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July 20, 2010

How NOT to impress music-business decision makers

Just read this blog from my colleague Rick Goetz. Rick advises musos to do three things at music industry conferences:

  1. Find like-minded peers
  2. Make sure you and your product present well
  3. Have a plan

He's spot on, but I'd take his advice even further - this does not apply only at conferences!

These are great rules for getting head in any business at any stage. They come back to the basic ideas that 1) you need to know who you are and what you want if you're asking people for something; and 2) your career-building ability is based entirely on your ability to collect the esteem of other people. These are especially true for musos.

The first idea is crucial. The first thoughts business people have when they meet you are "how are you?" and "What do you want?" If you can't answer these questions, then you are not going to give a good impression.

The second is fundamental. Conferences are there to bring your peers and colleagues together - that's the point. If you want to get ahead it is your job to build relationships with your peers and your colleagues - and being drunk, stoned, hungover, late ... is not a good foundation for a working relationship.

So, while your fans may dig the whole "rock 'n roll" attitude thing, save it for your rock 'n roll performances (more on that later). Give the business people your best business performance every time you are given the opportunity.

Posted by Hughie at July 20, 2010 12:40 PM

I attended literally hundreds of conferences and always got really high response while there...enthusiasm, expressed desire for people to follow up on projects or new ideas that came from my talks, etc...then when I returned home, it always fizzled and there was little response and almost no follow through in regards to business endeavors. It was discouraging to feel like I connected and then have it disappear like sand through fingers. No funding ever came from that pathway though I did meet great people, enjoyed the travel and adventure and learning and sharing of ideas. But lucrative, it was not.

Posted by: Virginia Little at July 22, 2010 8:39 AM

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