January 27, 2011

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know...

You can ask us now. I added an easy submission form so you can send us your questions directly from the site. It's kind of like our own little Dear Abby or Advice column. Send us what you want to know and we'll answer your question on the blog (because surely if you've been wanting an answer to that question, someone else has too).

The music industry can be confusing and elusive and the whole point of this site is to help make it easier for you to understand and to live your dreams. So whether you want to know what A&R stands for, are stuck in bad situation at work, or need advice about convincing your parents you're not crazy for trying to work in the music industry, or need some help with anything else let us know and we'll try to help you out. I know there's something you've always wondered about the music industry, even if deep down you thought it was weird or stupid. Now's your chance to ask, so what are you waiting for?

Ask Us 

Phone Etiquette

Phone skills are pretty important in the office.  Though with text messaging, email, social networks, and IM, most of us could go days or weeks without ever picking up and phone and still be in constant contact with friends and family. Some people are even actually scared of making phone calls or picking up the phone as a result. If the phone makes you nervous, then I'm sorry to say you probably need to learn to get over it. The music business is one of relationships, and that means a lot of emails, a lot of meetings, and a lot of phone calls.
By Garvid (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
In hopes of making it a little less intimidating though, here's some tips for handling phones on the job:

January 26, 2011

Networking:Keeping Your Contacts

Building a relationship with the CEO of the most powerful music company in the world doesn't mean a thing if you don't keep in touch. You could befriend Steve Jobs himself, but it likely won't matter very much if you don't maintain that relationship. In fact, a great relationship with a less powerful contact can be far more useful than getting a business card from Clive Davis.

Here's some advice on how to maintain good relationships with your professional contacts:

January 25, 2011

Legal Interning Tip #4

Legal interning is generally not very different from any other kind of interning. Here's the fourth of many tips I will be posting that are especially helpful when you are working in a legal office:

Appropriate Legal Interning Attire
The Interview
If you are interviewing for a legal internship, you should be wearing a suit.  This should be a no-brainer if you are in law school and is an investment you should make in your first year.  A standard black suit is generally best, and it should be well-tailored.  For ladies, skirts should not be any higher than at the knee and worn with pantyhose and closed-toe shoes.  Men should stick with a conservative shirt and tie.  Since this is for the music or entertainment industry, you may be tempted to show a little flair.  Err on the side of caution here - you should look as professional as possible - and let your passion for the arts shine through in your answers instead.  If you must show some personality, go for something small like music note stud earrings or cuff links, but definitely leave the silly guitar ties or dangly guitar earrings at home.

The Internship

January 24, 2011

Music Marketing Quiz

Test your knowledge of industry marketing concepts, terms, etc. Share your score, question, comments, and what you learned in the comments.

Free game suggested from Quizz.biz

January 21, 2011

Don't Worry About The Ducks

The other day, I saw a great show by Tony Award winning actress Sarah Jones with a special appearance by Seth Godin. Sarah Jones does a great show as several different characters and this performance featured a dialog between Seth and a couple of those characters. At one point, he handed her a rubber duck. It served as a symbol of how most people wait to "get all your ducks in row" before they actually take the first steps towards their goal. Seth made the great point though that we don't have to wait to do that. 

January 20, 2011

Success Stories - The Man with the Golden Voice

We all have our days when everything goes wrong, nothing we do works out the way we planned, and we wonder if we've just been wasting our time chasing an unachievable dream. Sound familiar? That's why I've decided to start a new series of posts focusing on successful people and the moments when they too felt like they'd hit rock bottom. Like Chicken Soup for the Intern's Soul, my goal here is to lift your spirits back up and restore your hope.

Today's inspirational figure-- Ted Williams.

January 17, 2011

Basic Music Tech Quiz

Test your knowledge of some basic music tech and recording facts

Game suggested from Quizz.biz

A short rant on getting your music out there

If you’re like me, you’re constantly making new music just for funsies and while you’ve got maybe one or two tracks that you let people listen to, it’s mostly just for practice. Maybe it’s because you have that fear of having your music slammed by critics; maybe it’s just a personal issue of “This isn’t good enough by my standards” (I get both of these feelings all the time). No matter what the cause, I’m finding more and more that this is a bad method of thinking. Even if you just spent an hour writing/mixing/mastering it, it’s important to get feedback from someone else, preferably someone musically inclined. It’s as simple as taking it to a music teacher, or friend, or even website, and asking people, “What can I do to make this better?” Not only is this a great way to learn the craft, it also is a great way of meeting other people who do what you do, which can lead to collaborative projects later on down the line. There are tons of ways to get your music online, many of which can lead to paid projects.

Take Bandamp for instance. Bandcamp is a website dedicated to allowing artists to sell their music and merch to their fans without the having to deal through retailers. Once you’ve created your music, you can try uploading it to your Bandcamp account, people can listen and download, and you make money in the process! Another such website is Soundcloud, where you can offer your music for digital download, just to listen, or any combination thereof. People can leave comments on specific parts of your track, which can be useful feedback for future work, and more importantly lets you know that people are listening.

The whole point of this rant is this: don’t be afraid to put your music out there. It’s a scary thing, I know, but it gets easier the more you do it, and that’s the most important thing. If you’re too scared to let someone listen to your music for free, how terrified will you be when someone is trying to pay you for it? The business is just that: music for money. When it comes time to make a career out of your work, people won’t hesitate to give you the money for the music, so you’d best not hesitate to give them the music.

