters and play in small venues, so chances are band members might have different opinions about how well their parts fit with others. Make some live demo recordings so you can work out the kinks before you get in the studio. You don’t want to waste time and money by changing your parts in the studio.
Recording yourselves will also help you get used to playing when the “record” button is pushed. People tend to tense up with they know they’re being recorded because they know there’s little room for error.
Finally, be sure to give these recordings to your engineer ahead of time. This will provide them with point of reference to follow when working on your album.
2. Answer the following questions.
- Do you want live recordings? If so, you should be prepared to play each song multiple times in a row without tiring or getting burnt out. Practice this in your rehearsal space beforehand.
- Do you expect the recordings to be overdubbed with multiple layers? If so, you should be prepared to record with a click track. You’ll want to practice with a metronome to ensure consistency in pace. This will make editing, overdubbing and punching in-and-out easier for your engineer and better for your overall sound quality.
- Do you fully understand the studio’s policies? Failing to understand the studio’s policies could produce problems later on. For example, some studios allow a free grace period to set up and break down equipment while others start charging right when you get there. Without knowing the rules upfront, you and your engineer could have different budgets in mind.
- How much time and money can you afford to spend? Set a budget for time and monetary expenditures — then multiply both numbers by 1.5. It’s better to overestimate how much time and money you expect to invest in your recording than underestimate it.
3. Elect a project manager.
Although you should always make group decisions to avoid any conflict among band members, when it comes to recording you’ll probably find it beneficial to have a tie breaker vote when you face indecision and other lukewarm feelings. The point isn’t to have somebody be the boss of everyone else but to keep the band focused and on task. The levelheaded person you defer to in these situations should be able to understand how the details you’re working out now will fit into the big picture later on.
4. Make sure all equipment is in perfect working condition.
About a week before you’re set to record, change all strings and drum heads. This will give you enough time to break them in while still ensuring they don’t sound worn. Check amps and pedals for hums because they’ll be much more noticeable in a recording. Be prepared for minor bumps in the road; bring extra strings, batteries and other supplies as necessary to avoid wasting time.
5. Remember to keep an open mind throughout the process.
Not every band is the same, nor every recording studio, nor every project. What works for one band might not work for another. At times you might have to just go with the flow and make quick decisions. However, the better you prepare yourself now, the more confident you’ll feel when you’re in the studio recording your first studio album.
Danielle Rodabaugh is an online marketing specialist for SuretyBonds.com, a surety bond insurance company. She also manages online branding and PR for We Live In Public (an electrified folk/pop/rock band based out of Columbia, Missouri). Check out more articles on the Dotted Music website.
Articles To Help You Get Through in Tough Times
Recently a renowned writer about managing psychological stress and mental illness reached out to us. Based on our dealings over the years with many industry professionals and musicians, we’ve noticed that articles like this could potentially help many people. This is why we’re posting this information. Hopefully these help to keep you sane.
Please Note: He focuses sometimes on Christianity and we’re not trying to push any religious beliefs on people so please take anything related to religion in these articles with a grain of salt. We didn’t post this to offend anyone – we’re very accepting of everyone’s beliefs.
A Couple of Articles:
How to Deal with the Stress and Anxieties in the Music Industry
By Stanley Popovich
Stress and anxiety are very common in today’s music industry. As a result, here is a list of techniques that a person can use to help manage the daily stresses and anxieties of their music industry profession.
Sometimes, we get stressed when everything happens all at once. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do for a few minutes to get their mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things before they perform.
When facing a current or upcoming task at your music profession that overwhelms you with a lot of anxiety, divide the task into a series of smaller steps and then complete each of the smaller tasks one at a time. Completing these smaller tasks will make the stress more manageable and increases your chances of success.
Some music industry professionals can get anxious when they have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you have to perform in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself doing the event your mind. Imagine that your playing in front of a large audience. By doing this, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualization is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation.
Remember that no one can predict the future with one hundred percent certainty. Even if the thing that you feared does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. For instance, you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on for the last few months. Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your manager comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything. Remember: We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.
In dealing with your anxieties at your music profession, learn to take it one day at a time. While the consequences of a particular fear may seem real, there are usually other factors that cannot be anticipated and can affect the results of any situation. Get all of the facts of the situation and use them to your advantage.
Our anxieties and stresses can be difficult to manage in the music industry. The more control you have over your stresses and anxieties, the better off you will be in the long run.
