HOW TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL
THIS DOCUMENT IS OWNED & COPYRIGHTED BY DICK MCVEY.
UNAUTHORIZED USE OR DUPLICATION IS PROHIBITED! © 1988-2009
THE DREAM, THE GOAL, THE PLAN, THE TEAM
The music business is probably one of the most interesting yet difficult businesses in the world. Music is one of those vocations that gets in your blood and keeps you dreaming throughout most of your life, unless you do something about it. A person with great dreams can achieve great things.
If you have that dream of becoming a star, let me help you with some truths about the music business that may make the journey a little smoother and save you a lot of heartache and money along the way.
There are three elements that make anything successful Ė a goal, a plan and a team. The music business is no different. It is usually the dream that leads to the goal, but then the plan and the team seem to be a problem for most singers. Most singers, songwriters and musicians possess a very creative mind, but they want someone else to handle the business side of things. The artist who can develop both their creative and business minds are more likely to have great success because they understand what needs to be done and why it is being done in their careers.
Psychology plays an important part in the music business as well. Understanding the mental side of the music business is very important, beginning with mentally visualizing your dreams coming true to understanding that the color blue is the most appealing color to the adult male. A large part of this business is out-thinking your competition and coming up with unique ways of doing things that will get attention.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Every person, no matter what their occupation has to have the proper tools to get a job done. In the case of the music business, the raw tools are talent, appearance, and a very positive mental attitude. Other factors that come into play include educational courses such as drama, public speaking, salesmanship, journalism, typing, accounting, law and even geography. The final factor on a personal level includes luck, some of which can be controlled. It was once said the luckiest people are the ones who worked the hardest.
The music business is really no different than any other business. You have a product (the singer / band), a salesman (the manager), advertising (publicity person), a manufacturer (record label and producer), shipping (booking agent), promotion / marketing (record and concert promoters) and legal department (entertainment attorney). The key to success in any business is to coordinate all the above ingredients into a package that sells the product to the public through ticket, recording and concession sales.
Before you can begin putting a team together, you must take a critical look at yourself, the product.
ASK YOURSELF THESE CRITICAL QUESTIONS:
1- Do I have the talent or can I develop the talent to pursue a career in music?
2- Is my talent unique enough to draw attention to it, or am I just another singer?
3- Is my physical appearance going to be acceptable? (The music business is very visual these days)
4- Do I relate well to other people?
5- Do I work well as a part of a team?
6- Am I capable of giving orders without making people mad?
7- Is my talent commercially acceptable to the buying public? (Can you sell tickets and records?)
8- Can I maintain a positive attitude through extremely depressing times in my career?
9- Can I take criticism and rejection without getting mad or giving up?
10- Am I patient?
11- Am I mentally capable of handling the stress involved in the music business?
12- Am I willing to devote the time it takes to become successful in the music business? (Paying your dues)
13- Am I financially stable or have financial backing to help me?
If you answered yes to the above questions, you are then ready to lay out a plan for your career and hire a team to develop and market you as a product.
DEVELOPING A PLAN FOR YOUR CAREER
From the moment the ďmusic bugĒ enters your bloodstream, you must
develop a plan to use as a roadmap to attain your long-term dream of stardom.
The plan should be written down and followed as closely as possible
setting short-term goals, but keeping the ultimate goal in mind.
The way to make these goals attainable in as short a period of time as
possible is to work hard. Due to the differences and opportunities in the various
locations in this country, it is impossible for me to give you a time-table for
the plan, but it should not take longer than six years.
Most successful musicians and singers will tell you their ďovernight
successĒ took years. A typical
plan for someone wanting to become a recording artist is as follows:
HOW TO CHOOSE A TEAM AND WHAT THEY SHOULD DO
On the professional level, the first tool you will need is a good band. The band must consist of good, well equipped musicians with the same basic ideas on their future as yours. A good attitude is a must and possibly the most important factor to consider when choosing musicians. The group should be well groomed, willing to rehearse, possess no bad habits, and generally be willing to work as a team. The goal of the band as a part of the team is to become the best at what they do on a local level at first and to grow together musically into seasoned professionals capable of walking onto any stage at any time with confidence.
The most important professional tool you must have is a good manager. A manager is worth his weight in gold, and should be someone who is honest, dependable, knowledgeable in the fields of music and business, and most of all sold on the act he or she is managing. The manager is the person who handles all business aspects of the actís career. The manager is the person who consults with the act on business decisions and deals with the other members of the team on behalf of the act. The manager is in charge of the day to day running of the business for the act, including hiring and firing, general accounting, and making key career decisions for the act. The general purpose of the manager is to handle all aspects of an actís business so the act is free to concentrate solely on performing.
The booking agent from the local level to the national level is also an important tool in an actís career development. His job is to coordinate booking dates and to set the worth of an act in different situations to get the most for an actís talent. The agent also works closely with management, publicity, record label, record promotion teams, and others in a timely fashion to get the most out of an appearance.
Publicity is another important professional tool in assuring an actís success. The publicist, or PR (public relations) person is responsible for getting every tidbit of publicity about your act to the media whether it be TV, radio, magazine or newspaper. He will work closely with your manager and agent to obtain exposure for your act through live interviews, press releases, and personal appearances for promotional considerations. Every time an actís name is seen or heard it plants a seed in the mind of the reader, listener or viewer. Good advertising has sold products for years, and as an artist, good publicity is your method of advertising.
The primary job of the record label is to work closely with the act and the other members of the team in coordinating the release of albums on the act. Once the record label has signed the act, they may express a desire for the act to re-evaluate the team the act has together. For example, the label may feel there is a weakness in the band and ask that a musician be removed. There have been instances where a label has replaced the entire team around an act, sometimes because they feel the team is weak, other times in the belief the act needs a fresh start. The record label has its own promotions team (people who call radio stations and ask them to play your record), publicity staff (who work in conjunction with your publicist), and an A & R Department (who look out for songs and handle artist / label day to day relations.) The A & R Department is usually the first department to see the act and recommend the label sign them.
The record producer is the person who helps you choose the songs you record; works with you personally in the studio to get the most out of your vocal ability; offers ideas on phrasing of words, inconsistency in pitch; and generally helps you ďsell the songĒ vocally. In addition, the producer usually hires the recording studio musicians that fit your style, books the recording studio time, coordinates everything in the recording studio, and is generally responsible for seeing that an actís record is as close to perfection as possible. Many times the producer is a part of the record label staff. Again, avoid a producer that does not have a track record.
One of the most critical members of your team is the record promoter. The Record Promoter is the person who is in constant contact with the radio disc jockeys who play the records. The amount of play your record receives determines itís spot on the charts. Therefore a promoter with a good relationship with the DJís can get your record charted. A successful record label producing a good record and using the most successful record promoters usually cannot miss. In addition to the promoters on staff at a record label there are a number of independent promoters who can add to the success of a record.
MUSIC OR ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY
The job of the entertainment attorney is to protect the act from legal problems and to insure that contracts with other parties are legitimate and fair. These contracts would include those with the manager, agent, publicist, record label, sponsors, and any other situation that required a contract with the act.
THINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO DO !