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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Call The Destination, And Ask For Directions

Ok, so here's where I'm at. At this stage, I manage the band (for the past year on a serious level - before that, I had managed them as a covers band for about 3 years - which was a whole lot easier to get them gigs!) - and I do it solely on my own. I have set up my own management company and do everything - from their web design, to promotion, to organising shows and events and to maintaining their online presence. Yep it all keeps me very busy. I don't have band management "experience", so to speak - but having looked after them for about 4 years now, I feel that that alone is experience enough, and much of it now is learning as I go.

Because of the lack of contacts in the industry that I had (I have made a few over the past year), I have always been open to handing over the management reigns to someone more 'in the know' - someone that has the experience and the contacts to take this band a lot further. Because, at the end of the day, that is what they deserve and the industry really is a 'who you know' industry. But to be honest, it would be sad to lose management of them - because it's kept me so busy and it's really become my life ambition to get these guys the opportunities to become successful.

I spend pretty much every hour of the day on the internet - honestly, this job is a fulltime job. There is always something to do or someone to contact. I have recently spent a bit of time contacting a couple of the more well-known band managers here in New Zealand, as I feel that even if they don't take the band on - they can offer me some helpful advice or suggestions. I was once told "call the destination and ask for directions". Define your goal (your final destination) - then contact someone who's there, and ask how to get there.

Know a magazine you think you should be in? Call their main number, ask for the editorial department, and ask someone in editorial if they could recommend their three favorite publicists. Write down the publicists' names, and thank the nice editorial person for their time. (Don't waste their time asking for the publicists' contact info. You can find that on the web.) Then call each publicist, and try to get their attention.

Know a radio station you should be on? Call them and ask for the music director. Ask if they could recommend a few good radio promoters. Call the radio promoters they recommend, and try to get their attention.

There was an artist manager of a small unsigned act in the US, who over the course of a year, met with the managers of U2, REM, and other top acts. She asked them for their advice, coming from the top, and got great suggestions that she's used with big results.

So that's what I've been focussing on lately, and I must say that I'm pretty happy with the outcome. I will fill you in over the next few posts and keep you updated with things I learn and the results.