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« Planning corporate music entertainment | Main | The Label Phenomenon Epiphany »
Thursday
Dec222011

Guerrilla Promotion; Building Better MI Relationships

Whenever Im about to start working with a new industry contact, I always do some research first. I always advise bands to never call and ask who you should talk to if you can avoid it. That’s actually one of the things Musicpage.com does so well. We list the contact names, titles and number of the music pros for the thousands of music industry businesses we list. This way you know who to talk to, and a little bit about that person before you call.

But finding out who to talk to is only the first step. Remember when you are calling a venue talent buyer or reporter, you are probably one of people calling that week for the same reason. You may be the best band, but how is the reporter or music pro supposed to know that? Every band says they are the best. But most music pros dont have the time to check out every band that calls them. There just isnt enough time in the day.

So before you call someone, read the bio on their personal Musicpage, look them up on facebook or google them. Find out where they used to work, what else they have done and anything else that is relevant. You may find an interview they have given where they list the things they hate or love about their job.

This way when you call them, you have some information you can reference if it comes up in the conversation. Maybe they list a hobby that you also enjoy. If the subject comes up and you mention it, your brief call can turn into a much longer and more productive one. You just moved from one of 100 bands calling - to a guy in a band who shares a common interest with the person who books the club’s shows.

So now you have broken though and started to build a relationship with this person. Anyone who has spent time in the industry will tell you its all about building relationships. But a single phone call isnt going to do that. You’re going to need to follow up with them. And when you do, you better remember what you talked about the last time.

But if you are in a touring band or an active music pro, this is probably one of dozens of people you will be talking to. Usually only every other month or so. That makes remembering your last conversation nearly impossible - unless you took some notes to refresh your memory.

So when you talk to someone new, keep a record of your conversation and make sure you have those notes handy next time you call. If you dont have a contact database, a free feature on Musicpage can do the same thing for you.

Every profile on Musicpage includes an Add Your Own Private Note button. Pressing that button lets you add the notes about your conversation to their profile. Since its a private note, they cant read it. Only you can. So every time you come back to their Musicpage to get their phone number - you can read the notes you left for yourself. This will make it seem like you have a photographic memory since you remember even the smallest details of a conversation from weeks or months earlier.

Another rule about contacting music pros. If the only time you call them is to ask for something, you wont be building a very successful relationship. That’s why i have this rule; If I may need to ask for something from someone in the future, I make sure i call them 2-3 times without asking for anything  first. This way i know what’s going on in their life and am making an honest effort to build a legitimate relationship with them. This will make it easier for you to get through to the person since every time you call, you arent asking for something.

People like working with and helping people they know. Make sure the pros you want to work with, know you.

- David Codr

David is the founder of Musicpage.com, a secure online community built to help musicians find and connect with music industry professionals from all over the country. Musicpage is free to use, but reserved exclusively for use by Musicians and Music professionals. To create your own Musicpage for free, visit www.musicpage.com

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