Tips To Effective Networking : Don’t Be The One Always Asking For Favors
After working in the music industry for over 15 years I’ve learned the true value of “networking.” As a young adult early on in my career, like many youth out there I would meet various people that could “help” me in some sort of way whether it be an introduction to someone who could offer me an internship, an artist who I’d love to have on the radio show or promoter that I’d like to do a co-event with. Initially when I met them, I knew deep inside I wanted to help them as well but my choice of words or actions didn’t always communicate that. When speaking with these people I would quickly go over the various things I needed help with and at some times I could see them tuned out and the conversation would usually stop there. For those that were nice, they entertained the initial conversation only to go radio silent when it came to follow up.
Luckily, one person that I met with was completely honest with me. At the time I mentioned how it would be great to promote my college radio show flyers at his professional training studio or announce the program in his class without offering anything in return for such a gesture such as a featured interview on the radio show or helping him market his training services. He said bluntly to me that day, “you don’t understand networking.” This puzzled me because I was involved with several networking organizations and my entire mission statement was centered around wanting to help people. After initial shock statement, I learned of what I was doing wrong and was glad that he took the time to explain his initial frustration that stemmed from others (mostly younger) also making the same mistake. I was giving the impression that all I cared about from the relationship was what I could personal gain, without giving much thought to what they had to personally gain from either helping me or a long term business and personal relationship. From that point on, I vowed to trust synchronicity and karma and help those that I believed in, first without expecting anything in return, especially those who were able to “pay it forward” in helping another person within my network. Those that didn’t offer the reciprocation of also helping someone else or myself were less likely to get a response after the initial non circular experience.
This was an invaluable lesson to learn early on in my career because it made my job even that more fun or fulfilling. The challenging part is that I encountered many people who wanted to take advantage of the offer to help without ask for immediate reciprocation. People would call out of nowhere to ask for concert tickets, an introduction to an artist, or even a job or free consultation to help with their job and not realize how the ask was out of the ordinary. In those cases, a person could feel “used” even if you didn’t mean to make them feel that way. Without careful care, a great relationship could also turn quickly into a sour one with the wrong referral so be careful in who you share your relationships, advice and network with. You would hate to damage a good relationship with an introduction to someone you might not really know or haven’t personally experienced their services or as a co-worker.
I share the link below not because I want to judge anyone on their current behavior but would love to help anyone that may not realize what they were doing as I was at one time. I decided to call my company the Third Floor Network, not only named after our original Third Floor Radio show, but to have the word “network” in the title describes what our team does, which is helping connect the dots with artists to brands to services to media companies to amplify discovery, collaboration or in best cases, monetization for everyone involved. I don’t work with people that have the mentality that are in it for the personal gain without wanting to also help others.
Think about the people around you and your “network” – if they aren’t providing the reciprocal support that you are providing them, in the true definition of the word, they aren’t really apart of your “network.” When first meeting someone that you’d like to work with, think first of how you could help them and your personal gains second or not at all, in most cases if you offer a hand or an introduction, you’ll receive it back. In cases that you don’t, be the stronger person and walk away from the one sided relationship and trust that the universe will return the gesture in another way.
With that being said, here is a great Washington Post article that I wish I had read at the start of my career.
Career Coach: Keys To Networking Success via the Washington Post by Cynthia K. Stephens.
I wish someone asked me this question of “What Is Your Purpose In Life” in kindergarten, highschool, college & even a month ago. Thanks to brand strategist/coach @wearehuemanly for recently helping me to rethink about my purpose, mission & vision. While he specializes in creating purpose centric brands, his strategy also helps individuals learn their purpose to stay focused on their vision, which results in having a more fulfilling life. I think the younger you are is the best time to figure out what your purpose is, it will make life’s journey that much easier & rewarding. If you haven’t thought about it yet, it’s never too late to find one, & your ongoing mission is bigger then one job or career, it’s the reason behind everything you will do, paid or not paid, moving forward with colleagues, family, friends or strangers… 🔑 DM me on Instagram @roslynnc if we share a similar purpose, vision & mission. Would love to connect the dots together.❤️#StartWithTheWhy #MondayMotivation
by Roslynn Alba Cobarrubias
I started my music industry career in several different internships with various companies, some were paid and others were not. I’ve also hired and worked with several as an employer. I wanted to write this to help interns who are just starting their internships or currently looking into getting one. Without question, I recommend getting an internship or mentor before beginning your career in your choice of industry, specifically the music industry. Trade schools and colleges are great for teaching the helpful fundamentals, but it’s the actual working in an industry environment that will give you the hands-on experience, references and relationships that will help further your career. I also know professionals who never had professional schooling in their profession but thanks to valuable internships have been able to still pursue and succeed in their career of choice.
Think of it this way, without an internship or work experience outside of your schooling, you are one of thousands of applicants that are vying for the same jobs and positions you are. As employers, the most important qualities we look for aside from skill set are work experience and referrals. I’ve seen many people get hired based strictly on the recommendation of someone they respect or admire. In the fast paced music industry, employers don’t always have an HR team or personal time to spend hours reading resumes, the perfect person they need can usually be found a phone call away from someone they already know.
With that being said, with the help of people on my team who have also worked as interns or currently working as interns, I’ve put together a list of “How To’s” to help you along your way. I wish when I started my internships that I had some of the advice below and hope you find it helpful as well. Email us if this blog post has helped you at email@example.com or you have a great story to tell of a successful internship.
