What do you need to boost your music career?
By Irma de Jong
What does it take to have a successful music career? What do you expect and hope to achieve? For this, an important element is to understand what is your motivation and what drives you. To say it accessible; what is your WHY? For many starting young musicians, it’s something they don’t think of. But also more mature musicians very often act on “automatic pilot”. Let’s examine better what you need for a successful music career.
CRUCIAL, RATHER THAN IMPORTANT
A month ago, I stood in front of a group of 15 young musicians. I was asked to come and explain to them how you create a website and what “personal branding” is. These elements are so crucial for a starting musician.
METHODS, NOT FORMULAS
They all looked at me expectantly, waiting for ” something” that would help them to get rid of the problem at once — a kind of success formula. Very often promised in digital marketing communication. Is there such a formula? I don’t think so. But there is a frame of skills; if you work on it methodically, the basics and rules have to be applied personally and sometimes work differently for each person.
FROM LOUSY TO CLEVER
I explained to the group what my motivation is to transfer my knowledge to them on that day; why I am so passionate about teaching musicians self-management skills.
So I told them about how I worked for years with young musicians and always being surprised of the lack of knowledge or – even worse – the total lack of skills on how to become a young musician entrepreneur. Questions like “How do you communicate with your audience”; write to managers with a bright and attractive story; why a website is essential and what you do with all those social media platforms without losing yourself in it were not asked nor addressed.
I told them about the distressingly poorly written messages I often receive as a manager; the bad photos and videos that some musicians still put on their FB and YT page, but especially about how surprised I am that this knowledge remains a subordinate element at renowned institutions (some excellent examples excluded).
WE ALL HAVE OUR BAD DAYS …
Seven years ago, I knocked at the door of a renowned music conservatory. The positive conversation I had in mind was entirely out of place. I was sitting in front of an “autopilot-working” teacher, who never had any trouble in his life finding gigs or get a job. He told me with an arrogant tone that they were working on a ” Career centre “, and there was certainly no place for me and my ideas.
OK. Too bad. I thought something else would come in future. Meanwhile, to stay up with the market, I followed an online marketing training and received a course with online videos. All of them with a white blank picture and only audio text. I listened and learned it all, performed the exercises and improvements in my communication, and thought ” I can create something like that……but better “.
And so I wrote an outline for an online course with 22 videos where I teach musicians what you need to know, learn and perform in the daily communication practice of a performing musician, and so to become an executive musical entrepreneur.
Is there any secret to having success? I think you can simply learn to be successful! Just like you learned to play your instrument: step by step with the right teachers and by practising for yourself and on stage.
… AND GOOD ONES
And sometimes a miracle happens, or you receive lovely feedback. Like this e-mail message below, that I received on the day and a few hours before I was about to give the workshop to the young musicians. From an old student. A saxophonist in her thirties, who took my online course a year and a half ago.
And this is what she wrote:
How are you? It was a long time since we last had contact and I would like to tell you this: after your online self-management course, everything in my musical career has improved by 200%. We are now a year later and I have played so many concerts! I could not have imagined that.
This could only happen because of your individual approach and the step by step course of your Irma, all your advice turned out to be good. Being polite with organizers and people in general, writing to them in person, knowing things about how different generations communicate, good times to call, presenting your own website as a modern visit card, presenting a project in a video format, an authentic and surprisingly written biography, INTERESTED in another before you talk all the time about yourself …
And most important of all, the feeling of not being helpless any more, but becoming the captain of one’s own ship. This is a great feeling and nourishes one’s self-esteem! How come NOBODY teaches as these management skills at universities? How to record a CD (and why it is still necessary nowadays), how to make a promo video, write a bio, how to negotiate about concert fees (!), … What a shame!
Thank you very much for filling this gap.
Thank you, Irma, for all your time and diligence. You made a big impact on my life.
And this is what I experienced after reading it. It motivated me again and confirmed my “WHY”. I was proud of the many hours of dedicated effort to set up the correct structure of the course, the learning elements, the topics, what do they need? Am I going to talk about it now or later? Don’t forget this important part! To work to recording the videos, assembly and installation of the texts.
So, WHY would I want to share this information with you now? To sell my course? To put me in the spotlight? To boost my ego?
Probably a little bit of everything ;-), but most of all
To CONVINCE you of the URGENCY.
Because most of you still do not realise that it is necessary to have this knowledge. Still don’t know why they actually play an instrument and what they will do with it (later). Still, have no idea what awaits them. And above all; are not able to communicate verbally and in writing in the correct manner and manner.
I want to convince you
That it really works.
That it benefits you.
That you will understand how things work.
That you will structure your musical career in a clever way.
And that you will get (or have) success
Just like Maria.
> LIVE LINKEDIN TALK on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29th
Linkedin recently opened a beta version of live video streaming on their platform. I was one of the ones allowed to do the testing and I will present my first LIVE video stream tomorrow Tuesday 29th of October.
I will talk about the skills you need to learn and master to become a cultural entrepreneur.
I am quite excited to do this first Live Linked Talk! and want to invite you to take part. Live talks are freely available for the Linkedin audience, but to be sure about the time and to suggest topics you’d like to hear about, you can write to me here.
To Your Musical Success!
Self-Management Courses for musicians
For iClassical Academy, I created a 22 music business instruction videos for musicians to learn and understand the basics of promotion and communication. This course teaches you how to choose the right media and to use them effectively. Learn all about branding, positioning, impressing and convincing promoters, organisers, and your audience! Everything you need to know to have a successful and excellent music career and to become a happy musician.
You find the course here