In many ways, making it in the entertainment business is more difficult than making it in other businesses. Musicians and entertainers can use all the help they can get. That's why you need to do everything you can to make sure you make the right first impressions on everyone you meet along the way. For better or worse, people put a lot of stock in their first impression of you - so don't screw it up!
Here are five rules of thumb for making a good first impression on potential clients and other folks you may meet in the entertainment industry:
1. Be Nice
It might sound simple and, really, it is. All it takes to turn a potential client or business contact off is a bad or disrespectful attitude. Give everyone a chance or else it may cost you valuable opportunities.
2. Never Disrespect the Family (or Your Band)
Always follow the Corleone/Soprano rule of keeping your business in the family. As anyone who has been in a band or group can tell you, not everyone gets along all the time. This is fine, but keep it between the band members. Don't go spouting off to someone you just met about the group's internal conflicts. It makes you look unprofessional and like your band can self-implode at any moment.
Always have your contact information on you, ideally not just in your head or phone. You never know who you will meet at a show, a party or even the grocery store. That guy checking out behind you might be the President of a record label!
Bring your cards wherever you go and it wouldn't hurt to keep some demos in the trunk of your car too! If you have a manager you should have business cards with their contact information. Make sure everyone in the group has enough of these cards and knows to tell people to contact the manager. Just make sure to give the manager the heads up when you know someone is going to call!
4. Know Your Schedule
If you meet someone who wants to check out one of your upcoming shows, you are really shooting yourself in the foot if you don't know when and where you are playing. It makes you sound like you don't care or just aren't professional. Try to always know what gigs you have coming up and remember - you could always check your GigMasters calendar. If you really don't know your schedule and you don't have time to access your calendar, you can always get your new friend's email address and say "I can have our manger email you our upcoming dates." This sounds more professional, confident and organized.
5. Keep in Touch
Once you make a new contact you want to make sure to keep in touch. Social networking sites have made this easy. The easiest way to keep people in the loop is by emailing your mailing list and updating your website as well as your GigMasters, Facebook and other pages often.
These simple tips can help you grow your audience. Remember, every fan counts, so treat them with the utmost respect. It doesn't matter whether they are a record executive or just someone who might come to a show - they are your best asset.
You never know who’s around the corner. When opportunity knocks will you be ready?