1. Start With The End In Mind
Be clear on the start and end date of your internship, have the dates in writing, which is typically 3 or 6 months and before the last month of your internship remind your employer that the end date is coming up in case they haven’t talked to you about it already. Before starting an internship, imagine the dream scenario – to most of course it is getting hired on full-time by the company for a salary position, but truth be told most don’t have budgets to continuously hire new people so there should be other goals in mind including getting a great reference letter, learning new skills, working directly in the field, building key relationships with people in the building and other interns who will be future leaders and colleagues as you both progress.
Be clear from the beginning to yourself and your direct report of what you are looking to gain so that you leave with what you were wanting. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get hired after an internship, if you were memorable and great you can get referred for another position that another company is hiring or get hired by the company later down the line. If you did not get hired by the company you were interning for make sure to ask if they had colleagues that may be of a need of assistance. Don’t ever get turned off by internships. Most successful people see internships as an opportunity to get a mentor. Each mentor can teach you something different overtime. Consistent hard work matched with connecting the dots will get you in your desired position over time.
There have been plenty of times where when my internship was over, because my boss saw great potential in me, referred me to someone else or another company, this can be for you too!
Questions to ask yourself during an internship:
-Are you networking with other people?
-Does your boss and key executives know your names and skill-set?
-Are you learning more about your field that you desire to be in?
Reminder, before your last week, make sure to grab a recommendation letter and allow permission to ask your direct report to put them as a reference on your resume
2. Enjoy The Tasks You Have, Whatever It Is
Remember everyone started somewhere. We’ve all heard stories about the executives like Diddy who started out an intern for Andre Herrell or the powerful music agent who started in the mailroom. Make the most of the tasks assigned. If you are asked to pick up and deliver food, make sure to smile and introduce yourself to the people in the building that you are delivering food to, develop a relationship with them. Eventually, when there is time, ask them a little bit about their personal story, you’ll be surprised to see that most people want to share their own experiences. Meet people who have the job you want to have and ask them how they got there or research for yourself. Those that been the most successful are those that know the ins and outs of their companies’ key employees as well as their industry. The CEO that knows how every team operates from the top executive management team down to the mailroom is key in successful organizations. Know that this internship is just the first early stops in your career journey,
3. Offer Value To Your Boss
Make sure you understand what your company does, do the research before you start as well as research on the roles and people you work for, this will give you an idea of how you can be of great value and help them.
IE. If your boss is a marketing director come up with marketing strategies that would reach your target demo in college if your company is trying to reach people your age, if you want to be a publicist, attend as many events as you can where you can network with other media publications that could be important to the publicist like red carpets and music conferences, even if it’s meeting another intern at that company, spend the time to make those connections for future clients. if you want to be a DJ, ask a club or a DJ if you can tag along for a day to help them with what they needed like taking photos or videos for social media, and watch how they do it. The person you are helping may not even realize your value until it is offered.
4. Keep Yourself Busy
There can be times when your direct reports or boss are so busy they don’t have time to give you an assignment. After asking if there is anything you can help with, if there is nothing assigned, ask if you can do something you think would be beneficial that they might not have thought of. Examples can be organizing and filing away papers, photocopying receipts for an expense report, re-alphabetizing the CD collection, etc. If there still isn’t anything to do, Google will be your best friend. Take the time to do market research on the industry, the company, free workshops or networking events to attend to and read the trades on your industry.
5. Be Confident & Believe In Yourself
Confidence is key but don’t let your ego take over. No one likes a ‘know it all.’ Believing in yourself means believing you are capable of doing anything or learning how to do so. Allow yourself to be a sponge of your environment. Have the confidence to share your ideas and don’t be discouraged if they aren’t always the right answer. Showing that you care enough to TRY to think outside the box gets you brownie points, plus if your supervisor(s) give you feedback on your ideas it can be useful in making future decisions and advice for your current organization or another you may work or in the future.
6. Be Positive
No one likes negativity or a debbie downer. Positivity is also contagious and will always rule out negativity. A positive attitude no matter what comes your way shows that you are a problem solver, can handle big responsibilities and makes you pleasant to be around. Don’t participate in negative chatter about others or the company, even if it is your boss that is doing the talking. Watch your speech as well, sometimes you will catch yourself complaining about the traffic, your school work, etc. You don’t want your limited conversations with those in your environment to be negative ones because even if you aren’t a negative person, it may provide the image that you are.
7. Your Network Is Your Net Worth
SMILE in and out of the office! Most new interns are shy and timid which could make it uncomfortable for others to have conversations with. A smile allows people to feel at ease to talk to you which can create long lasting bonds. Talk to your employer and fellow interns, ask them about their weekend and so on. The key to success in the industry are your relationships and it’s important to develop them in and out of the office. Even as an intern, you are a representative of that company so it’s important to be remembered as someone positively versus negatively. If it takes a few times for your boss or other people you meet to know your name, don’t be discouraged, make it a goal for them to remember you. Remember that people in the music industry meet so many people a day, they might forget names but they remember faces and smiles. The more events you attend and see familiar faces it will get easier. Offer help to anyone you may potentially want to work for or with.
