Canadian Musician - September/October 2017 - Page 40

BREATHE Fire into Your BUSINESS If you’re lucky enough to have a professional manag- er, you will have determined your identity, market, and value well in advance of trying to attract new team members. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE/DEMOGRAPHIC There’s a great saying that if you cater to everyone, you please no one. Same goes for your music. I hate it when artists say that their music is for “everyone.” Unless you’re Adele, no, it’s not. The same logic applies to products being pitched. While the failed pitches can sometimes be the most entertaining to watch on Dragons’ Den, you don’t want to be in the rejected pitcher’s shoes. As the Dragons often say, no business ever gets 100 per cent of the market. Next time you’re performing, pay attention to your audience. Who’s watching you? What do your Facebook analytics say? Is it 50/50 male/female, 25-35 year old young professionals who wor- ship the CBC? Or is it teenage girls who have the new Katy Perry song memorized and have their parents buy their concert tickets? You MUST have an understanding of who you sell to, not just an idea of who you would like to sell to because it’s “cool,” or fits with your business plan. A frequent problem is that the pitcher hasn’t let anyone outside of their circle experience it. Think about it; your friends and family say they LOVE your music but if you went on the street with headphones and played a live performance video or audio file, what would the public say? Lots would probably say the songs needed work, the production wasn’t tight, the songs all sounded the same, or there was no live energy. It sounds harsh, but if you want to make it in this industry, you need to rein in your ego and under- stand how the audience sees or hears you. Same goes for when you are tailoring a fes- tival application for your band. If you know their programmer is more folk-oriented than alt-rock, highlight career aspects that cater to that. It also demonstrates that they’re willing to invest in the group for more than one night. Album and merch sales always provide a mea- surable number that can be presented to investors. I have tons of band t-shirts that I have collected for years and can’t bear to part with because of the memories associated. You want to build that level of loyalty with your fans so that they’re ea- ger to buy whatever you’re selling… but it’s got to be cool. HAVE ON-POINT BRANDING & PACKAGING Dragons often say that one of the first things they’d change is the packaging. While it’s nice your drummer’s girlfriend may have taken some photos of you or you designed your band logo yourself, if any visual branding looks dated, pixilated, or doesn’t appeal to your targeted audience for any reason, it’s time for a re-brand. I did an exercise with my college students where we looked at band press photos without their names or genres associated. Just by their body language, clothing, lighting, clarity of the image, and even hairstyle, they could determine accurately: One, the kind of music they played, and two, who their audience was. It takes a split second for a potential audience member to judge you, so why not win them over? This is why I highly encourage art- ists to have a comprehensive marketing strategy and artist analysis breakdown before embarking on a new project. You need to be highly aware of how others see you. Maybe your “ A successful approach in the Den would often make for a successful approach in the music business, so the lessons to be learned from the show are many . ” HAVE A PRODUCT PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT Don’t sell a bad product (music) or service (live performance). Even if you’re an anti-authority punk band, accept that your band is a product to be sold. By agreeing to perform, you are being hired as a professional. That means not being drunk or high, insulting the audience, or doing anything that could take away from your artistry. On Dragons’ Den, it’s cringe-worthy when a pitcher comes in front of the Dragons and fumbles, loo ٕ́͡ͻeЁٔ)ͥ́́ѥ䁵ͥeЁ唁ха)Ʌ䁍́́չхḛͥ́ȴ)ٽ́ɔѥхѥ䁉ѕѼɕє)ɍݕ̰ȁٕͽ̰ЁѥͼѡЁѡɽՍ)́==%ԁͭɅѥѡՑݥѼѕ)́ɽЁͽ׊eɔѡչ́ͅͽM)ɕՑ́ѼЁȁɍ͔ɽ)ѡх́ٔѡЁ́ɽٕ쁉ѕȁа٥єѡ)ՑѼЁԁЁѡхQɅϊdэ)݅́Ѽѥݡɔѡȁ́ȴ)͕ѡɽ՝ѡȁɕ͕́ͽ̸)ѽɔ䁅́Ѽȁͥѡɽ՝ɕ)͕٥́́ѡЁɅ́ѼѥՔѼ)ݡЁȁ́) ͕хɽՍЁͥ٥封ȁе͡)Ёȁ̰͡ԁɕєѥѼѡՑ̸( 8$84TL$ $8)́ɕ䁍ѼԁЁӊéЁȁݡЁЁɕɕ͕̰ӊe)ݽѡ̸eȁٕɅ͡ձѥե͡)ɽѡ́չՔѼȁɽ) ͥȁ䁵хɽ쁅ٕѕɽ́ݡє)ɽչԁ܁ݡЁͥѡ丁9)ȁɥЁѼиḾȁ́ѕ́)ɅQ䃊qQɥˊt͍ɥЁѕ́ԁᅍѱݡ)׊eɔ͕ٕ́ɝѕ䁍ɱɥи)Q́ͼ́ѼхɅMѥ̰'eٔ)݅эѠэ́Ʌϊdٔ́Ѽ)͡䁡ȁɕٕͥ́յȁ)ͩѕٕɅɅ%ԁԁЁɽ)䁝չɽͥѡӊéЁ׊eɔє)ѡЁ͕́́́ȁɭѥ)䰁ԁ͡ձɅєѡЁɅѼȁх)ѡ́ɽ̰ɽ̰ѥ̰ٕѡ͔5ͥ)ͥ́ݥѠѡݕȁͽӊéͼхЁѼ)ѕɅєȁѥ䀡ɕ聉ɅѼٕѡԁ)%9YMP]%M1d)QЁͅeЁٕɥٕЁ͕׊eɔЁɔѡɔ́)Aэ́ѕٔѕ́ѡ́ͅչٕɽՍ)͔ѡ䁍ձeЁѕȁȁȁɅ́)ݡ́ɔѽȁѼɅ͔ȁ͠Ѽѡ)TLɔѡeɔɕ丁ѡ́Ѽȁݸɕ)9=PѼɍ͔İ ́Ȁѕѥ٥́)׊eٔ䁕ٕȁٕյ́х丁%ԁɔ(ȁ