Well my friends, here we are again with another installment of #musicindustryetiquette. Full disclosure, I always have to google to make sure I spell “etiquette” right. Words are hard sometimes.
But I digress.
A couple of months ago, we published the first article where we went into some “Dos and Don’ts” in communication and first impressions but now it’s time to get a little more real with you.
Confidence Vs. Entitlement
Here at Bridge, we get music submissions every day from PR agencies, labels, independent artists and everything in between. From emails to DM’s, we see a variety of communication styles and want to share some of our experiences to help guide you in marketing yourself.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. DON’T. BE. DEMANDING.
You would be astounded at how many people demand coverage. For themselves, for their artists, as if it is their right to be featured. I’m sorry to say, this is not the case.
We’re no Rolling Stone, and we don’t pretend to be, but we’ve built something we love and are proud of. Demanding coverage is a sure way to get you removed from our submission list. Not only for us here at Bridge, but for any publication, blog, or station you might be submitting to.
We have had plans to cover certain artists, I mean, have had them on the schedule but because their reps would become demanding of timeframes, blow up our inbox, we had no choice but to remove them. We work hard to protect the peace of our business.
Which leads us to our next point:
The Right Representation
Choosing the right representation can make or break you.
There are an overwhelming amount of talented PR reps and agencies in the music business. Professionals who have studied the art of promotion and are able to get you into doors you wouldn’t be able to get through on your own.
Choosing the wrong representation, however, can not only close doors but damage your reputation as an artist.
You are a brand, and any communication from you or for you always comes back to you. If your rep is one of those demanding types we talked about, no one will want to work with you. Even though their communication was not your fault, industry professionals will steer clear of you based on their experience with your rep.
The industry has changed, old-school managers that yell and scream and demand will get you no where.
I know what you’re thinking. “I’m an independent artist, I can’t afford representation!” Sis, me either. But the same rules apply. When you are emailing, promoting, plugging your music, you can still follow these guidelines. You wouldn’t walk into a job interview demanding the position, so why would you do that with your art?
You have a product to sell, take it seriously and remember to be professional.
I know there’s a chance you’re rolling your eyes and mumbling “Old School” under your breath. I get it, I really do. I’m not saying “be humble” solely from a business standpoint. I say it because we are the artists of society. The feelers, the thinkers, the ones who create music and paintings and stories that allow others to feel seen, heard, and understood. We are all of these things existing in a business model and there is a way to do that without losing our humanity, without losing who we are.
Humility does not mean a lack of confidence, quite the opposite. It means we know who we are and what we bring to the table, so much so that we can approach business opportunities with peace. We can promote ourselves without a sense of entitlement. We can approach people who have the ability to open doors for us with an air of thankfulness that we get to be in this business in the first place.
We’ll end there for now. Hopefully we provided you with some food for thought in how to navigate a small corner of this business of music.
Stay tuned for our next installment coming this summer.