8. Balance Your Life
Between school, work, internship and life, find a way to balance it all. Life is always a balancing act no matter how successful you become and it actually gets harder as your career responsibilities increase. Create a schedule, stick to the schedule and communicate with your supervisor when circumstances out of the normal things arise such as a flat tire or a sickness. Choose what to focus your energy and time towards for the bigger picture. Get your assigned tasks done and communicate if you can’t. If you feel the internship isn’t right for you, be up front and honest from the beginning because there is someone else that could find the internship extremely valuable. The worst impression you can make is if you commit to an internship and constantly call in sick or show up late because you aren’t passionate about it. Learn how to prioritize school, work, family/friends and personal time, know that each part of your life is important in keeping a good balance. Your life shouldn’t be just about one aspect such as “all work.” A recommendation could even be taking less classes to allow time for an internship before graduation. A lot of companies only hire internships based on being in college.
9. Monitor Your Social Media
As a representative again of your company, your boss, etc. Make sure what you are posting online that you don’t want others to see is not public. Posting a status update of how bored you are or your company’s gossip is a quick way to get fired. Remember with technology these days, everything you post online or even via an app that requires a login could turn up somewhere, think of it’s worth it to post a picture with your drunk buddies in Cabo for a future employer to find later when googling you. I’ll help you answer that, It’s not.
10. Archive Your Work Experience
Update your resumes and linked in profiles with your new work experience. Keep a copy of the newsletter you wrote or take photos at the event that you covered, blog posts you may have wrote, etc. Make sure to be able to list everything you learned as this may come handy when a future employer is looking for that exact skill set. See an example of my video resume as well on youtube.com/roslynnc, which has come in handy when looking to expedite the process of learning my experience and creating your own will help you stand apart from the crowd.
These are some tips to being a good intern, not the only ones, so do the research and don’t forget to have fun with the process. If you are still not happy in your work environments as you progress it could be that you chose a field that you are not passionate about, remember it’s never too late to change careers.
Key Places To Find Music Industry Internships
2. Family And Friends
Think about family or friends and the companies they work at, if they know anyone that works at a company you’d like to intern at, there is a higher potential of you getting an internship at that company.
3. Company Website And Events
Visit the company website and follow them on all social media platforms where they may post information about internships or if a key executive is speaking at an event, you can attend to ask them in person if they are looking for anyone
4. Direct Assistance
If you know of an executive, artist, manager, etc. that you’d like to intern for directly, it’s worth a shot shooting them an email or approaching them in person. Not all music executives have reachable companies such as producers, etc. Assisting them for a selected period of time and having them as a mentor can be equally valuable.
mydiveo Co-Founder Roslynn Cobarrubias Tedx Talk: “How To Create A Powerful Video Profile Showcasing Your X Factor”
Location: TedxMt. Sac | Sunday June 4, 2017
Creating a powerful video profile, also known as a video resume, that captures and showcases your X factor, can be used to expedite the process of discovery, collaboration, networking, working and hiring when shared with potential employers, colleagues & clients.
Aside from being the name of a popular music talent TV show, an X factor is something that every individual, including you and I, and EVERY brand or business has. As a professional individual, it’s your unique talents or skills that set you apart from the rest, why companies would potentially want to hire you and why people would potentially want to work with you. As a brand or a business it’s your USP or Unique Selling Proposition, what differentiates your business from other competitive businesses, especially within your industry. It’s not just how and what your product or service is, but it’s the WHY people should buy or use it. Knowing your X factor, and being able to create a visual for it, will speed up the process of people getting to know your business, your brand and most importantly, you.
As you know reading this online, the world we currently live in is a digital society. We get our news from Facebook, we get our restaurant recommendations from an Instagram photo and we communicate through disappearing messages on Snapchat, meaning that we want our information fast, where we don’t have to search far to get it. So the days of reading over several pages of a paper resume, long customer reviews or even visiting a website with too much to read on, is antiquated. We want our information, and we want it fast, and there’s nothing that delivers a message faster than a video. It’s the reason why advertisers spend millions of dollars on commercials every year, up to five million dollars for a thirty second commercial during the Superbowl! It’s why record labels, artists and musicians spend thousands of dollars on their music videos, they understand the power of video as well and it’s time for the everyday person, new or small businesses/brands to reap the benefits and power of a video profile as well.
They say that one minute of video equates to 1.8 million words, that means there’s a lot that can be said through visualization without actually having to say much. For example if you’re a musician, an artist or a talent, your video profile will contain footage of your talent, obviously. You can’t just write a list of words to describe how great of a talent you are on your resume or your LinkedIn, like how great of a guitarist or dancer you are to potential talent bookers, event producers, fans or collaborators. Your talent needs to actually be seen for other people to discover it. It might sound like common sense to have this but you’ll be surprised at how many talents out there are struggling to get booked or hired because they don’t have a clear video displaying their talent.
As a talent, your video profile will contain footage of your talent, whether it be acting, singing, dancing, DJing, playing guitar, etc. And for those that are concerned that producing a video of your talent costs thousands of dollars, the truth is, when it comes to talent, all that truly matters is the raw talent, your true talent will speak for itself. Also in this day and age as you know, every phone comes with a camera phone, most shooting in HD and some even shooting in 4K. So I guarantee, even if you don’t have a fancy camera to help you film, there’s a friend, a family member, or fellow student or aspiring filmmaker that will let you borrow their phone to film or help you shoot yours.