WHEN SOMEONE YOU KNOW STRUGGLES WITH FEAR, ANXIETY AND STRESS
By: Stanley Popovich
What do you do when someone you know in the music industry has to deal with fears, anxieties, addiction or even depression? Well the first thing you need to do is to get the person to seek the services of a professional who can lead them in the right direction and give them the help they need. In addition, here are some other techniques you can use to help the person cope.
Learn as much as you can in managing anxiety and depression. There are many books and information that will educate you on how to deal with fear and anxiety. Share this information with the person who is struggling. Education is the key in finding the answers your looking for in managing your fears.
Be understanding and patient with the person struggling with their fears. Dealing with depression and anxiety can be difficult for the person so do not add more problems than what is already there.
In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of anxiety and you decide to take a walk to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety the next time around.
Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or anxious, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. For example, you are afraid that if you do not get that job promotion then you will be stuck at your job forever. This depresses you, however your thinking in this situation is unrealistic. The fact of the matter is that there all are kinds of jobs available and just because you don’t get this job promotion doesn’t mean that you will never get one. In addition, people change jobs all the time, and you always have that option of going elsewhere if you are unhappy at your present location. Changing your thinking can help you manage your fears.
Another thing to remember is that things change and events do not stay the same. For instance, you may feel overwhelmed today with your anxiety and feel that this is how you will feel the rest of the week or month. This isn’t correct. No one can predict the future with one hundred percent accuracy. Even if the thing that you feared does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. You never know when the help and answers you are looking for will come to you.
When your fears and anxieties have the best of you, seek help from a profession
1.) Mental Health Articles:
2.) Substance Abuse Articles:
Leadership & Work/Personal Life Balance:
A little bit of info about the author:
Wednesday March 21, 2012, Music and Entertainment Industry professionals are invited to attend The Music Business Network’s 3rd Annual Post-SXSW Networking Event
After the craziness of SXSW, come chill, drink, and meet the individuals who make up the future of the music industry.
Musicians – Bring Your Press kits and Demos for consideration to perform at the The Music Business Network’s “Music Takes Over Albany” Festival (in October) – this will be held October 9th – October 13th
**More Details To Follow**
This event is open to those individuals who are currently working in the music industry, musicians, and all students of the music and entertainment industries. Come along to meet a host of excellent people working in the music industry.
** YOU MUST RSVP TO ATTEND THIS EVENT **
PLEASE NOTE: There is a $5 Cover Charge To Attend This Event
SPREAD THE WORD to your friends and colleagues in the music industry and Don’t forget to bring your business cards!!!!
For More Info About the Venue Please Visit: www.madamex.com
- Beer (Amstel, Corona, IPA, Yuengling, Original Sin Hard Cider) – $4
- Well Drinks & House Champagne – $5
- Specialty Cocktails (Born Yesterday, Cherry Pop, Indecent Proposal, MadameX, Paradise Found, P***y Galore) – $5
- House Wine (Pino Grigio & Pino Noir) – $5
Wednesday October 26 2011, Music and Entertainment Industry professionals were invited to attend The Music Business Network’s 3rd Annual Post-CMJ Networking Event. After the craziness of CMJ, individuals who are currently working in the music industry, musicians, and all students of the music and entertainment industries came out to chill, drink, and meet a host of excellent individuals who make up the future of the music industry.
**Check out our Event Information & Pics page to view more photos from the event.**
Here’s Some Feedback We’ve Received from Attendees:
“I wanted to email you and say thank you for having that wonderful event at the Blue Owl. Made some great connections and met some talented people. Who knew some many talented folks in one space. Keep doing your thing and looking forward to the next one.” – Brooklyn Ink Songs
“Thank you for hosting the networking event at The Blue Owl last Wednesday – I wish I could have stayed longer. The crowd was quite the interesting amalgamation of young entertainment professionals – I look forward to attending events in the future.” - An Attendee from The Harry Fox Agency
PSYKICK HOLIDAY are British cult record producer Russell C Brennan (AKA Russell Writer) and Swedish vocalist Joannaa Tschig.
Guest collaborators include Japanese hit artist Pop, hit Polish singer Pola, Bootleg Beatles drummer Hugo Degenhardt, ex-Goldfrapp guitarist Gavin Molloy amongst others.
