Are you working hard, working smart, or just plain lazy?
I spend several weeks each year attending various music conferences including SXSW, NeMO, and 2NMC (of course…). At each conference, I often meet hundreds of people involved at various levels of the music business from musicians to label executives. When I do, I give every one of them a business card.
Not that I can help everybody, but for most of the musicians (or for anybody in the business of selling records) at these conferences, I could EASILY double their music business income with a few tweaks to their promotion plan. And for the guys who aren’t in the business of selling records, I’d still be a good guy to get to know because if I can’t help folks, I usually know somebody who can.
How many of these people followup, even with a simple “hey, it was great to meet you” message? Maybe 5%…on a good day.
About a month ago, I was speaking at a local college to about 400 students. When they found out that Kathode Ray Music was looking for interns, almost all of them came up to meet me afterwards.
So how was it that only about a dozen of these folks followed up with me? And when I emailed or called them back, how is it that NONE of them responded?
Lack of followup is the NUMBER ONE mistake you can make in the music business. If you’re going to spend the time, effort, and money trying to make a connection, the least you can do is make sure the connection is solid.
You should make a phone call, send an email, send a fax, or send some kind of communication for every package you send, every show you book, every CD sale you make, and every business related person you meet. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. Just a one line email will work most of the time.
For instance, if I were to meet you at a conference, you’d get something like this from me.
“Hey, John. It was cool to meet you at the Nashville New Music Conference. Email me if you need some promotion assistance for your band.”
That’s it. It can take weeks to make a connection, but it only takes a minute to strengthen one…and one is all it takes to build a career.
Need a job? You’d better learn to followup because they’re getting harder and harder to come by.
And if you don’t followup…that job is going to go to somebody who does.
This business is based on relationships. Rather than going for volume in the number of contacts you make, try going to quality.
Instead of sending an email about your band to 1500 management companies, pick one, call them up, and start getting to know them. Send them a package via next day mail and followup again. It will take some time, but it’s worth it.
Instead of sending out hundreds of resumes when you graduate from music business school, make the connection now, build on it for a few years, and watch as a job is waiting for you the day you graduate…even in this economy.
If you can make THREE contacts per week, you’ll have over 150 by the end of the year. The music business isn’t that big! 150 contacts is more than enough to get whatever you need.
Who do you need? A manager? A booking agent? A publicist? A reporter to print something on you in New York?
Pick up the phone and get to work.