Be taken seriously in the music industry…(pt.1)

…but not seriously taken

The other day, I was working with a singer / songwriter who introduced herself to the musicians in the room and then promptly said “This really isn’t my best song – you’re all probably going to think it’s terrible”.

What?  Why then would I want to spend time providing services to record at best your average song material? Right from the introduction, I struggled to find motivation to take her and her music seriously.  I think I said something like, “Never give anyone the chance to agree with a statement like that.”

So with that, Advantage Music Production presents our “Ten Suggestions for Being Taken Seriously”.  Here are the first five:

1. Present yourself as someone who is worth my time, (or the time that the other professionals in the room are giving you). Self-deprecation is okay, but don’t trash yourself or your craft – I make my living helping you with your craft. Thus, don’t trash my profession.

2. Be on time and ready to work – a simple and easy way to make a great first impression, or develop and maintain a reputation for professionalism. If you’re a drummer, allow enough time to be setup for the anticipated downbeat time; if you’re a singer, arrive warmed up and watered.

3. Know what you’ll need to bring and have it with you. If you’re a musician, don’t bring every piece of equipment that you own – then you look like a homeless person with a shopping cart full of worldly possessions. If you’re a singer / songwriter, print your lyrics in a large font and bring a few copies of each song (one each for you, the engineer and the producer). Bring water; don’t bring all your friends. Have a business card ready.

4. Engage opinions. Don’t allow yourself to be seen as someone who knows everything and doesn’t trust the people who do it every day. While it may seem contradictory, asking for opinions shows an intrinsic acknowledgment of other’s expertise.

5. Ignore your cell phone. Using it during your session offends those you’ve hired, because they’re ignoring business calls out of respect for you.

Next time, we will conclude this list.  In the meantime be thinking of what actions in your day-to-day living that could use a little tune-up in order to be taken more seriously.  Are you brave enough to share them with us?  Comment below, as your story may encourage others that read this.


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