The video profile can also include footage of your past performances, where you’ve interacted with the crowd and kept people entertained, which will help event planners and talent bookers visually discover your talent and confirm why they should book you for their future events or media programs, especially if introduced by a referral. The best way to also showcase your new music for your fans, friends or family is through video whether it be a performance or a simple lyric video on your social media. *Don’t use social media just to post pictures of your food because you’ll be missing out on a lot of opportunities!
As a working individual looking to get potentially hired or entice someone to work with you, your video profile will contain your unique skills or talents that set you apart from the rest. It can include you detailing your list of past experience, degrees and best achievements, but it can also contain actual footage of you in your element that can be powerful. For example, let’s say you’re a personal trainer, it can show footage of you doing what you do best, motivating others to do their best either in a gym or outside of the gym, or if you’re a teacher, it can show footage of you in the classroom, inspiring the students around you. Your video profile could/should also include client testimonials and recommendations. So if you’re a personal trainer, your video will include testimonials from your clients, how you motivated them to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. If you’re a teacher, It can include testimonials from your students of how you inspired them, of the unique way your teaching helped get them through high school, college, etc. The video profile can also include recommendations from other teachers that worked with you, and why they would recommend you to work with. Or if you’re just starting your career as a college student, it can include footage of you at your internship or on campus helping produce an event.
If you are a brand or a business, as I mentioned earlier, your video profile should contain your USP, or your unique selling proposition. It will not only show how people should use your product or service, but it’s the WHY people should work with your business or buy your brand. The video will explain what problem does your product or service solve for your target customer. Again, it can include client testimonials from people that have purchased your brand or that have utilized your business. For example if you are a realtor and own your own real estate agency, it can include not only footage of the beautiful homes that you’ve helped clients buy or sell, it can also include testimonials of the people that have worked with you, when purchasing or selling your home. It can include testimonials of WHY people have chosen your particular brand or service above anybody else in your industry.
There are different forms of marketing whether it be digital or print but it’s been proven that the power of word of mouth marketing is the strongest and most effective. Think of how many times that you’ve used a service, like a doctor or an insurance agent, or even visited a restaurant, by a recommendation from a family member, friend or colleague? Or how many times you’ve purchase a product because you saw a commercial where you quickly saw the benefit or why you should use it and you related to the target customer depicted in the video?
In today’s day and age, people know that there’s real buying power in human peer to peer marketing, that’s why there is more focus on influencer marketing versus traditional marketing these days. Knowing exactly what your X factor is, will not only help build your confidence in speaking about yourself, your brand or business but by creating a video profile that also includes information like your website social links, for people that wanted to find additional information from you. A video can exponentially grow discovery for new clients at a great speed. Capturing your recommendations, referrals or testimonials visually can also help you whether it’s in your personal career or people getting to know your brand or service, even faster if the video is coupled with a personal referral.
I know this personally because in the past few years we’ve worked with dozens of brands to find the perfect influencers for their ad campaigns, helped small businesses like restaurants or personal trainers win new clients. We’ve helped live events, festivals and media companies like TV/radio programs find the right artists for their shows, helped non-profits raise additional money for the organizations, while also helping individuals get hired after inspiring them to create & share a video profile on mydiveo.com. We are excited with every new discovery or connection that takes place because of a video profile and that’s why it’s our personal passion to get people to understand the value and the importance of one.
Personally in my own career, a video profile has helped me tremendously and is part of what inspired me to create the company with my founding partners. A few years ago, Lift Off Pictures asked me to create a video profile of my career history after spending close to a decade in artist relations and integrated marketing at MySpace.com. I was reluctant to do it at first because I don’t really share my own personal story, I like to interview and share other people’s stories, I am glad that I did. First, it gave me a chance to reflect on past successes and recognize that your career path is an ongoing life journey that I promote to the youth like college students who are just finding their way that I didn’t necessarily know growing up starting out here as a college radio DJ at Mt. Sac. I thought your career meant only one job or one destination and it felt challenging at times when I didn’t get that exact job or felt behind because I thought it was a competition or a race, which it isn’t.
Secondly I was able to utilize the video profile to solidify working with other companies like television networks that I’ve always wanted to work with because they were able to see quickly a video of my past work experience. Most importantly, by helping individuals, brands and businesses create their own video profiles we’ve been able to witness first-hand the benefits of sharing one.
I know it’s a little crazy to think that almost every individual and every brand/business will have their own video profile in the near future, but I think back to 2004 when we were pitching start up MySpace.com to artists and users. At the time, we were the first global social network before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. and it was extremely challenging at first to get people to understand the benefits of having an online profile – for themselves for purposes outside of dating. Helping to market the new company at the time, people didn’t exactly understand WHY I was trying to get them to create an online profile and were very reluctant to do it at first until seeing how it benefited thousands of people from artists to graphic designers. Fast forward to 2017 and it’s now the norm. It’s actually NOT normal now to NOT have an online profile on one of the social platforms.
It’s time to be ahead of the curve and reap the benefits even if it starts with just sharing the video profile with personal family, friends, existing & potential new clients in your local area and seeing how it can help you.
We’ve made it easy to upload and share your video profile at www.mydiveo.com by showing your off your unique skills/past experience or USP/client testimonials and email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional tips.
Watch my personal video profile below that helped inspire the creation of our company mydiveo, that was recently acquired by Engage:BDR for $7.4 million and is now the largest network of video profiles in the world, featured in Forbes.
