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Being The Professional

August 7, 2012

For a lot of people who try to make their career in music, part of the allure of not having to wear a suit and have a corporate attitude; not having to “be the man”. For the most part this is avoidable but sometimes you have to rub elbows with business people. In the music industry this is not nearly as bad as other as most people are more relaxed and do not expect musicians to look like business people. However, you still need to act professionally around them.

Where you will see this most is industry festivals and conferences as most often these events will bring in label heads, booking agents, managers, and an assortment of other people just to see and meet bands. At these events you should be prepared to pitch yourself to others and assume that anyone you talk to could be looking to do business with you. You should also actively try and meet with people to see if you could work with them, and if not, find out why and what you can do to increase your chances and gain their partnership.

With all this being said, few people expect musicians to act overly business-like and wear suits. You will want to tone down anything controversial and be careful how you talk. Telling a racy joke or wearing a shirt which might offend someone should be avoided. However, you don’t want to lie and pretend to be something different than what you are. If you have songs about politics or other matter that can lead to upsetting people, you shouldn’t necessarily avoid these topics;these people want to know what you and your band are about. Present a false image of your band and you will only find problems down the road and starting any sort of relationship with false understandings is never a good thing.

While the music world does force us all to sometimes act more business than we may like, t is a far cry from other industries. Be truthful to the people you engage with but make sure to act properly in professional situations (like not getting super drunk before an important meeting – even if the meeting is in a bar!). We all have to wear a variety of hats when making a living in music and sometimes one of those is the business professional.

-Hassan

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