Russell started the Cult Themes trend in the UK helping to break many new artists as well as revive the careers of a few million selling ones. He also wrote and produced cult artist Eleanor Rigby (who still sells daily) He was one half of seminal Ska band ‘Ministry of Ska’, and is the published author of Music Business Bastards.
He was listed on one website in the top 20 most innovative record producers of all time on one website and is often likened to Joe Meek. He has produced 250 tracks commercially released worldwide including the no.1 hit ‘You only live twice’ By Eleanor Rigby.
Preferring to stay on the cutting edge Russell has invented a few music genres, including Ska Surf, Electronic Espionage and the most exciting being ‘Pop Noir’, which has a Jazz /Punk attitude, classical ambience, sexy/gritty lyrics and an overall filmic feel as expedited by Psykick Holiday whose music is sometimes likened to a combination of Ennio Morricone, John Barry, Kate Bush , Bjork and The Doors.
Russell pioneered the pop noir style through the Themes and Box Office Poison, and a few years’ later bands like Goldfrapp and Mono came out with similar sounds and style.
The bands first release were two tracks on the Album ‘The Themes Bond….James Bond’ with The tracks ‘A View to A Kill’ & ‘The James Bond Theme’. A deal with Polydor fell through and album was download only but ‘A View to a Kill’ proved a best seller after Bond fans said it was one of the best covers. Since then fans have been asking ‘WHERE CAN I BUY’ CD not just download of original material.
A controversial dance single ‘Sex on the Internet’ was released as a download also but as it didn’t portray the bands main style of music they failed to promote it too much not wanting to be lumped in as just a dance band.
The Bands debut album of Original material ‘Forever Pop Noir’ was finally released in the fall of 2010.
Check out Psykick Holiday on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/psykickholiday
Check out Psykick Holiday’s Websites: http://futurelegendrecords.com
NEW RELEASE: FOREVER POP NOIR by PSYKICK HOLIDAY
Jeffrey Rabhan, Chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music is beginning a series of intimate professional advisory sessions geared towards early to mid-career music professionals and highly motivated students, and because we are aware a number of NYU alumni are involved with The Music Business Network we thought it might be of particular interest to your group.
Ragazine.CC is the on-line magazine of arts, information and entertainment, a collaboration of artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others. We are looking for strong contributions of a thoughtful and creative nature to present to and share with our readers. Please see submission guidelines for additional information on the nature of material we are looking for from section to section. Send queries and submissions to the appropriate section editor.
The Purpose of Music Criticism in Society
Music critics have existed, professionally and recreationally, for hundreds of years . Since music criticism, as a profession, has existed, the public has been informed about happenings in the music world. The purpose of music critics is to educate and inform the general public about music (whether in the form of album reviews, live performance reviews, artist profiles, or artist interviews).
Professional music critics are expected to provide insight to the public about whether new albums, live performances, and specific buzz and popular artists are worth checking out or not. It is the critics’ duty to sift through all of the artists that exist in the vast musical landscape and direct their readers to the best artists, so that they may focus their musical attention towards them. Critics are also expected to be informative and unbiased in their reporting, in order to provide an accurate depiction of the material they are reviewing.
Professional critics should be and are held to reporting standards: both ethically and professionally. According to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, journalists are required to: (1) seek and report the truth, (2) minimize harm to sources, subjects and colleagues and respect all human beings, (3) act independently, by being free of obligation to any interest other than that of the public, and (4) be accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers, and each other. Professional standards that all critics should be held to are to: write in a concise and coherent manner so that the public can understand the message that they are trying to convey; write in a grammatically correct manner, and adhere to proper punctuation standards.
Critics are also expected to accurately state information about the material they are reviewing. They are expected to be knowledgeable and provide an educated opinion about the subjects at hand.. Without proper preparation and background, they will not be able to properly inform their readers about the music they are covering. Without properly researching the artist, album, genre, show background, and the genre’s history, the critic will make errors. Errors due to inadequate preparation severely reduces the critic’s credibility among readers and colleagues, and make him appear ignorant. If the critic has not prepared, his readers maybe misinformed and will ultimately be upset if the information provided to them was inaccurate.
Music critics provide a valuable service to the public. They direct and inform readers about musical endeavors that might interest them. Without music critics, the general public would be left to its own devices when it comes to exploring new music. In essence, without music critics, listeners might not know where to or how to obtain new and intriguing music.