#AskRos “Did you have anxiety in your early 20s? I’m 20 & really anxious about the future.” asks @yeltss__
“Thank you for your question. I had my first anxiety attack when I was 28, late at night after going to Kanye & E-40 listening sessions the night before I had to fly to Atlanta where we were going to give Drake the @myspace “Rookie of the Year” BET Hip Hop Award & produce a Lloyd Release Show. I was completely stressed, running around with barely any energy in my tank so mistakenly drank 5 red bulls in one night to stay awake! Up until that point, I had been working nonstop at my career since I was 19 years old. I didn’t have life balance, proper diet, exercise, meditation or courage to talk to someone & eventually my body started producing physical symptoms of weakness. B/C of the #flightorfight fear anxiety puts you in, there were times I couldn’t even sit in a company meeting, interview or do a presentation without feeling anxious & usually left the room. I sought help & now can properly deal with anxiety & spoke in detail of what others can potentially do as well in this video.
Thank you #ShortStoryLong contest winner @cristalll.o of younglosangeles.com for joining us, you’ll learn more about her soon in her @mydiveo profile that we shot. I love her energy, passion & mission to help people encounter mental health issues that she once faced. If you’re dealing with anxiety, know you aren’t alone, it’s ok to ask for help & do research of how you can turn the ‘fear’ into excitement & faith. She is a great mentor to speak to!” -Roslynn
Continue to submit your great questions via DM here or comments to Roslynn’s instagram @roslynnc.
Yesterday was filled with advice, funny stories and learning lessons from panelists ranging from artists like Hopsin, Wax, Propoganda, Chris Webby, Jarren Benton, Crooked I to booking agents like Matt Adler to music video directors like Jakob Ownes and venue talent buyers like Adam Stroul. Those that attended from across the world including Canada, Colorado and Georgia also got to chat with moderator and Funk Volume CEO Dame Ritter as soon as the conference was over. Here are some of our favorite quotes, for more info follow #FVHHC on Twitter and join the Facebook group: www.facebook.com/funkvolumeconference
Panel 1: Teamwork Makes The Dreamwork, Putting Together A Successful Team
Work on yourself before working with other people. #FVHHC
“Relationships are crucial. It’s a small circle talking that are REALLY making moves. Keep a positive reputation” @MrFunkVolume #FVHHC
Communicating in person is a lost art form. Respect the levels of the hustle. #FVHHC
“Management is the NEW indie label. You have to be well versed in every facet to best use your resources and tools.” @willisactive #FVHHC
“Every artist has a different projectory and rhythm. With Run The Jewels their merch & live show is a larger priority.” @willisactive #FVHHC
“Figure out who you are as an artist before having a manager. Be humble enough to move on your own.” #FVHHC
Panel 2: Getting On The Road & The Importance Of A Live Show
Start selling out your shows without an agent, film it, tie it together. Sell out your local shows & they’ll come to you. #BasicMath #FVHHC
“Go to other shows whether it’s lighting, backdrops, etc. “#investinyourself Give reasons for talent buyers to pay you.” @prophiphop #FVHHC
“Booking agents aren’t the finish lines. They are there to help you grow the fire of what you’ve already built yourself.” @mdotadler #FVHHC
“Those first few shows before you get paid, is how U learn to perform. Good stage presence is key these days for fans.” @ChrisWebby #FVHHC
“If the music is good enough it is going to spread organically.” –Adam Stroul #fvhhc
“Focus on creating good content, music/videos, rehearsing, watching other shows, etc. before looking to book tons of shows.” @STROUL #FVHHC
U might have to start W/ #SoftTicket sales = festivals/events built in audience. before #HardTicket sales where your the headliner. #FVHHC
Panel 3: I Need More Views! Building A You Tube Audience
“In the beginning I wasn’t spending anything,my most popular video I shot was $800. It’s not the money it’s the creativity.” @bigwax #FVHHC
“The timing, tags, relatability & entertainment value is super important in creating shareable video content for fans.” @princeea #FVHHC
“Everytime I made a video, I would title the video w/ the name of the camera I was using & built a technical following.” @jakobowens #FVHHC
“You gotta just think of ways to be creative, money isn’t important. You can take us back to 0 & we’ll still rock shit.” @hopsin #FVHHC
Panel 4: Why Make Your Own, Learn From Their Mistakes
“How many people come to see U perform live, how many people buy product, this is how U can measure your success.” #FVHHC @CrookedIntriago
“Online and free. Build a demand for your ish. Just gradually test visuals out there & have them engage w/your music.” @JarrenBenton #FVHHC
As someone who’s worked in this industry for years advocating for indie artists, specifically indie hip hop artists, some of the most frequent questions that they ask me are in regards to building a team, getting video views, touring and what mistakes not to make. Thanks to Dame Ritter, CEO of one of the most successful current indie hip hop labels and the panelists for investing their personal time to answer these questions at the Funk Volume Virtual Hip Hop Conference November 22, 2014.
If you are serious in taking your career to the next level as an artist or an executive, invest in yourself by taking the time to attend this virtual conference. Hundreds have registered already so do so now before seats fill out and registrations close.
For more info visit:
“If you could spend $30 on a new T-shirt or quadruple that amount for a pair of shoes, you definitely have enough money to invest in your most important brand – YOU!”
