Wednesday, November 21, 2012

4 Things All of Us Can Learn From the Music Industry

Photo by Kate Mereand-Sinha, Creative Commons

If you're someone who knows anything about me, you know that I love to read and I love to collect quotes.  Last year, I read a great book by music industry veteran and music journalist Dan Kimpel called Networking Strategies for the New Music Business.  From that book, I jotted down several quotes that stood out to me because I knew the readers of this blog would find them very helpful (and also because they support the point of what I do!).

  • "The way people feel about themselves is generally the way others feel about them."  This is why dressing your best is so important for everyone, not just performing artists.  Doing so makes you feel confident, makes you stand taller, and puts pep in your step.  When that happens, people notice a good way!
  • "Your visual presentation is your trademark.  If you're a musician, others should be able to tell what type of music you perform before you ever play a note."  As an artist, you have to be believable before you even sing one note.  The way you dress, the look of your web site, all of it indicates whether or not you are a serious artist and whether or not you should be taken seriously, both by your fans and the music industry insiders.  This is also true for anyone trying to achieve success in their careers.  No matter what industry you're in, you want to be taken seriously and your visual package and brand helps you do so.
  • "Music industry insiders can recognize other insiders.  It's a hip, fast-moving world.  A straight-laced suit-wearing businessman may alienate musicians.  Even if you're on the other side of the desk, you're expected to have a 'look.'"  So yes, music industry insiders, image is also important for the success of your own career.  This is why I offer services to you as well.  They're not just for your artists!  Also, regardless of the industry in which you work, you must know how to dress in a way that your audience (clients, customers, etc.) can both relate to you and feel confident that you can do a good job for them.  
  • "The business people in Nashville are incredibly savvy.  Don't assume that you're dealing with yokels.  Nashville doesn't care what you've done elsewhere." Thanks Dan for the shout-out to us Nashville music industry peeps!  This is so true of many of my colleagues here on Music Row.  Therefore, artists from outside of Nashville need to understand this in order to know how to network appropriately in this town.  Doing your research on the industry you're trying to break into is necessary for your networking efforts to work.
Of course there were many more quotes from Dan's book that stood out to me.  In fact, I've written other blog posts based on some of those quotes, such as "Continuity: An Essential Ingredient for Success" and "Putting Yourself in Others' Shoes: A Step Toward Success." 

I encourage both artists and music industry professionals to not only read Networking Strategies for the New Music Business, but also Dan's other book (co-written by Don Grierson),  It All Begins With the Music: Developing Successful Artists and Careers for the New Music Business.  

And for those of you who cringe at the thought of reading, consider this fact I recently heard quoted:  "watching mindless TV, including and especially reality TV, causes mild depression as opposed to reading a book."  So fight the holiday blues this season by choosing to read one of Dan's books.  I promise you'll learn a lot more in one book than you ever will from The Learning Channel's day-long marathon of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.  (Is it just me or does TLC use the term "learning" a little too loosely?)

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