In this day in age it seems web 2.0 and social networking is taking over. But what about the values we are learning from this technology and how we are interacting with one another?
I recently talked to a potential client over the phone that needed management help with their career. The conversation went well and he did not come across as a know it all or snobish in anyway. In fact he had a great attitude towards the whole idea, after all he did contact me. At the end of our conversation, which lasted aprox 5minuets, I expressed to him to e-mail me all his info and define what it was he needed exactly as I was out running errands and was not in front of my computer to look up his info on the spot. He said “I’ll txt you” and I told him “do not do that, I want you to write to me what you need and give me links to your websites so I can get an overall view of what you need and who you are”…So no more then 1 minute later I get a txt from him, I only knew it was him because I saw the number it came from.
Fyi: this was a test to see if he could listen & do what is requested of him before getting into a business relationship with him. It’s a good judgment of how they are going to take direction and if they will even listen tomy ideas in the future. Beyond that it tells me how he is going to treat me as a person, friend & manager.
So what did he do wrong in this situation & why is this detrimental to his & your career? Let’s start with the obvious, he did not listen and ended up doing what he wanted to do anyways. How am I going to be effective in making his life easier and pushing his career to new levels if he can’t listen to a simple request? Yes it’s true themanager works for the band not the other way around, let’s be clear on that. However it is of the utmost importance that when doing business that everyone, including the band, can follow directions however small they are. Think about this for a moment. If a venue requests you send them and EPK you don’t send them a hard copy to their business address, they will throw it away and write you off as a band they do not want to work with because you can’t follow directions. The other less obvious thing here is what it told me about him as a potential client. It tells me he has power issues and he has to be right all the time, again let’s be clear the manager does work for the band not the other way around, but it is the managers job to make important decisions based on what is best for the band. You cannot make these decisions if you’re dealing with a person who has to always be right and in control. In other words it tells me that he wants someone he can boss around & give attitude towards all to boost his ego.
Let’s explore one more situation here, the e-mail game. As a record label owner and international podcast producer I get several requests from bands wanting to be signed to the label or be on our podcast show. Here is an e-mail copied straight from my e-mail inbox (nothing was change except the band name):
No pay to play bullshit. No American Idol corporate crap… No Motley Metal tattoo-drug lifestyles of those who sold their souls for rock and roll.
Rock with soul. We have invested 6 years of blood, sweat and tears. What, if anything, are you willing to invest? Thanks, Band name protected
Does this sound like a group you would want to work with? Mind you this was completely unsolicited by me, no requests were sent to this band for their info; they contact me all on their own. Let’s analyze this. No web links were provided in this, which is a big NO. Even if I could get over the cussing & statement of “What, if anything, are you willing to invest” they left me with nothing to check them out and see if they were worth my time to write back. It is very important to leave all your contact info & I don’t mean just a Facebook link, I mean: Name, band name, website, phone number & e-mail. The person getting your mail does not want to google your band name in hopes of finding some info on you. They want it all laid out for them, if you got 100 e-mails a day from people wanting your help who would you consider looking at; the person who gave you everything right there to make it easy to do your research or the person who makes you search the web to see what your about? Also note the way this e-mail reads, it sounds kinda rude like I owe them something already, almost as if I should say here’s a record contract thank you for allowing me to be your investor… I can only imagine the drama they bring to the plate.
So here are some tips on your professionalism & lasting career as a music professional.
1. Be humble in your attitude, show some humility.
2. Read & listen carefully to what the other party is saying and asking for & give them that info specifically.
3. Don’t add extra stuff if they never asked for it.
4. You are always on “interview” no matter where you are (grocery store, bank, car wash, event, concert etc…) and as soon as you leave the house. If your rude to someone, pick your nose in public, litter, steal, ext.. You are hurting your career. You never know who is watching or who your talking to. Always be on top of your game, bring your A level, always.
5. Write e-mails professionally as if your life depended on it, because it does. Don’t write them from your phone, we can tell you didn’t take the time and they look terrible. If you don’t know what a professional e-mail looks like then go to you local library and find a business proposal-writing book, it will help your writing style 10 fold. If you do need to write an e-mail from your phone, make sure that it looks good before you send it. If you have never reached out to this person before then NEVER make the first e-mail from your phone. Wait until you get home to type and send it.
6. Give only the important information in your e-mails. We don’t care about your bio, dog or last relationship &why you’re depressed or have not had a job. We care about easy links to your information, how many true fansyou have, how much merch you sell, how many cd’s you’ve sold and why you want to work with us. Keep it short and too the point!
7. Get a real website & keep it updated. Facebook or Twitter is not a website.
8. Texting is not a form of communication. Phone calls are!
9. RockStars are RockStars because they love people. They don’t wake up at 3pm all drugged out hung over. They wake up at 7am and get their day started with recording, song writing, and business calls, e-mails, and meetings etc… even on show nights. The ones who have longevity & lasting careers are the ones who live this life style not the party life style.
10. Set daily, monthly & yearly goals for yourself
11. Speak professionally & clearly when leaving messages. Leave your phone number in the beginning of the message… “This is Zaque Eyn I am calling to set up a time to meet…” If they have to re-listen to the message they don’t want to listen to a 5-minute message to get to the end to hear your number.
12. Always have business cards on you or some form of unique physical contact info.