Folk Alliance International’s annual conference is this weekend.
I’ll be there showcasing my music – along with 1,087 other performers, and 750+ presenters and industry reps from all over.
How do you thrive at a music conference?
Be interested in other people.
Be consistent (advice from: Ariel Hyatt and Jo-Ná Williams)
This applies in many directions – inward, outward, and over time.
This is ‘branding’; you convey what you’re about by being consistent internally, so that how you act, look, and what you talk about aligns with the art you make or present. When they do align, we get a clear picture of you/your organization. When they conflict, it’s like fog in a field.
As Williams said brilliantly: “people can’t latch on to chaos”.
Public communication; be consistent across your website, social media, press releases, etc. I use the same photo on all my social sites and website, and the same line: ‘new album out April 2015’.
For the conference, have a 10-second speech memorized to convey what you/your organization is about. Artists, have a comparison act at the ready - we’re just trying to light up someone’s eyes in those first seconds, not prove our uniqueness. (I say ‘indie Sara Bareilles’.)
Be consistent with how frequently you interact with fans. Here’s the best part: in order to be consistent, do less! Stop half-doing some things, and instead commit to a smaller list, or communicate less often.
With social media, Hyatt says pick the 1-3 sites you prefer, be active regularly – and cross the rest off. Also, ‘regularly’ is different for each site. If you’re into Facebook, for instance, you can post 1 time a day and you’re done!
At the conference you’ll be really busy, so while it’s happening, pick one site to receive your attention, and be consistent with that one. You can catch up on the rest afterward.
Next: Be interested in other people.
Elaine Romanelli is an NYC-based touring singer/songwriter pianist/guitarist. At FAI look for her at Anderson Fair, MPress Records, and Windrush Concerts private showcases. New album out April 2015. www.elaineromanelli.com.