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> It's All A Matter Of Contacts
Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 29 2012, 04:33 PM
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Here are some of the interesting thoughts about the music business, thought I'd share them with you guys:

When you are in the music business, it's mostly about who you know. If you had the chance to work with some important names - keep their phone number/contact, and maintain business relationship from time to time. You never know when a good job might come up.

In the beginning, sometimes it will happen that people don't pay you as much as you wanted, or you feel you've done bigger job then needed. Don't get frustrated and ask for a raise, or talk badly about your employer, your time will come.

When you are working in a band/team of people, some people will have more motivation then others. Don't let others lack of motivation present the problem for you. You give your 100% best, and wait. Time tells quickly who enjoys greater success.

Be professional, and be honest, but don't let people talk down to you or have business with you with disrespect. In such situations, remain calm and have a chance to stand up for your self in a professional way. If that doesn't work, leave the job! If you neglect this basic business rule, you risk having more contacts with disrespectful and unprofessional jobs/people.

Once you take a new job with a new crowd, be polite and come to a job with smile and positive attitude. You cannot imagine how much difference is between this - smile.gif and this sad.gif (or even this mad.gif ) . Always take a chance to talk a bit with new crew members, since this is a great way to learn something new, and create new contacts.

Never rely on a single job (unless it's a must), always keep some opportunities in standby. Keep tracking the offers, and contacts you have will ensure you a safe transition once one job becomes too weak.

Don't be afraid to start fresh and start over with the band/artist/project. Sometimes it's a great way to renew your ambitions. Working with the same crew over and over (specially in the music business) can lead to loss of motivation, loss of other contacts, and loss of flexibility for other music.

Artists and musicians can often be full of ego, vanity and envy. Don't fall in the trap of these negative things prevent you in doing your job properly and having bad communication with other people. It will pay out in the long run. Be on the lookout of not getting into situation where you fall into an ego-game with an ego-maniac. Games in the mud will eventually leave everybody dirty.

When you are experienced musician on the scene, don't refuse to do a favor to younger band from time to time. Trust your instincts and choose young hopes carefully - eventually you will get a favor back some day when you need it.

Again, contacts are everything, so make them as much as possible, and keep them strong! smile.gif

NEVER and I mean - NEVER talk bad about other musicians. Words will spread, and you will became notorious. Instead, have a chance to say nice things about them (if they deserve it).


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PosterBoy
post Jan 29 2012, 04:59 PM
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Someone once told me It's not what you know, it's not who you know, It's who knows YOU


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edguy
post Jan 29 2012, 05:11 PM
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I think this is essential for every industry/job position, if you want to be really successful.

Here in Germany you become a CEO or CTO etc. of a big company when you know the right people and of course they have to know you very well too.

And i think this here is another important rule:

"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." (Zig Ziglar)


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jan 29 2012, 05:34 PM
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+1 Ivan -

ultimately it's a small world and what goes around tends to come around, so you should always treat people how you wish to be treated IMHO. I was lucky enough to have been trained at pro studios back when it was still possible to get a place and the engineers who trained me were always generous with their time and advice. So I try and be generous with help and advice too as I like to think it helps repay what I was given. If I think a person is only using me and lacks the manners to even say thankyou occassionally they will eventually go on to my ignore list though.

I try and point people at appropriate industry contacts when it's relevant: I've lost count of the number of times I've recomended that a band go to X to mix their stuff or have Y press the CD. Whilst we often don't see any direct return we nonetheless are also recommended by yet other people for mastering. So ultimately what goes around comes around.

With contacts - they might not seem to be imporant now but you never know what they might be doing and who they might know in the future. I was in a band when I was at High School way back in the late 70s. The bass player is now head of music procurement for Sony Digital US; lead singer was in a metal band that is still very big in Japan and is now head of A&R for a Japanese record label; our roadie is now a senior cameraman for a big film studio. I've other friends who are things like directors of Prism/Solid State Logic/Neve/Sonnox etc or who are film/TV directors/producers or radio station producers/managers or who work at various different levels up to VP of major and minor record labels and others who work at or own recording/mixing/mastering studios or who are industry lawyers or managers or whatever. So I can count them as some of my contacts but sadly for them they have to count me as one of theirs biggrin.gif tongue.gif .

Having said that the industry is also full of people who will use you, eat you up and spit you out without losing any sleep over it.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jan 29 2012, 06:58 PM
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All great advice here guys wink.gif unfortunately, without connections and a healthy way of keeping them, you cannot make a living and it's valid for almost every craft out there!


