Be Prepared For Everything!

© 2011 Vinny Ribas

OK, I realize that the title of this article is very broad, but please bear with me. As an indie artist, your job is to constantly be marketing yourself. That means networking, sharing your music, asking around about gigs etc. Recently I have had a few wonderful artists find exactly what they are looking for, only to discover that they really weren’t prepared for it! Here’s one example

One of our Indie Connect members who is new to Nashville shot me an email to tell me that a friend of hers knew the CEO of a major record label and had set her up an appointment with him. Because she is not a seasoned professional, she didn’t know what to do or say at this meeting. Although she is talented and attractive, she has not had time to do the things that would make her attractive to a label, such as build up a large fan base. What would you do in this situation when the ‘dream introduction’ you’ve always wanted is suddenly dropped in your lap? Are you prepared?

Here are some more common opportunities that you need to be prepared for:

  1. You run into a venue owner at the store and he asks you to email him your press kit. Can you do that right from your phone so that he doesn’t have to wait? What if he asks you to drop one off at his venue that afternoon? Do you have a physical press kit, or at least a one sheet?
  2.  You run into or find out about an artist who is looking for songs right now for his upcoming CD. Do you have songs in demo form and ready to be shopped?
  3. You are asked to perform a gig last minute. Is your equipment ready? Do you have fresh guitar strings (or reeds, good drumsticks etc)?
  4. You are asked to do a small gig but you have to bring your own PA. Do you have one that would be appropriate and would sound great? Pas are so inexpensive these days that you could make the money back with just a handful of gigs.
  5. You are asked to fill in and sing your national anthem at a very popular sporting event. It would look great on your resume and introduce you to a lot of new potential fans. Do you know the song? Have you rehearsed it enough not to embarrass yourself?

These are just a few examples, but I think you get the idea. If you have talent and you are diligently pursuing your career, doors are bound to open. Will you be ready to walk through them?

And just in case you’re wondering how my friend will approach her meeting with the label executive, here is what we came up with. She will say that she is there to begin building a long-term relationship. She will explain her goals and the steps she is taking to achieve them. She will give him a copy of here EP. Most importantly, she will ask him for advice, especially regarding what he recommends that she put in place to earn his attention. Then lastly, she will ask if she can put him on her mailing list so that he can occasionally follow her progress. All of this will show him 5 key things: 1) that she is serious; 2) that she is teachable; 3) she has a strong work ethic and is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve her goals; 4) that she is realistic, and; 5) she knows the value of building relationships and earning trust. Do you think that will make him curios enough to watch out for her and even help her succeed?

About The Author

Vinny Ribas

Vinny Ribas is the founder and CEO of Indie Connect, an artist management, consulting and training company. The company also hosts networking and educational events and has published an app that connects people to the Nashville Music Industry. During his 40+ year career, Vinny has been a full time musician, artist manager, booking agent, songwriter, studio owner, producer and the Entertainment Director for the NV State Fair. He has also coached over 1000 artists and songwriters. He is a sought after speaker and has authored over 400 music industry articles. Vinny is also the CEO of Top 4M Entertainment, an independent film and television production company.