January 14, 2011

Recommended Reading: Record Label Marketing

Record Label Marketing, Second Edition

If you're interested in understanding what's involved in releasing and marketing a record, this is a great book to get. It's a bit pricey, but there are old editions for cheap too. It covers, in easy to understand detail, basically every aspect of a record release. It will also give you a good understanding of marketing in general, like an intro to marketing class in college would. It even serves as a great resource to consult and look back at when you need a reminder of how things work. It would be an especially great read for anyone interested at becoming a manager or artist or working at a record label. 

What's Right?

This is intended originally to test intelligence, or something like that. I got it from a professor and am sharing with his permission. You're supposed to spend some time studying it and determine which of these doesn't belong based on some sort of pattern or trait. So, what do you think? Which of these is not like the others? Think about it and then click through to read the rest.

January 13, 2011

Informational Interviews: What Is It and How Can It Help You?

You probably hear over and over again how important networking is and how helpful it can be when it comes to getting a job. It's true. Networking is invaluable and one of the best ways to increase your chances of getting a job. So what if you don't know a single person at your dream job? How do you build a relationship there? You use an informational interview.

What Is It 
Informational interviews are a great resource, particularly for students. It's an interview that you conduct in order to learn more about a particular job and about a person. So, it lets you learn about different jobs in the music business while building contacts. It isn't about trying to get a job and you shouldn't try to turn it into that. It's purely about education and learning from someone who is already doing what you want to do someday.

How to Get One

January 12, 2011

Before the Music Dies

This isn't exactly the usuall news post for Wednesday, but in a sense this movie gives a better, closer look at the modern music industry than any one news item could. It includes interviews with record executives, songwriters, performers, and everything in between and goes behind the scenes to look at the commercial side of music. It premiered at South by Southwest and has received a plethora of critical acclaim from countless festivals and media outlets. The Recording Academy also held viewings of it in various cities, which is how I came across it. Fortunately, you can view it for free on Hulu.

Watch the trailer here:

Music Industry Organizations Quiz

If you want to work in music, you should understand the organizations involved that support and help run it. Test your knowledge of them with this quiz.

Sorry that this is a bit late, had a tough day Monday.

Free game created on Quizz.biz

January 11, 2011

Preparing for Law School: Before You Apply

So you've decided that you definitely want to go to law school.  Now what?  This first installment in my three part series on preparing for law school focuses on what you need to do before you start applying to law schools.

1. Talk to your pre-law advisor
If you are in college, the best thing you can do is get to know your pre-law advisor.  Most colleges have one, and he or she will be your best resource when it comes to questions about the application process, law school, or being a lawyer.  Your pre-law advisor has already earned a JD, and will be able to help you perfect your personal statement, prepare for the LSAT, and put you in contact with any pre-law societies on campus.

2. Sign up for LSAC

January 10, 2011

Good Careers Are Like Apple

You're probably wondering what the heck that title means? How are careers like Apple (the company, not the food)? Well, in fairness they're also like Starbucks, Google, Verizon, and any other company that has a significant group of extremely loyal customers. If you were a pre-teen in the 90s you probably remember that no girl could like both the Backstreet Boys and Nsync equally, you had to have a favorite, and girls would spend an awful lot of time arguing over who was better and why (myself included). That kind of passion and devotion to a certain brand is exactly the kind of loyalty I'm talking about, and it's the kind of brand image you want to create for yourself too.

No, I'm not saying you should get teenage girls to stalk you down the streets screaming.

January 07, 2011

Recommended Reading:The Tipping Point

Resuming our regular recommended reading Friday for the first time since the holidays I feel like we need to start the year off with a good one, so I'm going with one of my favorites: The Tipping Point.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

This book talks about what causes ideas, trends, and even colds to spread across the country till they become a movement. Gladwell has a great style of writing that's easy to read and is similar to reading a novel rather than a non-fiction book. The book explains the three key types of people involved in creating a trend or movement and it's an insightful look at the sociology of pop culture. Understanding this idea can be important in an industry based on creating and expanding upon a loyal fan-base. As I said, it's one of my favorites and it's a really enlightening book, and a pretty easy read. 

Attention Atlanta:Interns Wanted

A media, marketing, and consulting firm in Atlanta is looking for some great interns. I know we have some readers there, so get in touch with me and I'll connect you. After all, this is what it's all about!



January 05, 2011

Weekly News Item: 2010 Music Industry Figures

The big news of the week has been performance and sales numbers for 2010. So, what were those results, how do they compare to last year, and what do they mean for the industry?

Album once again dropped, this time by 12.8%. Overall unit sales fell too, the count of any single purchase of a music item whether it's a single, album or video, for the first time. On the other hand, digital album sales saw a 13% growth. Digital single sales, one of the most promising growth areas in past years, slowed and only had a 1% increase in sales. UMG had the biggest market share again and, for the second year in a row, the total share of indies beat out EMI.

Preparing for Your First Day at a Job or Internship

Starting a new job or internship can be both exciting and nerve wracking. Fortunately there are a few things you can do in advance to minimize any potential stress and make it a positive experience.

Find the Office in Advance
Don't underestimate the importance of this. Knowing exactly where you are going and how to get there will make you feel much more confident during your first commute. It doesn't matter if you're working in a new city and commuting via public transportation or taking your car the next town over from where you live, something can go wrong and it's much better to potentially waste time finding something simple than to assume you'll be fine. When it comes to getting ready for your first day you should consider Murphy's law: everything that can go wrong will.

Choose Clothes in Advance
Again, everything that can go wrong will go wrong on your first day. It's better to assume that than to expect everything to be perfect and be wrong. So find and test your outfit the night before. Do any ironing, trying on, accessorising, and making sure you feel comfortable and confident.

January 03, 2011

Touring and Concert Promotion Quiz

Test your knowledge of touring and concert promotion

Quizz suggested from Quizz.biz

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