WHEN: November 22, 2014 9:30AM-2:30PM
Mac Lethal, Jarren Benton, RA The Rugged Man, Crooked I, Chris Webby, Dame Ritter (Funk Volume Founder/CEO) and many more listed on http://www.funkvolumeconference.com Attendees will not only get Funk Volume’s perspective and what has helped us them to where they are (selling out venues throughout the country, a rare 3 former XXL Freshman artists on their roster and currently one of the most respected independent record labels in music) but they will include a diverse cross-section of artists and professionals so you can get a variety of perspectives on how to make progress in this industry.
Often times music conferences are very expensive and time consuming to attend, once you factor in registration fees, travel costs, etc. They want to cut down on these costs and deliver information that artists can put to use immediately, right to the comfort of your home.
Available globally online, exclusively limited to the first 1,000 people for each panel.
Viewers could also join an ongoing Q&A and chat using the hashtag #FVHHC
More Info and to purchase tickets: www.funkvolumeconference.com
Had a blast returning to Cal State Fullerton to join fellow Walnut High School alum (Class of 2012) Christianne Holly Santiago on her Wednesday morning radio show called, “Your Morning Poison.” Walking thru campus down under the library where Titan Internet Radio still operates several years later with old rugs STILL on the wall gave me a sense of familiarity and comfortability before the interview. It was a humbling experience to return back to the place where working in the music industry was a developing dream after years as a working professional and now business owner. Holly and I discussed topics that came directly from CSUF students about the value of internships, how to network properly and developing your personal brand. I hope that anyone listens to it HERE or reads the interview below is inspired in whatever field they are in to continue to stay focused on their own dreams knowing firsthand that they are achievable. Special thanks to Holly and the TIR team for the hospitality! Excited to see where her journey takes her with such a great start as talented radio host/DJ and promotions director with experience at Seattle’s infamous KUBE 93 station, she has a promising career ahead of her.
To listen to our interview visit her “Your Morning Poison” mixcrate here or read below for tracklisting as well as written out answers:
From David L: What did you initially want to be before you started your career? And when did you ultimately get on the path to where you’re at today?
I initially wanted to get into politics, my dream was to be a lawyer and the Mayor of the city where I’m from, Walnut, CA. It was a long “Alchemist” type of journey that I had that brought me to a career in music. I always loved music since a young age, I couldn’t sing or perform though, and it wasn’t until I was aware that you could work in other aspects of the music industry without being the actual entertainer or performer that I decided to pursue it full time. I was always the lunch time DJ in elementary school to high school, but it wasn’t until I started my own radio show and started taking radio broadcasting classes that I REALLY felt passionate in knowing what I wanted to do in life. It took working at several companies in different parts of the music industry to really understand where I want to be now which is increasing awareness, collaboration and monetization for artists in all areas which I work in today.
I know you started getting involved with radio and the music industry in college. Could you tell me about how you led to decide you wanted to work in the music industry?
Initially I wanted to just work in radio, but when I learned the truth behind commercial radio and you can’t choose the music you play during your programs, I began to think of other things that I wanted to do. I started meeting and getting to know the artists around me that I interviewed on my Third Floor Radio college radio show (where we had freedom to play the music and artists we wanted) and they became friends. I realized how much help they needed whether it was someone helping to throw their events, creating their online presence, promoting their music, etc. I realized there was an entire industry for music outside of just the restrictions of radio. I wanted to learn every piece of the puzzle so I could better help not only the artists but those that wanted to create their own careers in the industry.
Aside from school what else did you do to prepare yourself to begin your career?
Internships, volunteering, blogging and event producing was the #1 preparation for the real world when it came to establishing my career. After reading the book, “The Celestine Prophecy” I realized that there was no such thing as a coincidence. Everything and everyone we meet including our positive or negative attitude ultimately created or blocked the synchronicity in our lives. I started to produce concerts and help the artists that I loved that were featured on the radio show and starting learning the business. I would volunteer to help larger events to learn their process and how they made money alongside finding internships in radio, marketing, and networking. At every internship I took on, I considered it as serious job whether or not I was getting paid. I was the first person there and the last person to leave, putting my best foot forward so that anyone I worked with either wanted to hire me or recommend me to someone or a company that was hiring which they always did. Every job I received was via personal referral.
From David L: Any tips on how to get started and where to go for internships? What do companies look for in their interns/employees? How do we stand out?
Think about everything you love. What radio stations do you listen to, what clothes do you wear, what magazines or blogs do you read, what bands do you love. Because you are already passionate about these things you’re already an asset to them because you are a genuine fan of the brand or company. Find a contact and let them know you are interested in interning for them. You may have to do a few cold calls but chances are you might already know someone that worked there or knows someone there. Companies look for interns that they don’t have to constantly tell what to do. The interns are bringing ideas of how they could help their place of business increase awareness or sales. Research the companies that you are interviewing with and let them know of ideas that you have to help them increase awareness or sales. For example, they always love to reach college students and you are within that community, let them know that when they hire you that you will help grow that audience from your peers and that you’ll help gather ideas and opinions from people your age. You stand out not looking for a hand out but instead looking to gain valuable experience and relationships versus the thousands of there doing the opposite and when working there are just looking for a quick paycheck or name of a cool company that you work for to tell your friends about. Think of the word “internship” synonymous to the word “experience,” just as college students looking to develop careers in the medical field also complete a “residency,” it’s important to your career to get real-time experience before people hire you as a professional.