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 29 2012, 07:16 PM
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This thread is really inspiring and important Ivan. I can't agree more with the ideas that you describe and the tips that you give here. Contacts are as important as creativity and talent. My band grow a lot when we added a manager that dedicates exclusively to make contacts, have reunions and make press. The band moved to a new level thanks to that.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 30 2012, 03:20 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 29 2012, 07:16 PM) *
This thread is really inspiring and important Ivan. I can't agree more with the ideas that you describe and the tips that you give here. Contacts are as important as creativity and talent. My band grow a lot when we added a manager that dedicates exclusively to make contacts, have reunions and make press. The band moved to a new level thanks to that.


We will also need to look for a manager soon for the new band I'm starting in, so if you have some experience on the topic of managers, it would be great to hear some, it would benefit us.


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Bluestreak
post Jan 30 2012, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jan 29 2012, 05:58 PM) *
All great advice here guys wink.gif unfortunately, without connections and a healthy way of keeping them, you cannot make a living and it's valid for almost every craft out there!


QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 29 2012, 06:16 PM) *
Contacts are as important as creativity and talent.


+1 to both of these...

The healthiest way of keeping contacts/clients active in your address book is to find a way to maintain contact with them. Cosmin's right... it applies to nearly every self-employed trade, and most regular jobs now, too. Business is a tough game and you've got to be ready to play some hardball.

I am a business manager with three separate businesses to keep running (with plenty of help, of course!). If I didn't maintain my contacts within the confines of each of those businesses, I'd be dead in the water. Even during weeks when things are slow and I have no REAL reason to call my clients or business contacts, I still place a phone call. These little gestures go a VERY long way. Ask how they're doing. How their family is doing. How things are going with their job. If they're local, invite them to lunch once in a great while (and pay for it, ya cheapskates! Save the receipt... it's a tax write off!). Get to know your clients/contacts - because if you don't, someone else is waiting in line to take them from you. Those personal tidbits that you learn from a seemingly insignificant phone call can keep you closely endeared to the people who help make you money. If they feel like they have a more personal connection with you, they'll become a valuable, lifelong resource/customer.
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Alex Feather
post Jan 30 2012, 08:16 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jan 29 2012, 03:33 PM) *
Here are some of the interesting thoughts about the music business, thought I'd share them with you guys:

When you are in the music business, it's mostly about who you know. If you had the chance to work with some important names - keep their phone number/contact, and maintain business relationship from time to time. You never know when a good job might come up.

In the beginning, sometimes it will happen that people don't pay you as much as you wanted, or you feel you've done bigger job then needed. Don't get frustrated and ask for a raise, or talk badly about your employer, your time will come.

When you are working in a band/team of people, some people will have more motivation then others. Don't let others lack of motivation present the problem for you. You give your 100% best, and wait. Time tells quickly who enjoys greater success.

Be professional, and be honest, but don't let people talk down to you or have business with you with disrespect. In such situations, remain calm and have a chance to stand up for your self in a professional way. If that doesn't work, leave the job! If you neglect this basic business rule, you risk having more contacts with disrespectful and unprofessional jobs/people.

Once you take a new job with a new crowd, be polite and come to a job with smile and positive attitude. You cannot imagine how much difference is between this - smile.gif and this sad.gif (or even this mad.gif ) . Always take a chance to talk a bit with new crew members, since this is a great way to learn something new, and create new contacts.

Never rely on a single job (unless it's a must), always keep some opportunities in standby. Keep tracking the offers, and contacts you have will ensure you a safe transition once one job becomes too weak.

Don't be afraid to start fresh and start over with the band/artist/project. Sometimes it's a great way to renew your ambitions. Working with the same crew over and over (specially in the music business) can lead to loss of motivation, loss of other contacts, and loss of flexibility for other music.

Artists and musicians can often be full of ego, vanity and envy. Don't fall in the trap of these negative things prevent you in doing your job properly and having bad communication with other people. It will pay out in the long run. Be on the lookout of not getting into situation where you fall into an ego-game with an ego-maniac. Games in the mud will eventually leave everybody dirty.

When you are experienced musician on the scene, don't refuse to do a favor to younger band from time to time. Trust your instincts and choose young hopes carefully - eventually you will get a favor back some day when you need it.

Again, contacts are everything, so make them as much as possible, and keep them strong! smile.gif

NEVER and I mean - NEVER talk bad about other musicians. Words will spread, and you will became notorious. Instead, have a chance to say nice things about them (if they deserve it).

Great advice! I have been using it for years and the thing is if you are nice to people they will remember you and will give you a call when something will come up!


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