Canadian Musician - September/October 2017 - Page 39

BE PREPARED There’s never a downside to being well prepared. Knowing what kinds of artists a certain producer has worked with in the past is fine, but maybe reach out to those that have worked with said producer to make sure their style would work for your group. Research is really important before you invest any of your band funds in some- thing like CD pressing or hiring an indepen- dent publicist. BE CONFIDENT & WELL-RESEARCHED WHEN ATTRACTING NEW TEAM MEMBERS If you know going into a music conference or label showcase that there is one specific person you want to connect with, do your research and make it a priority to give them a pitch specifically tailored to them. This could be as easy as visiting a publi- cist’s roster to see if she represents artists playing your style of music or at your level of success. Not only that, it’s advantageous to anticipate what sort of questions you may be asked. Often on Dragons’ Den, when people don’t know the answer to simple questions like their sales figures or what they plan on doing next, the Dragons lose interest. Just like the Dragons, industry pros like to have their egos stroked. People are ask- ing them for things all the time, so proving that you are aware of their services and how a partnership could be beneficial on both sides could result in a formal sit-down in the near future… or at least a beer at the bar. Remember, it takes years to develop relationships with industry so don’t expect things to happen immediately. While music industry folks may not be running a Bay Street investment corporation, they are managing other peoples’ careers and cam- paigns. As an emerging artist, you are most often seeking to build your team and overall opportunities over direct financial invest- ment, so it’s very important to know exactly how an investor could help your goals. KNOW YOUR WORTH A frequent problem for pitchers in the Den is that they over-value their business, often up to 50 per cent more than they’re actu- ally worth. You wouldn’t walk into a record label office without any album sales and say, “Hey! Gimme a million dollar record deal!” Dragons or industry can tell pretty quickly if you are a serious professional artist or if your performance fee goes straight to the bar for celebratory beers. Unlike Dragons’ Den where the pitch- ers say how much they’re asking for imme- diately, money talk is usually delayed when it comes to new team members, because, face it, musicians don’t have much money to begin with. If you play 100 gigs a year in North America and command $500 per show, that could turn a $50,000 net value. That number might sound impressive but any road-weary musician can point out the fault in this claim. For example, you’re spending $50 on gas between shows, $110 per night on hotels, $75 per diem for each member, etc. – not to mention manager commission, booking agent commission, and publicity fees. Basically, what I’m get- ting at is that there are hidden or small costs that add up quickly that affect your business, meaning that when you return home, you have little to re-invest in your next project or just living costs. Sure, your income may appear flashy at first, but it’s not a real representation. Bands, just like companies, could have hidden debts, partners, or just not have done their due diligence in understanding the business. (If you want FV"w&V@6rFB7V2F2W6V6WBv7@^( 2( V&FV7FVB6WvFVFP7G&vW'2( &WB6֗767ƗG0BW76VFǒvWGFr67&WvVBfW"'WG&fVW2␤rtR$P6v&RSvBFR6VBƖSvW&R6W"W62RV&Cv@6'BbfVVW2FRBr琧VRv6RWBFW"ƗfR6s&RW"&BV&W'2vƖrFv&&BB6&֗6RFW"'G2bFV ƗfW2F&V6W"6V7FfRv3FW6P&R&62&G2bf&FG&vfW7F""FVF'FW"VVG2FrॖRVVBVWfF"F6B&Vp&RF&VW"vV&RVFV6RFRЦw&2BvƖvB&VVb&V6V@7V66W76W27V62fW7FfW&f&6W2'V6W2"6W&6Ɩ6V6W22&Bfò&VfW"BF6Frv@6'BbVW7F2R&R6VB2ЦFW"7B'GVGFN( 2v6琧V&Ɩ67G2Gf6R'F7G2FfRR&@V&W"&W&W6VBFVVF@&FFBW'62FRRFB67Vf"FRw&W'WBBFR6&RW7@rvFW&RBFBWfW'RFR&B26f'F&RvFFBFVFGWfVbFR'F7BF6W"2FPV&ǒ7FvW2bFV"6&VW"b6VR0FVFVB"2w&VB6rfW7F v&V6v旦RFBVFFVǒFN( 0vVrWW&V6VB&G26vW@6vVBvFWB&RFƗfRfFV 6VF6VBvRFFV"W36֖&ǒ6WFW2G&v2W7B&VǒƖR&BЧV7BB&RvƖrFFR66RE$t( 2%$TDԒ4TP"p4ӢRG&B^( fR6VV7G&pF6W'2FRFVFBW6626V@VW֖BvVF6rFFVF'FW'2"6&&F'3#w&BF22FR7B'F@G&L*w7B7V66W76gVVG&W&VWW'2@W76VFf"rBFRW62GW7G'ॖRfRF6r^( &RvrFVWFW"ЦFrBWffrW"&GV7BvWFW FN( 2vFvWB"W"W622BR22( "3