Friday, March 31, 2017

Why You're Not Getting What You Want | Music Think Tank

Success is built on determination, hard work, and being in the right place at the right time. Many attribute the last part to luck; I attribute it to asking for what you want and being open (aka ready) to receiving it. Many musicians have mastered the determination and hard work parts, but they still haven’t built the following and/or garnered the consideration they desire from the industry.

Musicians often come up short of where they want to be in their career because they don’t ask enough of the right questions.

I’ve been fortunate to grow my network and my business through referrals, but there comes a point where one’s own community becomes saturated and you have to expand your reach. It became clear to me after a certain point that I’d have to create my own opportunities to meet new potential clients and/collaborators. No one was going to offer me what I wanted if I wasn’t out there letting people know I existed and who I was after.

So I started asking specific questions.


1. Who in my current network knew individuals who could be great connections for me? 

I began sending out personalized emails to existing relationships letting them know (1) the types of connections I was looking for (this is KEY), (2) asking if they knew of anyone I should be reaching out to and connecting with, and (3) if they’d mind facilitating an introduction (pro tip: Include a brief email script for them to use to make it as easy as possible for them to quickly reach out).

That led to a number of, “I’m sorry I can’t think of anyone,” responses, but it also led to a few key introductions, which is all you ever really need. And I didn’t stop there. I asked more questions. The next ones I posed to myself.

2. Who were the individuals I’d absolutely LOVE to get to know, but had no mutual connection?

Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, was someone I had long admired. It seemed like a shot in the dark, but I sent him an email introducing myself and letting him know how awesome I thought he was. The result - an email back thanking me for my genuine outreach and over two years later we still correspond when appropriate.

Reaching out to Derek Sivers is just one example of many actions that have helped me expand my network and connect with people that inspire me in a multitude of ways. Whether the connection is intended for direct business or not, the company we keep shapes who we are as people and expanding our network with people we admire allows us to be the best versions of ourselves.

Another way I expanded my network and visibility, which in turn opened doors to new opportunities, was by putting myself out there at mixers and conferences. 

[Understand that there is a right and wrong way to handle these events. I go over that in more detail in this recent FB Live in my private group (click here to view)]

When it comes to speaking on panels or playing showcases, remember that a phone doesn’t ring just because you stare at it. When I started The Rock/Star Advocate®, I was envious of everyone I had seen talk on panels at conferences and summits. I knew I had knowledge to share, but most people had no idea I existed. 


3. Where was it that I wanted to gain exposure? 

I went on and I made a list of festivals I wanted to attend and began reaching out. The result - I immediately booked 3 new opportunities; a few more coordinators responded with a “Give us some more time we will let you know shortly.”

Even if the others said, “No thanks,” I booked 3 opportunities that never would have happened without my asking. In addition, even the ones who said no are now in my network of contacts. They know who I am and that I exist; they may say yes the next time.


So what do YOU want? 

Who do you want to know? Don’t wait for the universe to set up your meet cute. Get out there! Aim high, but be smart about it. Do your research and don’t come out of the gate screaming “me! me! me!”

Put the effort into making a real connection.

It all comes back to Know, Like, Trust. People want to help the people they know, so let them get to know you. People like to have the focus on them, so make it about them. People trust others who stand by their word, so stay honest and accountable.

Lastly, remember there is one scenario in which you will ALWAYS hear, “No” - the scenario where you don’t ask. Any other time, there is always a chance you could hear, “Yes.” So why not up your chances of getting what you want, and simply ask for it?


Suz is the founder & CEO of The Rock/Star Advocate®. She is a mindset coach for music industry professionals, helping them set goals, prioritize tasks, manage their time, and go after what they want. She has a degree in Music Business and a Master’s in Psychology, and is the author of The Rock/Star Life Planner. She can be found on social media @RockStarAdvo.



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