Last week, I introduced a few Thought Leaders and their resources which I’ve began utilizing to increase my personal development. I kept the emphasis on Leadership. If you front a band, run a studio, promote shows (or all three simultaneously), you too will benefit from their wisdom and guidance. In this blog, I am concentrating solely on the gurus directly involved in the music industry. While there are many voices, books, blogs and “how to” videos available at a click, I feel that these particular few are the cream of the crop when trying to both understand and advance your career.
As a teen drummer in the ultra funk band “The Conquest Experience,” which grew popular in the Youngstown, Ohio area, circa 1981 – Here’s the video, though try not to watch while drinking a hot beverage, you might spray your children during the interview segment! – But, I was keenly aware that there was more to music than recording and gigging and wanted to learn all I could. The first book I read was “Making It with Music” by Kenny Rogers (yes, THAT Kenny) and Len Epand. Although he looked extremely different (and younger) – and DIFFERENT! – I gleaned a wealth of information that helped cement my decision to live life as a professional musician. Even as the times, technology and music business methods have, like Kenny, changed drastically, this book is a great place to get the feel of the industry from an extremely successful artist.
Several drug-filled and severe ‘lesson learned’ years later, The Good Lord gave me my life back. Then married with two daughters (now three), I was eager for another shot. The next book to fuel my fire was none other than Berry Gordy’s “To Be Loved.” This is a Must Read. If I have to list even one reason why, you may not be serious about your craft after all.
While working on SounDoctrine’s first CD, internet marketing was in its infantry. I was looking for a way to make our music thrive in this new environment. Three men mentored me online with a wealth of resources, articles and multiple email answers that helped (and continues to adjust) our thinking and strategy as we navigate our journey.
Bob Baker, in those early days, had the most material out there which helped clarify where the industry was headed. Somewhat a futurist, he continues to help musicians understand a 360 degree view of being an EntreMusician. I greatly respect his work.
Jeffrey P. Fisher‘s book, “Ruthless Self Promotion in the Music Industry” strong armed my thinking and helped me step out of the polite little, “Well yes, we’d be happy to play for exposure” gigs into quoting real fees. His strategies are simple, direct and although he uses the word ‘ruthless’ as a marketing ploy, you immediately BELIEVE you are IN Business.
Jeff’s book also got me interested in Jay Conrad Levinson‘s Guerilla Marketing books, which also jar you into more aggressive thinking!
Musician & CD Baby founder Derek Sivers is true hero. After selling the company to Disc Makers for about 22M and giving most of it away to charity, he continues to inspire, educate and affirm creativity. I can remember times when he’d personally answer my emails within minutes – and I had a LOT of questions. I began calling him Uncle Derek and I am forever grateful for his advice.
Although many EntreMusicians may not immediately want to asorb the cost of a publicist, Arielle Hyatt completely stepped outside the box and began to educate bands on what they needed to do to increase their visibility and social worth. I appreciate her many resources on Cyber PR and I’m a huge fan of her book, “Music Success in Nine Weeks” although it has taken me much longer!
Not to be exhaustive, I’ll leave you with two ‘Must Haves’ and one which I’ve just began to read, offered as a free E-Book. Please let me know your thoughts as you dive in.
“This Business of Music” is another that requires no explanation or introduction. Every home has a bible and every musician should have this book – period! I’ve had three different editions to keep up!
As always, your feedback is important to me and appreciated.
If there are resources you deem invaluable to EntreMusicians, please share them with us. Interestingly I was NOT listening to any music as I typed this blog. I began at 5:30am and Lori would have – well, you know…