Why aren’t you working?

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  • Is your calendar a blank? Job Search
  • Is your phone so quiet you keep checking the ringer to see if it’s broken?
  • Is your bank balance shrinking daily?
  • You’re a good musician and you’re ready to work! What are you doing wrong?

 

It’s not enough just to be good at what you do. It’s not the best players that get the jobs. It’s the best salespeople.

Does that make you cringe? You are a highly trained artist. Perhaps you think “selling” is too crass a word to apply to what you do.

Let me show you why that’s not only a bad attitude but is totally wrong.

Selling is providing for a fee

Let’s look at that attitude. Selling isn’t rude, although some sales tactics may be.

“Selling” is simply a term describing one half of a mutual transaction between two parties. One party buys; the other sells. Just as there is nothing crass about buying, neither is there anything crass in selling. Selling is an honorable act of providing, for a fee, something that someone else wants.

Looked at from another angle, the only time there would be no “selling” is when there is no fee. But since we all want to be paid, then we need to recognize that we are selling.

The CEO of “You, Inc.”

Think of yourself as a company, “You, Inc.”

In your company, you are the CEO, but not the Chief Executive Officer. You are the Chief Everything Officer. You are responsible for creating the product (the music), product delivery (getting yourself to the job), sales and marketing (finding the work), accounting and invoicing (getting paid), office management (everything from finding the stapler to ordering new music) and a host of other positions as well.

We musicians are trained to believe that the most important job in the company of “You, Inc.” is product creation, making music the best way we know how.

The problem with that way of thinking shows up in the empty bank account and the blank calendar. If the sales force isn’t putting our music in front of our customers, then no money is coming in to fund the rest of the company. It’s ALL about sales.

Why you are better at this than you think

But we musicians already know how to sell. We have spent hours learning how to communicate our musical vision to an audience and take them with us on a journey through a piece of music from beginning to end. And most importantly, we believe in the value of what we do.

There are only three things we need to remember to be great salespeople for our companies:

  1. We must believe in the value of our product (our music).
  2. We must be willing to talk about it with all the passion and commitment that we feel for it.
  3. We must put ourselves in the places where our potential customers are.

Not sure what those places are? It depends on the type of work you’re looking for.

  • Do you want more students? Put up a flyer at the local music store or after school hangout.
  • Looking for wedding gigs? Let local wedding consultants, bridal shops and florists know you’re available.
  • Want to play recitals? Contact churches, retirement communities and concert presenters.

And there’s plenty of opportunity in more personal networking through family, friends and colleagues too.

Just remember this…

If you, the lead salesperson for “You, Inc.” don’t tell them all about you, who will?

 What can you do for “You, Inc.” today?

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  • Lorna Ota

    Deaer Anne,

    I am really enjoying reading your notes, Mostly, I’m trying to focus on good practice habits. I need to restructure my old habits as I learn new songs, as well as restructure old songs. Perhaps my teacher told me some of what you’re saying in your pointers, but this is an insightful way…STEPS, in focusing one thing at a time. Also, creating a private place to practice, then apportioning time to 1-2-3 segments and setting a timer for each segment. I am very anxious to start learning new harp basics.
    habits!

    Reply

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