When you actually get the job, listen carefully daily of what your boss needs whether it be a daily task or advice of where to get the best chicken wings in the area. People remember people that help them. A great article on “10 Things That Should Be On Your Resume” could be found here that you might not have thought of.
Where and how did you get your first connections?
My very first connections started with the people around me. There were artists and creatives in the area that I’d often hang out with. Whether it was dancers I’d love to dance at the club with or local artists that I would go to a local show with. We started going to shows like hip hop performance clubs like UNITY or Lotus back in the day as well as things like the breakdancer B-Boy Summit and I started to meet more artists and their teams. I became genuine friends with these people and they became apart of my life. Over the years these emerging artists soon became the established artists of today, that I still could work with knowing our long history together including but not limited to The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, Dwele and Talib Kweli.
You’ve given me great advice on networking that will help me for the rest of my career. Could you share that with us now?
Networking is not just asking for what you want, 99% of the people you’ll meet until you have established a career will think they don’t need anything from you or a relationship with you. In the initial conversation, listen to what the person does, where they work or what they love and offer them something before you ask for anything.
IE: If you meet a record executive of your favorite band, mention you loved the band and you’d love to write a review of their concert and take photos at the event to share on your socials or blog or if you meet a potential boss and she says she loves steak, recommend the best steakhouse you know in town and offer to take her to lunch, just to pick her brain on advice in exchange. One good gesture will go a long way, some will get returned and others won’t but continue to pay it forward and it will eventually reciprocate. Read HERE for more tips on effective networking.
How did you get your start being the Director of Artist Relations at MySpace Inc.?
When I first met the founders of Myspace.com, I was the Director of Marketing for the National Association of Record Industry Professionals (NARIP) and LA Music Network (LAMN), my boss Tess Taylor was the president and would create workshops, panels and showcases alongside produce her own speaking engagements for people in the music industry. Her strong point was also providing career advice to every age group alongside start up music companies marketing advice. At one of the events I worked at, I met her friend Chris DeWolfe, founder of Myspace.com. I loved social networking at the time, Friendster was my main account to promote my college radio show but felt it to be too restrictive. I was one of the first to hear about Myspace.com and created a profile quickly and loved the expressive freedom it gave you.
When we met with Chris, my boss told him that I promoted a radio show as well as my own events. After the initial meeting, she set one up with him and he asked me if I had any ideas of how to market Myspace.com to artists and creative’s. At the time, I was working on helping promote the Black Eyed Peas new music video that I helped introduce a director friend to produce after he sent me a great treatment for and mentioned we were throwing a party for it in a few weeks. I told him that we could promote Myspace on the flyer digitally and offline as well as integrated them into the party with giveaways. This became one of the first Myspace parties and I continued to do the same thing bringing artist opportunities via events or programs to the platform for the next 10 years of my life.
Who are some of your favorite/most memorable artists that you’ve worked with and why?
I wrote a blog about my top 9 memories and artists I worked with at Myspace that could be found here: http://thirdfloornetwork.com/2013/12/11/my-top-9-myspace-memories-over-the-past-9-years-3/ – there are so many ranging from A Tribe Called Quest to Drake to Pitbull, but the top 3 include when Justin Timberlake bought/became an investor in Myspace, it was fun working on JT song premieres or secret shows as I was a big N’Sync fan growing up. Another was our Jay Z show in NYC where kids slept outside to get tickets to the free show that otherwise couldn’t afford a ticket to a Jay Z concert but have been fans since they were kids. Some of the kids in line had tattoos of Jay-Z on their arms or named their kids Jay but have never been to a show. We produced the show in an intimate 700 person venue the day before he had 2 sold out shows playing for over 40,000 people in 2 days at Madison Square Garden. Lastly, when Justin Bieber came to my office with his mom and a year later I was interviewing him on the red carpet of the GRAMMYS was amazing, made me realize first hand how dreams really do come true and how those in the music industry can instantly change people’s lives.
You’ve worked in so many fields of the music industry. From radio, production, to marketing, and more, what was it like for you to be learning these new tasks and jobs?
Because I was passionate about the music industry and learning every aspect of it, whether or not I was getting paid, they never felt like “jobs.” A job to me was like my first job working at the West Covina Mall selling shoes at The Athlete’s Foot, although I loved it too and loved playing music there, I wanted to leave as soon as my shift was over, standing all day. When I worked in any part of the music industry, every time I learned something new it was beyond rewarding, I felt that it was kind of like a video game, learning each step as each task was given, doing something I loved. I heard early on to “find something you are passionate about to work in and you’ll never feel like you are working,” and this became my reality. I understand my life’s purpose in helping people.
From Leslie: What are the steps you took to maintain your name in the music industry? And how were you able to get some of the top names and artists to be a part of your career?
I always loved working with new artists that I believed in and loved their music. My “Third Floor Radio” show stands for 3 levels: past, present and future and my favorite part was highlighting those that people didn’t really know about but were on the cusp of breaking if the right people heard them. I helped a lot of new artists out whether it was through the radio show (giving them their first interview) or booking their show by having them perform at one of my events or creating their Myspace profiles for them and a lot of the artists remember that because Myspace really helped their careers take off. Some of the biggest DJs and artists today started on Myspace, and am grateful to be apart of those times. And until this day I help artists get booked to perform on TV for the first time or help them get their first big check from an advertiser sponsored program/event and they always remember who was the “first” to do these things. Thanks to the people around me I’ve been able to maintain those initial relationships and help a lot of these artists develop into the top names they are today either directly or indirectly introducing them to someone in my network.
