Early in March 2017, I attended a Tune Up Toronto workshop hosted by MusicOntario. The focus was on conferences, showcases and music business festivals, and how to get the most out of them. They can be overwhelming and costly, and you need to do more than hang out and play a gig to make it worth your while. The panelists were organizers of conferences and showcases, experienced managers and artists. Each panelist had great insight. These guys were not the panel, they are none other than BTO. Here are my top takeaways.
Don’t do it. Don’t send unsolicited emails with huge attachments, not cool. Instead, ask yourself “why am I reaching out to this person” and send targeted emails. Do your research and personalize the emails. One of the panelists said she gets more than 500 emails per day, so you want to make sure that yours does not end up in the deleted box or overflows the inbox.
Do the Hustle
Be polite, creative, and get noticed. Be sociable and engaging without being overwhelming, and know who you are talking to. Be on time, don’t be late and follow up. Oh, and your hype man should NOT be your dad.
What’s your Story Morning Glory?
You need to have and rehearse an origin story, what makes you YOU. Try to come up with one sentence that is scripted yet organic. Try it out with your friends, and ask for honest feedback.
…and echoes with sound of salesmen…of salesmen…SALESMEN! –
Yes, folks, at the end of the day, that’s what we all are, because “the words of the profits were written on the studio wall, Concert Hall!” (thanks, Geddy). The pitching never stops. You may be an awesome talent, but you also need to sell people on WHY they should listen to your music, buy your music or book your band. You are marketing yourself.
Give a Little Bit
You think conferences run by themselves? Nope. There are countless volunteers needed to run festivals, showcases and conferences. You WILL meet influential people. Sometimes, it’s the relationships you make when volunteering that are the ones that will help you the most. As a bonus, you get a free wristband and T-shirt! If you attend the CMW Music Summit Conference each spring, I can usually be found volunteering in International Marketplace.
For more information on the Tune Up Toronto workshops, visit www.music-ontario.ca