This comes naturally to some musicians, but for others it can be a challenge. If you’re easy to work with, chances are you will negotiate better deals, play more gigs, and earn a better reputation.
It’s not about adding 100%; it’s about adding an extra 1%
If what you’re doing isn’t working, it’s easy to think that you need to be doing a lot more. For some musicians this is true. However, for most of us it’s just a matter of doing a little extra. What does it mean to do something extraordinary? It means to add a little extra to your ordinary.
You don’t have to be a drone
You don’t need to agree to every deal or sign on every page. If it’s making you feel uncomfortable, walk away. If it doesn’t fit your schedule, see if you can reschedule or just drop it.
Don’t be someone you’re not. If you’re honest, you don’t have to remember what you said. You don’t have to mask your personality to sell people on your ideas. There will be people who are drawn to you, and there will be those who don’t like you. You’re doing something wrong if you’re not coming up against some walls.
Treat people like people
I can’t stress this point enough. If people are merely dollar signs or opportunities in your eyes, get out of the business. Seriously. At the end of the day, you are selling you, not your product. In other words, you are selling relationship.
Every person you meet has thoughts, feelings, emotions, likes and dislikes. Relate to them as people. Who is more likely to visit your website? Someone who is interested in learning more about you or someone you randomly told to go to your website?
Deliver what you promise
This is not rocket science. If you say that you’re going to bring 30 people out to your show, then make sure you bring 30 people out. Don’t make lofty promises you can’t keep. Play for 2 hours if you said you were going to play for 2 hours.
Don’t complain if you’re asked to cut your set short, or if you’re asked to play a few extra songs. Get the audience to applaud anyone else that was on the bill. Send a special thanks to the staff at the venue. Use common sense and courtesy in every situation.
Have more fun; don’t try to impress
People aren’t easily impressed by anything these days. They know a good musician when they see one. They know a hard worker when they see one. They know when you’re having fun. You don’t need to be intimidated by those who you think are “better” than you.
Stick to the game plan, play your set, and enjoy yourself. That’s what’s going to get you more gigs. People have a hard time denying those who are having fun.
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.