How do you handle the pressure of dealing with everything at once? And how did working in the music industry change you emotionally?
I’m a very emotional person. One of my biggest challenges to this day is not to take everything personal. For example, I’ll meet someone who has a full time job at their job and I’ll offer to help them, say it’s booking an artist. Instead of returning the favor, they constantly call me and never tell their employers of how they are getting the artists. They get rewarded with a salary but don’t provide me any compensation or recognition for the artist that was booked via my relationship. It’s hard not to take a scenario like that personal and the initial reaction is to get emotional but I’ve learned to suppress the emotions and focus at the task at hand and know that everyone might not mean to do the things they do because they haven’t been taught how to network or work with someone properly. I handle dealing with everything at once by delegating what I know I can’t do or not great at to someone who could do it better for me and either pay them or reciprocate the favor.
From David L: Any stories of failure before you became so successful? If so, how did you bounce back?
I failed at trying to do everything at once. I had a radio show, produced events, had 2 internships, was going to college, DJing, started a clothing line, while helping artists develop their career. Doing multiple things wasn’t the issue, it was delegating tasks to a team or inviting help. I feared that if I didn’t do everything myself that it wouldn’t get it done. I thought I could do it all myself and eventually spread myself too thin. What was previously fun now became stressful and I disappointed a lot of people because I was excited about wanting to help but I just didn’t have the time when doing 100 things at once, I eventually burned myself out.
I also wrote a blog about my initial failure in trying to learn how to “network” here:
http://thirdfloornetwork.com/2014/08/14/5369/ – someone called me out on how I didn’t know how to properly network at a young age that I’m grateful for.
Luckily, one person that I met with was completely honest with me. At the time I mentioned how it would be great to promote my college radio show flyers at his professional training studio or announce the program in his class without offering anything in return for such a gesture such as a featured interview on the radio show or helping him market his training services. He said bluntly to me that day, “you don’t understand networking.” This puzzled me because I was involved with several networking organizations and my entire mission statement was centered around wanting to help people. After initial shock statement, I learned of what I was doing wrong and was glad that he took the time to explain his initial frustration that stemmed from others (mostly younger) also making the same mistake.
I was giving the impression that all I cared about from the relationship was what I could personal gain, without giving much thought to what they had to personally gain from either helping me or a long term business and personal relationship. From that point on, I vowed to trust synchronicity and karma and help those that I believed in, first without expecting anything in return, especially those who were able to “pay it forward” in helping another person within my network. Those that didn’t offer the reciprocation of also helping someone else or myself were less likely to get a response after the initial non circular experience.
I feel blessed now to have that experience so that I could tell others not to make the same mistakes I did. =)
How do you multitask?
I love what I do so I love to do everything I do and learning each task doesn’t become a burden, but here are some key points to keep in mind when having to do several things at the same time such as having multiple jobs or responsibilities:
1.Establish your goals. Think with the end in mind. If choosing between two things to do, go forward with the one that could bring you one step closer to your goal, even if it’s a small thing such as following up via email with a potential future mentor or making a list of bands you want to potentially interview. You could always get back to the other things later but want to make sure you get done first what is moving in the same direction.
2. Give time to complete hard tasks for your full attention. Let it be known
to family, friends (and yourself) that you need an hour or two that you are in deep concentration or focus on one thing that requires focus such as studying, producing a presentation, prepping for an interview, etc. Plan time to have time so you don’t feel pressured to rush to get it done or don’t even try because the task seems too daunting and you feel you are busy with prior commitments to everyone around you.
3. Make a list of every task that needs to be done in an excel or some type of easy to manage tracking form. Prioritize the asks into “Urgent and Important,” “Important but not urgent,” and “Would Like To Do But Not Urgent” – to simplify you could tag them as A, B or C. Go thru your day and try to get at least A done if you have everything you need, if not, go back to it and do as many A’s as possible. Move to B’s and C’s if those tasks get accomplished, that way each day you are getting the most important and urgent things done first. They could be small things such as getting the drain fixed or as big as finishing a term paper. It will help you to not procrastinate or waste time on things that aren’t important that seem urgent until you write them down in your list with other things you need to do. Will start to feel great to check things off your list daily.
4. Use wait time efficiently in between different projects. IE if you know you are taking the train to work, plan to create your grocery list on the train and not in the middle of the work day or when you get home and you are already tired.
5. Plan for something YOU want to do each day as something important. IE: exercise, watch reality TV with your boyfriend, buy ice cream or call an old friend to catch up that way you also feel rewarded for your hard work of doing multiple things at once by doing one or more things that give you pleasure each day. Stop doing the things or being around the people that drain your time or doing the things you dread, you could pay someone to do those things and/or reward yourself for completing them.
6. Get comfortable with saying, “No.” Your true colleagues, friends and family will understand not having the bandwidth to do what they need your help in. Even if they don’t, it’s okay. It’s YOUR time. You don’t owe anyone anything. If they helped you in the past, let them know you will return the favor but at this right second you can’t (maybe provide an alternative) and move on. Don’t get stuck on guilt and let them know the better you can take care of yourself and your goals/duties, the better you will be available to help others such as them in the future. This is a hard one that I struggle with everyday, but you’ll be surprised at how much time opens up in your schedule when you remove doing things for other people.