If you're here to look into new and different methods by which you can market your band or artist. You've come to the right place. I'm Tom Colohue, and this is Marketing Methods; your guide to traversing the basics of the marketing world while avoiding the pitfalls, the traps and the unreasonable arseholes in it.
Marketing Methods by Tom Colohue
Part Thirteen: Small Details Important To Big Business
This particular piece will be about dealing with the bigger companies such as large scale venues, international promoters and record label managers.
I'll try to keep this mostly simple by making a bit of a checklist of the basics.
They are not your friend
Even if they keep buying you things, offering you gorgeous potential partners and getting you drunk, their primary focus is to earn money from you. That isn't because they're bad people, it's simply because that's what they're employed to do. Your happiness is a security measure in order to ensure that, but it's still secondary.
The people who really care about your wellbeing will be those that don't have to make you happy, but do so anyway. The best way to find out who are friends and who are just doing their job is to tell them how your day has gone so far. Did they listen? Oh, that means they care. Did they offer no facial expression, laugh at the wrong parts and refuse to share anything real from their own life? Nah, they're just doing their job.
Always read contracts
This sounds so very simple, but people across the world still haven't gotten it. If a contract is put in front of you, and in the next second you are given a pen and told to sign it, something is being hidden from you in that document. If you're pressured to sign, the last thing you should ever do is sign the damned thing. Never let anybody tell you what's in a contract without having them show you the details themselves. Contracts can prove increasingly complex, and experts are often needed, but they can show you the parts that back up their claims.
Nobody who views you as a person instead of a meal ticket will ever begrudge you the time that you need to read the contract, sign it, and bring it back. If anybody tries to stop you from reading it, just walk away.
There will come a time, if you work hard enough, when you will be earning more than a couple of pounds per performance. When you reach this stage, you reach the point of being able to negotiate your fee. At this point, a lot of power is in your hands, and a lot of things can go wrong. Firstly, never accept the first offer unless there's a chance you're going to lose the gig/job. Being too happy with low sums equates to people thinking that that is what you are worth.
On the other side of the coin, negotiating too harshly and taking too much money, leaves the other party less than pleased with the result, even if you're fantastic. Negotiate to a level where everybody is happy, even if it means slightly less money. There are, after all, more important things in life.
Accept the fact that people hate you now
Yeah, you're made it. Now people hate you. Why? Easy. They haven't made it. They're jealous.
There's nothing else to this point, that's it.
Show a professional face
As has been mentioned earlier in these articles, bending the truth to appeal more professional and stable when it comes to the people in power is a good move. If that means leaving all of your own stresses, strains and pains at the door then that's what you have to do, and you have to make sure everybody with you does it as well. Artists will always say that it's only the music that matters, but that is far from the truth. In modern culture, your behaviour is far more important.
As long as you're approachable, everybody is going to love you, except for those people mentioned above that hate you.
Tom Colohue is a writer from Blackpool, England. Though he specialises in Fiction, he also writes music theory articles, and new media articles based primarily on the internet. On occasion, these also intermingle. He is well recognised by numerous critics and analysts for his integrative descriptive work and his cynical textual mannerisms. For more information, Tom Colohue keeps a Facebook Fan Page, which contains updates from new articles and his personal blog, Mental Streaming. This page can be found via this link.