The more I read Tom Jackson's blogs on the importance of live music production, the more I see how what I do for my clients parallels with what he does for his. In fact, I've referred several of my clients to him in order to take the next step in their music careers. One of Tom's recent blog entries reminds me so much of what I work hard to help my clients (including potential clients) understand about the importance of image consulting that I've decided for this week's blog entry to break his blog down and illustrate for you the parallels of these two VERY important components of a successful music career (see below; click here to read the entire blog from Tom).
Tom Jackson's blog: "I’m on my way to Birmingham, AL right now to work with a pretty popular band that just got out of their record deal to pursue other, better deals. Their attorney...was glad I was working with them because she knows recording companies will make their decision based on how they like the band’s live show. She was hoping I could make all the changes, inspire, and help them in the three days I had with them. I said, 'the manager switched it to one day of rehearsal.' She came close to having a conniption fit. 'Oh, my gosh, this is the most important gig of their lives…why would the manager only hire you for 1 day?' See, she gets what we do here at Tom Jackson Productions. She knows this is a creative process. You don’t wave a magic wand, and instantly people become stars."
paNASH Style: It's true that recording companies are basing their decisions on a band or solo artist's live performance, partly because it's the ticket sales from the live performances they are hoping to make money from through 360 deals since they are no longer able to make a profit/revenue from an act's recordings. In a live performance, the recording companies not only hear the act sing, they are able to get a visual of the act's image. If the image doesn't line up with the act's music and what the label's idea of a marketable image is, the act doesn't make a good impression on the label. Developing an image is also a creative process just like the development of the live performance is. I'm no magician either and cannot come up with an image for an act in an instant...at least not one that is genuine to the act. For the image to be both genuine and successful, I need to listen to the client's music and get to know what they are about personally. I also need to spend time getting input from the client so that we are on the same page and that I'm not creating an image for them that doesn't feel like their second skin to them. I've had a few people contact me two days before a photo shoot and ask me to slap together a look for the shoot. I've also had some clients decide to cut back on the services they originally asked me to provide, which can easily compromise the quality of the client's goal.
Tom Jackson's blog: "...But I’m always optimistic once they see the process, they’ll realize what goes into live music producing...These bands did!...They actually ended up postponing their showcase with investors until we could get together again. They got a glimpse of what the process is, and they knew it was better to wait and get it right."
paNASH Style: I also remain optimistic that my clients will see how the process that they sometimes assume will be uncomfortable and/or unnecessary actually is both fun and yields results. Clients have shared with me how their confidence has increased greatly and how they find themselves putting into practice the things they learn from me, whether it's how to dress and shop for their body type or how to present themselves in a media interview or similar situation. Many have said they realized after having worked with me that they should have started the image development process sooner, and several often come back for the other services they thought they didn't need at first.
Tom Jackson's blog: "People get into the process at different levels, depending on how much time, energy, and money they can invest, where they are in their career, and how serious they are about doing the 'music thing.' I hear from artists all the time: 'I want to have a great show, so should I hire a Live Music Producer, or buy the DVDs, or come to your Bootcamp?' The answer is yes! Yes to all three. I’m not trying to evade the question, but the truth is all are necessary if you want to do this properly. You need to watch the DVDs (over and over until you are sick of me). You need one-on-one help. We don’t do something once, and 'get it.' The DVDs are one way to learn, Bootcamp is another, hands-on is another."
paNASH Style: I work with clients at varying levels in their careers and with various budgets. It really does boil down to how serious they are about their music careers. I hear from artists all the time wanting to improve their image and their presentation skills who ask me, "Should I read your book Advance Your Image, or attend one of your workshops, or hire you for individual services?" The answer is YES to all three! Like Tom says, if you want to do things properly, you need to take advantage of all that's at your fingertips to help you be successful.
Tom Jackson's blog: "I don’t know where you are in your career. But I do know this: those who are dedicating themselves to the process are seeing tangible results in their music career, whether they are new, young artists or someone who’s been around the block a few times."
paNASH Style: My clients often share with me the tangible results of their investment in working with me. One has told me how the interview preparation I did with him for a specific audition has helped him in so many other aspects of both his professional and personal life. Another has shared with me how the confidence she gained from having me put together the right look for her body type improved her comfort level on stage and her entire stage presence and live performance. A band who hired me to work on their image before working on other aspects of their music career has stated that they now see how it was so important to work on their image first because of the doors it has since opened for them. They said their image makeover is what made the right producers and other key players in their career sit up and take notice of them and take them seriously. Another client has just landed a highly-coveted spot on a show produced by Simon Fuller and told me how much our media coaching sessions also helped her with the intense interview process she had to go through during casting for the show.
Tom Jackson's blog: "In fact, those of you reading this who have worked with me 1-on-1, it’s never a bad thing to come back and get a tune-up. We’re always growing, developing, learning. I know I am!"
paNASH Style: No, it's never a bad idea to come in for a "tune-up." When it comes to the wardrobe styling, clothing changes from season to season, and sometimes our bodies also change, and we have to know which current styles work best for our current body types. Also, the wardrobe for your last album or single's photo shoot has to be different from your next album or single's photo shoot. In fact, I'm working right now on a second photo shoot with a band that I previously worked with. They needed new pictures for their latest project. In addition, I am once again doing some media/interview coaching with a client I worked with several years ago. She and I are both able to see just how rusty she is in our recent sessions. I am also able to see how much she has matured since last working with her and how she can use that to her advantage. Yes, as Tom says, we are always growing, developing, and learning. I am a huge fan of lifelong learning and would rather be dead if I was no longer able to learn new things and to learn how to develop myself as a person and as a professional. My hope is that my clients will also continue to grow and stretch themselves in their careers so they can achieve their goals and dreams!
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